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Publication: “MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989 (w/ excerpts)

“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, cover

A “literary fanzine” produced as a project at Utah Valley Community College (formerly Utah Technical College, later Utah Valley State College > Utah Valley University) for Larry Harper’s inaugural “creative writing hono(u)rs” program (course number 201H – hence the title).

At this time, I was working the night shift at the college library and had access to copy machines so, the final product was produced in one weird night. Design and layout by frequent collaborator Brandon G Kiggins and me, while Larry’s miraculous Army-trained typing speed banged out tuned-up text as needed. Assembled in classic “scissors and glue” style with magazine clippings, ephemera and oddities as design elements. 

My contributed story, “What I thought in Sweetgrass” is included below in full, along with Brandon’s sudden story, and a short poem by Larry – the rest is (probably) available upon request/permission by the creators.

A few other “meta pages” ergo: preface; table of contents; a section of “obituaries” as author bios; and a signature page – are included for historical record.

“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, flyleaf & table of contents
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, preface by Brent H. Bateman
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, “The Rail Yard” by Brandon K. Kiggins, p. 1
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, “What i Thought in Sweetgrass” by Dave Olson, p. 1
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, “What i Thought in Sweetgrass” by Dave Olson, p. 2-3
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, “What i Thought in Sweetgrass” by Dave Olson, p. 4-5 + “The Soft Wing” by L. S. H-B
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, “Obituaries” author bios)
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, signatures
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, back cover

See also: “What I Thought In Sweetgrass” story

“Shoebox” story collection / chapbook, 1987-1991

Shoebox, chapbook / front cover
Shoebox, chapbook / front cover

Sometime around 2004, i went to a pal’s wedding in Connecticut – knowing i would see some old pals from Utah, unseen for many years, i assembled a run of (whopping) 4 copies of (an obviously handcrafted/bound) chapbook.

This little tome called “Shoebox” contained stories written while living in Utah alongside some of these lads in hopes of sparking memories and giving a little something of myself in thanks for their inspiration and friendship.

Cover photo is a thistle growing inexplicably from the red rocks of the Grand Canyon’s north rim on a wander i did with the groom of the aforementioned wedding.

Shoebox, chapbook / title page
Shoebox, chapbook / title page

As it goes, i never heard anything about the booklet, and forgot about the project until again Utah (autumn 2018) and buddy Dane’s copy surfaced during a move. I dutifully snapped a few lousy pictures for documentary evidence of creation.

The stories were written mostly in the “sudden fiction” style i’d experimented with after encouragement from James Thomas and Francois Camoin.

Shoebox, chapbook / table of contents
Shoebox, chapbook / table of contents

Continue reading “Shoebox” story collection / chapbook, 1987-1991

Uncle Weed’s Redrock Adventure – a storybook (part 31)

Uncle Weed's Redrock Adventure – part 31

Bob and Otto ran up to Uncle Weed shouting, “Wow, you could probably get a ten count against Jimmy Superfly Snuka!”

“Is he as great a wrestler as Gene Kiniski?” Uncle Weed asked, arching an eyebrow but enjoying the boys’ compliment. “Ah, stop it guys,” he shrugged sheepishly.

Then continued brightly, “Hey, go gather up a bunch of survey stakes and three long, skinny branches,” he instructed, then in passing added, “And,… maybe you should let me explain what happened to your parents myself.”

The boys wondered what the big deal about telling their parents, they had fun and weren’t injured or scared, plus they learned a lot about methods of protecting nature.

Then, following the instructions, gathered up armloads of discarded survey stakes before helping Uncle Weed arrange them in a rock-ringed fire-pit.

Then, under a sliver of moon, the three compadres sat around a little fire, eating creamsicles, roasting marshmallows, and talking. Talking about what they had seen, heard, smelled, touched, tasted, and thought that day.

It was a good night, indeed a good night for just about anything.

Uncle Weed’s Redrock Adventure – a storybook (part 30)

Uncle Weed's Redrock Adventure – part 30

Inside the modified shipping container trailer, he propped the security man’s exhausted body up against the refrigerator and duct-taped him securely to it, snug, but still allowing ample space to breathe.

“Well that ought to hold you for the night you silly civil servant,” said Uncle Weed.

“MmmmMMMmmm,” struggled the man. Then, opening the freezer, Uncle Weed selected a variety of creamsicles, fudgesicles and drumsticks. From the cupboard, he borrowed a handful of popcorn kernels and half a bag of marshmallows.

“Listen, my misguided captive,” said Uncle Weed, “I would think twice before I pursued this further. I’d be quite embarrassed if I was you, being defeated by a skinny longhaired,… what did you call me…weirdo hippie? Yeah, think of what your buddies will say when you and your gun were brought down by the likes of me! Ha, I can just see the court-hearing now, even the Judge will get a chuckle I’m sure. They might even put you back on garbage patrol on account of this slacking. I would sure hate to see that happen, for your sake that is. Well, goodnight and cheerio!”

Then Uncle Weed stepped out the door, leaving $3 on the counter for the snacks.

