Because I’ve been repeatedly asked about my adventures, I have written a short bio of some of the highlights. I hope you enjoy them half as much as I did.
I was born in Cambridge Massachusetts and am thus deeply in love with all things Massachusetts – Boston, the Sox, the Bruins, JFK, the Cape. I’ve bounced around universities – Principia College, Boston College, and UCLA – usually to play football, but also because each bounce seemed at the time to be the right decision. After university, I found myself at what some say – US News and World Report – is the best law school in the country to become a trial lawyer, Stetson College of Law. While I and a practicing criminal defense attorney, I am also a part time law professor, mountaineer, SUP racer, paraglider pilot, hockey player, surfer, tennis player, and cycling enthusiast. And I am what you would call a modern day adventurer.
What adventures? Well, I’ve been in Rwanda, deep on the mountainous, misty slopes of volcanoes in the early dawn as mountain gorillas awoke from their lofty beds on top of the bamboo forest and came crashing all about me. I’ve been trapped on a three foot wide path laying on my back as a 500 lb silver back mountain gorilla slowly approached up the path, and having nowhere to go, deliberately walked….and paused ….directly over me. Yes, right over me, his head and chest directly over mine. I’ve laid down inside the marble tomb of the pharaoh Kefron, deep inside his Pyramid in Gaza, and while lying there rubbed the sides of the marble tomb with my shoulders and pictured 4,000 years ago as they laid his mummified body in this same tomb, touching his mummy shoulders at the same spot. I imagined the same room filled with treasures and Egyptians all looking down where I now laid. I’ve walked the same trail that 2 million years ago an ancient human named Lucy walked and where she left her foot prints in the Ngorongoro crater. I’ve shared a fire in the Serengeti with Maasai warriors dressed in robes of deep red and purple, with long spears leaning against their shoulders, large round objects in their ear lobes, rings of gold necklaces around their necks, beaded bracelets around their wrists, and sandals made of old rubber tires on their feet as they told me ancient stories of hunting lions, and their ancestors walking the land long before white men showed up. I’ve shared crusty bread, cooked steak, and red wine with gaucho cowboys deep in the guanaco’s valley, with the massive mountain of Aconcagua in Argentina looming off in the distance seemingly holding up a huge blanket of stars so vast you felt you could extend your arm and touch them. I’ve spent 15 days on Aconcagua and from a team of 10 was one of the three that finally summited. I’ve been in the Khumba Ice Fall on the way up Mt Everest in the silent dark of night when I’ve heard the breaking loose of an avalanche and the roar as it came towards me only to, luckily, peter out at my feet. I somehow regained a footing with crampons under the bottom of my randonne skis as I went from climbing up to sliding down a 45 degree pitch of blue ice managing to stop just 5 feet from the edge of a 2,000 foot cliff in the Alps. I have shared beef kabobs with Georgian Freedom Fighters in the Caucasus Mountains in the shadow of Mt Elbrus. I’ve sat at frontier bars in Alaska deep in the Denali mountain range with trappers who just came back from living alone in the cold wilderness for several months trapping and hunting as I just came back from 21 days (and 6 nights at high camp), on Denali after summiting. I’ve survived a night in the Adirondacks after running and climbing high in a tree after being chased and hunted by a pack of wolves. I have taken off from mountain peaks in a paraglider in windy conditions and lived to tell the story. I have spent 3 nights at the summit of the roof of Africa and 24 hours with no food or water as winter storms blasted the summit as brave pilots and myself looked for a break in the weather to take off and fly off. I’ve stood in winter passes that Alexander the Great and Hannibal stood thousands of years ago while they gazed at the Himalayas looking for routes to cross over and conquer Europe. I’ve been trapped at 23,000 ft in storms for 7 days waiting for a break in the weather for a chance to summit, and then getting the break in weather, going for it and successfully summiting. I’ve been so high I’ve seen the curvature of the earth. I have white water rafted in class 5 water, flipped, and capsized in the Zambezi River filled with African crocodiles. I have crossed huge crevices on flimsy aluminum ladders, sometimes three taped together where the blood from a Sherpa that didn’t make it was still stained on the ice. I’ve had Sherpas die before me and heard the roar of the avalanche that saw sixteen Sherpas die in the deadliest tragedy on Everest and then watched the rescue as they were listlessly long lined by helicopter out of the Khumba. I’ve been chased by a huge male elephant that got either several feet as we barely escaped by jeep. I’ve slept in tents and heard lions roaring at night as I camped deep in the vast Serengeti. I’ve struggled to fix a line on a treacherous snow slope, 20,000 FT high with hands so frozen that I couldn’t feel my fingers and had to use my palms. I have had zebra and wildebeest feed from the grass beside my tent at night and heard hippos fight in the water just beside. I have seen the great wildebeest migration and river crossing of the Mari Maasai all while a leopard stalked the far bank and crocks picked off the unfortunate few. I’ve stood in the middle of the Alps in all her cold but majestic beauty and watched the sun rise on Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn in all their glory….then flew off Mont Blanc in a paraglider to have lunch in town. I’ve slept on top of 20,000 foot mountain peaks and saw the sun set and rise on 28,000 foot peaks in the middle of the Himalayas. I’ve bathed and sweated in a 300 year old Turkish bath house. I’ve passed lions two feet away and watched them systematically hunt a warthog as a pack while their cubs watched and learned from a vantage spot. I’ve heard the distinct sound of various yak bells in the night as deep fog rolled into camp as we slept in the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal. I’ve heard a pack of hyenas kill in the night and found the remains of a gazelle the next morning. I’ve heard the call to prayer from the mosques echoing throughout Istanbul. I’ve been to a secret tomb in the tower of London. I’ve been in precarious situations deep in the mountains on ice and rock, in bitter cold and wind, when I thought, this is the end, there’s no way to make it back; but, somehow I did. I have come within 10 minutes of being swept off the western cum by the biggest avalanche that ever raced (at over 150 mph) down the western face of Nuptse in the Himalayas. I’ve been taught by a Maasi warrior who didn’t speak English how to play the ancient game of Bau on an old wooden board worn in places by hundreds of years of fingers playing the game using ancient volcanic pebbles as pieces all while sitting at a campfire under the stars overlooking the African Savannah and then in an incredible act of friendship, given the board. I’ve stood on the equator, summited most of the seven summits, survived an earthquake, and been blessed by a Buddhist lama in the Himalayas deep in Nepal – twice. And I’ve also managed to practice trial law for over 25 years – trying over 150 jury trials including defending a federal death penalty trial (won), defending a state death case (won), and prosecuting a state death case (won).
So those are some of my adventures. Hope to meet you on one in the future. See you on the other side.