Sunday, November 6, 2016

    Once again this year, I have the distinct pleasure of participating in a writerly event in the beautiful surrounds of rural Whatcom County, Washington. The organizers promise sunshine -- along with book sales and readings (mystery, history, travel, romance), camaraderie, and munchies.
    Those of you in the Bellingham area know how lovely fall is hereabouts. Those of you out of the area, grab those plane tickets soon. They're undoubtedly going fast.
    (Directions: South from Nugents Corner, then take Highway 9 off the Mt. Baker Highway to the RR tracks just before Everybody's Store. The Community Center is across the street on your left. )
       Hope to see you there!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Jakey's Fork
            Rivers always run brimful the first weeks of June in Wyoming. More so when atypical scorching heat speeds up the usual Rocky Mountain snowpack melt.
            This past June, south of the majestic Grand Tetons, the west-flowing fork of the Snake River was a frothy milk-chocolate, full and racing, with cream-white wavelets across its width. Across the Continental Divide at Togwotee Pass in the Absaroka Range, the Wind River began its descent at 9,584 feet above sea level, and we followed it southeast along the eponymous Wind River mountains as it widened mile-by-mile. The Wind is a ruddier brown due to iron in the soil it pulls from the mountains. It's still running red-brown when it's fed by little Jakey's Fork which rushes down from its own headwaters high up at historic Union Pass.
            My wife Cherie and I spent a night in the early summer of 2016 at Jakey's Fork Bed & Breakfast, just south of the town of Dubois, Wyoming. Our accommodation was a nicely refurbished log bunkhouse where Butch Cassidy is reliably reported to have spent Christmas in 1889.
            Rivers are why we're here. Their blue traceries across maps, their ancestral power to shape the planet, their biological and ecological importance are reason enough to learn more about them. More than this, rivers are paths of history. They mark trade routes and migrations (think Nile, Tigris and Euphrates, Danube) and wanderlust, which modern-day adventurers, even those of us no longer traveling by water, can explore and wonder at.
            In the U.S., the mighty rivers of the West are the Columbia, the Colorado, and the Missouri/Mississippi. Up a dirt road into the mountains, north of Dubois, is Union Pass. At 9,212 feet, it's the only place in the country where there are tributaries of all three of the major river systems. In an open, high mountain meadow, rises tiny Fish Creek. Through fields scattered with lupine, the fledgling waterway descends to the west through the Gros Ventre Mountains, past scenic sagebrush valleys, conifer forests, and aspen groves until it drops into the Gros Ventre River, which in turn joins the Snake River south of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Snake, after famously negotiating Hells Canyon, joins the Columbia River in southeast Washington State, then empties into the Pacific Ocean.
            On the other side of the Continental Divide, a few thousand feet east of Fish Creek, is little Wagon Creek. Not far from its beginning in a marshy pond, Wagon Creek joins the Green River which flows south through Wyoming and Utah before its confluence with the Colorado in Canyonlands National Park. Historical note: The mighty Colorado, flowing through the Grand Canyon and into the Gulf of California could have (or should have) been called the Green River since it actually flows a longer distance. In 1921, an intense lobbying effort by the state of Colorado won out.
            Lastly, there's Jakey's Fork, named for J.K. Moore, brother of one Charlie Moore who founded the CM Ranch, one of the oldest ranches in Wyoming and upstream of our B&B. Five miles south of Dubois, Jakey's Fork rushes under the highway to meet the Wind River. From there, the Wind flows seventy miles south to, appropriately, Riverton, Wyoming, where it pirouettes to the north. It journeys from there through the Wind River Canyon, and emerges renamed the Bighorn. The Bighorn continues north until it joins the Yellowstone, which flows to the Missouri, and thence down the Mississippi to New Orleans. The Missouri-Mississippi journey is the longest of the three systems, over 3,700 miles, the fourth longest river in the world.
            Perhaps this was an overlong geography lesson. But finding and seeing where the tributaries join - their confluences - guided us on our way this trip into the Rockies.
            An aside for a moment about the word "confluence" since it's used here frequently, and good synonyms are not plentiful. (Junction, convergence, joining, intersection, linkage, union?)
            In Sacramento where I grew up, our house was about a half mile from the American River. A lush field of green hops separated our street from the levee and I'd run down to the river and prowl around among the cottonwood and alder and willows. Students who didn't doze off in American History may recall that in 1848 on that very river upstream at a sawmill owned by a Swiss gentleman named Johan Sutter, a certain James Marshall spotted some shiny orange "flecks" of metal in the water that he quickly recognized as gold. California was discovered.
