Art, Bible, history, travel (and travel writing), photography, Anglo-American relations, Caribbean
culture, European culture, gardening, classical music, Quotes, hiking, bicycling, Frisbee, canoeing,
technology (but nothing too technical) and surfing the Internet. Just to name a few...
I like good travel books, and journals. This can be in the form of travel
literature, travelogues (personal travel journals), or Web travelogues. You can
find countless good travelogues to read on the Web these days for free. There is a large, friendly travel
community thriving out there on the Web. Attitudes and ethics about travel vary considerably,
but there is a lot of good to be found on the Internet. Personally, I think that researching
the history and culture of a place is vital before you go there, and not to do so is just
crazy. I also collect maps, postcards, souvenir magnets, and flags from other countries. See
where I have been.
|My newest hobby is bicycling. I bought this mountain bike in August 2007, and
have enjoyed riding it around town, at a few State Parks, greenways, the AEDC Mountain Bike Trail, and Sewanee. Reanna and I love to
take our bikes on the car bike-rack and go some place to ride. I grew up riding bicycles, from age five, till I left home
in my first car at 18-years of age, and then I didn't ride a bicycle at all for many years. I tried owning a bicycle in London
for a brief stint in 1990, but that didn't work out. I didn't ride another bike for years until I borrowed one from my
Dad in 2006. When Reanna became big enough to keep up with me in 2007, I decided I had to have a decent bike of my own. I recently
bought a newer mountain bike in 2011. See this photo.
Not many people know that I used to
be interested in motorcycles. Nothing big, but I've had a couple of Honda 125's. I had an old one in
high school and college for a few years, and rode it till it fell apart. Then, I had one in London
for two years, and really went places. People were pretty surprised to see an American missionary
riding a motorcycle, let me tell you. I became very familiar with London, and on my spare
days, when the weather was decent, I virtually crisscrossed southeastern England looking for
places to roam. I saw many interesting towns, castles, and coastlines. I also went on a solo
trip to the Cumbrian Mountains up in northern England, and dashed over to northern Wales on a
weeks jaunt in September of 1987.
Read these vignettes about my travels in the
||My trusty Honda CD125 took me all over London, England and Wales. Click
here for another view.
One misconception that many Americans have about England is that it is small, and
therefore easy to get around in. Not so! It takes a long time to get around, and a motorcycle
is a valuable mode of transport. I can't emphasize this point enough. Considering how large
and overwhelming London is, with its maze-like twists and turns, one-way systems, tunnels,
and ubiquitously crowded high streets, I think I got around pretty well on my Honda. It helped
me to learn the streets and environs, and to maneuver my way through thick traffic faster than
any four-wheeled vehicle. In London, motorcyclists used to make their own rules and weave
between cars, buses, trucks, etc., at red lights. One could easily sift through a
line of backed up traffic just about anywhere in London on a motorcycle. I might be a little
hesitant to ride a motorcycle in London today, if I had the chance, but I made the most of it
then. I cherish the memories!
I also have a similar interest in small
cars. In 1990, when I returned to London, I bought a used (1977) Austin Mini. The Mini
used to be the smallest British made car, but has been recently bought by BMW, and is being
imported to the U.S.A. once again. Driving in London is an amazing experience. There is no
comparison to it in terms of density and congestion, in my opinion, and the main reason it flows
as well as it does is because of the care and consideration of its drivers. London's drivers
have their own system of communicating by flicking their headlights, and seem to negotiate
complex traffic patterns by instinct. Even the police are remarkably civil if they
stop you for a traffic violation. I know this, because I was stopped a few times. Despite the
volume of traffic, I felt no apprehension driving a Mini, for they are a fairly common sight
anywhere in western Europe. The Mini has been featured in a few major movies of recent times
such as the "Austin Powers" movies; "Four Weddings and a Funeral," with Hugh Grant driving one;
and "Forget Paris," with Debra Winger and Billy Crystal looking so romantic in one.
|Pictured in Cumbria with my fun Austin Mini Clubman in 1991. Click
on picture to enlarge.|
Everyone knows what an East German
Tribant looks like. Well, the Mini is similar to that, but with a lot more oomph! My Mini only
had a 1.1 liter engine, with a five-speed manual shift, and manual choke, but it was
1,100 c.c.'s of pure joy to drive. I went on several drives outside of London in my Mini and
never grew tired of its mobility and economy. I revisited Cumbria in my Mini in 1991, and it
took those high, narrow passes marvelously! To see another photo of what my Mini looked like, click
here. See a picture of
the Mini I rented in Malta in 1991. Sadly, my Mini was stolen in 1992,
right about the time I was going to sell it. Next, I got a Nissan Sunny (Sentra) that I kept
till 1994 when Linda and I left London.
|Every July I love to watch Wimbledon! I've been to the Wimbledon Tournament
twice, in 1991 and 1992. Here is what my general grounds ticket looked like. I saw some of the
top players play, like Pete Sampras, and Stephie Graf, as well as Michael Stich, and Richard
Krajicek--all Wimbledon Champions.||
I like classical music. It's certainly not the only kind I like--I probably listen to pop,
rock, jazz, and easy listening more--but I think classical music is wonderfully rich in content
and diversity, and not enough is said about its finer qualities. Let's face it, classical music
is very under-rated by most people in our popular entertainment saturated culture. If you are
skeptical about classical music, please give it a try. You'll probably be amazed at what you
hear if you just give it a chance. To me it satisfies a lot of musical expression, from soothing
to inspiring. It also brings out the Europhile in me...I have been to where Beethoven was born
in Bonn, and to where Mozart died in Vienna, and where Mozart got his acclaim in London, Paris
and Prague. I've seen Handel's manuscripts, Chopin's tomb, Rossini's tomb, and where Mendelssohn
spent his honeymoon!
A little known fact about me is that I played intercollegiate Badminton for four-years
at DLU. The best match of my badminton career was winning the men's doubles championship at
UT-Martin in 1984. My partner was Carl Densmore. Our opponents were two foreign nationals,
one from Colombia, and the other from Japan. Each one could whip us in singles, but we had
the better doubles game that day.
This has been a narrative of some of my
interests in the past and present. Who knows what sort of interests I will have in the future?
I don't know, but I hope to always have a wide-ranging appetite for knowledge.
"The cure for boredom is curiosity.
There is no cure for curiosity." --Ellen Parr
"Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it." --Jane Wagner
"Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves." --Rudyard Kipling
"Every thing must end; meanwhile we must amuse ourselves." --Voltaire
"Explore your own higher latitudes. Be a Columbus to whole new continents within you, opening
new channels, not of trade, but of thought." --Henry David Thoreau, Walden
"Is not this the true romantic feeling--not to desire to escape life, but to prevent life from escaping you?" --Tom Wolfe
"The Cubs really make you wonder about the moral order of the universe." --Dr. Thomas Carson