Monday, January 31, 2011

Out West Newspaper

WyrdLight-McCallum, license: c.c.a.s.a 2.5-gen

Have you ever wondered where to buy a wooden Indian? Do you want to know how the border between US and Canada was made, or what crazy German (hint) thought of it? Do you like puns made by extremely cheesy Western small business owners? Is your mind dirty with jokes about outhouses? Do you just love photographs of wide open roads?

If so, have we got a treat for you! "Out West was a quarterly "on-the-road" newspaper founded in 1987 by roving editor/reporter Chuck Woodbury, who spent much of the following 13 years exploring the two-lane highways of the American West in an RV searching for stories about whatever he found interesting." No longer published, having printed its last issue in 2000 with a final subscription base of 10,000, this gem of the open road is now almost totally available online for free, along with links to resources about RV's, RV camps, a bookstore in an RV, and lots of crazy odd pictures that once showed up in the magazine.

I found this magazine by mistake when searching for a good short history of the Pig War, the almost conflict (in some ways analogous to what is currently happening in Egypt, but a bit more toned down) that ended with Kaiser Wilheim I proclaiming an official, general, easily recognizable border between America and British possessions in North America. In finding it, the pictures and content immediately made me miss home, and the wide open spaces of Washington State along with the humor and charm of its people. In particular, no where else in the world would a electric company put up a sign saying:

"Let us remove your shorts"

Or would you find a business that specializes in shipping Wooden Indians!

The eccentricities and hopeful love that the writer, Chuck Woodbury, showcased are great attributes of the great land called simply the West, and though many people have cried and sung about its passing away, really, it's still there. It's changed a bit, the industries and jobs are different, and in a few places open space has been lost, but overall, the West is still live and well.

We'd recommend this great old paper to anyone!

Chuck Woodbury still runs a blog of short, about bi-monthly posts out of Our Prayers are with him over recent loss, and that he may stay as lively and curious as he has always been and, with promise, will always be. He still travels and lives life with wonder as he did in his Out West Newspaper days.

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