He embraced the mouse, and might have gone farther. The mouse being that gadget that slips back and forth across your computer screen. In fact, I first saw it while visiting Don one day, when he was showing me something about a Circus Report issue underway.
He often considered a new printing press, new word processing modes, etc. He may have been one of the first to purchase an Apple computer.
How would-might he have adapted to today, to a time when print journalism is sadly on the wane, when more and more people -- even circus fans -- are drawn to the Internet for their daily or weekly fix?
Here he is, addressing the subject in his letter of May 18, 1985:
"I watched a Channel 9 [PBS] program on 'You are on a Computer' this past week and it was rather interesting. As I watched it I could vision a person having all kinds of circus info on such a machine. It would take a big one perhaps, but can't you imagine what a guy could do with one in keeping track of circuses, people, animals and such. One person couldn't do it, as you'd need one person just feeding the information into the machine all the time.
"Anyway, I checked with the local computer store and they felt the Macintosh was the machine that would do me the most good ...If nothing more it will be good for the mailing lists and making better mailing labels than the present system."
I think he enjoyed all the mechanical aspects of printing the paper and getting it out into the mails - more than the actual type-setting and editing process.
What might he have done with a possible on-line version of Circus Report? I think he would have found the challenge irresistible.
Now, from mice to elephants, and to the passion for them by Dorey Miller. Here is Don at the typewriter, March 14, 1984.
"Carson & Barnes is due to enter Calif. in April and will be in the state about five weeks. I am a bit disappointed as I thought they would be here longer. Seems after coming all the way out here that they would play more and better spots - surely it must be impossible for them to draw well - might be they make a few spots for a few years, establish themselves and then come for a long run - Can't tell.
"Interesting thing, I think, is that this year they will be carrying 31 elephants, plus a few teams of draft horses, plus all of the usual animals and things - wow, must be quite a show. Good that we'll be able to see it."
I saw the show in So Cal in Ontario, and my brief notes show that I was sold by the pachyderms: "Great bull display. Lots of action."
Also by the late great Lucy Loyal riding a horse as if streaming through a cosmic circle, lost in a passionate orbit of her own making. Well, credit the music, too - some years. I can still hear a pounding song the band played when Miss Lucy rode -- "Guenevere" from Camelot.
Such a fiery rider! And so robustly alive was the big top then.