            To be sure, for centuries European seafaring explorers (Vancouver, Cabrillo) had sailed along the California coast and, giving the Farallon Islands wide berth, had missed the Golden Gate. Moving north out of Mexico, the intrepid Father Junipero Serra established Catholic missions a day's journey apart from San Diego to San Francisco. Even the Russians had crossed the Bering Strait and built Fort Ross in today's Sonoma County in 1812. But it was James Marshall who essentially invented the State of California.
            So what about confluence? Herr Sutter's Fort in downtown Sacramento, which we schoolchildren visited on field trip after field trip, is a short distance from the Sacramento River, where it joins up with the American. My mother and I used to refer to this geographical landmark as the "conflagration" of the two rivers, which drove my father to distraction. Conflagration just sounded so much better than confluence, notwithstanding that few things have as little to do with a conflagration as a waterway -- excepting the Cuyahoga, of course.
            For a while my dad would correct us, then he'd just shake his head and grin. Mom and I used the word often, in ridiculous contexts, and it remained our little joke. ("Hey, watch out for the conflagration of those two grocery aisles up ahead.")
            The preceding utterly gratuitous digression can serve as a beginning to the following conversation about rivers -- why they interest us, where they come from, where they go, what's their route from one place to another, and their importance to history, and prehistory for that matter. And yes, their confluences, where they intersect, is part of their story. So off Cherie and I went to look for them.
            We stayed for four nights in Dubois. Carolyn Gillette, delightful proprietor of the Jakey's Fork B&B, has lived in the charming little town for over thirty years. ("Du-boyce," never "Du-bwah," please. Mr. Dubois, the namesake, was an Idaho senator who also happened to be on the Postal Committee.) Like many a resident, Carolyn happened on the place and simply decided to stay. Minimal precipitation and summer temps that average in the high 70s and low 80s have encouraged about a thousand residents to call Dubois home since well before 1914 when the town was officially founded.
            The first American homesteaders arrived in the area in the 1870s. Before then as far back as the early 1800s, John Colter, Jim Bridger, and other mountain men and trappers passed through the valley of the Wind River and crossed the mountains at Union Pass. For centuries, Native American tribes roamed the northern Rockies, among them the Shoshone, Arapaho, Sioux, Blackfoot, and Cheyenne. Their legends tell that the tribes knew Union Pass and its significance; they called it the Land of Many Rivers.
            Our Jakey's Fork accommodation consisted of a four-room rustic log cabin, an old-fashioned stove, a white enamel farmhouse sink, fully-stocked cupboards, an easy chair, vintage 19th Century, a claw-foot bathtub, a canopy bed, period knickknacks, and book shelves beneath tied-back calico curtains. A front porch and bench overlooked the creek which ran right next to our cabin. "Welcome Dick and Cherie" said a chalkboard sign beside the front door. Butch Cassidy was nowhere around. No surprise, but mystery still surrounds his final days and burial.
            Robert Leroy Parker, born in 1866, is remembered around Dubois as a local rancher and a friendly neighbor. He turned to crime, true, but held good to his promise never to rob a local bank. He was nicknamed "Butch" as a young man. Later, he borrowed his surname from a mentor, Mike Cassidy (also an alias), a cattle rustler who not surprisingly taught the boy the wages of sin. A quick learner, Butch was arrested for shoplifting at fourteen; he was acquitted because he'd apparently left a note apologizing for the theft.
            He departed from the straight and narrow in earnest in June, 1889, when he robbed a bank in Telluride, Colorado, then fled with his compatriots to Robbers Roost, a well-known hideout. Butch bought a spread near Dubois with the loot, but ranching was probably a front. He never made any money and likely turned to thieving because, as bank robber Willie Sutton famously said, "that's where the money is." At one point, whether on the lam or otherwise, Butch Cassidy spent Christmas 1889 relaxing and enjoying good company at the Jakey's Fork bunkhouse.
            In 1894, Cassidy was arrested for stealing horses and most likely running a protection racket. He went to prison in Laramie for eighteen months. By 1896, he was well into his life of crime with the "Wild Bunch," a band of miscreants that eventually attracted one Harry Longabaugh, alias The Sundance Kid. Exploits colorful and legendary followed -- train robberies, banks -- eventually continuing in South America after Butch and Sundance fled the United States.
            The two outlaws probably died in a standoff in Bolivia in 1908. Holed up in a cabin and surrounded by soldiers, a gunfight ensued. Butch reportedly shot a critically wounded Sundance to put him out of his misery, but their remains were never officially identified. There were later rumors that Butch had escaped South America, undergone face-reconstruction surgery, and moved back to the U.S., living until the 1920s.
