I have a great support structure of close, exciting friends of both sexes, and I’m close to my family. My 50th birthday party featured guests ranged from the fearless 3.5-year-old daughter of friends who I’d recently taught to dive in the pool, to an 81-year-old peace activist and former city council member who survived the fire-bombing of Dresden in Germany in her teenage years. A friend once told me, “There are two kinds of people; those you know would always be there for you, and those you don’t. You’re definitely the first.”
I could claim to be “diverse,” but that doesn’t quite capture it: I’m interested in everything: hiking Yosemite, interpreting dreams, reading Cormack McCarthy, providing TLC for 35 house plants, track-testing fast cars, wailing on a Fender Telecaster, publishing magazine articles and books, hacking the engine management systems of sports cars, SCUBA diving off Molokini, watching "The English Patient"—again.
I’ve given a fair amount of money to political campaigns because I care about the future of the world, and I’ve been known to take a Wi-Fi laptop to bed to read tomorrow’s New York Times (don’t worry, I’m not a fanatic about it). I’ve traveled as a delegate to the Maquiladoras in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, and visited a good chunk of the planet. I’m at home with rich entrepreneurs and authors, but also with mechanics and farm laborers with busted knuckles and calloused hands living off the sweat of their labor. As a young man, I herded cattle by horseback and dirt bike, and helped grow 1000 acres of wheat, corn and Milo on my family’s irrigated ranch near Tombstone, Arizona. I still run or lift weights most days and I’ve completed two marathons. Take a look at my own hands—a little scarred, a little tender—and you’ll see the hands of someone who is fully alive.