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[at-l] WF and all that

Uh, er..... Hi?

I wanted to de-lurk with a fun post, perhaps about meeting my wife at Ethan 
Pond or something like that.  Oh well.

I've been in the shadows for just a short time, since traffic on ATML has 
slowed down, and I really like all talk of the AT.  I am sure most here can 
relate to that.

Just wanted to say that I don't think Jim Owen could be more wrong on the 
issue of ATML.  Sorry to Jim and to the list for cutting right to it.

I participate on ATML for a couple reasons.  First off, I enjoy it.  Second, 
I learn some things along the way.  Third, I think the site gives newbies 
who might not otherwise have the courage to take on the AT a bit of extra 
resolve to take the plunge.  Forth, I rather like Wingfoot.

I also think the truth is a whole lot more elusive on some of these issues 
and personalities than anyone will admit.  Some months ago, for example, I 
read Jim's post in the archives where he had proven to Baltimore Jack by 
weight of his personal experience that WF did not hike the entire AT the 
year Jim was on the Trail. Jim also supplied second hand evidence of WF not 
hiking the entire Trail in a subsequent year.  Once Baltimore Jack accepted 
this, the truth was established, right?  WF was accepted as a liar and his 
claims of 2000 miler status fraudulent.

When I read that series of posts in the archives, I e-mailed Jim Owen and 
pointed out that WF was not listed as having applied for 2,000 miler status 
in either of the years he had cited (at least as per the ALDHA yearbook).  
Hmmm.  While I really wasn't looking for a response, I got one anyway.  In 
short, I was told that didn't make a difference. Well it does, and it 
doesn't.  It doesn't because you may be right about the veracity of ALL that 
WF claims.  It does because if you are to condemn any hiker for what he says 
as lies you need to be extra sure of what facts you cite.  Especially since 
WF draws such tortured distinctions between his definitions of 2,000 miler 
and "thru-hike".

Again, its important to remember that the truth is more elusive than it 
sometimes seems.  Is it the truth that WF removed some great people in this 
fine forum from his list for no good reason?  Sure.  Thats not good. Is it 
true he removed some ill-mannered louts? Sure.  Is it the true that some 
folks whoe are less hard-core than many on this list would not have made the 
attempt to hike the Trail with out ATML?  Who knows.  I think so.

Is it true that WF ruffles feathers on everything from catering feeds on the 
AT to taking umbrage with those who lie about the totally unimportant 2,000 
miler listings?  Sure.  He could be a better politician.

As for damaging the Trail for generations, I am convinced that is simply not 
the case.

OK, that's my story.  Wish I could have come to this campfire with a smile 
and few beers.  Perhaps it was something to do with that Hitler analogy.  
Seems to me a whole lot of people kept their mouths shut in the face of 
prejudice back then too.

Yes, that last line with all its hyperbole was said with a wink and a 
sarcastic grin.

But then again, what the hell do I know.  Like I said, I like WF.

Take care,

Rick Boudrie 19AT3

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