Along with all the other beautiful qualities she has, Mom is responsible for the Devil Dog becoming a travel writer. In the summer of 2005 Mom wanted to go on a European River Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam, and couldn't find anyone to go with her. (She was then a spry 86). When she was going to cancel her trip, the Devil Dog volunteered and, knowing it would be a great travel article, queried 18 newspapers and magazines and newspapers and was turned down by 17 of them.
One man, Richard Slusser, travel editor at The Washington Times said yes. The trip was amazing, a true adventure, 15 days on the Rhine, Meine and Danube Rivers, spectacular scenary, fairy tale castles, tiny villages, beautiful towns, Cologne, Nurnburg, Vienna, Durnstein, and Budapest, among others. After that article was published (Sept 25, 2005) the Devil Dog did 17 more pieces for The Washington Times. I also took mom on subsequent adventures, a cruise among the Fjords of Norway, from Oslo to Bergen to Kirkines well above the artic circle; a two week tour of the castles of England with my wife, her mother and my mother (the Mums Tour we called it); and last year a Mississippi River Paddleboat Cruise from Memphis to New Orleans.
As my travel writing career has blossomed, with pieces in numerous other newspapers (and upcoming articles in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Austin American Statesman, and the Honolulu Advertiser) I have never forgotten how it all began.
Thanks Mom, and Happy Birthday.