EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece originally ran in September 2012. We are re-running it here today as a tribute to Clayton Klein, who died Sunday at the age of 96. You can check out his Facebook page by clicking here.
“Come walk with me across a century,” Michigan’s Walking Man Clayton Klein might say, as he invites us to celebrate his life and times in his newest book: My First 90 Years.
The author, adventurer, entrepreneur looks back from the grand perspective of a nonagenarian.
Follow this extraordinary time traveler (now 93), as he takes you on an incredible journey from his hometown of Fowlerville in the Middle of the Mitten to Mackinac, from Costa Rica to the Arctic Ocean.
Enjoy tales of exploration of far-flung frontiers, whether canoeing the vast wilderness of the Canada’s Northwest Territories and the Yukon, or piloting his Cessna airplanes over the mountains and jungles of Central America.
Klein is known throughout Michigan for his solo walks each September from 2005 to 2009 on behalf of Michigan’s Hospice programs – trekking 420 miles from Paradise on the shores of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula, across the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day down through the heart of Michigan to Hell in Livingston County and beyond into Ohio. He continues to enjoy each Labor Day Bridge Walk.
A back injury suffered many years ago prompted him, at doctor’s recommendation, to begin walking. His back healed, Klein continued to walk daily, having now logged over 65,000 miles throughout Michigan. His walks for Hospice inspired countless others to become more active.
At the conclusion of the 2009 Labor Day Bridge Walk, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm presented Klein with a plaque from the State of Michigan honoring him for his contribution to its citizens.
The book highlights his youthful days growing up as a country boy, and later as a farmer, business man and book publisher – along with much local history of people and events during the last nine decades. Throughout you’ll glimpse the strength and determination of a man who believed he could accomplish his dreams.
Klein comes from a family of writers, and is author of several books, including Cold Summer Wind, recounting his Canadian paddling adventures, and A Well-Kept Secret: From the Glory Years of the Detroit Tigers, about his late wife Marjorie’s friendship with the legendary Hall-of-Fame hero Hank Greenberg.
My First 90 Years is available for pre-publication price of $20. After Oct. 15 it will be $24.95, plus $3.50 for shipping. Checks and money orders may be sent to Clayton Klein, PO Box 968, Fowlerville, MI 48836. For more information, Email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may keep up with The Walking Man and his latest tales on Facebook at Clayton Klein the Walking Man. The book is also available at Amazon