Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Falcon's Call

Alright, I had to take this one: A friend of mine is mentioned in Vanity Fair.

He's Steve Hein, Director of the Lamar Q. Ball, Jr., Raptor Center at Georgia Southern University. Steve is a falconer and a wildlife artist, a transplanted West-coaster who flourished in a far away world of barbecue and Brunswick stew and married well to a local girl. He did the good pencil sketches for my book American Kestrels in Modern Falconry. We've been friends since the late 80s.

In his VF pic, Steve is looking earnest and a tad bemused, peering over the shoulder of Robert Kennedy---of those Kennedys--who authored the article:

THE FALCON'S CALL: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. got his first red-tailed hawk from his father, at age 11, and an environmental education through the ancient art of falconry. Decades later, he meets up with a small band of falconers in Wyoming's sagebrush, a wilderness being overrun by Halliburton. Photographs by William Abranowicz. [from the issue Table of Contents]

Kennedy, in describing the Wyoming hunt in which Hein took part, refers to my friend as a "raptor expert." I wrote Steve immediately: "You will never live this down."

I post this note foremost to further my reputation as one who knows several famous people named Steve. But it's also evidence of my theory that some good things--natural things, even hunting--may be enjoying a little nod from the society set these days. The globe warms a bit and suddenly Vanity Fair wants us all eating hawk-caught rabbit and driving electric cars.

Frankly, I'm all for it!


PBurns said...

I might add a small bit of enviro-politico history. Back in the very early 80s, Bobby Jr., was caught shooting smack in an airport bathroom in South Dakota, and nailed for possession (more was in his bags). Long story short, Bobby Jr. got clean (about 23 years sober now), but was sentenced to do 1,500 hours of community service with the River Keepers, a group with which he had no previous affiliation. After his service was up, River Keepers hired Kennedy as their lead attorney, and he has been doing important environmental work ever since.

Kennedy is a good person to spearpoint an enviro article in Vanity Fair -- the right mix of high society and actual knowledge and experience.

And they say nothing good ever came from Heroin. Liars!


Mark Churchill said...


And here I thought Steve H. had already reached the pinnacle of fame when he and Maggie were featured on Georgia Public TV...

Matt Mullenix said...

Patrick: You are so baaaaad.

Mark: I remember that! You know Maggie is still hunting and putting on a show; she caught a couple squirrels for us on my Christmas trip to the 'Boro.