The great Stewart Holbrook was a storytelling titan and remains one of the most important writers in Pacific Northwest history. Wildmen, Wobblies and Whistle Punks
is a career-spanning collection of over two dozen pieces set mostly in Holbrook's beloved Oregon. Comfortable writing about nearly anything, Holbrook told true tales that often dealt with the fantastic, the forgotten, and the forlorn. Like H. L. Mencken, his contemporary and friend, Holbrook stood up for the marginalized working man and exposed the hypocrisies of the ruling classes. Holbrook could seemingly make any topic interesting with his easy blend of humor, character, and lively prose. Wildmen, Wobblies and Whistle Punks
contains some truly unbelievable stories about the Tillamook burn (355,000 acres of old growth forest fire), the 1942 aerial bombing of Brookings, Oregon, by the Japanese, the 1903 Heppner flood (deadliest natural disaster in state history), and the late-19th century practice of "crimping" drunken patrons from Portland saloons. Replete with a dizzying and rugged array of sensational characters, including railroad moguls, anarchists, murderers, tavern owners, lumberjacks, communists, robber barons, prophets, cattle kings, outlaws, and prostitutes, this collection will intrigue anyone with even the remotest interest in the Pacific Northwest or neglected American history.
From Wildmen, Wobblies and Whistle Punks:
Yet the supporters of this and of other myths are not to be charged with fabricating. They are merely poets, poets seeking to fasten a measure of that mysterious thing we call art to an event or a thing that is graceless without it.