Old friends and heroes are dying faster than I can write about them. Jean Craighead George, author of one of my favorite childhood books*, My Side of the Mountain, and sister to the even better- known conservationists and falconers , the twin brothers Frank and John, died last week at 92. NYT here , Wiki here , her own home site here.
Jim Marti of North Dakota was a few years older than me, and not only the best trainer of pointing dogs, mostly setters, that I ever knew, and author of the best contemporary training manual, but a better novelist and storyteller than most in his generation. He circulated his manuscripts like Samizdat among his friends and laughed about selling them; his Dog Town, funny and poignant and tough- minded, was as good or better than most that sold and were praised in reviews. Apparently he and his partner Jet Collins had some difficult health problems the last few years, but I never heard a word of complaint. If you know her, or if you just appreciate good dogs and writing, drop her a card; Baldwin ND would probably get there, but I will send you an address.
* When I told Frank that his family had been one of the biggest influences on my life, at the brother’s 80th birthday party in Jackson Hole, he quavered (he had advanced Parkinson’s): “We-e- ell… I h- h- h- hope we d-d-d didn’t r- ruin it entirely!”