The Surviving Print Stories


Epic reporting trip to Alaska gold country for New West. Bush planes and helicopters, 8 year old pilots, morels and moose steak. All that, more, and I was even being paid.

Living in the country

My Anti-Mother Earth News screed about living in the country. It was heart-felt and as true as I could make it. Of course, lucky me, I’m still a few yards from where I wrote it.

All these years later I wonder at the naiveté that made me think I knew anything about being a country person… or about building a family, being a father, writing, having a plan….

Dope Airplane

This piece about drug smuggling cost me a couple of sleepless days to report and selling the movie rights supported my family for several months.

I hiked into the Lake a couple of months after this story, defying the Park Service which was mad at me for it. At the Lake I found two young rangers, bored silly by their assignment to guard what was left. They had entertained themselves by telling scary bear stories to a flown-in customs agent whom I met wearing a suit and tie, seated at his tent, with his pistol in his lap, ready for anything.

After the linked piece ran in New West I was contacted by the wife of the pilot of the downed plane and went down to San Diego to meet her. Thinking a follow or a movie, I guess. We talked for several hours in a hotel room. I learned enough about the smuggling operation so that when I talked later to the Feds they concluded I had been part of it.

Jerry Brown

Barbara and I attended a Sacramento party after one of Brown’s second-period gubernatorial reelections. (Barbara was in the first Brown administration and I’d known him for many years.) I asked him why he had put himself through it again, and he said, “It’s what I do.”

Politics and public service has a good share of interesting people. Brown, smart, talented, odd, was one. The story here is about his 1976 run for President.

Connolly for President

In my world John Connolly was famous for being in the car in Dallas when JFK was murdered. A Texas Dem, he converted to Reep and ran for President in 1980. Against Reagan. Spent 11 million bucks in the primaries. Got one delegate. One. Before he was wiped out, when he was a contender, I spent some time with his campaign.

I would like to say that he was the most unpleasant, least fun, candidate I ever traveled with. And I love this photo of him having a good time with LBJ.

UC’s Tenth Campus

I actually got to talk to Clark Kerr for this piece. And while I was writing it, had dinner at friends’ and got into a very contentious argument with another guest, a Full Tenure Berkeley prof who was clueless about what Cal looked like to anybody else…. or so it seemed to me.

Honestly, this town-Gown article is 30 years old and kinda stands up.