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In late 2005, an e-mail arrived from Sharon Snider, chair of the Los Alamos Historical Society Publications Committee. On its subject line was the message, “Make my day.” The third edition of my book, “A Guide to Bandelier National Monument,” was almost out of stock. Would I please supply the computer file so they could reprint it?
No computer file existed. I had pasted-up all three previous editions by hand, the old-fashioned way. More importantly, Bandelier had changed so much that the book was no longer relevant.
The park had suffered three major wildfires, severe flooding and the bark beetle infestation.
In addition, archaeologists had conducted extensive research and refined their theories of puebloan settlement. It would have to be an entirely new book.
I thought about the effort involved for a while. The book describes Bandelier’s wilderness; I would need to hike all the trails again — some multiple times — well over 100 miles in total.
At age 74, that would be something of a challenge.
In the end, I decided to try, mostly out of curiosity about the condition of the park. I answered Sharon’s e-mail with, “Day not made” and offered a completely revised fourth edition.
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