National Geographic : 1992 Nov
On Assignment cc wanted to experience blind Sness," says staff writer MICHAEL E. LONG about this month's cover story. So he donned a blindfold and entrusted a Seeing Eye dog named Jade to lead him through Times Square (right). Doug Roberts of Seeing Eye, Inc., coached the 25-minute walk through the heart of Manhattan. "It was just an approximation, of course, but I wanted to pass that feeling on to the reader, and this was as close as I could come." During 26 years at the magazine, Mike has always thrown himself into his stories. In Baja California (October 1972) he drove most of a thousand-mile off-road race before breaking an axle. Investigating air craft safety (August 1977), the ex Marine Corps pilot landed a Boeing 747. In fact, Mike has taken the con trols of 38 different kinds of air planes while on assignment. But that was not as great a chal lenge as being piloted by a 60-pound Labrador retriever. "You have to make a conscious decision to trust the dog," he says. "It's like stepping off a bridge." Staff member PETER L. PORTEOUS also likes to immerse himself in a story: He played mother hen while feeding a chick (below) for his eagle article. "It was harder than it looks," reports Peter. "The chick's CHIEN-CHICHANG : head bobbed around like a dash board mascot." Peter helped scien tists haul equipment through the wilderness and keep a 24-hour vigil over the eggs and hatchlings. The constant demands "made me feel like a new parent again," says Peter, father of two boys, 7 and 11. Back in the office Indiana-born Peter resumed his duties as an issue editor, coordinating the work of writers and researchers during an article's final production stages. Soon after his return Peter, re sponding to a cry from his seven year-old, leaped out of bed, tripped, and broke his foot. He adds, "May be it's safer out in the field." RICHARDDAY, G. M . SUTTONAVIAN RESEARCHCENTER NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC (ISSN 0027-9358) IS PUBLISHEDMONTHLYBYTHENATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY,17THANDM STS. N.W., WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036. $21.00 A YEAR,$2.65A COPY. SECOND-CLASSPOSTAGE PAIDAT WASHINGTON,D.C.,AND ELSEWHERE.POSTMASTER:SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC,P.O. BOX 2174,WASHINGTON,D. C. 20013.