In 1977, dad was approached by Geoge C. Page to re-mount a LaBrea tar pit mammoth that had been dissembled the year before by a bulldozer, whether intentional or accidental I donít know. Hereís the one photo I found of the enterprise, showing a confused James A:
Judging from the size of the bone on the table it must be a femur. Other bones are scattered around the room. The skeleton was dissembled with a diesel cat which is why dad was hired to restore it.
His account of what happened follows on the next three pages:
Things ended on a somewhat sour note however. Not only did the job not produce much income, but a promise was broken by William Akersten, Rancho La brea, George D. Page Museum. However, there was a beneficial aspect to this broken promise. It freed dad from an obligation that he had been hassling with for some time.
Mr. Akersten had a huge collection of LaBrea bones, many of which had never been catalogued which made it fairly easy for Mr. Akersten to sort through them and put together a complete skeleton of a Smilodon (saber tooth tiger) that would be below the radar as far as lending, selling, moving bones went. It is obvious from these two letters that Mr. Akersten made a promise of a Smilodon which would have been a nice addition to the small ESC collection.
On dadís part the thing that was bothering him was that he followed the advice about the vendor when using clamps to secure supporting cables. He was told that a single clamp would be sufficient to secure the skeleton during an earthquakte. He found out later that this was falst, that the job required two clamps. Plus, to do the job properly, the cables themselves had to be removed and reconstructed to divide the load between the two clamps rather than just apply them in serial which basically would offer no benefit at all.
So when Mr. AKersten had to renege for financial reasons in his May 2, 1980 letter, dad felt that he was no longer obligated to do the work himself which he would have done for no additional charge. Instead, he wrote a letter, Nov. 6, 1980, explaining this dilemma and leaving the problem in his hands: