By the time the pixelated image of Barry Lopez’s face appeared on my computer screen, I had not read a single word he had written. I knew nothing of his accomplishments, writing mastery, or desire to explore the world, observing viewpoints other than his own. I looked curiously at his 70-something face, his balding head with gray tufts of hair on the sides, and the book-filled room in which he sat, without knowing that his ideas surrounding exploration would come to shape my own, articulating inclinations I had already felt but could not put words to.
Southern Utah University Professor Emeritus Jim Aton was going to be interviewing his friend Barry for the In Site Podcast. I was just there to record and make sure there were no issues with the overall sound. So, when the interview began, I turned off my video and just listened. Within the first few minutes, I was floored by this man’s brilliant and compassionate character. I knew right away I’d have to read everything he had ever written.
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