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Midterms and an Editor’s Letter

Hi everyone, this is Laura Doty, the Owl Farm intern. Anita’s internet is down and she is studying furiously for her midterms, so she probably won’t be able to post any blog entries for the next few days. In the meantime, she asked me to post her editor’s letter from the special birthday edition of the Woody Creeker. Enjoy!

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      With great pleasure, I present to you the third issue of the Woody Creeker. If we didn’t convince you in the previous two issues that this is the “best local magazine in the world,” as Ralph Steadman so eloquently put it, then this one should do the trick.
      This magazine shows a glimpse of Woody Creek’s past, present, and, I think, its future—which is rich and bright, thanks to the intellect and vitality of the various characters that make up the Woody Creek family.
      Introducing the issue, Gaylord Guenin shows his love of this place with a penny, while George Stranahan shares with us the photo and the story of the first time he and my husband blew up a car with dynamite at Owl Farm. Then his daughter, Molly, tells us about the Stranahan history and growing up in a place like Woody Creek.
      With the appropriate drum roll, I am so happy to introduce you to the first of an important series we’re doing titled…yes…The New Order: Women of Woody Creek. Every issue we’ll be interviewing the powerful female side of what makes this beatnick-cowboy Shangri-La tick: its women. The interviews will give you an idea of why Woody Creek is so interesting. Also included here are Women on Top…of Dirt Bikes, by Peg O’Brien, and your Celtic magic fix by Linda Luke.
      Don’t worry; there is a balance to this issue indeed, as I am happy to present Hunter’s star lawyer—Hal Haddon—with a look inside his private world, accompanied by a look inside the mind of Ralph Steadman, who painted Hal’s portrait especially for this issue. We have David Amran on Hunter, Dwight Shellman on the Bill of Rights enforced by the locals, and John Van Ness on Lawyers, Guns and Money.
      July 18, 2006 was Hunter’s 69th birthday. We had a fabulous celebration for him here at Owl Farm, and to celebrate inside the covers of the Woody Creeker, we have “Fire in the Nuts,” a story that only 176 people have ever read outside the kitchen. Hunter penned the story while living in New York and struggling to become a writer—finding his own voice. “Fire in the Nuts” is a story about Harrison Feiler—a miserable failure of a writer who, as you will see, displays a host of grim personality flaws. The irony in this tale is that Hunter, the man who created this miserably unsuccessful character, enjoyed a success in his profession that very few writers ever even glimpse: 50 years after Hunter wrote that story, his work is required reading in high school and college courses and is the topic of master’s theses and Ph.D. dissertations around the world. And the world debut of this very story is printed here in your very own copy of the magazine inspired by his spirit and the community he loved…. the Woody Creeker.

Enjoy the stories, and keep reading.
Your friend in Woody Creek,
Anita Thompson

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