Wasatch Environmental Update for November 4, 2018
By John Worlock, Member of Save Our Canyons
“Gale Dick and Ed Marston, Remembered Fondly”
This Update is a celebration of the lives of two men who have been important in our appreciation of the outdoor life in the west’s wilderness and other wild places. Both have taught us to keep focused on the long view while fighting the daily battle to preserve those wild spaces, not only for the wildlife but also, indeed, for our own sense of self and our place in the universe.
These two men are Gale Dick and Ed Marston.
I met Gale in 1953, when we were graduate students in physics at Cornell. It was immediately apparent that we shared more than physics, and I was drawn, as were many others, to his magnetic personality, along with his enthusiasm for outdoor activities. This magnetism eventually drew me the physics department at the U, and soon thereafter I joined the circle of Gale’s acolytes who were the core of Save Our Canyons.
I never met Ed Marston, but I stumbled upon him when I became aware of his magazine, High Country News. Ed had, remarkably, also achieved a PhD in physics, despite his origin as the offspring of struggling Jewish immigrants in New York City. He was well established as a professor in New Jersey, when a sabbatical year for reflecting and writing in Paonia, Colorado, stretched on and on and eventually led to his creation of High Country News.
During his two decades with HCN, he wrote and caused to be written many pieces that helped to define the American West. His guidance and support shaped many journalists, and in that way he served as a kind of academic post-graduate advisor to many of today’s important writers.
Here’s a tribute by Greg Hanscom, one of Ed’s editors at HCN: “Ed taught me that the most important quality of all, for a journalist, is compassion. Without the kind of journalism that the Marstons taught us to practice, we would not understand ourselves, our communities, or the places we love.”
I am sure that Gale would endorse that idea. He lived and taught a life of both passion and compassion. His grace inspired our love of the outdoors, of each other and even of ourselves.
A salute to our teachers, Ed Marston and Gale Dick!