As I sit to
take pen to paper for this “President’s Corner”, I am awed in this
great meadow before me. Edged by jagged mountains that surround meadow
and me. This is what I love, this is where I belong. Life is good.
July, I accompanied my wife Chris to her doctor’s appointment. While
sitting in the waiting room, I spied an “Outdoor Life” magazine across
the room, at one time a publication I subscribed to. The magazine has a
lot of fine articles, but my only reason to have one was found on the
last page. “Exit Laughing” written by Patrick F. McManus. When “Outdoor
Life “cancelled McManus in April 2009, I no longer had a desire to
Now here I was in this waiting room seeing this
magazine across this short span. So I went over and picked it up, not
to peruse beginning to end, but instead I turn to the last page. An
article written by Jim Zumbo, also a great outdoorsman and writer.
Strangely enough it was an article written in remembrance of Patrick
McManus. What were the odds after so many years.
a fairly good size collection, but not all two dozen, of outdoor humor
by McManus, not to mention one called “Into the Twilight, Endlessly
Grousing” I picked up at a book signing in 2007 that he also signed.
Though short in time, it was wonderful to see and talk with him on his
childhood adventures in northern Idaho.
McManus is the
reason why I think and write as I do today. His stories of growing up
in northern Idaho and running “wild” in the wild are not only humorous,
but also seemed to be the way I ran as a kid. His adventures were my
My editor, my wife Chris, helps me formulate
what I write for these “Corners”, thank you Chris, but sometimes she
says what I write makes no sense. McManus and I know better. We may
sound a little jumbled, but we write the way we think. Scary at times,
but we know what we mean. It’ll get there.
to write about his kid’s RV, a one speed bicycle everywhere to all his
adventures. I too had this RV. He would write about his childhood
friends, Rancid Crabtree, Crazy Eddie Muldoon, a dog called Strange and
his sister “The Troll”. I also had these friends. Tim the Bull, we
called him that not for his large stature, but because he was like a
bull in a China shop. A more clumsy kid you would never meet. Tim could
cause an accident sitting in a chair doing nothing. Later he became an
engineer at the Colorado School of Mines. Go figure.
was also a Crazy Eddie, Chuck, and Pat not all with colorful titles,
but the same attributes and zest for life. Besides a great passion for
the outdoors, we also had this habit of seeing whether we could do
something, instead of wondering if we really should. OOPS. Not
always good, but nobody got hurt…..bad.
I didn’t lose my
father at a young age, as did McManus. In fact I had wonderful parents.
Dad was the outdoorsman and every Friday my brother and I would have
the old Rambler Station wagon packed and good to go, as soon as dad got
home off came the tie and off to another adventure. It was at those
times he was gone working that me and my friends were loose on the
world to discover and find ourselves. Not always good, but never
Adventures shared, and stories told, whether
around a camp fire with friends of new and friends of old or just
sitting here at this meadow. Pondering on adventures of past or
wondering in what’s to come, here is a good place to be.
if you wonder about the camp fire stories, they may be a little
embellished, but still true. If you wonder why I act think and do as I
do, pick up a Patrick McManus outdoor humor book, or you can borrow one
of mine. All but one. If not, That’s OK too.
See you at the next meeting.
Be safe and have fun..
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