Friday, May 23, 2008

If They Are Your Really Good Friend, You Don't Resent How Well They Write

Big Pat Daugherty: remarkable; splendid.

He writes of his "farewell tour" of Alaska, where he worked on the pipeline. Good writing takes you there and sits you down and makes you see.

Unless you’ve been here or one of the few places in the world like it, you can’t imagine the scale of wilderness. How close it is to you, how far it goes on once you’ve stepped into it, and what it does to you when you live nearby.

But, that was then and those times are as dead as 40-cent-a-gallon gas. Now, I arrive at Fairbanks International Airport wearing tan khakis, a close haircut, dragging a packed-to-the-tits doublewide Samsonite suitcase, a twice-too-big computer briefcase stuffed with cameras, prescriptions, tape recorders, iBook, polo shirts, and socks. Plus, one Sherpa nylon pet carrier holding Margaret Rose, my miniature Dachshund. If I had a pair of Bermuda shorts and a beach ball I would have need of nothing.

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