Digging. I grew up traipsing about Southwestern deserts as a kid, scouring and digging into floors for minerals or taking a pickaxe at hard hillsides to unearth crystals. I was taken to caverns and old mining dumps to hunt for old bottles, insulators, or anything worth bringing into the late century to revive in antique stores.

I know and met a lot of fascinating, colorful people: patchouli-soaked occultists, an herbalist with a love of tiny Abyssinians and giant Borzois, a cropdusting pilot with an elephant gun, rockhounds draped in silver and turquoise, a junkyard man with a Holocaust collection housed in shipping containers, a professor with a Thornberry-esque camper outfit, and blues-playing bookstore owner who wears nary but a loin-cloth. Their personal recollections, the tall tales, and the campfire stories instilled insatiable curiosity in me.

At the same time, I was watching perhaps too many horror films and running up library fees on “Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark” or “A History of Lycanthropy.” I wanted to know more. I wanted to know what was real because that what we dismiss as fantasy was born from very human fear or an inability to articulate events. Or flat-out lies about the moon being cheese just to mess with people.

I am passionate about our local history and my drive to explore and dig deeper has taken me to some odd places. The past must not be forgotten, the truth behind urban legends must be revealed, and the spirit of our ancestors' stories must be retold.

I take a lot of care when I write. For non-fiction events, my sources are almost exclusively newspapers, old books, and government reports. If I didn't include my laundry list of sources in an article, I have that information saved in a file for later resurrection. Articles about urban legends or myths require sifting through questionable material because internet forums are the new oral tradition.

If you think I made a mistake when retelling something and you have a source to back it up, please tell me. I don't want to contribute to misinformation. I care about the facts, man.

Thank you for listening to our stories.