Monday, March 19, 2007

For Story Readers, An Archive

My friend Phoenix, who suggested, then pushed, then insisted I start this blog--and when I wouldn't set it up for me--came up with the idea of putting some of my stories on line in an archive. I resisted, of course, probably because I'm lazy and falsely modest. But then I thought about it and it was, in fact, a good idea. Over the years I've covered stories in India, Morocco, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Canada, the US and much of Europe. I've had the good fortune to have interviewed a couple of dozen of the most interesting people, from Albert Hofmann to Richard Schultes to Wade Davis to Brownie Mary Rathbun to Dennis Peron. I've covered the War on Drugs for more than 20 years--primarily for High Times magazine--from political, social, economic and personal angles. I've written about sharks and plant medicines, cocaine factories and missionary plane shootdowns. I've done ceremony with the Southern Utes and the Matses Indians and Julio Jerena and other ayahuasqueros, and San Pedro in the Andean Highlands.
This isn't meant to be bragging: every journalist, if they hang around long enough, winds up covering a lot of territory, and each time you hit a new topic you've got to learn about that topic deeply enough to be able to explain it--briefly--to your readers, in a clear enough fashion that they will be interested in what you've got to say about it or report on it.
And some of those topics you only cover once: You write one story, a feature piece for some magazine, and it runs, and then it's gone. You might have spent weeks on it and it's on the newsstand for all of a month.
So Phoenix suggested that it might be fun to put up some of those stories in an archive and let readers access them--in some cases 20 years since they've been in print.
I agree. So Phoenix has begun putting up the first couple of categories of stories on a page with the url
So far he's got about a dozen stories from Peru and maybe half-a-dozen from India. I'm still searching for several more from India: they, like all of my work prior to 1992 were written on an IBM typewriter and so are not found on my disks. But I'll find them and slowly get some of them into the computer. And in the next several weeks Phoenix will post some hilarious stories about taking exotic drugs in exotic places, some stories about working with ayahuasca, some interviews, the stories I've been doing for the Fort Worth Weekly the past couple of years, drug war stories and a host of others that don't quite fit into any category.
In any event, if you like reading--though not all of these are brilliant writing by any means--I think you'll find some good material at
And if you don't find anything interesting up today, go back in a week and see what else has gone up.
And tell your friends.

1 comment:

dodahdan said...

Bright guy that Phoenix.

The best part of having them all in one place is thatlazy folks like me can kick back, relax, read.........and have someone else do the work of gathering and posting.......

Thanks for the archive, I'm looking forward to more stories.