            No unsolved mystery to Cherie and me was the full-on Rocky Mountain breakfast served us in the morning by our host Carolyn who then set off for her day job which she called a "b, b & b" -- as in bed, bath, and beyond, an assisted living facility up the road.
            If it's said that an army travels on its stomach, we confess that recaps of our travels frequently include places we ate -- which also happen to be fertile ground for overheard conversations.
            At dinner in a restaurant in the heart of cattle ranching and hunting country, from a conversation one table away:
            "Do you have anything vegetarian?"
            Patient Server: "Uh, fish and chicken."
            Moderately Annoyed Customer: "Well, salad?"
            PS: "Yes, of course."
            MAC: "What kind of dressing do you have?"
            PS: "French, blue cheese, and ten-hundred island dressing."
            MAC: (momentarily confused) "I'll have the blue cheese. And red wine, please."
            A bottle of chilled red wine was brought, fresh out of the refrigerator, along with two frosted glasses.
            MAC (after considering options): "Uh, Ma'am, we'd at least like non-frosted glasses."
            PS: "We could nuke them for you."
We wondered how long this pair of citified tourists would stay in Dubois. Maybe they would find a vintner somewhere else, say Napa. By contrast, we stuck around for four days. And ate well.
            For instance, we had breakfast every day at the Cowboy Cafe, a crowded, sausage-bacon-eggs-pancakes-great-coffee kind of place with a savvy waitress right out of Central Casting. Across the street we found a by-God soda fountain with a row of eight black vinyl stools on shiny pedestals fronting the counter. The working space included a pair of vintage Hamilton Beach milkshake machines (the sign in red, stuck-on acrylic letters advertised twenty flavors), the obligatory soda pop dispenser with six flavors, and a typical sink and utensils beneath a Sears and Roebuck clock on the wall with filigree hands. On the faded yellow, much-loved Formica counter sat an old-fashioned cash register and next to it a revolving wire rack of chips and Fritos. Bratwurst and hot dogs just beginning their orbits on a carousel lured us back in for lunch later that day.
            What we didn't expect to find in a soda fountain was the leather tooling shop operated by the hostess's husband. In the large room behind us were rows of chaps and vests hung on display, saddles in one or another stage of completion, lariats, boots, work gloves, jackets with fringe, and scraps of tanned hides on the industrial sewing apparatus and cutting tables and littering the floor  A row of Stetson hats, black and off-white (the only obvious concession to tourism we saw in Dubois) ran cheek-by-jowl in stacks of four or five across the back wall. Cattle ranching country, indeed.
            The few commercial businesses in town were not of the postcard-and-T-shirt variety, rather uncrowded curio shops, an upscale art gallery (with a gracious artiste/proprietor/host), a modest women's wear boutique, and a newly opened coffee and latté shop run by a couple who were still learning the trade. The coffee was okay; their business acumen and caffeine-related patois was on the upward learning curve.
            The Wind River Range is home to one of the largest herds of bighorn sheep in the country. We went in search of the critters. South of Dubois, a Forest Service road led into the mountains past five drop-dead gorgeous, sky-blue lakes and into the Bighorn Sheep Winter Range. The road rose and fell along hillsides and into valleys of wildflowers, every rise and turn revealing staggering granite walls, distant snow-capped peaks, and forested mountainsides. At road's end was a turn-around and a trailhead into the wilderness. We stopped and gaped. The stillness was profound, broken only by the trickle of a creek below us and nearby aspen.
            Winter had passed, lambing had ended in May, and we saw no signature sheep, they having moved to higher elevations. The exploration and beauty more than compensated.
            After the stay at Jakey's Fork B&B, we did see, up close in living color, the most plentiful species in the Rockies at that time of year: vehiculus behemoth. We spent three nights at the Longhorn Ranch Lodge and RV Resort, which was part cabins, part motel, and part campground. Fifth-wheels and your father's Airstream, even large ones, were dwarfed by land cruisers the size of boxcars. Scary and huge enough when cautiously overtaken on the highway, it was a different experience watching each roll slowly past our cabin, window after window. Instead of a bus with a smiling driver, familiar blue Greyhound hat tipped back, there was usually a little guy with a full six feet of headroom over his chrome dome.
            Dual rear axles, pop-out rooms that were rectangular promontories extruded from the side to enlarge an already commodious living space, interiors (I'm told) that would qualify for a House Beautiful centerfold, the leviathans are glossy and sleek, like a headliner's road-tour bus. The largest and glitziest of these, fully loaded, can be yours for half a million bucks. There were several dozen at Longhorn Ranch, no two models alike. If this had been a yacht harbor, there'd be a contest for whose floating showroom was longest, cleanest, and most shipshape.
