Uphill Both Ways
Volume 9 - Boston 1956
natural inventiveness, and his intrinsic artistic bent, he brought two specific skill that no ‘real’ paleontologist would ever bring to the transaction:
He was a journeyman welder, and He was a journeyman machinist.
These skills meant he could take metal and do anything he wanted with it. Put those skills together with his artistic vision and an entirely new way of mounting bones evolved. It was inevitable, really. There was simply no way he would not revolutionize dinosaur mounting.
Another subtle but significant point to make about dad and his visionary approach to dinosaur mounts pertains to these specific years. In Vernal, Dad did more painting that sculpting. He did some animal sculptures and carved linoleum blocks like this Hawai’ian fish. In 1954-56
we moved to Boston in 1956- he started
sculpting seriously and successfully in Seward. He earned first prize in sculpture in the Fur Rendezvous, admittedly a small venue, but it was a win and I imagine that it reinforced and energized dad. He fed on praise and acknowledgment so I suspect that his success in sculpting informed his determination to persuade MCZ that he had something profoundly new to offer.
The last critical element to the success of this novel mounting method was Romer himself. As just noted, his training and knowledge of dinosaur mounts was the old standard, the wooden held-together-with-wires-and-straps style. People are naturally conservative and resist innovation, even when it is presented in a favorable light. There is too much risk, too much possibility of failure, of embarrassment, of waste. Change is not easy to adopt, but Romer saw the brilliance and developed a belief or trust in dad -and Arnie- when they described the mount and the method of creating it.
I can’t find any notes that identify when Kronosaurus mount was done but I know that it was done while we lived in Waltham because I worked on the skull and as a result had to go to the emergency room in Waltham. We moved to Belmont in the summer of 1958 so the mount was done between 1956 and 1958, Dr. Romer had only known dad for less than 2 years when he accepted dad’s proposal. I am