Richard Weeks


A book: Mild
Cover of the book Mild by Richard Weeks


Published: 2017

This second collection of memoirs begins in the 1950s with a story about delivering newspapers in suburban Los Angeles and concludes in 2016 with what had been planned as a birthday party/presidential election celebration. In what may serve as a theme for the book, neither story turned out as expected.

The longest chapter is devoted to the six summers from 1989 to 1995 that I spent hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon. As my friends and I hiked and camped, I filled a diary with sketches and descriptions of the experience. We didn't know it at the time, but just two weeks ahead of us on the trail was a young woman named Cheryl Strayed.

She hiked alone and, like me, kept a diary. After her memoir came out in 2012, my hiking companions and I couldn't help but wonder what might have happened if we had met Cheryl along the way. Perhaps if she had devoted a few paragraphs to describing her encounter in southern Oregon with three fascinating geezers, she might have had enough material to produce a bestseller. I guess we will never know.