Madagascar, Egypt, and tech on Episode 83 with Verne Simons


Saharan desert driver to tech editor, the path Verne Simons took along the way. There is science involved in episode 83 of Conversations with Big Rich.


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1:52 – we’re all kind of married to this thing called off-road

8:52 – I stayed in a Bedouin tent as kid in the middle of the desert

12:49 – the ladies are in charge (we’re talking about lemurs here!)

19:32 – you don’t get pulled over in the Sahara desert for driving without a license

31:30 – it was like a lightbulb went off!

42:50 – it was sort of the heyday of magazines!

51:46 – we eloped and got married in Moab

56:47 – I like the sound of tech editor better than senior editor

1:07:41 – I hate to be a total nerd, but I am a total nerd

We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.


[00:01:20.430] – Big Rich Klein

On today’s episode of Conversations With Big Rich. We have Verne Simons. Verne is well, he’s been in the magazine industry for a little over 20 years. Verne will be the first guest on the show that I have not known or had lengthy conversations with beforehand.

[00:01:41.130] – Big Rich Klein

We just talked a little bit about five minutes or so here on the phone before we got started with the interview. But, Verne, thank you for coming on board and sharing your life history with us.

[00:01:52.710] – Verne Simons

Yeah. Thank you. I’m very honored to be able to come on here. I feel like I kind of invited myself on, but hopefully I have some listening to your podcast. There’s a lot of parallels between my life and a lot of things that are very different with a lot of the other people that you’ve talked to. And I just find it fascinating to get to hear people’s back stories just because we’re all kind of married as it were through this love of going off road. But we all have different experiences, and it’s really fun and interesting to learn about different people, including yourself, which I don’t know.

[00:02:33.450] – Verne Simons

Like we said before, we’ve both been in this about, well, we’ve both been four wheeling longer than we’ve been in the industry, but we both been in it for about 20 years, and somehow we’ve missed each other. And that happens every now and again. Like, I think, a few years ago, I met Eric Filar for the first time, and I was with my buddy Trent McGee, and we were like, Man, how is it that we didn’t know this guy? It’s just bizarre. He’s one of those guys that once you meet him

[00:03:07.650] – Big Rich Klein

It’s almost like an STD it’s really hard to get rid of once you’ve met Eric.

[00:03:15.150] – Verne Simons

That’s fairly accurate

[00:03:18.070] – Big Rich Klein

But he’ll enjoy that reference.

[00:03:20.290] – Verne Simons

Yes, he will.

[00:03:22.210] – Big Rich Klein

So let’s jump right into the meat and potatoes of it. I know that you have listed that Durham, North Carolina, was home. Is that where you were born as well?

[00:03:32.770] – Verne Simons

Well. So I was actually born in New Haven, Connecticut.

[00:03:36.310] – Big Rich Klein

Well, that’s a little ways away from Durham.

[00:03:38.470] – Verne Simons

Yeah. So my back story is very tied in with my parents and who they were. They were both academics. My mom’s a biologist and my dad is an anthropologist or a paleontologist. So anthropologists are the people that study humans and paleontologists are the people that study fossil animals, extinct animals. Right. So they’re both academics. I kind of like to poke fun on myself and say, I’m the black sheep of the family. We’re very accomplished in academia. I did okay in school, and I have some accolades or some higher degrees, but nothing quite like they do.

[00:04:26.750] – Verne Simons

They both made careers out of science, and it was a really interesting it was really interesting to grow up with them as my parents, they were good parents, great parents. But just all the things that I got to do are really unique. And honestly, I was kind of excited to come on here and talk about that because I don’t think a lot of people have heard some of the crazy stories that are part of my life, which even I don’t believe sometimes let’s go right into that.  READ MORE

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