Friends and Colleagues Remember Greenie – George F. Bass
I first met Greenie when he and Arthur Steinberg, as Harvard undergraduates, visited Lerna in Greece, where I was an excavation assistant in 1956. In fall of 1959, the three of us, joined by Charles Williams, together entered the doctoral program in classical archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania. Since those beginnings Greenie and I have remained friends, our lives often running in parallel. As students, we both worked under Rodney Young at Gordion. And both of us spent our field careers directing excavations in Turkey, he at Sardis. At the annual symposium of excavation directors in Ankara, Greenie and I always reserved an evening together to catch up over dinner. Now retired, just to see one another again was our main reason for planning to attend this year’s meeting of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, from which I have just come. I was so pleased to learn that Greenie and I would be receiving the Bandelier Award in successive years.
For half a century Ann and I have said Greenie is the most genuinely thoughtful person we know. Except for occasional emails, all his correspondence is written in his inimitable hand and posted. In spite of his accomplishments, he remains unassuming and modest. He has the special gift of making you feel that you are the one person he is most delighted to see at that moment. He makes you feel important in other ways, by the arrival of a duplicate book, or opera CDs he thinks I might like. I remember when a rambling speaker who seemed not know how to end his lecture was saved by Greenie leaping to his feet and leading the applause to tactfully end it; he has savoir faire with which few of us are blessed. We congratulate him most heartily for his much deserved award.
Dr. George F. Bass, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A & M University