This contribution is very much a personal history of a journey through the wonderful world of anion chemistry, and a tale of how advances in laser technologies, theoretical methods, and computational capabilities continuously enabled advances in our understanding. It is a story of the excitement and joy that come from the opportunity to add to the fabric of science, and to do so by working as a group of excited explorers with common goals. The participants in this journey include me, my students and postdoctoral associates, my collaborators, and our many generous colleagues. It all happened, in the words of the Beatles, “with a little help from my friends.” Actually, it was so much more than a little help!


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