The author and illustrator of The Swiss Army Knife Owner's Manual has lived in Denver, Colorado almost all his life. He has carried a Swiss knife of one model or another for over 40 years, and has worked in construction or as a general repairman since 1978. Michael Young's parents Truman and Carol lived in little Georgetown, Colorado when Michael was born in 1951. Mike graduated from Littleton High School in 1969, from Colorado College in 1975.
He has climbed 27 of Colorado's 54 fourteeners (half of those solo). Boosted his dog Manco up a short cliff on the ascent of Castle Peak (after, and before, a good soak in the Conundrum Hot Spring), did a Colorado 1976 Centennial Ascent of Pike's Peak as part of that year's Marathon, was chased from Torrey's Peak by lightning, wrote a poem about his run of the summits of Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross which was published in Trail & Timberline, the Colorado Mountain Club's magazine.
One of his favorite hikes was around Navajo Mountain to the Rainbow Bridge (the longest natural span in the world) about 1980. The only person he met on this backpack was an old Indian who spoke no English, on horseback with his Winchester in its saddle scabbard, with his quiet dog on the trail. Through some sign language Mike asked about the route to the mystical stone bridge, and the old man told him in similar fashion to head through a certain draw and swing left, that it would take some two days to get there. The author says that if you spend much time in the mountains or the desert you will surely have some memorable experiences.
Mike started playing soccer in 1960. In 1970 his team, the Littleton Soccer Club, opened the first soccer store in Colorado and hosted semi-pro teams from Austria and Gerrmany, selling tickets and playing them (and defeating one) in stadiums under the lights. As a walk-on Mike played four years for Colorado College; they were ranked 18th in the nation one exciting year. He still plays for a men's team in Denver, and has been a USSF referee since 1985.
The author has used a Swiss Army Knife for everything from carving the lunch pineapple on the roof of a Land Cruiser by the Tana river in Kenya to resetting a hotel door lock in the town of Sbeitla in Tunisia. Also opening a bottle of beer. He found uses for this versatile tool beyond the myriad intended purposes, and admired the quality and utility of the SAK so much that he decided to write a book about it.