Brian directs Untours with his friendly, laid back, methodical style. He’s also one of our foundation’s board members. Of the many things I could add in my mini-intro, I have to take advantage of my “Speaker’s Corner” to praise Brian for being in that minority of men, who add their spouse’s last name to their own. I have so many women friends, who do this while their male spouses don’t. Brian gets extra points for being a feminist!
How did you meet Hal and Norma? I didn’t see Uncle Harold very often growing up, but I first remember him when he visited our family in the 70s. I was probably 12 or 13 and was fascinated by his tales of traveling in Switzerland which seemed worlds away from the small California farm we lived on. I didn’t meet Norma until I came to Pennsylvania to work for Untours. I was impressed with her stories about living through the dustbowl and raising her kids on the Colorado cattle ranch with Harold and my father.
What is most unique to you about the foundation? Micro-lending in the US is difficult and rarely done. The Untours Foundation is showing how it can be done successfully.
Favorite book: Impossible choice, but I love Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov. Here’s a quote: “Love all of God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to understand it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love… Things flow and are indirectly linked together, and if you push here, something will move at the other end of the world. If you strike here, something somewhere will wince; if you sin here, something somewhere will suffer.”
Favorite children’s book: C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series.
Indulgence: Swiss chocolate filled with kirsch (only when I’m in Switzerland).
Biggest challenge: Finding time to travel for fun rather than for work.
First job: Mowing lawns.
Last job: Leading Untours.
Soundtrack of your life: “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” by U2.
Animal friends: Our family dog, Fuzzball.
Mission statement: Make a difference.
Couldn’t live without: My wife and two children.
Sweet or salty: Salty.
Earliest childhood memory: Camping in Yosemite.
Pet peeve: Drivers who don’t seem to notice bicyclists.
Most unusual gift given: Several sticks of dynamite purchased at a mining supply store and given to a tin miner in Potosi, Bolivia in exchange for a tour of the mine.
Passionate issue: Climate change.
Favorite comedian: Jon Stewart.
Perfect Friday night: Pizza and a movie at home with my family.
Last splurge: New hiking boots.
“The Supreme Court ruled that disabled golfer Casey Martin has a legal right to ride in a golf cart between shots at PGA Tour events. Man, the next thing you know, they’re going to have some guy carry his clubs around for him.” Jon Stewart