There are simply too many to tell. But one particularly memorable moment, and one that speaks directly to the man's character, occurred perhaps in 1979 in the area of Cuzco, Peru. I was assisting Tony and the late R. Tom Zuidema in an EARTHWATCH expedition. I was in the co-pilot seat of a minivan as Tony dexterously managed the standard gears on a torturous, pot-holed path up the side of the Andes Mts towards a site at which we were hoping to work. As we talked and joked and Tony shifted up and down the gears, his arm suddenly came up with the long stick-shift in hand. He slammed on the break and we both looked at the detached metal gear shift in his hand, and then looked at each other on the side of a wild mountain far from any town or helpful repairs. And then Tony burst into his trademark guffaw! He made light of the entire incident, as if stick shifts routinely broke off in one's hand, not to mention while at 12,000 feet up the side of a mountain, with a van load of middle aged volunteers with minimal travel and wilderness experience. A consternated or stressed reaction from the group leader would have been disastrous; but Tony's humor-filled and completely relaxed response calmed everyone and led to practical responses to the situation.
I am first generation college, and had no idea when entering Colgate in 1974 what college was about or what my major would be or, indeed, what I wanted to do with my life. Tony was a direct and positive influence on everything I did once I took Astro 101 in the spring semester of my freshman year. He opened up the world to me --I accompanied him on 3 Jan Plans to Mesoamerica, and was also his EARTHWATCH assistant on 2 or 3 expeditions. He served as one of my 3 advisors in my interdisciplinary "Pre-History" archaeoastronomy-focused major. My decision to attend grad school in cultural anthropology, complete ethnographic fieldwork with a heavy emphasis in ethnoastronomy, and eventually to become a professor in anthropology and more recently a global studies high school teacher was all due directly to Tony's inspirational work in and out of the classroom. He was even a profound influence in my personal life. Having just lost my father when my freshman year at Colgate began, Tony in part also became somewhat of a surrogate father --I spent numerous hours at his home, enjoying a bit of family life with his wonderful wife and children, and observing Tony cooking in the kitchen (not something my father ever did). Tony's example of excellence as an educator has been a guiding star for me in my own teaching career, and the fact that I have ben recognized by both students and colleagues/administrations for my work as an educator I ascribe directly to Tony's model and inspiration.
Five+ decades in education, Professor of the Year, world-renowned expert in the field of archaeoastronomy, devoted teacher, advisor, beloved family man, Tony, you're amazing! You've been a continuing inspiration to me in my life and I know in the lives of so many others, and I cannot help but think that your years ahead will continue to be rich in life, human relations, and productive activity, while allowing perhaps just a bit more opportunity to kick back and relax and reap the fruits of your decades of beloved labor. The very best wishes to you and your family. Don't ever hesitate to ask if you are ever in need of help or support!
It's all been said, Tony --it's been an honor to study under you, work with you, and hold your model behavior before me in my own work and life. Thank you for all you've done, for simply being you. Though I haven't always kept in as close touch as I should have, the memories of our times together in Mesoamerica and Peru, in your warm and benevolent home, in classrooms, the observatory, at conferences, and in the field are still vivid and wonderful. Best wishes to you always!