            Drivers under sixty-five, it seems, need not apply. One fellow carefully slotted his craft into its assigned anchorage and lowered himself out of the pilot seat. He walked around to unfasten the steps and hook up to power and onsite septic. He was indistinguishable from his fellows -- same shiny round head, suspenders, plaid shirt -- but alas, apparently he lacked the requisite beachball paunch! It looked like the bystanders were asking him to leave!
            Just then, his wife dismounted, wearing olive-drab Bermuda shorts and a turquoise tube top that bulged in too many places. She walked around and faced the stunned group of clones and promptly settled their hash. The Giant Luxury Motorhome stayed where it was and the grumbling crowd dispersed.
            Now, there is much to be said, positively, about the RV life -- retirement on the road, visiting National Park after battlefield after interesting town (e.g., Dubois) -- despite the staggering gasoline bill at every stop. Once upon a time, writer Ann Patchett first regretted from the outset that she'd accepted an assignment to take a Wyoming and Montana road trip in a Winnebago and write an essay about it. Over time, she had second thoughts:
                        [I'd reluctantly agreed to drive a] lumbering road buffalo on highways so narrow I wouldn't dare pass a Miata. If you're going to drive a house, why not stay home?
                        [But by the end of our trip], I feel like I went out to report on the evils of crack and have come back with a butane torch and a pipe. I went undercover to expose a cult and have returned in saffron robes with my head shaved. I have fallen in love with my recreational vehicle ...
                        Under various awnings there are indoor-outdoor carpeting, potted plants and wind chimes, beautiful patio furniture, a large stuffed bear on a folding chair holding an American flag. In the morning the air fills with the smell of eggs and sausage. It's like a neighborhood in an imaginary version of the 1950s, with a virtuous respectability so kitschy, so obvious, one longs to mock it, except I can't anymore.
                           "My Road to Hell was Paved," Outdoor Magazine, June 1998.
             The newest fad at Longhorn Ranch Lodge seemed to be an outline of tiny lights à la Christmas, blue or white, laid around on the ground to enclose "your" space, your perimeter inside of which were your various accouterments such as Ann Patchett described. Not meant so much as excluding, but rather in-closing, like maybe your backyard at home. Inside the colorful boundary and around the campfire, marshmallows a-roasting, a family would sit and softly sing camp songs. I couldn't argue with the ambience, but I did wonder how many still had homes with backyards versus the mobile domesticity on display. Not that it was any of my business.
            That said, one frightening incident stuck in our minds. It seems a pair of late-arriving campers had pitched their pup tent in the darkness too close to a land whale. Early the next morning, the giant rumbled to life and began to lumber ahead without noticing the insignificant obstacle in its path. Only a terrified cry kept the tent from being crushed under the tires like a discarded McDonalds burger box. No one died.
            And one other amusing event: I strolled around the camp one afternoon past the busy horseshoe pit, and once again marveled at the sizes and varieties and unabashed ostentation of RVdom. I came upon a dog, securely tied up thankfully, that set up a noisy racket. It was not a big dog, scruffy gray and white coat, an indeterminate breed, so I was wary. His owner shushed him and assured me I was safe.
            "What's the dog's name?" I asked.
            "Faulkner," he said.
            "Faulkner? Now that's novel," said I. (Pun intended.) "How'd you decide on that?"
            "Cuz he's full of sound, and furry."
I gave a yelp, myself. Never judge a person by his coveralls. Or his patented Stetson, his maroon braces, or his brown and scuffed Wellingtons.
            "That line is from Macbeth" was my clever riposte. "Why didn't you name him that?"
            "The wife said he'd be double the toil and trouble."
            Ouch! I was in over my head. But in for a penny, etc. "You gave in."
            "Yeah, I washed my hands of the idea."
            Why did I think he'd been waiting years for some rube to wander by and lob literary softballs to him?
            I declined his offer of a beer and slunk back to the cabin.
            Our last night in Dubois was musical. Visiting a KOA campground, we sat in the gloaming, inhaling the fresh, high-mountain air lightly perfumed by drifting campfire smoke, and enjoyed a delightful string-band concert. Playing beneath a large, open picnic shelter was a fiddler and a guitarist, the vocalists. The two were accompanied by a mandolin plucker, and best of all, fifteen-year-old Emily, expressionless as a sphinx, playing a stand-up bass taller than she was. Under a clear early evening sky backlit by gold and green foothills and behind them, high peaks, this could have been a calendar poster shot for a sparsely populated town and state. There are twenty thousand more people living in incorporated Seattle than in all of Wyoming.
            We picked up sandwiches the next morning on the way out of town to continue following rivers.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cirque Journal

