By Marsha Sandman | CNA Media Team
Everyone has a story, and Concordian Zac Reisner is living proof.
Strong childhood influencers instilled in Zac a yearning for a life of adventure, creativity and a passion for the great outdoors.
He was born in San Francisco but grew up in Texas and Oregon. He learned to read fluently by age 5, and Boy Scouting propelled his interest in the natural world. By the age of 14 he got a job as a ranch hand in Texas.
A couple of years studying natural history at the University of Washington convinced him that was not to be his life course.
Zac’s talent was in the arts, so he studied literature, philosophy and painting. He discovered he had a talent for writing when he worked for an underground newspaper. With a sharp wit and some horse sense, he began to write poetry.
The call of nature took him to the mountains with the Tacoma Mountaineers. That’s where Zac became an avid climber and mountain guide, and he has since climbed all the glaciated peeks in the Northwest. He became a cowboy, poet, climber, writer and painter.
Studying at Reed College he met and was heavily influenced by Gary Snyder. That Pulitzer Prize winner is best known as a beat generation poet and environmental activist.
Zac jumped at the opportunity to help him build a house in northern California and stayed on for about 2½ years. So then Zac became a cowboy, poet, climber, writer, painter and builder.
He put his cowboy talent to work after reading Joe Back’s “Horses, Hitches and Rocky Trails,” which is often referred to as the packer’s bible. He was soon working as a packing, riding, fishing and hunting guide.
Zac also worked on an Indian reservation in Alberta, Canada and has fond memories of long hitching and hiking journeys from Canada to the United States.
Unfortunately an injury curtailed his guiding days. And so he opened another door. He returned to college at Utah State University, where he honed his skills as a talented painter and illustrator. So now he’s a cowboy, poet, climber, writer, painter, builder, guide and illustrator. He can be reached at ZacR@coho.net
After living east, south, north and west, Marsha Sandman is home at last. And she wants to hear your story. Contact her at MarshaJSandman@gmail.com.