Reader's Digest

Dear Reader

- Write to me at Bruce Kelley, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Are you a bear person? Is anyone a bear person besides me?

By bear person, I mean that I can hardly recall the details of my two kids’ births, but for some reason I can picture every bear I’ve ever seen— and I’ve seen a surprising number of them—and how I felt at that time.

A few years ago on my usual morning forest hike, I was off trail when 75 yards ahead, voilà—two tiny cubs splashed in a stream. Mama bear looked on. We were just a mile outside our busy Connecticu­t city.

For three or four minutes, the cubs played, scurried, and flopped. And watching them, I felt—thinking back on it today, I can feel it all again— the tangible sense that I was a father, son, husband, and journalist pushing through my 50s, and damn if I wasn’t incredibly alive. All because of a family of bears I could go on and on. I am no storytelle­r - except about bears My only Boy Scout backpackin­g trip, back in the '70s, when we heard bears tear through all the troop's food one night - except for the eggs I'd sneakily hidden in the Merced River.

On a visit to Yellowston­e as a kid, when a hungry bear climbed onto the roofs of several station wagons, including the one with my whole family in it.

The time in 2015 when an unimpressi­ve juvenile bear somehow made her way to our house in the center of a city of a quarter million, climbed our tree, and fell asleep. “I could take that bear on,” my teenage son quipped.

How could I ever forget these or any of the 20 other bear moments I’ve experience­d? For some reason, I can’t.

I believe bears even gave me my career. Reading in Sports Illustrate­d as a teen about the hunt for two murderous grizzlies, I decided I wanted to tell amazing stories like that. Enjoy a nicer man-meets-bear drama , "The Bear Who Came to Dinner", on page 108. then please share: Why do bears, of all things imprint on me like this?

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 ??  ?? My photo of our treed interloper was too fuzzy to print. But this is pretty much it.
My photo of our treed interloper was too fuzzy to print. But this is pretty much it.

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