Gentle Readers,
    I'm pleased to announce that a story of mine, "Channeling Bill Douglas," has been selected for the Summer issue of Cirque Magazine. Take a look - or scroll down through the Archive to August 2012 where the story first appeared right here!
         Thank you,

Friday, July 1, 2016

Unidentified Fueling Object



Unidentified Fueling Object


            There are no good places to run out of gas but some are worse than others. In the middle of a desert, for example. Or the middle of a desert frequented by extraterrestrials.

            On a recent summer road trip my wife and I took to the Southwest, we made a decision to turn off U.S. Highway 6 and onto Nevada State Highway 375 toward the town of Rachel. Our original destination, Tonopah, fifty miles away, could wait. We decided instead to investigate the eponymous "Extraterrestrial Highway" that passes within a milli-parsec of notorious Area 51, the landing site of choice in the United States for Unidentified Flying Objects. Curious about what we'd find, we gave not so much as a glance at the gas gauge in our spiffy black late-model Ford Ranger pickup as it reliably purred along on six happy cylinders.

Sunday, May 29, 2016


            En la Mañana

            Hoy es sábado, el doce de mayo. Mañana será el Día de las Madres en los Estados Unidos. ¡Besos y abrazos, madres! Mothers' Day, May 13th, 2012.

             This morning, our second day in Madrid, I set off to be adventurous - to find a café for breakfast different from the one the day before. However, the half-remembered map in my head, the original of which lay open on the nightstand in our hotel room next to my sleeping wife, turned out to be no match for the twists and turns, alleys and backstreets and unfamiliar thoroughfares of Old Madrid.

            Short as some streets and alleys are, others seemed to go on for blocks - except when there were no blocks or intersections, just row after row of buildings and shops that played with my sense of direction. Tracing the cobbled streets hunting for breakfast was like tracing the sketchy lines on my palm, some distinct, others faint.

            My grumbling stomach signaled surrender.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Feelin' Squirrelly - A Fable . . .

