I first became acquainted with John’s contribution to Creole studies through his short note in the Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages on assessing early documentary sources of varying quality (Rick-ford 1986). There he gives a set of guidelines on appraising the reliability of linguistic texts contained in these sources. His volume published the following year (Rickford 1987) offers a thorough analysis of early texts of Guyanese Creole and this has proved to be highly influential in how I think about interpreting historical texts of pidgin and Creole speech in Hawaii.