About Gary Kimsey


I’m a middle-America guy. I like cheap beer, baseball and football, Denzel Washington movies, and McDonald’s hamburgers (regular burger, not a Big Mac).

I believe global warming isn’t a hoax and I’m pretty sure Elvis is actually dead.

And there you have it: A portrait at age 73 with a piece of cherry pie and, of course, ice cream.

I exercise a lot and am in an ongoing war against the Doughboy shape that marched in with too many donuts and Snickers, as well as those McDonald’s hamburgers. Woeful as it may be, I limit those McDonald’s burgers, Snickers, and donuts to the rare, rare, infrequent occasions when taste buds rule. Same, unfortunately, with the cheap beer. I also have a pie affliction, particularly for cherry and pecan pies. I always celebrate my birthday by having a piece of pie in an old diner, the Englewood Cafe, in Independence, Mo. This was my parents’ favorite place to eat when I was growing up.

When my wife Patty and I live in Missouri during the winter months, we meet weekly at a Taco Thursday Night with a group of gray hairs from our high school days, this at a pub that serves inexpensive tacos and cheap beer, and my limit is usually one brew, which typically is my limit for an entire week. Oh, whatever happened to those good ol’ days of beer-swilling?

I enjoy action-packed, save-the-world-from-destruction novels by James Patterson, Clive Cussler, John Sandford, and the writing duo of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Don’t tell anyone this secret, but I’m also an avid fan of Nora Roberts, Nancy Warren and Heather Graham (Keep this quiet, please, so my man’s man-image won’t get tarnished by reading lady authors whose excellent novels include love and all that girlie stuff. Right?)

I like the Big Bang Theory TV show, Ted Lasso, Ghosts, Bluebloods, Rachel Maddow and Stephanie Ruhl on their news shows on MSNBC, and the CBS Sunday Morning news-feature program with anchor Jane Pauley. I like Jane, but I really miss Charlie Osgood and Charles Karult. I enjoy the way Rachel Maddow interprets the news. Anderson Cooper of CNN is great, too. Just to keep a perspective on how some Americans think, I even watch Fox News at times, until I get the inevitable urge to throw a beer bottle (empty, of course) against the television screen. Fox is truly shameful, and, if you think otherwise, I am truly sorry for you.

I no longer subscribe to print newspapers. I get their news online, mostly through paid subscriptions. Yes, yes, I’m helping to kill the print news industry, even though I still enjoy the feel of newspaper ink smudged on my fingers. When I started as a reporter in the newspaper business, back in the age of dinosaurs, we used upright typewriters. You gotta stay up with the times, though. The internet now rules.

I’m married to wonderful Patty, just married in October 2016, as a matter of fact. We met in junior high school. To give you a little historical perspective, our meeting occurred in the same year JFK was assassinated. We each have grown children. Our spouses passed away from cancer. I hadn’t talked to Patty for almost a half-century when she mailed me a greetings card. We corresponded by mail for a half-year, then re-met in person, and, well, golly, and here we are…

We live part of the year in a northern Colorado mountain hamlet (Poudre Park) along the Cache la Poudre River, on land that has been in my family since 1929. This property has been in my family since 1929. After my grandparents, purchased it, my father (14 years old at the time) wanted to name it “Dead Man’s Inn.” Luckily, my grandparents used a better name for the place: Sunnyside.

The rest of the year—the cold months of winter—Patty and live in our hometown of Independence, Mo.

Watching the Cache la Poudre River flow buy: Patty Kimsey at our place in Poudre Park, Colo.

Watching the Cache la Poudre River flow by: Patty Kimsey at our place in Poudre Park, Colo.

I like Colorado in the summer—only a few mosquitoes at our place. I saw two mosquitoes last summer, one the summer before. In Missouri, you risk being carried off by mosquitoes if you sit outside at night. I also like Independence, too. It’s a special kind of community full of history (trailheads for the Santa Fe, California, Oregon, and Morman trails; plenty of things about the Civil War and after…think Jesse James and Cole Younger; and Harry Truman’s home and library). All in all, you can’t spit in Independence without hitting some sort of historical marker.

