Any work of history about a specific place requires the cooperation and understanding of the people of that place. First and foremost, I would like to thank Superintendent Clarence N. Gorman and his staff at Navajo National Monument. My contact person there, Bruce Mellberg, provided untold assistance. He dug up maps, called my attention to obscure pieces of information, closely read the manuscript, and generally served as an extra set of eyes and ears. Such dedication makes the task of the historian much easier. Others at the monument, including Noberto Ortega, John Laughter, Delbert Smallcanyon, Flora Ortega, and Rose James also provided much appreciated assistance. Superintendent Gorman kindly translated interviews for me, and conducted a number of additional ones in my absence. Former park personnel including Bob Black, Hubert Laughter, Floyd Laughter, Seth Bigman, Eddie Clitso, Eddie Watson, and John Loliet all graciously allowed themselves to be interviewed. Former superintendents and rangers Frank Hastings, Bill Binnewies, Robert Holden, P. J. Ryan, and Bud Martin offered their views by letter, phone, or in person. Special thanks are due to John Cook, Art White, and Charlie Voll, all of whom put up with interviews that went on far too long. Jeffrey Dean of the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research also granted an interview, providing much enlightening information about Anasazi life at the monument. Scott Travis allowed me to make use of a draft verison of his work. Southwest Regional Historian Neil Mangum helped at every opportunity, providing information, attending to administrative details, and generally allowing me to be a historian. Many thanks to all of these people.
My partner, Richard B. McCaslin, also deserves credit for his work. He did the bulk of the documentary research on this project, traveling to Texas, Colorado, and Arizona in zealous pursuit of the details of this story. Rick is a true professional whose commitment to history is unsurpassed. Kami Patterson read and copyedited a draft of this manuscript. Joe Lennihan and Cathy Hoover drove me 200 miles over ice-covered roads in a snowstorm to assure that I would make it to the monument to meet my interviewees. I did, and as time passes, the drive seems less harrowing. Many thanks to all of you as well.
Finally, one person has had more influence on me than any other. My wife, Lauralee, has put up with an absent and distracted husband asking strange questions of her for the better part of two years. I appreciate her patience, which I have surely taxed, her curiosity, and her willingness to listen. Late in this project, our daughter, Talia, was born. Someday I hope to reward the two of them by taking them on a trip to Keet Seel.
Last Updated: 28-Aug-2006