Responsive evaluation, as a doctrine extending and disciplining common sense, has an intellectual history, some of it passing through Robert Stake’s work in the late sixties. That is where this article begins. It is meant to set the context for this special issue, Responsive Evaluation, by presenting Stake’s work. The text is a mosaic of fragments from extensive conversations with Bob Stake in the summer of 1994 and quotes from his older and more recent work. The chapter thus offers a story about Stake’s original ideas and their evolution over a period of thirty-five years.