Sk8 the St8s skateboarding road trip comes to an end

Posted by on Aug 12, 2011 in Books, skateboard, skateboarding, travel, Writing | No Comments

[Note: this is the final post from my Sk8 the St8s blog, co-sponsored by CBS, chronicling my fathers-and-sons, cross-country skateboarding summer road trip, which I hope will form the basis of a book about the history and culture of skateboarding.] I’m sitting in my backyard in Seattle, about to grill a chicken with my wife, […]






Sk8 the St8s: my dads-&-sons skateboarding road trip & book project

Posted by on Jul 15, 2011 in skateboard, skateboarding, travel, Writing | 2 Comments

In the summer of 1979, my parents took my brother and I on a cross-country road trip in a surplus army ambulance that my dad had converted into a camper. The beast was slow and noisy. It was hot as an oven in the back. My brother and I fought constantly. The ambulance broke down […]






A Hero & A Father

Posted by on Jun 19, 2011 in Journalism, Newspapers, Writing | No Comments

For father’s day, I’m sharing this link to one of my favorites stories – a piece I wrote for The Baltimore Sun in 1999 about Vice Adm. William Lawrence, a test pilot and former POW, and his astronaut daughter, Wendy. Click here: A Hero & A Father Also sending Father’s Day wishes to my dad, […]






“A Day at the Office”: authors Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan & Peter Mountford

Posted by on Jun 14, 2011 in Authors, Books, Journalism, Newspapers, seattle, Writing | No Comments

Cheryl Tan and I worked together nearly fifteen years ago at the Baltimore Sun. She’s since worked as a fashion writer at the Wall Street Journal and recently published her first book, A Tiger in the Kitchen. During her recent visit to Seattle, I got together with Cheryl and local author Peter Mountford (author of […]






Tribute to legendary ski film director Warren Miller

Posted by on Jun 6, 2011 in seattle, Writing | No Comments

*UPDATE (June 7): This event has been postponed due to a scheduling glitch. It is going to be rescheduled for some time in the fall. I’ll keep you posted. This Wednesday at 7pm, I’ll be on stage at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall with Warren Miller, who is receiving a Golden Space Needle Award for lifetime achievement […]






‘Light This Candle’ autographed book giveaway

Posted by on May 5, 2011 in Authors, Books, Light This Candle, space | 4 Comments

Today (as I’ve been reminding anyone on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or Tumblr who’ll listen) is the 50th anniversary of the day Alan Shepard became America’s first spaceman. In commemoration of that event – which provided the title of my 2004 biography of Shepard – I’d like to offer two signed copies of Light This Candle. […]






Tomorrow is 50th anniversary of Alan Shepard, & USA, in space

Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Light This Candle, space | 2 Comments

In advance of tomorrow’s 50th anniversary of the day Alan Shepard became America’s first spaceman, I’m reviving this 2004 talk I did for C-Span/Book-TV, discussing “Light This Candle” at the US Naval Academy. It’s been viewed all of 334 times in six years… any volunteers to push it toward 400? Author Neal Thompson on C-Span’s […]






50th anniversary of Alan Shepard, and America, in space

Posted by on May 1, 2011 in Books, Light This Candle, space | No Comments

In advance of the anniversary of the day Alan Shepard became America’s first spaceman (5/5/61), I’m posting Light This Candle excerpts this week, along with photos and links related to Shepard and the book. Here’s a sample from Chapter 9, “We made them heroes, the first day they were picked” One day in January of […]






Seattle Met feature story: The Carver’s Life

Posted by on Apr 28, 2011 in Ripley, seattle | One Comment

While researching my biography of Robert “Believe It or Not” Ripley, I learned about Ripley’s visit to Seattle in 1937, when he spent $1,000 at Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. Among his purchases were a couple totem poles by a Native American carver named Sam Williams. I later learned that John Williams, who was shot and killed […]






Review: A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism

Posted by on Apr 5, 2011 in Authors, Books, seattle, Writing | No Comments

A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism by Peter Mountford My rating: 4 of 5 stars In one chapter of my forthcoming biography of Robert Ripley, I recount the eccentric, world-traveling “Believe It or Not” cartoonist’s months-long journey through South America in 1925, during which Ripley writes that Bolivia’s sky-high capital, La Paz, looked as […]