Real oldies; the subject matter, not the song or any of the performers.
When I was a tiny sprout I had a bump of paleontology; at the time the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History was only about a fifteen minute drive away (and you could drive downtown, and park, and live to tell the tale). I remember being introduced to some curators who seemed vaguely charmed by the idea of a bespectacled little five-year-old ginger in small corduroy trousers who was fascinated with trilobites and ferns and knew how to tell a brontosaur from a brachiosaur and what a coelacanth was. They were tinkering with an exhibition and someone lifted me up to the seat of a chair so that I could look at the specimens scattered on a high worktable — being cleaned, or relabeled, or rearranged, I can’t remember.
Brontosaurs are passe, by the way. Apparently they were a mistaken classification of a type of apatosaurus. Who knew.
I have cigar boxes (King Edward VII brand) full of things like sharks’ teeth, and a brontotherium vertebra and an Eohippus jaw, though my only trilobite is a jacket pin, not a real casting. I used to sit with big children’s fossil books, half as tall as I was, completely screening me from the room and fantasize about being afloat in a Cambrian ocean, teeming, warm, silent and endless. I’m not sure which species I imagined I was.
So you know I gotta love these guys.