Retired educator, 74, Lexington; too-active-for-my-age; in tree farming for 15 years; cleaning up a trashed and logged-out area now-beautiful "ecowoods"; native of Little River, Kan.
What motivates you to write?
Like my father (after winning a Dumont TV set at a horse show in the 1950s), I view a lot of political news. Politics today, however, is stranger than fiction — like an authentic alien attack.
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The more I watch politics, the more "p.o.-ed" I become, grabbing the portable word processor usually at my side. The words fly out of my mouth and off my fingertips, mostly unprintable or, worse, unacceptable to my spellchecker.
It's a good 10-hour-no lunch-no dinner day when I can edit a diatribe into a measly 250-word letter to the editor. Better yet when one is accepted.
What shaped your worldview?
As one of thousands of millions who view planet Earth as a startlingly beautiful, seemingly peaceful home for us temporary dwellers, my perspective became, literally, universal.
My initial view of the world started in a more microcosmic mode as I drove tractors and trucks around fields of Central Kansas where, on a clear day, as I liked to say, you could see all the way ... to Denver.
Faraway horizons every direction, I imagined, daydreamed what was beyond them. I set out to see, earning a doctorate in (rare, then) international communications. As doctoral research was ongoing in Lima, I climbed small Incan steps to the younger peak next to Machu Picchu, stomached through the tiny Incan doorway to the sky, sat on the mountain's tabletop and yodeled a la Julie Andrews.
Swimming in a blackened tributary of the Amazon River, images of what frolicked with me were, well, submerged. Forced-dancing with a dart-blowing village native, thoughts of poisoned points prickled my back. I'm "standing in the sky," as poet Diane Ackerman writes, when I farm Kentucky hilltops. Then I look at my feet, to see if I'm standing on a snake.