said to have retorted, “Why must I?” This evidently was enough for Mrs. Howells; she had a distaste for Clemens forever after. In any case her son had what was once attributed to his grandfather, “the friendly eye,” through which he saw life.
Bill’s maternal grandfather, Horace White, was a journalist from an abolitionist background; he traveled with Lincoln during the Lincoln-Douglas debates and subsequently became an editor and co-owner first of the Chicago Tribune and later of the New York Post. Bill was very close to his aunt Amelia Elizabeth White, who after serving as a nurse in the First World War, moved in the 1920s to Santa Fe, where she became a passionate advocate for the Pueblo, promoting their public health and land rights and establishing a museum of Native American arts. She and her unique estate, El Delirio, were the center of a circle of writers, musicians, artists, and anthropologists and she became a major supporter of the School of American Research. At Bill’s urging she left El Delirio and the museum (now the Indian Arts Center) to the School, rather than to him (for more on his aunt and their relationship, see Stark and Rayne, 1998).
As a boy, Bill was taken with cavemen and dinosaurs. He lived in New York and Kittery Point until going to boarding school first in Aiken, South Carolina, and then at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire. From there he entered Harvard, where he planned to major in English. However, after a look at the English Department’s overly long recommended summer reading list, he decided to major in anthropology on something of a last minute impulse. He subsequently became enchanted with the appeal, both intellectual and esthetic, of anthropology’s great breadth; he later wrote that he regretted the growing gulf between bio-