I spent the first half of my career writing for newspapers like the Kansas City Star and a city magazine (now out of business) in Denver. During five years of my mid-life, I owned two taverns in Fort Collin, Colo., a wild, crazy experience I’d not recommend to anyone. The last half of my career I stumbled into the Dark Side—as newspaper people like to call it—and worked in public relations at Colorado State University and then University of Colorado Health system, where I retired in 2014.

Ah, retirement. Every night is Friday night, every morning is Saturday morning. And time to write what and when I like.

I write two other blogs:

poudreriver.org, about life and history along the Poudre River. There are stories aplenty.

My personal blog is GaryKimsey.com, It’s named American Adventures & Misadventures. And it focuses on:

Quirky history. Darling Americans. Stupid and smart things done in our country. My take on movies and writings by others. A book review now and then. Tips on how to live life like I think it’s supposed to be. And other bangles, bling, and stuff and thingamajigs. America is a jigsaw puzzle with a lot of interestingly shaped pieces.

I don’t write about religion, although I’m sure there’s a God, regardless of the fact that He has yet to consult with me on anything. I would certainly have told Him a thing or two about allowing Russia to invade Ukraine! Seeing those daily TV news clips of bombed-out neighborhoods, hospitals, schools—yes, one has to wonder about God.

I don’t write sensationalism or about conspiracy theories—um, well, except for that blog about Dracula taking over Donald Trump (see my blog of Nov. 2, 2016).

A warning to unaware souls:

Back then, 50 pounds lighter and 50 years younger: During our 6-month Lewis and Clark journey in 1973, as we hiked across the Rockies, I had the opportunity to step across the headwaters of the Missouri River.

Fifty pounds lighter, a half-century younger: During our 6-month Lewis and Clark journey in 1973, as we hiked across the Rockies, I had the opportunity to step across the source of the Missouri River.

I especially like to write about the 1803-06 Lewis and Clark Expedition. When I was 23 in 1973, way back when, four hardy friends and I spent six months retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail by backpack, canoe, foot, sweat, joy, and amazement. I’ve given many slideshow presentations about the expedition since then and I usually read something about Lewis and Clark every day. Those two critters seem to be always nudging their way into my thoughts.

In my personal blog (GaryKimsey.com), I write occasionally about our 1973 expedition. Here are two articles: How Lewis and Clark almost got me murdered and What a special Lewis and Clark day is like.

Lewis and Clark and the dog Seaman in what it must have seem like at times while canoeing on the windy lower Columbia River in 1805. Cartoon drawn by Mike Cochran. Mike drew this cartoon after he nearly died from hypothermal after huge waves the canoe he was in, capsizing it.

Lewis and Clark and the dog Seaman: Mike Cochran drew this cartoon after he nearly died from hypothermia from being in cold water on the Snake River after huge waves capsized a canoe he was in. The cartoon represents how Mike imagined how Lewis and Clark (and Seaman) felt when they encountered huge waves while paddling on the lower Columbia River in 1805.

The articles include photos, as well as cartoons drawn by a member of our group, Mike Cochran, now deceased (One of Mike’s cartoon is posted here). To learn more about our journey, click here to read my article.

I volunteer a lot for the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, a national nonprofit organization that is the premier citizens group that promotes the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. I do the organization’s monthly calendar of Lewis and Clark event held around the nation (there are usually a heck of a lot of them) and I created the organization’s blog, LewisandClarkNews.com, and oversee it. I’m a board member of the organization, as well as a local chapter, the Missouri-Kansas Riverbend Chapter in Kansas City, and the Southern Prairie Region.

Please contact me if you have questions, comments or blog ideas: garykimsey55@gmail.com or 970.689.2512.

Keep healthy and enjoy life,

–Gary Kimsey

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  1. Pingback: Planning your summer vacation? Visit the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Here are tips to help you... -

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