. . . or You Don't Have to be Paranoid to Have Enemies

            The squirrel said, "Nice day, huh?"
            Terry looked around. Nobody.
“My apologies," said the squirrel. "I’m being rude, interrupting your solitude."
            Terry looked up and saw a gray squirrel, perched on a pine branch not six feet above his head. Not knowing quite why, Terry said "What do you want?"
            "You humans fascinate me.”
            Terry imagined telling this one to Dr. Fischer, the shrink to whom he paid $150 an hour regularly on Tuesdays at three pm. "Take some time off," advised his brain doctor. "Go into the mountains, sit by a stream, don't even take a book."
            Okay. Overnight, no longer. Maybe enough time to temporarily turn off the police scanner that was his prefrontal cortex, the row of blue and red lights that flashed and chased each other back and forth along a black bandwidth of his mind. The job, the wife, kids, politics, the truck making a strange noise, his weight. The nameless dreads every morning. The walking worried, said the doc.
            Nothing Terry tried had worked -- self-help books, classes, yoga, meditation, all quickly abandoned. He couldn't shake the feeling that he was play-acting a centuries-old mystical tradition.
            So now, sitting on a camp table next to his backpack, in a clearing that let the sun shine in through dark green trees, Terry was having a conversation with a squirrel.
            He stared at the critter. "Fascinate?" The faraway drone of a small plane came and went.
            "Yep," said the squirrel. "Tell me, is this a beautiful spot or what? The weather's glorious. That burbly creek over there has been washing those river boulders -- singing its song -- longer even than you’ve had your job!”
            "What in the world do you know about having a job!" snapped Terry. "Your job is to forage for nuts. Yummy!"
            The furry-tailed beastie jumped down to a stump close by. It sat up on its hind legs and flicked its tail like squirrels do.
            "Do you know how much DNA is shared between you and me? We're not that far apart on the family tree."
            Being condescended to by a squirrel!
            “Okay, smart guy,” Terry said. “What’s the square root of minus one? Explain the space-time continuum. Brownian movement?"
            The squirrel smirked. "I’m not the one sitting out here jonesing, uncomfortable in my own skin. And it’s Brownian motion by the way."
            If squirrels can chuckle, this one did at the dig. Or maybe it was the snick-snick-snick they do anyway. The clever rodent went on. "Admit it, you humans with your massive brains have the illusion you can control things."
            "Illusion! And you’re under the illusion that that owl up there isn’t thinking of you as lunch.”
            "That owl is an illusion."
            "Oh great, now we're into Zen," said Terry. "Please don’t go all `lilies of the field’ on me."
            The squirrel seemed to think for a second, then hopped down and headed for the nearest tree.
            “Wait!” called Terry. “Hey, I’m sorry. Come back.”
            The squirrel scampered into the understory. It reappeared. “Up here,” it said. It dropped a pine cone onto the picnic table and returned. It demonstrated how to extract the caramel-colored pine seeds lodged tight in the brittle crevasses.
            "You ever eaten pine nuts?"
            "Not raw." Terry broke off the hard nubbins with his teeth and sampled a few. The blue and red lights were flickering, but only dimly. "Utterly ridiculous. I am losing my mind."
            “Not prime rib, I’m assuming,” said the squirrel, “but you’re being a good sport.”
            Suddenly tired, Terry started to relax -- but only for a second. Neither he nor the squirrel saw it coming. Like a guided missile, with outstretched claws and terrible hooked beak and blazing yellow eyes, a huge owl rocketed down out of the sky, then leveled off for an instant in a parabolic swoop before grabbing the stunned squirrel in its talons.
            Or it would have, except at the last instant Terry grabbed his backpack and swung it with all his might. The blow sent the bird, head over feathered tail, into a stand of manzanita -- from which it struggled, extracted itself, fluttered its wings once, and glaring eyes wide as saucers, escaped high into the distance and vanished.
            Terry's whole body shook. His head and heart were pounding. The squirrel had disappeared. He listened. No scratching or rustling in the underbrush, just the winsome sigh of an afternoon breeze in the canopy of evergreens.
            Clearly, he'd imagined the whole thing. Dreamt it. But he noticed that his mind was clear for the first time in days. No kaleidoscope of thoughts racing through his head. The scanner was off.
            Terry looked around. There was some pine-like debris on the table, but the wind must have sent it down.
            I was not talking to a squirrel, he thought. Squirrels cannot talk. I fell asleep.
            He stood up and tucked in his shirt. He stretched and walked stiff-legged to his truck to get a soda. Then he stopped cold and stared at the top of the utility box in the truck bed. There were three individual ponderosa pine cones, not stacked actually but placed together, and caramel-colored seeds arranged just so around them.
            Terry retrieved his smart phone and double-checked. Yep, next Tuesday at three, Dr. Fischer.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Postcards from the Road - Stories (update)

            Acknowledging up front the shameless self-promotion, I nonetheless want to celebrate the terrific reception "Postcards from the Road - Stories" has gotten. From the well-attended launch of the book in November to the recent delivery of a third print-run, it's been enjoyable and humbling at the same time.
            Briefly then, I'd like simply to remind folks that copies are on the shelves at Village Books in Bellingham, and also in my possession.
            Ordering from Village Books couldn't be easier or quicker. Go to the website (, enter the title, and voila! Or email me, and I'll send a copy pronto.
            Thanks for your wonderful readership.


P.S. If you've already bought a book, please forgive the repetition . . .  and thank you!