Tom Buchanan

So many ways to almost-die

Even if we don’t go to battle against a big bear or a tiny spider, death will get everybody. Once we go, organ donation can make a lasting impact.

I taught a short fly-fishing lesson for a young man who had survived a bear attack in Alaska. The near-fatal encounter occurred in 2011 while he was on a hike deep in the back country.

His group apparently surprised a large grizzly bear, which quickly attacked, crushing his skull and biting him in the arm, leg, and neck. The bear attacked several other members of the group, but everybody survived following an emergency air evacuation.

I had just returned from my own solo trip to Alaska when the attack occurred and had been hiking similar terrain, so the national news story about the incident sure caught my attention.

It was nice to meet him and to hear him recount the attack and lessons learned. It was an interesting way to almost-die.

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Lessons of the forest

Change itself isn’t harmful, but the scale of change can be

Whap! I turn hard to my left, startled by the noise. I glance through the forest, aware that this is the first day of moose season. I take a few cautious steps and then: Whap! Whap. Again, I look left, and this time I see water gently splashing against...

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A clash of cultures, a graceful response

Photographing a new pope on his first trip to New York City

With the old and new popes in the news, I thought I'd share a photo that I shot while I was a news photographer in 1979, when Pope John Paul II was touring the United States for the first time. This was a weird moment that could only have...

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Something special, something captivating

The highway is dark as I head west, now clear of Pennsylvania and slipping quickly through Ohio. I'm on my way to Nebraska for another Bruce Springsteen concert. I think it'll be number 100-something, but I never wanted to count and so that's just a guess. The tires of my Subaru thump along a tired stretch of broken concrete, sounding out the miles between my home and the stage and reminding me of the distance I've traveled since first being...

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