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JOYCE WEISS's Autobiography (submitted 5/6/06)

I was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1939. When I was 9 years old my family moved to Toms River, N.J., where my father bought a chicken farm. It was quite a cultural shock to move from the city, where everything was easily accessible, to a farm in what I thought was the middle of nowhere. Nothing was within walking distance from our farm except some nearby neighbors and life was very simple then. I was able to walk anywhere I pleased without anyone worrying about me. I would leave the house early in the morning, take a little lunch and my dog and go into the woods for the whole day where I would search for animal life that looked exciting to me. The Toms River area, being close to the Atlantic Ocean, had been submerged by the ocean many millions of years ago. The soil on our property was very sandy and filled with thousands of broken seashells which I used to enjoy digging up. My most exciting find was a large leg bone which I uncovered one day with the help of my dog. I was thoroughly convinced that I had uncovered a dinosaur bone. I rushed home to clean the bone and took it to school the following day. I was crushed to learn that it was probably the leg bone of a long dead horse. Luckily it did not deter me from further digging. And I have still not yet given up hope of finding a long-lost dinosaur bone. Toms River in those days was a wonderful place for a child to grow up and I loved it.

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