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The Movie Man

One day in 1958, Joe Machetta came to town, fresh out of the Navy with a little money to burn. When he stumbled across the one-screen Emerson Theater, all boarded up and looking dismal, he decided to get into the movie business. “At that time, television had really taken a toll on the theater business,” […]

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Brush! Colorado

Grazing the gritty, northern tip of Denver. I followed highway 6 onto the high plains. After a week at 7000 feet, I could finally see the horizon; it was finally sunny; it was finally warm. After overdosing for months on the overwhelming sugar candy of desert and mountain, the flat, unexciting prairie was like meat and potatoes. Late […]

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Dirt

At some point, as I moved up from Death Valley to the high deserts in southern Utah, I began to notice that the dirt had become crusty, like what I’m used to on the snow in Michigan. A subtle thing. Curious. Eventually, I learned that this phenomenon is, to paraphrase Ranger Chris, what all life […]

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The People and the Parks

    In the past handful of months, I’ve visited about eight national parks in southern California and Utah. Without exception, they are incredible. Each preserves but also makes accessible to ordinary folks like me some unique natural feature, maybe a fragile ecosystem or unusual geologic formation, or area of fantastic beauty. Each park strives to […]

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A stroll through the Fiery Furnace

  So I was wrong. It DID rain. It is still raining. Rain is predicted for tomorrow. “This is very unusual,” says Ranger Chris with a serious look on his young-and-skinny-Nathan-Lane face. Yet, even on this dreary day, Arches National Park is crowded. Parking spots at the more popular sights are a wait-and-see affair. The […]

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