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When in Doubt, Publish a Book


The Mountain Gazette anthology explained:

"My good friend Tom Jones Jr. -- author of the official guidebook to the Colorado section of the Continental Divide Trail (if you've used his book and become disoriented as a result, I have Tom's home phone number, and I will gladly share it with you) -- calls them 'forehead slappers.' The forehead-slapper in question took the form of a man who we'll call Bear phoning me up out of the blue on an otherwise fine and beer-filled High Country autumn day to suggest that we put together some sort of Mountain Gazette book. Had I been sober enough to process a decent battle plan, I would have instantly stolen the idea and run like the wind, forevermore denying that I had ever even heard of this wicked profligate named Bear.

"As it was, I was decidedly not on my toes and, the next thing I knew, I was ass-deep in this book project that I can't for the life of me believe: (1) I didn't think of it myself and (2) didn't steal it so fast Bear's head would still be spinning like a gyroscope on speed. The only reason I haven't ripped my eyes out in forehead-slapping shame is that I have in my possession a large stack of seriously incriminating photos of Bear taken at P.T.'s Emporium in Denver during the tag-team bikini jello wrestling finals, and I know, one day, the idea for this book will magically become mine not only legally, but historically. ...

"We have been heartened at how supportive just about everyone has been. Many of what we call the 'Gazette alumni' -- including George Sibley, Dick Dorworth, Royal Robbins, Bob Chamberlain, Karen Chamberlain, Bruce Berger et al. -- have been gracious enough to send words and images our way, and a whole slew of other notable writers and photographers -- among them John Nichols, Charles Bowden and Katie Lee -- have jumped aboard. And others -- including many old Gazette writers and photographers whose work appears in this volume -- have given us what they could, including not talking too badly about us behind our backs when we make horrible mistakes.

"I hope you enjoy the book, if for no other reason than that I consider it one the best ideas I ever had."

Excerpt from "Guilty as Charged," the introduction to When in Doubt Go Higher: The Mountain Gazette Anthology by MG editor and publisher M. John Fayhee. The Mountain Gazette, named Best Alternative Regional Publication by Utne Reader, is published monthly in Montezuma, Colo. For a year's subscription send $12 to: Mountain Gazette, 5355 Montezuma Rd., Montezuma, CO 80435.

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