George Archibald is the co-founder of the International Crane Foundation, which has published this collection of autobiographical stories.
George is a great storyteller, true stories that he himself made happen through faith and perseverance. These qualities kept George going despite numerous setbacks – the disease disaster for the captive flock, the loss of Tex the Whooping Crane to a mob of raccoons, and the unexpected death of George's close friend and conservation partner Ron Sauey.
Imagine taking the public bus across Iran accompanied only by a handful of cards bearing simple phrases in Persian, a short time later walking alone through rain and mud among the rice paddies toward a damgah (duck trap) in order to locate Siberian Cranes – only to be intercepted by stern hunters who didn't welcome strangers. Yet just at that moment, you might be able to guess which loud calls rose from behind the line of trees and waterfowl traps. But there is an even more satisfying question – who else but George would walk into such a situation? My Life With Cranes gives instance after instance of leaps of faith, a tireless search for meaningful action, and the passionate readiness to leap for opportunity… to enter China, or Russia to create close friendships that enabled the complexities of 10,000-mile egg shipments to happen during the dark years of the cold war.
Most of the stories come from the early years, when dreaming big depended on taking risks and on the freedom to follow creativity. George has always offered hope, his time, and his encouragement to helping others – young men and women – live their own versions of dream and action. Ultimately, George has succeeded through the trust we have all afforded him for his immense caring, for the cranes certainly, and for all of us.