I began collecting Indian artifacts at around the age of ten when my father tired of hearing me ask about “arrowheads” and took me to farm land where I started finding these rare and unique ancient tools. As I moved into my teen years and decided that girls were more fun than arrowheads, I gave away my collection. Later on, after college, I married and after I got out of the army, my wife, Verla Ann, and I began raising our family and there was little time was available for this hobby. In my thirties, I began to resurrect my boyhood fascination with the ancient people of the Western Hemisphere but not just to have a bunch of stone tools lying on shelves in our house. This time I was more interested in the why, the where, the how and the when the New World Indians used these tools and ceremonial objects we now call artifacts. Early Americans have been in the two continents of this hemisphere for more than 10,000 years after many arrivals across the frozen Bering Strait and by skirting the ice flows from Europe to the New World. While I have a collection of the artifacts that cover this entire time period, my main area of interest is the last thousand years or what are called, archaeologically, the Late Woodland and Mississippian Periods.
The natives of these time periods had become more settled into towns and hamlets and had begun to grow corn and beans and squash. They developed social groups that were often ruled by kings and elite relatives and they began making pottery and ceremonial and decorative objects such as pipes, pendants and necklaces. And they had definite religious objectives with the belief in a central and almighty god as well as lower deities. In the last thirty plus years, the allure of these people and the items they left behind has not diminished and I continue to study and collect the remainders of the life of these earliest Americans.