I find it hard to believe that such an important part of my life started with something as mundane as channel surfing. To no one’s surprise, finding engaging TV content on a weekend afternoon (or ever) can be difficult. So, as I was going through the channel guide and ran across a show called “Meteorite Men” on the Science Channel, I immediately clicked into it. I can’t exactly remember the episode I watched that late summer weekend in 2011, but I think it was a rerun of “Series 2/Episode 6: Swedish Meteor Balls”. The episode was great, but what really got me excited was the knowledge that rocks from space could be collected, bought and sold by private individuals. One episode is all it took for me to be hooked and change my life. I will be forever grateful to the “Meteorite Men”, Geoff Notkin and Steve Arnold, for bringing me into the world of meteorites and enabling me to meet so many incredible people around the world.
“Meteorite Men” rekindled my childhood love of collecting rocks and minerals, but in a more sophisticated way that also drew on my love of science, art, history, and even philosophy and theology. So, on Oct. 25, 2011, I bought my first two meteorites from Geoff Notkin and Aerolite Meteorites – both Sikhote Alins and both still in my collection. As a collector, I always focused on quality rather than quantity and chose the two best pieces I could afford. One was an oriented shield with a complete rollover lip (http://bit.ly/1mYu4c8) and the other an individual with two holes that Geoff had dubbed “The Mask” (http://bit.ly/1zSlot3).
Like many addicted collectors before me, I quickly realized that my desires far outstripped my finances. So, as I began upgrading my collection, I started selling duplicates, so I could afford to buy even more meteorites. During this time of rapid acquisition, I got to know many well-known dealers and collectors. Many of these people later became personal friends including Tomasz Jakubowski, Corey Kuo, Dustin Dickens, Ruben Garcia, Greg Hupe, Stefan Ralew, and many more.
From the beginning, I worked to expand my knowledge of meteoritics, curation, preservation, preparation, and many other subjects. Meteorites will always be a team effort and I am grateful for those scientists and dealers who spent much of their time educating me about meteoritics and the business of meteorites, respectively. As a high-tech marketing person, I’ve always enjoyed helping and teaching others and I naturally wanted to do the same in the meteorite community. On January 1, 2015 I launched two Facebook groups to help the community. The first group called Meteorites, Tektites, Impactites & Ephemera is one I actively manage on a daily basis and it has become one of the premier groups for the meteorite community to learn, share, sell and discuss rocks from space. The second group called Meteorite or Meteorwrong was created to keep the first group clear of clutter and focus on verifying strange rocks. It has become one of the principal places where people from around the world post images of their specimens and get an expert opinion from the meteorite community. We see a great deal of slag and odd terrestrial rocks, but occasionally we to see a meteoRite.
In September 2015, with the support of my family, I decided to leave the corporate world and California (Silicon Valley/Bay Area), move back to Austin, Texas and devote myself to being a full time meteorite dealer (SkyFall Meteorites) and a high-tech marketing consultant (MMOmentum Consulting).