A Pandemic Fourth


Full moon rising over the Brazos River in Waco, Texas, July 4, 2020

Like most everyone else in this country, I had no fireworks on my Fourth of July this year. But the combination of it always having been my favorite holiday and the fact that my dad passed away 20 years ago on July 4 made me determined to celebrate it in the best style I could during a global pandemic, sheltered in Waco, Texas.

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What a failed 1914 Antarctic expedition can teach us about survival, sheltering and leadership


The Endurance, trapped in the frozen Weddell Sea of Antarctica, 1915

 It was the ultimate shelter-in-place: a failed 1914 expedition to Antarctica by explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton that saw the ship Endurance mired and then crushed in pack ice, the 28-man crew stranded in the unforgiving frozen Weddell Sea, living off of ships’ supplies, penguins and finally their sled dogs. After living on a diminishing ice floe for a year, Shackleton and a crew of five crossed 800 miles of open water in a lifeboat, and slid down an icy mountain into a whaling station that would close for the season in just days. When on the fourth try they reached the remaining men stranded back on Elephant Island, not a single crew member had been lost in the nearly three-year ordeal.


Pack ice crushed Endurance after six months trapped in the frozen Weddell Sea

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