The Hundredth Meridian

Ten Years Later

The Hundredth Meridian is now a decade old in conception, though a year short of that in reality.  It had its origin in a biweekly column I was hired by James Hill to write in the winter and spring of 1993 for the Sunday Perspective section of the Arizona Republic, which James was editing at the time.  The subject of the column was broad enough: the state of Arizona, viewed from a northwestern visitor’s perspective.  I wrote about bullfighting south of the border, about the confrontation between environmentalists and the University of Arizona over the university’s plan to build a telescopic observatory on Mt. Graham, about camping in the desert in spring.  My honorarium covered a studio apartment on the top floor of a handsome apartment house in downtown Tucson overlooking the Praesidio through the fronds of half a dozen or so soaring palm trees, and I enjoyed writing the column.  By early May, however, finding the weather too hot for comfort and missing the largely nonexistent Wyoming spring, I loaded my typewriter and table, a suitcase, two boxes of books and papers, and three parrots into the pickup truck and headed home to Kemmerer, from where I filed the last two columns.  Summer in Wyoming is as busy as it is brief, with plenty of distractions from the craft of literature.  It wasn’t until the end of elk season, when I had butchered two antelope, a deer, and...

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