The International Crane Foundation is delighted to announce the publication of George Archibald’s new book of collected stories, My Life with Cranes.
Taken from the book Foreword by Jim Harris, Senior Vice President
Reading these uplifting memories, we glimpse the uncertainty and clouds of threat that surrounded this magnificent and imperiled family of birds. Today it is difficult to imagine the world George saw forty years ago in the formative years of the International Crane Foundation. George is a great storyteller, true stories that he himself made happen through faith and perseverance. These qualities kept George going despite numerous setbacks – the disease disaster for the captive flock, the loss of Tex the Whooping Crane to a mob of raccoons, and the unexpected death of George’s close friend and conservation partner Ron Sauey.
This volume offers rich examples of George’s audacity for action. Imagine taking the public bus across Iran accompanied only by a handful of cards bearing simple phrases in Persian, a short time later walking alone through rain and mud among the rice paddies toward a damgah (duck trap) in order to locate Siberian Cranes – only to be intercepted by stern hunters who didn’t welcome strangers. Yet just at that moment, you might be able to guess whose loud calls rose from behind the line of trees and waterfowl traps. But there is an even more satisfying question – who else but George would walk into such a situation? This volume gives instance after instance of leaps of faith, a tireless search for meaningful action, and the passionate readiness to seize opportunity.
Most of the stories come from the early years, when dreaming big depended on taking risks and on the freedom to follow creativity. George has always offered hope, and ultimately, he has succeeded through the trust we have all afforded him for his immense caring, for the cranes certainly, and for us all.