“By now I think every living native in the Solomons knows that there is an American named Johnson who collects native artifacts, and they come for miles to trade with me . . . At night when the LST is anchored, and I’m not out in the field, the natives paddle out to ship and I climb down on the ships stern anchor and into the natives’ canoe. Of course, I leave the ship illegally, but I have a system worked out in which I can go ashore to the villages every night without my C.O. knowing any different.”

Conrad 'Bud' Johnson to Hugo Rodeck, University of Colorado Museum of Natural History Director (1949)

Conrad 'Bud' Johnson was an enthusiastic collector who respected those he traded with, and people knew this. These collecting encounters were the establishing moments for the relationships between the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History and Bougainville Island.

Both the collector's and trade partner's decisions impact what the museum will receive. Collectors make decisions about what they think is "museum worthy." Collectors' decisions are influenced by what islanders and other GI's offer to trade with them and the meaning or value that the collectors' place upon the objects.