Oct 9, 2007

A LEGEND IN MY LIVING ROOM

SEATTLE – I open the email. Read it. Rinse and repeat, hands shaking.

Call Edward. Start stammering.

"What is it?" my pseudo-sib frets. "Did you talk to that no-good–"

"–I WON THE FRIGGIN' LOWELL THOMAS," I explode.

"Big Fat?" he asks. All our major stories have pet names.

"No, Hurricane."

The award is travel writing's ersatz Pulitzer: a big splash in a small pond. But kinda, you know, thrilling nonetheless.

Edward – who collected his gong in 2003 – scrabbles at his keyboard, pulls up the announcement. "Bronze, adventure writing, Amanda Castleman ... and Tim Cahill took the gold," he laughs. "If you have to lose out..."

"Yeah," I agree. "Grasshopper can bow to the master."

(Cahill, a founding editor of "Outside," popularized the wry-but-emotional action genre. His winner, "State of Adrenaline" ran in "National Geographic Adventure", while Kerri Westenberg took the silver with "Appalachian Trail Magic” in the "Minneapolis Star Tribune". My "Road and Travel" story – "Calm as the Hurricane's Eye" – detailed my Open Water scuba certification in Honduras.)

6 comments:

  1. It IS thrilling - so how about hunting six gills at 90 feet??? Are you ready for that? HMMMMM???

    And no more elf comments thank you very much!

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  2. ** clap, clap, clap **

    Congratulations on your award! When's the red carpet ceremony? Don't forget to thank me and the bear. (We like to be thanked).

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  3. Jackie, you'll always be the most darling elf in my world. I know you only borrowed that flash 80s neon semi-drysuit, but you really should buy it. Otherwise the ickle kiddies will be so disappointed at the Underwater Santa Grotto next year...

    In the meantime, bring on the sixgills, baby!

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  4. DB: Of course I'll thank you. And the bear. And my sweet, patient parents. And my – sniff – childhood dog, and, and, and...

    I can't go on. I'm overwhelmed. You're all beautiful!

    (Sobs, grasps cruddy plaque, returns to seat in a hail of Oscar flashbulbs)

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  5. Julie Harrison3:53 PM

    Congrats! Sorry to hear about the ears. Great story. Even better writing. You're my hero. (Honestly, as you travel to wonderful places and describe wonderful experiences, I'm hammering out corporate collateral. When I grow up, I want to be just like you!)

    Congrats again! Well deserved.

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  6. Julie, corporate collateral pays the bills FAR better, I'm sure. When my bank account grows up, it wants to be like yours...

    Happy holidays, Ax.

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