john_j_enright (john_j_enright) wrote,


Decades ago, someone gave me a story called Tanner, set in a struggling Western frontier village named Wachagudfer, which was a humorous reformatting of "What'cha good for". The idea was that the town had an ethos that you should only move to the town if you had something to contribute. The story was about a dwarf who was an expert tanner and leather worker, who is eventually welcomed into the town, not because of a desire for diversity, but strictly because of his talent and hard work. I'm a sucker for such stories, and found it quite heartwarming. I was the poetry editor for a little magazine named Nomos at the time, and expressed some interest in publishing the story. I was not in actual contact with the author. Someone had passed the story along to me. And they passed back the information to me that the author, one Alexander R. Smyth, didn't want to publish it quite yet.

It seems that Smyth died in a car accident in 1999. And in 2012 his widow, Linda L. Fraser, published The Wachagudfer Stories, Simply Told, Book 1.

There are 3 stories. The first one is Tanner, which is just 18 pages long, and which is just as heartwarming as I remember it. But the next 2 stories are quite a bit longer, since the book runs to 450 pages or so.

The odd thing is that there is no online record of this book. So I cannot link to it! It's amazing, since it has a nice distinctive title. I was able to find information about the author, but not about the book.

I am in shock, over this search engine fail.
For now I will proceed to the next tale.

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