Tim Turned 80 Today
Happy Birthday to a reader's writer, a writers writer.
Today is Tim’s 80th birthday. You know, Tim. Freaking. Cahill. The karaoke-singing regular Joe who for years has filled Outside, Rolling Stone, and lots of other magazines with well-crafted words upon words about… well, just about anything he wants to. Thanks, Tim. This is for you, buddy.
Happy Birthday, and Thanks, Tim
Happy 80th Birthday to the guy who made me want to leave home to discover new worlds and live to tell stories about them. As a writer and teacher, you’re a gift. In Outside Magazine, you introduced me to dicey characters, new cultures, and outrageous experiences. You entertained me. But you’ve also taught me, most recently at the Book Passage Travel Writers Conference.
The photo above tells a story. I took it in 2019. You’re flexing, holding a book of men’s adventure stories, the genre that inspired you to marry literature with adventure travel. The photo represents your gift for writing. But over your left shoulder is something better: the manifestation of your teaching gift.
On the whiteboard is that famous storytelling train with its connected box cars. It speaks to the bones of a story that wants to rise to the level of literature. On that board you scrawled ledes, reverse parallelograms, and such, memorializing details a good storyteller will master.
In 2019, in addition to the technical, you taught me that masterful storytelling goes hand in hand with vulnerability. So, I went home and practiced. In 2023, I brought you back another story, one that incorporated the technical and the vulnerable. You said it was good, an important story that could be literature with some tweaks, and that reminded you of The Shadow of the Sun by Kapuscinski. Though your words were golden, you know I’ll try even harder next year.
In the meantime, on your 80th, it’s my turn to give. Today I gift you with acknowledgement, appreciation, affection, and alliteration.
Happy Birthday, Tim.
PS This post is a 100% free gift to Tim and to you too. You’ll find it on www.TeriMurrison.com where I write weekly about travel and, like Tim, anything else I want to. I’ll love it if you join me there.
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