The first word that comes to my mind when thinking of the 25 or more years that I have known Dr. John R. Rickford is honored! It has been a pleasure to know John as a colleague, fellow Californian and early academic career mentor. I don’t remember exactly when I first met John but I believe it was shortly after I moved to California for my first faculty position at Cal State Fullerton (CSUF). Prior to coming to CSUF, I had completed my PhD in Speech Pathology in the Department of Communication Disorders at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. My dissertation, chaired by Harry Seymour, focused on acquisition of the copula by preschool-aged African American English (AAE) child speakers. My committee members and doctoral coursework included a mix of linguistics and speech-language pathology. During those years, I also had the fortune of rooming with none other than Lisa Green who was doing her dissertation in Linguistics. That was my first introduction to Linguistics and John R. Rickford’s work. During that period of time, I spent hours reading and rereading John’s incredible work on the copula in Guyanese and other Creole speakers. I still, to this day, have his 589-page Black bound copy of his dissertation from University Microfilms.