I’ve never actually written for the Utne Reader, but my work has appeared in the magazine. And even before that happened, I felt connected to Utne, probably because I had a connection to a couple of Utnes.
Eric Utne, who founded the magazine named after him, is the ex-husband of Peggy Taylor, my beloved former boss at New Age Journal. I have spent time with their son, Leif, who now works at Utne. (It must be weird for those guys, as it would for me if i were to work for a publication called Wagenheim, which I could only hope would be a mix between Crawdaddy and Mad.) And I met Eric a couple of times, once spending a south Florida day together swimming with dolphins. (Hey, I was with New Age.)
All of that was surely coincidental to Utne Reader reprinting a piece I wrote in 1995 for New Age — at Peggy’s behest, and despite my own skepticism/cynicism — about spending a weekend in a Texas football stadium filled with members of the Promise Keepers, the evangelical Christian men’s group created by then-University of Colorado football coach Bill McCartney.
It was a complex, fascinating story, and a year after its original publication, Utne printed this abridged version:
Among the Promise Keepers: An inside look at the evangelical men’s movement.