Meet the Author
Color me crazy…for pursuing a late-in-life literary career.
In my earlier life, I was over 30 years a Denver CPA, where I rose from entry level grunt to managing the largest audit practice in the Rocky Mountain west. As a former officer, Director, or Trustee of 12 Colorado-based organizations including two public companies, I’ve chaired Audit and Compensation Committees and served as Designated Financial Expert. I figure I’ve written, edited, analyzed and explained about a million pages of financial information. I’ve also taught at the University of Colorado; testified before a Grand Jury and in civil and criminal trials; and made financial presentations to the Colorado Legislature General Assembly, to Government agencies, and to a committee of the U.S. Senate.
Digging deeper into my past and sorting through it:
When a high-school senior in Kirkwood, Missouri, I received my first literary award, and my first short story was published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Although the best academic record in high-school earned me an invitation to enroll in Harvard, the prospect of an Ivy League education was overwhelming. Family finances were meager, and I wanted to go west to college, not east. So I turned down Harvard to attend the University of Colorado. A good choice. Fifty years later I graduated from Mt. Harvard, Colorado’s third-highest peak, an achievement that produced no degree, only elation and a heightened awareness of natural surroundings.
At age 18 I spent the summer with the U.S. Forest Service working out of a tent camp in Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest. Alone in the forest eight hours a day, six days a week is an intense dose of solitude. It’s there my lifelong passion for wild places and silent spaces originated.
Also during my college years, I was two years a scholarship recipient from Prudential Insurance Company and spent two summers as an actuarial intern in their Newark, New Jersey headquarters. It’s there I developed an aversion to big cities. It’s then that I abandoned the most boring profession in the World for the second-most boring. While at CU, my academic record earned me a Gold Key Award from the Colorado Society of CPA’s.
Drafted after college, I survived basic training at Fort Leonard Wood and was assigned to the Army Audit Agency. It’s there I developed a commitment to serve in the public and community interest, vowing to maintain independence in thought and in action.
At age 30, I survived a bear attack in the backcountry of Yellowstone Park and earned the nickname “Grizzly”, which my friends say I’m too mild-mannered to deserve.
At 40, I survived seven long days of interrogation by adversarial attorneys. “Chinese water torture,” my lawyer friends called it. My performance wasn’t noteworthy enough to earn a new nickname.
At my age 65, my wife Bonnie and I climbed our first mountain, a remote “Munro” in the Scottish Highlands. When we returned to Colorado, she said, “Let’s go climb a 14er.”
“No way,” I said. “I’ve never been above 13,000 ft. I’ll die up there.”
So we did, and I didn’t.
Since then, we’ve:
Celebrated mountain vistas from 29 of Colorado’s 14ers.
Overlooked misty moors from 27 of Scotland’s Munros.
Traversed the ridge connecting the two highest peaks in New Mexico and reached the summit of Montana’s second-highest peak.
Scrambled to the top of a mystical mountain in Tasmania.
The day after my 70th birthday, I stood at a different summit…at a podium deep in the heart and soul of Wall Street to help ring the bell that opens the New York Stock Exchange.
On my saner days I go fly fishing with Cholla, an exuberant Golden Retriever. I’m trying to teach her to carry the net.