M. John Fayhee

Writer, Editor, Bullshitter, Mountain Gazette Resurrector

"When in Rome, Do as the Romanians"

Autobiography

After egressing the womb like this in an American one of these here  (my dad being a member of this ) — I spent most of my first 12 years living here, between here  and here, about 60 miles south of here. It was a great place to spend this. I did a lot of this, mainly here, hiked, rode one of these all over the place, did a lot of this, mainly here, did a lot of this and this.

My mom, who was a hard-assed one of these, who grew up here as these people rained these down upon her homeland, did not lay many of these  upon me, the main one being that I either had to be home for this at this time, or else had to use one of these to call her.

Then, out of an erstwhile clear blue sky suddenly fell uninhibited lifestyle doom: this. I hated all forms of this clear down to this from my first this of this to my last day of classes, which, if you want to get technical, actually occurred while I was on an extended one of these here, finals be damned.

I viewed school pretty much as this with these people often taking on the role of these people. I was not a superlative one of these. To this day, I heartily encourage all of these  to drop out of this the moment they achieve this. Best to put distance between you and this as quickly as possible. This has very little to do with this, where you have to ask this to do this.

My mother re-married a transplant from here who hated the Adirondack cold and, when the opportunity arose to return to here, that is where I was hauled, against my will to here, known as the capital of the world for this, on the shores of this, a place covered mostly by these and which was filled with these, this, these, these, these, these, this, this and, perhaps worst of all, these, these and this.

I was this of this, the starting this on this, the number-two singles player on this team and the number-two rated competitive this in the state my senior year. I was active on the staffs of this and this. I was very active in this, where I served as this and then this. I was forced by my parents to attend this.

Not long after receiving one of these literally by this, I packed up one of these and pointed my way here, where I had been offered one of these here, where I continued my tradition of half-hearted course work while formally majoring in this and this and informally majoring in this, this and this here. I was also the editor of this.

While attending WNMU, I somehow got exposed to this. I do not remember exactly how that came to pass, but at the time I was hanging out with a posse of reprobate semi-students like me who spent many hours hiking to these, cruising down to here to buy this and basically partying a lot more than, well, now that I think about it, we were partying exactly the right amount. I devoured every copy of MG. I can’t explain the attraction; it just pulled me in with its look, content and feel. Until I moved to New Mexico, I had never been a reader. Literally, by the time I was 20, I think the only book I had ever read cover to cover was this, and that was mighty thin (and not exactly of a high enough quality to addict an aggressive non-reader to the literary life).

When I moved to Silver City, I decided to become a reader, at least partially because, though they were not exactly poster children for culture and couth, most of my amigos were in fact avid readers. It wasn’t long before my this self started feeling a bit on the dumb ass side whenever the conversation moved its way from this, these and these to these and these. Though to this day I am not a very good reader (it’s like people who don’t learn to do this until later in life … they never quite catch up with people who started practicing pretty aggressively at 12, not that I know anyone who did that), the Gazette not only inspired me become a reader, but, simultaneously, helped me decide how what has ended up being a pretty meandering vocational road over the past three–plus decades would at least start.

Though I have put these on this via a variety of means, including working as this and this, I have essentially always been one of these, though I think it’s fair to say that I never really had a career plan. I remember writing my first one of these in the second grade, though I don’t remember what it was called or what it was about. The only thing I do remember, besides having written this little “book” and how impressed my classmates were, was my feeling that a writer can easily increase the page count of a work if he just writes bigger. I now know that it is a very easy thing to increase page count: you just write more. It’s decreasing the page count that’s the problem.

While still in college, I got a gig here, which was then owned by these assholes. Two years later, literally two weeks after a staff dinner organized to celebrate the fact that I had just won some sort of award, I experienced one of these. Gannett was then getting ready to launch this piece of shit and the company was sucking resources from its chain papers. I was one of the resources that got sucked, but not in a good way.

Because one of my high school chums had offered me use of his couch till I got set up, I became an economic one of these and moved to here, where I was certain that, given the fact that I had just won some sort of journalism award, which obviously, in retrospect, must not have been all that impressive, else these this would have punted one of my co-workers instead of me, either this or this would hire me on in a heartbeat. My certainty was ultimately unjustified. I ended up busing tables and getting additional freelance work from the likes of this. My this situation was growing bleaker by the minute — to the degree that I came within a whisker of taking an editor job at a daily paper in the hometown of this person in the central part of this state.

