Symposium: Mr. Justice Douglas: Three Decades of Service: As Justice Douglas Completes His First Thirty Years on the Court: Herewith a Random Anniversary Sample, Complete with a Casual Commentary, of Divers Scraps, Shreds, and Shards Gleaned from a Forty-Year Friendship
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On a crisp, pellucid September morning in 1960, Douglas and I took off from Maroon Lake on a pack trip headed high into the Colorado Rockies. The Justice, foot-by-foot familiar with Washington's Cascade Mountains and the Wallowas of Oregon, was a comparative newcomer to Colorado's clustered 14,000-foot peaks and he wanted to do them proper honor in his forthcoming two-volume celebration of America's dwindling primitive areas, My Wilderness. With us on the trip were four husky henchmen: a rancher who had once been an all-star lineman for the Chicago Bears, a U.S. Forest Service Ranger, a full-blooded Potawatomi Indian, and a rugged cowboy-and-packer to handle the horses. When we reached our first campsite after a hard day's climb, we fast unsaddled our sweating mounts and then rustled up a fire, dug out the whiskey, and slumped around with double drinks, taking it easy for a spell. All but Douglas the indefatigable. There he was, climbing way on above us by foot, picking wild flowers, scanning them through a pocket magnifying glass—and also enjoying the better view.
Later, as it grew dark, I looked for him to come eat and found him sitting happily in his tiny pup-tent, scribbling away by lantern light with a stub of pencil on a small yellow pad. I wondered: was he recording those flowers, or what on earth . . . . "Oh, nothing much," he said. "Just a book review for the Herald Trib. I promised it to them by next week. Gotta send it off soon as we get back down. Hey, I'm starving. Let's eat." The book under review, I learned with no surprise, was not about wild flowers nor even about mountains, nor—perish forbid—about law.
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