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About the Author
I grew up in a small town in the middle of the Colorado Rockies. I fished and hunted and rode horses over Saddleback Pass to fish the upper Frying Pan River. Up there, Colorado was still Colorado. You could catch a hundred fish a day, if you wanted to. The deer would walk into camp, look around, shrug their shoulders, and walk on down to the lake. One thing about a Rocky Mountain fishing trip, you don’t have to go down to the creek for water, just leave a bucket out for 15 minutes and you are all set. On the few occasions it doesn’t rain, you get dew and then all you have to do is to swish the bucket through the grass a few times and you have enough water for coffee and soup. If you have any washing to do, you put the clothes under a bush and hit it with a stick. You had better use a long stick, though. Raincoats are a help, but you have to put them on before you get out of the car. Otherwise your hands are too cold to fasten the snaps. It used to take me three days to thaw out enough to straighten my knees after I got home from the Frying Pan River...........four if the weather was cloudy.
I remember being a real little kid riding with Daddy when he was feeding his cows on the Hayden ranch. He would open one corner of the bag of oats, half-open open the pickup doors, hang the bag outside, and drive along scattering oats with one hand and steering with the other. One time he got stuck and couldn't dig out. He told me to wait there and, in a little while, here came Mommy in the other car. What excitement!
I graduated from a couple colleges, Reed and the University of Oregon, and got a job as a professional diver, a marine biologist. We counted things or caught them: fish, sea fans, kelp, rocks, and mud. I learned about attending to business when the claw of the sea puss was hovering around my hind end. We used to put lines of 50 shark hooks inside the surf line to catch shovelnose sharks for research. (Shovelnose have great inner ears.) You had to sit in the skiff and wait for a chance, then run in and set the lines before a big wave threw the boat, together with a tangle of shark hooks, shark lines, and anchors, on top of us. Once I was about to pull the line and looked up and saw a huge wall of water coming. I remained calm and said calmly to the kid running the motor, "Point the boat toward the open sea and go that way."
And he said, "Hunh?"
Then I realized that calm had its drawbacks and did my D. Duck impression, "Go that way, go that way, go that way fast. Wak, wak, wak, wak !!!!!!!"
Just before a wave breaks, it throws up a little spray. We went over three of them before we got outside. After a while, we went back in and pulled the lines. Got enough sharks to go on with.
While I was doing research, I published about 25 articles on science. I also taught college for a while because when a diver gets old and decrepit and can't do his job any more, they fire him. The very reverse is true for a teacher. Recently, I decided to take a break from teaching for a while and write a book or two.