Tim Cahill, editor at large
That’s my mother, sometime in the late 1940s, at Nagawicka Lake in Wisconsin, and as you can see, she was beautiful. I spent my summers on the lake, and learned to swim early, in a time before my memories begin. Dad said he just tossed me off the pier into the lake, which is how you taught a kid to swim in those days. Apparently, I sank like a stone. My father had to dive in, fish me out, and explain that the idea was to stay on top of the water and breathe. I guess that made sense to me, and I spent most of my summer days in the lake. When I told my parents that I wanted to travel, they suggested I join the YMCA swim team. I did, and went with the team to such exotic places as Fond du Lac and Beloit. I swam in high school and later for the University of Wisconsin. My first ever plane flight was a university team trip to a meet in Minnesota. So swimming and travel are deeply intertwined in my mind. One of my first jobs in journalism was as a traveling correspondent for a scuba magazine. Over the years, I’ve reported from almost 100 countries and once took a (brief) swim in the waters under the ice at the North Pole. But that’s another story.