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I was born and raised in Illinois. I migrated to the West several times and finally resolved to stay there, with the big mountains and clear rivers. I'm married to a beautiful, funny woman I don't deserve, and I'm a dad to two sons who certainly must have done something right in their previous lives to deserve such a generous, understanding, and doting father.
I’ve always been into writing, nature, and some form of carpentry. I grew up with lake houses, summer places where, as a small boy, I balanced my suburban life with a magical universe full of waves and seaweed and tadpoles and rowboats, and where all things that mattered existed.
Both my grandfathers were carpenters, and I inherited the gene, and have always been fascinated by wood and making things with my hands. I have built and remodeled houses but always have had a fondness for fine woodworking, for cabinet-making and furniture-building, for watching a single piece of raw wood become a thing of accomplished beauty.
In this capacity, as construction aficionado, I’ve built a career, and parlayed my building experiences into journalism. I’ve been an editor on several national magazines, and I’ve authored many books and articles on home improvement and maintenance.
One of the best things about the West is that it’s indescribable. Perhaps that’s what makes it so intriguing for the writer. The scale, the raw beauty, the promise.
on Jan. 05, 2014 :
I have just read John Riha's book, "Rookies in the Wild". I loved The father/son relationship --- John's attempts to hide any doubts or fears, and Nick's taking it all in stride, knowing that everything would be just fine. John's thorough research was amazing! I learned so much about the flora, fauna and history of that beautiful area. Those who might be planning such a trek, will certainly appreciate all the information on what would be needed, where to shop for it, and what to pay (or not pay) for the necessary equipment. This may be a man's book, but I was fascinated by it. Mr. Riha's sense of humor made it a delightful, funny, sometimes scary, captivating experience. Charlotte Gilbert
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)