“Oh one more thing,” popping his bearded face back into the fluorescent-lit trailer, your bulldozer might have a hard time starting tomorrow, you might want to consider giving it a good cleaning before firing it up, and probably invest in locking gas tank caps. As old Ed would often say, ‘sand works better than sugar!’”

“MmmmMMMmm,” mumbled the gagged man.

He tipped his hat, walked out and secured the outside door handle with the barrel of the gun.

Uncle Weed’s Redrock Adventure – a storybook (part 29)

Uncle Weed's Redrock Adventure – part 29

The man continued blasting off his blunderbuss, shouting with wheezing lungs, “Gosh dang it, you terrorists! Thieves! Bad guys! Criminals! Justice obstructers! Malcontents! You won’t get away!”

Uncle Weed crept up behind him and leapt into action, quickly tackling him to the ground, grabbing his weapon, and tossing it safely away. They wrestled, kicked, yelled and worked up a furious cloud of dust.

“C’mon Uncle Weed!” Bob and Otto cheered, “Give him a wedgie! Pile drive him!”

“How am I doing guys?” Uncle Weed called back while in the midst of showing off his wrestling moves learned during his time on the community college, junior varsity team, “Should I pile drive him? Or maybe a supplex?”

“Arghh!” the man said, “You won’t get away, let go of me! Don’t hurt me! I’m just following orders from my superiors at the head office,” the man huffed and puffed.

“Hey, don’t worry fella, I mean you no harm,” said Uncle Weed as he hauled his struggling body into the government issue, corrugated-steel trailer.

Uncle Weed’s Redrock Adventure – a storybook (part 28)

Uncle Weed's Redrock Adventure – part 28

“Holy smokes,” said the boys, looking down from their hiding place, “Did he just shoot Uncle Weed?”

“Calm down, no panic needed… Uncle Weed is juuuust fine,” a voice said.

Bob and Otto turned around to see an exhausted Uncle Weed crouched down right behind them. “Shh, stay quiet and don’t move. Be back in a flash.”

Then, he took off again into the night, briskly and quietly galloping into the shadows.

Uncle Weed’s Redrock Adventure – a storybook (part 27)

Uncle Weed's Redrock Adventure - part 27

The man stood in the clearing confused for a moment, muttering “Son of a gun, where did that madman feller go?”

He spit on the ground, kicked some rocks, then seemingly confused, he started blasting his shotgun all over the place and shooting at nothing and everything while screaming, yelling.

“Fools, hippies, radicals! You can’t win! You just won’t win! It’s not in the orders! That’s just the nature of the way things is! This is not in my instruction book! We always win in the end!” he bellowed, his voice shaky and rough.

Uncle Weed’s Redrock Adventure – a storybook (part 26)

Uncle Weed's Redrock Adventure – part 26

“Yikes, what are we going to do, where’s Uncle Weed? He didn’t ditch us did he?” Otto whispered nervously.

“Relax, he’s over there doing something with that big bulldozer,” answered Bob pointing over to a shadowy shape in the dark.

The new voice spoke again, “I can see you so stand up and walk towards me with you hands up or else they’ll be some real problems. Serious problems.”

“Bob, what are we gonna do, I think we’re in trouble.”

“Don’t worry, he’s just trying to psyche us out, he’s bluffing, he doesn’t really know where we are. Uncle Weed won’t let us down, we’re safe here… I think.”

The man spoke softly now, “Ah, I see, there’s the culprit, there on the dirt machine. One of them monkeywrenchers,… toying with the equipment.” He rushed over towards the action, muttering to himself, “Well I ain’t letting this maniac radical get away this time I tell you for dang sure.”

His shotgun made the noises it does before it fires, a loud CLUCK-THLUNK, and with that noise, Uncle Weed disappeared again. Vanished into the darkness.

Uncle Weed’s Redrock Adventure – a storybook (part 25)

Uncle Weed's Redrock Adventure – part 25

Searchlights switched on, illuminating the desert floor as the gang of three dove and hid.

“Bob, Bob, is there anyone there?” Otto asked nervously.

“There must be, someone had to switch on the lights,” answered Bob.

The bright, yellow lights scanned back and forth across the area, then a new voice spoke up, and it didn’t sound too friendly. “Hey, what’s the big idea? Who’s there? What’s going on?”

The man walked around poking his flashlight beam under every cactus, bush and beside every rock.

“Whoever you are, you better surrender yourselves now or you’ll be in even bigger trouble,” called out the man with a mix of anger and fear in this voice.

Uncle Weed’s Redrock Adventure – a storybook (part 24)

Uncle Weed's Redrock Adventure – part 24

The boys sat confused for a minute sorting out what they had just heard.

“C’mon guys, don’t let it get to ya, there’s still a lot more to it than that. Just remember to question everything, everytime someone tries to convince you of something absolute, and always think clearly and for yourself.” He paused and continued cheerily, “Come on, back to the bedrolls.”

They leisurely started back to camp following the trail of survey stakes, pulling the numbered tokens up along the way, snapping them and tossing them into the sagebrush.

Then, someone threw a stake and it didn’t make the soft thud of landing on the ground. Instead, there a sharp metallic sound rung out from the darkness.

“It must of landed on a trailer or a machine or something!” They all thought immediately in surprise.