National Geographic : 1994 Jun
On Assignment The fine points of powwow dancing absorb freelance writer MICHAEL PARFIT at the Red Earth Festival in Oklahoma City. Cherokee schoolteacher Glo ria Matthews points out subtleties of movement. "You really have to look and listen," says Michael, "and sit in one place for a while." He hasn't done much of that in his lifetime. London-born Parfit was educated around the world as he traveled with his filmmaker parents. A college journalism class in Cali fornia sparked his writing. "Minutes into my first story, I knew this was what I wanted to do," he says. After gaining experience as a freelancer for newspapers and mag azines, Parfit purchased a small town weekly in Idaho. On constant deadline, he had no time for writer's block, he says. A move to Montana and more magazine writing led him to the GEOGRAPHIC. His first article, "The Hard Ride of Route 93," in December 1992, was a finalist for a National Magazine Award. The lat est of his four books, Chasingthe Glory, records his experiences as a journalist-pilot. Michael and his son and daughter-and Cessna-still make Montana home. Casting for trout-and memories in central Pennsylvania, Senior Writer MICHAEL LONG wasn't sure he'd hook either. "I never felt root ed to the place," says the Altoona native, who by the age of 18 had left, he thought, for good. College at Notre Dame was followed by training as a Marine fighter pilot, graduate school, and 28 years at the GEOGRAPHIC. Mike earned bylines and awards-for both writing and photography. After so much time away, Mike was glad to find that his return to Pennsylvania "really made me feel like I belong." NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC(ISSN 0027-9358) IS PUBLISHEDMONTHLYBYTHE NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY,1145 17TH ST. N.W., WASHINGTON,D. C. 20036. $21.00 A YEAR,$2.65 A COPY. SECOND-CLASSPOSTAGEPAID AT WASHINGTON,D. C., AND ELSEWHERE.POSTMASTER:SENDADDRESSCHANGESTO NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC,P.O. BOX 2174, WASHINGTON,D. C. 20013.