I eventually got a gig here, which was one of the few non-idiotic decisions I have ever made. It got me up into these, where I belonged. Though I really did not ever come to like this place — and vice-versa — it is where I met a solid half-dozen people who to this day remain the closest of friends, including my wife, Gay, and Curtis Robinson, the person I partnered up with years later to re-launch the Mountain Gazette. By the time I arrived in Grand County, the women who would three years later cast her till-death-do-you-part lot with yours truly had lived in Grand County for six long wintry years. That was enough. She was leaving with or without me. After detouring and delaying for most of a fall here, we re-located here where I re-integrated with a life of freelance-writing perpetual destitution. But, I did do one serious quantity of writing. This is when I first hooked up with this, where I eventually worked as a contributing editor for more than a decade. This is also when I got my first and second book contracts. This is also the time when, while nosing through a dusty old used bookstore, I came upon a musty stack of … Mountain Gazettes.

The Gazette had died while I was still in Silver City. The one time I met this man, we talked about the Gazette’s recent demise. Abbey was one of the regular MG writers during the magazine’s first incarnation 1972-79. As were this man, this man, this man and more importantly to me over the past decade, [this man], this man and this man.

I carried that stack of old Gazettes with me when I moved here in 1989, where, along with Curtis Robinson, I was employed to start the this, where I worked for the next 10 years, eventually being given my own mini-department, staff and office suite that produced a weekly newspaper, a monthly tourist magazine and a weekly outdoors publication that was loosely modeled after Mountain Gazette. At one point, the most junior of my employees asked me how secure his job was. He was looking to buy one of these and did not want to take on one of these if his employment situation was in jeopardy. The higher-ups at the Summit Daily assured me that his job was safe, and I passed that information on to the employee in question, who, along with his wife and infant daughter, indeed, bought a place of their own. A month later, those very same higher-ups looked at the books and told me that I was going to have to lay off one of my employees. I told them I understood their predicament perfectly — that they were corporate scumbags more concerned with their own personal bonus situation than they were about the health and happiness of the wage slaves whose lives were in their hands — then proceeded to, as ordered, lay off one of my employees: me.

Though the sentiment, and maybe even the karma, was good, my wife had a few pecuniary questions, which, I told her I would only be able to answer by taking two months off to hike this, for the second time in eight years. When I came back, I had something of a plan: I started thinking about resurrecting the Mountain Gazette. Thing is, I did not know the legal status of the name. But I knew someone who might have some information: my old chum Curtis Robinson, who then lived here, where I had heard some of the old Gazette players from the ’70s lived. Just as I was reaching my hand to the phone to call Curtis, it rang. It was Curtis. He had a quick question before leaving on a rafting trip here: Had I ever heard of a magazine called the Mountain Gazette? Ends up that he had been approached by this man, (otherwise known in my little world as this, who was indeed the godfather of the Gazette. (Stranahan is known in Colorado lore for once owning this, for selling this man this and for founding this and this.)

Many people had apparently approached Stranahan over the years about resurrecting the MG, but it was only after meeting with Curtis and I that he seemed to find kindred spirits with enough cumulative media experience to maybe pull the deal off. That was 12 years ago. Some days it feels like only yesterday. Some days it feels like those events occurred back when these were still roaming the Earth.

We sold the magazine in 2006, at least partially because, lamentably, Curtis’ wife passed away and he was left with a two-year-old son, a full-time job here, and, thus, he did not have the time to devote to the Gazette. I was also suffering from business burnout. The people I sold the magazine to retained me as editor. In October 2008, the magazine was sold again, and the owner of that company likewise retained me as editor. In 2010, these people bought the MG, and I have once again been retained as editor. I’m like this guy or this guy or this thing: I simply won’t go away!

In 2006, I moved from Summit County, Colorado, back to Silver City, New Mexico.

And there it is.

Author’s Note: The basic format for this autobiography was unabashedly stolen from Thomas Krenshaw and his www.freedomguerilla.com website.

The content was sluice-boxed, expanded and modified from an interview I did with MATTER Journal out of Fort Collins CO in preparation for a signing/reading of my book, “Bottoms Up,” in the summer of 2010 at the New Belgium Brewery.

Posted by: mjfblog on March 27, 2012 @ 6:23 pm
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