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John_Scurlock

Fred Beckey in the New York Times

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John, if you can do it, it might be nice to change the subject line for this thread to something a little clearer than "fyi-fb-nyt". It might be helpful for future searches and so on.

 

For what it's worth, here are the NYTimes permalinks for text:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/sports/othersports/16beckey.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

 

and video:

 

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2008/12/15/sports/golf/1194835655194/the-old-man-of-the-mountains.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

 

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More votes for the nice article and the accompanying video. Props to Dave and Pax as well.

 

It was neat to watch Ol' Fred whip out that butterfly knot and loop that horn for the belay.

Classic alpine mountaineering in the Golden Age!

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The film clips used in the video are from the Mountaineers Archives. Here are notes on the films we provided to the NYTimes:

 

Mt Shuksan Climb by Dwight Watson, 1939.

 

Ascent of The Tooth by Burge Bickford and Lyman Boyer, 1940.

 

Tumwater Canyon Rock Climbing, producer unknown, late 1940s.

 

Ascent of Lighthouse Tower by Burge Bickford and Ira Spring, 1949.

 

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The film clips used in the video are from the Mountaineers Archives. Here are notes on the films we provided to the NYTimes:

 

Mt Shuksan Climb by Dwight Watson, 1939.

 

Ascent of The Tooth by Burge Bickford and Lyman Boyer, 1940.

 

Tumwater Canyon Rock Climbing, producer unknown, late 1940s.

 

Ascent of Lighthouse Tower by Burge Bickford and Ira Spring, 1949.

 

Lowell, does that video of you and Gordy on the Golden Horn exist anywhere? In those archives?

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Lowell, does that video of you and Gordy on the Golden Horn exist anywhere? In those archives?

 

Blake, that vid is in the Seattle Public Library system. I'm pretty sure it was on VHS (if memory serves). You could probably get it sent up to Bham on an inter-library loan.

 

LINK

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Somewhat better article by Timothy Egan appeared in NYT in 1990.

 

Is Egan a better writer than Krakauer? He may have more range, but possibly less depth. Or might be just slightly better. Or somewhat worse, much worse.....whatever....stupid question. I guess I hope Krakauer someday writes Beckey's biography, or Egan. Sure thing that lesser writers will do it also, some of them maybe real hacks.

 

The current NYT article is good enough, but fairly run-of-the-mill. At a somewhat recent lecture tour, Beckey said Krakauer "is too busy making money" to write Beckey's biography...

 

Nice to hear in current NYT item that Mr. Beckey is still trying to write. He's a suprisingly literary and intellectual guy to judge from his books. Must've read lots of novels, though hard to imagine this from his reputation and public speaking.

 

NYT via Seattle Times

4340 words (very long for newspaper article)

27 May 1990

 

I'M LOOKING FOR Beckey. From peak to valley, from glacier to meadow, from fang to overhang, I hear nothing but talk of Beckey. His name echoes off the salmon-colored granite walls of the North Cascades and rustles through fields of waist-high wildflowers. In the alpine villages on either side of the international border, the barkeeps and minimart merchants all know Beckey. They've seen him, oh yes. Just yesterday, or was it last week? Don't tell me about Beckey, son: I knew him before he was a statue. In Marblemount and Mazama and Hope, tough little mountain towns pressed against the vertical edge of the Cascades, Fred Beckey is the rarest form of legend: one who's still alive.

 

 

Edited by johndavidjr

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The last excerpt is also found in Egan's book, The Good Rain, which is IMO the best of his books on the NW.

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I thought the video was good; the article on the other hand was complete crap. Poorly written with multiple errors--unacceptable.

Edited by kayfire

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Lowell, does that video of you and Gordy on the Golden Horn exist anywhere? In those archives?

 

Someday I'll donate a copy of the video to the Mountaineers. For now, I encourage people to support The Don McCune Library which is maintained by the family of the late Don McCune, the host of KOMO-TV's Exploration Northwest. You can buy a copy of "Goldenhorn Pinnacle" on DVD (DVD-501) and videotape (VHS-304) from them.

 

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Nice article and video on Fred. The man will probably never get the credit he deserves, but I suspect most people here have the proper amount of respect for him.

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The man will probably never get the credit he deserves, but I suspect most people here have the proper amount of respect for him.

 

What are you talking about? There was an article on him in the NYT for chrissake. People around here think he's a fawking God.

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When people think of mounatineering, its usually names like Whitaker, Wickwire, Viesturs, etc. that come up. Fred has done as much for mountaineering than any of those guys, just not a publicly as them. And yes the NYT article is finally giving him the cresit he is due.

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Back in 70s it was fashionable in some circles of NW to express distain for Whitaker -- either one or both.....can't remember. Guess it had to do with K2 as much as anything. I'm only reporting the facts, not commenting.

 

Beckey doesn't need more credit nor less. He needs to be spared bad biography authors, but won't be.

 

 

Edited by johndavidjr

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People around here think he's a fawking God

And he actually isn't and doesn't want to be.

 

Obviously. God can afford a hearing aid.

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