National Geographic : 1987 Jul
On Assignment GETTING CLOSE to his sub ject, staff writer Charles E. Cobb, Jr., ponders Lake Erie near Ashtabula, Ohio, for his article on the Great Lakes in this issue. The Washington, D. C., native began his career in the 1960s, writing poetry about Missis sippi cotton workers, and pro duced a TV film on recruiting pressures that face high-school basketball stars. Specializing in Africa as a free lance, Cobb reported on Zimbabwe for his first NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article in November 1981. Typical of his approach, Cobb got close to Hurricane Gloria while covering the Outer Banks for a forthcoming issue. Holed up on North Carolina's Hatteras Island, he rode out winds that reached "only" 90 miles an hour. "I was lucky," he recalls. "It was a terrifying experience that I wouldn't want to repeat." A Skidmore College asso ciate professor, Dr. William S. Brown, now in his tenth year of timber rattlesnake tracking in New York (below), PHOTOGRAPHSBY BOB SACHA(ABOVE) ANDBIANCALAVIES continues a vocation dating to his childhood on a Pennsyl vania farm. His family toler ated his hobby well, he recalls, until "I marched into a dinner party and proudly displayed my pet queen snake and her 15 squirming babies."