Half Dome–an inspiration point for a flatlander in 1976

After my sophomore year at University of Nebraska at Omaha, and much against my father’s objections, I hitchhiked from Omaha to California to try out my new Raichle hiking boots. Were they better on granite than on campus concrete? Besides, after so much hullabaloo about Yosemite Valley in physical geography class, I had to find … More Half Dome–an inspiration point for a flatlander in 1976

Good-bye to Walt Ahrens, my father, one-time racing star and Ford guy to the end

On the first green flag lap of the session, Walt barreled too hot into Turn One, looped around high in the groove, and nearly caused a big collision. … More Good-bye to Walt Ahrens, my father, one-time racing star and Ford guy to the end

Lloyd Stites regretted having to dial back his Santa duties in 1989

Lloyd Stites depended on two strategies when playing Santa in Tecumseh, Michigan. One was to wear mittens, covering up parts of two fingers that he’d lost to a snowblower. The other was to tell the truth: His yellow truck–not reindeer–brought him to meet the kiddies. … More Lloyd Stites regretted having to dial back his Santa duties in 1989

Remembering a special news story and getting an update on a special person

Sometimes I remember a story written years ago and wonder what happened to the subject. Katie Mattie, for instance, was a charming high school senior who’d composed a novel, the first in a projected four-volume series about teenage girls receiving powers from the Greek gods to defeat the Titans. Katie had even landed a literary agent … More Remembering a special news story and getting an update on a special person