Yellow Leaves

Vanderbilt defeated Tennessee 42-24 yesterday, for a joyous ending to an otherwise lamentable season of losing football for the Commodores. With its high academic standards, Vanderbilt has never been a power in football, especially among the behemoths of the Southeastern Conference. And yet for decades its teams have drawn an unusual band of lifelong followers.… Read More »

Biting the Rock

It seems I begin many of my journal entries with: “I spent my summers during college working in the US Forest Service in Leadville, Colorado.” Well, here’s another—about a fall I took during a mountain climb. One summer, we moved our Leadville guard station about 30 miles south to the tiny hamlet of Buena Vista,… Read More »

October Light

Today is the last day of October, when the season pauses as it passes toward darkness and cold. And in this moment of passage, there is time to breathe deeply, and to  savor the beauty of the harvest just passed– a fermata for reflection. Here is how the late John Gardner described it, in Vermont,… Read More »


Many years ago, I had occasion to hike from Moab, Utah, through the desert to the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers– about 10 miles from the nearest road. Moab has become a vacationing and recreational destination in recent years. But in those days, before the development of the nearby national park and the… Read More »

The Fabled Fred Norton

              Through the haze of forty years, I remember a man named Fred Norton. Baseball player. This was in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the 1970s, back when I was still disguised to myself as an attorney.               Knoxville had a AA baseball team in those days (two steps removed from the magic of the big leagues)… Read More »