This summer I finally fulfilled my long-held desire to make it out to the Custer battlefield in Montana, driving there 900 miles from Minneapolis and back again in a rented car. There is no good way to get this remote battlefield, as it is about equidistant from Seattle, Denver or Minneapolis. (Right: Driving to Montana allowed me to see the magnificent waterworks in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.)
Going the way I did allowed me to visit my sister, who lives and owns a yarn shop in St. Paul, and see a game at Target Field, the new stadium of the Minnesota Twins. I am on a quest to see a game at every major league baseball stadium, and I have two stadiums to go (Seattle and new Yankee Stadium).
In Minnesota I also paid my last respects to the Greatest Generation as my Uncle, the very last World War II veteran I personally knew, was laid to rest in a cemetery bordering on the Mississippi River in Winona, the town where he and my father grew up. My Uncle was a hero in the Pacific War (bronze star recipient), as was my father who fought at Peleliu and Okinawa.
In the spring I had stomach surgery, a whiff of mortality. I also returned to running after a year-long layoff due to a chronic injury, and shed half the extra poundage I had gained. (Left: A welcome return to running. Photo courtesy of Leah Frazier.)
In the fall I spent a week in a small town on the Pamlico Sound in North Carolina helping my college roommate clean up his property there after the storm surge of a devastating hurricane flooded the town. Talk about a hardscrabble existence, the folks in towns like that have a life that exists otherwise in John Steinbeck novels. (Right: Cleaning up after the hurricane. Photo courtesy of Jimmy Sherwood.)
This winter I attended a two-week trial in Dallas, getting to know a great bunch of folks in my agency's regional office there as a result. I have only had two other actual trials in over twenty years of Federal work as a lawyer, and as usual the trial was intense, exhausting and stimulating.
The trial allowed me to do a lot of running in a different and unknown city, Dallas, and I compared it favorably to running in the District. Running on the Katy Trail there is every bit as rewarding as running on the Capital Crescent Trail or the W&OD in the Washington area, and running through Dealey Plaza or past the first Hilton hotel or by the original Neiman Marcus store is every bit as historic and rewarding as running on the National Mall. (Left: The Dallas trial team. Lead trial counsel is on the far left, the trial expert, an economist, is on the far right. Photo courtesy of Erez Yoeli.)
It was a good year. I won't tell you my resolutions for the coming year but I hope to make the next year even better.