"Howard's 2005 Holiday Letter"

"The year 2005 has been without a doubt, one of the most jam-packed years I have ever experienced.  It started out as a rather run-of-the-mill year and we just kept doing more interesting things until it was almost breathtaking.

For some time I had been discussing with my writing partner Glen Merzer the idea of writing a new book about various diets.  The project really got a boost when, at a dinner party at Glen’s home, we along with some good friends, came up with the title, “No More Bull!”  From this point on the book just seemed to fall into place. When Glens wife Joanna agreed to do a number of the recipes along with the support of some of the best chefs in North America, we completed what I consider a terrific book for a person who is wondering what do I eat now.  We actually had the book in hand in time for the fall tour thanks to our publisher Simon and Schuster.

The next thing on the schedule was the completion of the Mad Cowboy Documentary.  With over three years in the making, 150 hours of raw film footage, it seemed to be an unending project.  With Michael Tobias as the director and Pat Fitzgerald doing the producing and editing, we finally had a first draft in early summer. We started out with 120 minutes which was reduced to 80 minutes and now finally we are at 58 minutes.  This version has been accepted by PBS to be shown on Earth Day 2006 nationwide.  We have a verbal commitment which should be signed sealed and delivered by the end of the year.  Many thanks to the many who had a part in making this dream come to life.

In June my wife and I lived a dream we had for years which was to raft down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.  Along with a number of family members, we spent a week on the river traveling 188 miles through some of the most beautiful country we had ever seen [Pix01, Pix02].  We did this at the same time eating a vegan diet among a group of folks eating the standard American diet.  We had a fabulous time and educated some folks along the way.

We got off the river in time to attend the summer conferences of both Summerfest and AR2005.  Both were educational and refreshing.

August gave me time to prepare for the fall tour which was to commence on the 28th and continue for the next couple of months.  Willow Jeane agreed to accompany me as we had decided in the midst of the hectic summer to sell our home in Virginia and move to Ellensburg, WA after the tour.

We hit the trail at the end of August and travel over 15,000 miles before we moved into our new rental home in Ellensburg.  The tour was fantastic as well as tiring.  We did over sixty events in all parts of the country from the East Coast to the West Coast and then down to Florida before we headed back to Virginia.  We dodged snow storms and hurricanes with some 17 hour drives, and which my wife told me in no uncertain terms were not to be repeated.  The support we received during the tour reinforced my faith in the plant eating community as the greatest group of folks in the world.  I cannot express my thanks to so many that did so much to make the tour a resounding success.

We are now settled in Ellensburg, WA and every day we are here we are more convinced we picked the correct place to live.  I sincerely hope that all of our friends know that our successes this year were the fruit of our many friends and for that we are eternally grateful.

From Willow Jeane and myself, may you all have the most wonderful holiday season.

Howard F. Lyman, LL.D.

President, Voice For A Viable Future
PO Box 1240
Ellensburg, WA 98926