In Our Time

Homage to Edward Abbey

The March issue of Chronicles coincides with the 30th anniversary of the passing of novelist, essayist, poet, and conservationist Edward Abbey.  This column appears as a chapter in The Hundredth Meridian: Seasons and Travels in the New Old West (Chronicles Press).

It may or may not make sense for the living to think in arbitrary terms of decades, centuries, and millennia; what is certain is, the dead don’t.  Edward Abbey had been deceased just two months short of ten years, and I was defunct about four months, entombed that long in the overpopulated, electronicized, ideologized megasprawl of modern America without escape or furlough, when I threw the camp gear in the back of the pickup truck and drove 400 miles due west from Las Cruces, New Mexico, into Arizona to meet Tom Sheeley, on his way south from Flagstaff, in the vicinity of Ed’s secret—not quite anonymous—grave.

Doug Peacock drives out from Tucson now and then to say an encouraging (or would that be discouraging?) word to his old partner in mayhem and disruption and empty a bottle of Jim Beam over the site, and I had been advised we’d find fetishes and other relics of remembrance and esteem in the vicinity.  Just how many people...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here