I had an unusual feeling the other night in Calgary when Larry Woodfork presented me with the Petroleum History Foundation's Colonel Drake Award as Legendary Explorer. I spent some quiet time later thinking about my sensations on receiving the award. Any reasonable person would have pumped their fist in exultation, flashed a "V" for victory sign, or perhaps attempted a one-armed push-up on stage.
I found myself at the podium thinking of all the marvelous people whom I have worked with ... many departed. I thought of what they might have said if present.
I like to think they might have taken a parental pride in seeing their teachings, their guidance and their wisdom successfully transmitted to my generation.
It's nice to receive awards, of course, but perhaps many of you (like me) are the lucky surviving stand-in for a score of ghostly mentors.
It's our turn now to give a hand to the next generation of geologists.
Perhaps the AAPG could consider a high-level award to recognize those remarkable people in industry and academia who have been mentors to us all.
We rarely give posthumous awards, but perhaps it is appropriate to recognize the families of mentors -- and remind ourselves of what we owe to others.