November 26, 2011

I promised to tell you all about my big fall adventures after I rested a bit. In this entry, I simply must tell you about my trip to Florida in early November and about meeting Tommy! It’s the first time that I ever traveled out of the state of Georgia! And not only did I get to go to Florida, but I got to go to a big regional archaeology conference called SEAC, which stands for the Southeastern Archaeology Conference. It was in downtown Jacksonville this year. Well, Diary, it was quite exciting as I was highlighted on a flyer in the program packets and this guy who was heading up the conference (I think I heard his name was Kenny Sassyman*) even mentioned my name at the conference business meeting! While I didn’t actually attend the conference (I mean, I understand the basic concepts of site seriation and the ritualism of hoes as well as the next bus), I was one of the presenters at the conference’s Public Archaeology Day.

The Public Archaeology Day was arranged and sponsored by the Florida Public Archaeology Network folks (that’s FPAN, you know) at the Museum of Science and History. My handlers*, Veronica and Ashcroft, had me stay outside the building and they hung up my banners so that traffic coming from the big blue bridge and downtown could see me. While it was quite chilly and overcast, a lot of energetic people came out to visit. Some were archaeologists and some were residents of the Jacksonville area.

ArchaeoBus 2011 SEAC buildingI got to set up here next to the Museum of Science and History.

ArchaeoBus 2011 SEAC bridge

My banner on the corner attracted bridge and downtown traffic.

ArchaeoBus 2011 SEAC exhibit experimenter

Dee Dee Joyce and her friend try my ethno-botanical boards.

ArchaeoBus 2011 SEAC trio inside

Ashcroft talks to two Jacksonville area residents.

But Diary, I simply MUST tell you about Tommy. He is so c-o-o-o-o–l! I first heard about Tommy when Veronica came back outside. She went in the museum to check out all the different ways the FPAN folks and others in Florida have been doing public archaeology outreach. Veronica was telling Ashcroft all about Tommy the Tortoise.

ArchaeoBus 2011 SEAC Archaeo Cart

Tommy the Tortoise Archaeo Cart. Isn’t he SO handsome?!

Apparently he is an incredibly handsome Archaeo Cart. And, Diary, we have SO MUCH in common…he has a shipwreck; he goes to schools and events; he has hands-on activities…just like me! Diary, I think we were made for each other. And Tommy has other endearing characteristics. He has an entire set of drawers full of activities and he even has a TOUCH SCREEN! And, Diary, his title is “Junior Archaeologist”! I am so impressed. Ever since I left Jacksonville, I can’t help but think of Tommy all the time. I hope I get to work with him again. I do hope I get to see him again… Veronica said he talked about me on his blog. I wonder what he said. I wonder if he likes me.

I just have to thank my new FPAN friends for bringing Tommy and I together! Thank you Rae, Roz, Becky, Amber, Jeff, and Sarah!!!! I’ll never forget the day I first met Tommy.

ArchaeoBus 2011 SEAC four outside

Ashcroft (far left) visits with my new FPAN friends, Jeff, Roz, and Becky.

*Abby often gets names a bit mixed up, and always uses an alias for each of her handlers.