Collecting Fossil Plants and Animals
in the Pennsylvanian Deposits of the Will County, Illinois Coal Measures
The Field Notes of George Langford, Sr. in the Years 1937-1960.
Prepared and organized by George Langford, Jr., 1973.
Copyright George Langford, III, 2010
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One pleasant day, in the early Summer of 1963, Father [George Langford, Sr.] and I took a trip together to the strip mines, partly for old time's sake, [and] partly to satisfy our curiosity as to what our old collecting sites looked like after a twenty-five year period.  We took along some token collecting equipment: a couple of old five-gallon pails and one brickmason hammer, not that we really expected to do any actual collecting, but just in case we spotted some likely looking nodules.

We went first to the most easily accessible sites, Locality No. 1 and Locality No. 2, right close to the heavily travelled Route I-66, and took a look around.  The spoil heaps were heavily overgrown with coarse weeds, underbrush, and cottonwood trees, so overgrown that almost no bare ground areas were visible ... and of course, no nodules.  We were not surprised; we had seen overgrown areas before [and we] were not really disappointed, [so we] moved out.

We next went to our old reliable "Pig Pen" site, Locality No. 3, right on the edge of an easily accessible secondary road.  The site itself had been fenced in, and we did not attempt to actually enter.  But we could see that this site, too, was heavily overgrown with weeds, brush, and cottonwood trees.  Perhaps there was some bare ground here and there, but we couldn't see well enough to tell.

We walked along the edge of the road that fronts Locality No. 3 and Locality No. 4, found a number of small nodules, cracked them open, just in case, noted a few small, common fern leaves, [and] decided to call it a day. 

Almost all of our other collecting sites were difficult to reach, requiring a lot of walking and climbing.  Also, most of them were fenced in or posted.  And they, too, were overgrown with brush, weeds, and trees.  We looked at them from a distance, [and] moved on.

We were satisfied.  We had re-visited the scene of our big collecting triumphs of twenty-five years before,  In a nostalgic sort of way, we were amused.  We felt like a couple of old football players revisiting a stadium where we had scored satisfactory touchdowns many years ago.  We drove home.

[unsigned, but in the original pen & ink handwriting of] George Langford, Jr.

[George Langford, Sr. died in my father's arms in 1964, aged 88, and George Langford, Jr. died in 1996, aged 95 - GL,III, ed.]