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[at-l] Re: WF and all that



We got home last night from a great weekend building trail on Terrace Mt and 
I was hoping all this crap had been buried - oh, well.  Then I thought I 
might just not play in the middens today - but that ain't gonna work either. 
  That'll teach me to think.  So ---

"rick boudrie" <rickboudrie@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Uh, er..... HiI wanted to de-lurk with a fun post, perhaps about meeting my 
>wife at Ethan Pond or something like that.  Oh well.

First let me welcome Rick back to the campfire - if memory serves, he was 
here before atml started?  Then he must have gone over there and stayed 
cause he disappeared.  That's how atml got started -

>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.

I'm not gonna touch that one right now - aahhhh hell, yes I am.  Some time 
ago I warned at-l that if WF's list went down, there'd be an exodus (albeit 
temporary) of atml people onto at-l.  My words, as I recall, were -"pray for 
WF's health".  We just may get back to this later - but not today.

>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.

You're welcome to your opinion - but this isn't something we'll agree on 
cause I know more about WF than you can imagine.  And they're not the same 
stories that you've been spoon fed.  They're the "real" stories - and I was 
there for a lot of them.

>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.

Those are all good reasons - even if we don't agree about some of them.  
Stick with that story ---

>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.

OK, this is why I'm here - if you'd got this right I could be doing 
something useful with my life right now.  You need to read those things 
again cause you blew it.

>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".

I'm not sure where you want to take this - or what your point is, so I'll 
make mine and you can respond or not as you see fit. On this particular 
subject -

1. WF has (or at least had) 7 ATC certificates hanging on his wall.  He also 
claims 7 thruhikes - publicly, proudly and loudly.  See the back cover of 
the latest Thru-hikers Handbook for confirmation.
2. His first hike was in '85, he didn't hike in '86, and his last "claimed" 
hike was '92.  That's 7.
3. But he did NOT thruhike in '92.  He did a partial hike and quit before he 
even got to Hot Springs. Then showed up at Trail Days and told everyone who 
would listen how boring the Trail was and that he'd never hike it again.  
The available evidence indicates that he hasn't.
4. His name doesn't show in the ALDHA book for '92. So what?  The ALDHA book 
is NOT the final, complete, one-and-only official record of the thruhiking 
community.
5. But he DID claim the '92 hike through ATC.  Check with ATC if you have 
any questions about this.
6. By his own admission - on his own list - 4 of his thruhikes were (at 
least by his own present standards) "bogus".  Meaning he either didn't do 
the distance or he blue blazed - or yellow blazed.

Now, your problem is that because his name doesn't show in the ALDHA book, 
WHAT??? What's your point?  He has the certificate, he claimed it through 
ATC, he didn't hike -- that makes him a liar.  Period. Regardless of the 
accuracy - or inaccuracy of the ALDHA book.  That's not the only time or the 
only way he's lied - to his own list, to at-l, to other people, to me.  How 
many examples do you want?  Do you want them taken from at-l?  or from atml? 
  or from ATC history?  or maybe from ALDHA history?  or maybe from personal 
experience?

So - does it matter?  The first answer is NO.  Fact is that if he'd sit down 
and shut up, no one would give a crap.  A lot of people blue blaze, a lot of 
people yellow blaze, a lot more people quit - and ultimately, no one cares.  
And generally most of us have better things to do with our lives than worry 
about how many thruhikes someone else has actually done.

The second answer is YES, it does matter.  But only because he uses those 
seven thruhikes to gain credibility that he hasn't earned and doesn't 
deserve so he can "speak" for those who have actually done what he's claimed 
but hasn't done.  By my standards, that's another form of theft.  That's two 
- did you see the first one go by?

DON'T get this wrong - he did 3 supposedly "pure" thruhikes - and for that 
he gets points.  And he probably pieced together another couple out of the 
last 4 that he claimed.  But that still doesn't make him the top dog as far 
as either miles hiked or number of thruhikes completed.  Fact is that in 
terms of miles, I likely have more miles under my boots than he does.  Ginny 
definitely has more.  Does it matter?  Not much - those of us who know what 
he's done (and hasn't done) - respect what he HAS done - and laugh at what 
he hasn't.  But it gets right irritating when those who don't know what's 
real and what's not show up on at-l and call us liars out of their own well 
of ignorance.

Did you ever think that maybe his phobia about keeping atml as closed as it 
is has a lot to do with keeping those on atml from learning the truth?  He 
doesn't like being laughed at.  :-)


<snip>

>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.

This is another discussion - another day.  It's related to "long-term 
damage".

<snip>

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

As I said - "long term damage".  I can tell - it's comin'.

>OK, that's my story.  Wish I could have come to this campfire with a smile 
>and few beers.

Next time, I'll buy - I onnce offered to do that for WF.  But he wouldn't 
play.

>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.

As I said, WF is no Hitler -- but many of the people who follow WF do so for 
the same reasons as those who followed Hitler.  Read that again - carefully. 
  You might get it.  Or maybe you need to review some history. Like it or 
not, it's a valid analogy.  And there's nothing to wink and grin about cause 
I'm watching it happen right here on at-l.

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

Been there, done that - but I learned.  Maybe you will too someday.  Your 
beliefs, your actions - are your choice.  Unless you allow someone else to 
dictate them.

Hike your own hike.  But keep in mind that WF won't tell you that - cause he 
doesn't believe in it.

Walk softly,
Jim


************************************************************************
In Germany,   they first came for the  communists,  and I didn't
speak up because I wasn't a communist.  Then they came for the
Jews, and I didn't speak up  because I wasn't a Jew.  Then they
came  for the  trade unionists,  and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I
didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.  Then they came for
me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up.
         ---- Martin Niemoller,
             German pastor imprisoned for resisting the Nazis


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