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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The book came in this last Wednesday. We had a very small print run of 100 hardcover books made. Each is numbered, individually stamped and signed. There are 40 left, and the cost is $35 per book and $5 shipping within the USA. The print run of softcovers was 500, and they go for $30, with $5 shipping within the USA. The book looks GREAT! Here's the Press release:

From Powell To Power: A Recounting of the First 100 River Runners Through the Grand Canyon
By Otis “Dock” Marston

Grand Canyon enthusiasts will most likely know of legendary historian and early river runner Otis “Dock” Marston. Much less known is that Marston began to write a short history of the first 100 Grand Canyon river runners in 1947.

Within a few months, Marston realized what had been previously written was both incorrect and incomplete. He resolved to compile as thorough a recounting of the first 100 river runners through the Grand Canyon as he possibly could. Instead of the six months he originally expected the writing to take, he was still working on it when he died in 1979.

In the late 1940’s, many of the pioneering river runners from the late 1800s and early 1900s were still alive. Over the next thirty years, Marston amassed a huge collection of first-person accounts of these river runners, from James White on a log raft in 1867 to the first powerboat runs of 1949 through 1951.

An accomplished river runner himself, Marston made his first cruise through Grand Canyon in 1942. In the next thirty years, he would boat on the lowest and highest flows on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. He also ran many types of watercraft from a one-man Sportyak, through sadiron cataract boats, a decked dory, and a variety of power boats.

Combining his research material with his river experiences, Marston wrote with a critical eye, relying on as many sources as he could find for each river trip he recounted. While one person may have written a glowing trip report, another might not be so flattering. He used it all, and the result is a prickly, wet and muddy recounting of what the first 100 river runners in Grand Canyon went through.

Ten years after his death, Marston’s son gave the unfinished manuscript to the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, with the explicit restriction that the manuscript not be cited until 2012.

Grand Canyon author Tom Martin began negotiations with the Huntington to publish the manuscript in book form in 2010. Permission to publish was granted and, along with a team of river runners, he edited the Marston manuscript into the book From Powell To Power: A Recounting of the First 100 River Runners Through the Grand Canyon.

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 10, 1909: Business with Pleasure, where Marston described Seymour Sylvester Dubendorff’s eventful run of the rapid that now bears his name:

"Having successfully run the primeval fury without a boat, Dubendorff crawled out near the foot and came down to help bail. He “…looked like Hell.” Blood was streaming down over his face from a 1½-inch gash where the boat had hit him on the forehead and he had sprained a knee. Gritty as a flapjack rolled in sand, he exclaimed, “I’d like to try that again. I know I can run it.” Nature had surely wrapped Dubendorff’s skin around a real man."

This soft cover book of 532 pages includes Marston’s list of the first 200 river runners through Grand Canyon, an exhaustive list of Marston’s publications, and an index. The price is $35.00, including US shipping. Order this softcover book from www.vishnutemplepress.com
 

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Buy my book! Buy my book!
Most of us are thrilled that Tom spends so much time putting together volumes on the history of whitewater and the west. If you've chosen to mock him for promoting these books you should try reading one first. You might find that you start looking forward to Tom's posts about new books and book tours...
 

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Tom's book covers a subject many of us are very interested in. Me for sure.

I am glad Tom did the research, wrote the book and let me know the book is available via a post here.
 

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I find Grand Canyon history always interesting. I've heard of Marston's work for a long time. There should be some interest in this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Randaddy, Don, Dave and Okie, thanks for your kind thoughts. This was a long journey indeed. Here's how it happened...

To get into the Huntington to look at the Marston Collection, I needed to get two Huntington readers to write me letters of recommendation. Then I headed to LA and went through the Huntington new-reader orientation, and was finally "in."

I had heard of the manuscript, but at the time it was not listed in the index of material in the collection. I finally got the call numbers, and then could look at the manuscript.

What I saw really looked cool, not for the writting style, but for the historical data. It was packed with a Grand Canyon who's who. Here's an example of what I saw from Marston's chapter on Norm Nevills, titled Petticoats. Here, Marston is describing the 1938 Grand Canyon trip where Elzada Clover got the trip through the Grand Canyon. The crew is at Upset Rapid:

"Kolb over emphasized his warnings at Upset Rapid, named in honor of his 1923 upset in it. In this rapid, Bell eased over a rock while sneaking left, whereupon Nevills exposed his feelings by scolding his boatmen and, in turn, was lectured by Miss Clover on how to handle men. Bell “God damn near hit him over the head with an oar” and would have hit Nevills, but he feared breaking the oar and none could be spared."

I had never read anything so real about that 1938 river trip before.

So, we started into negotiations to publish with the Huntington and the Marston family. At that time, my hard suffering sweetie, Hazel, got letters of support and reading privileges too.

Each reader gets 30 minutes twice a day to photograph material. Over a solid week, and limited by the Library rules to four 30 minute periods a day for photo work between the two of us, we took over 1,600 photos of every page of the work, including hundreds of back pages covered with hand written notes. This was after we went through multiple drafts of each chapter to find the most complete draft.

Once home, I read the entire manuscript from the photos into the computer with voice recognition software. Then, I read the electronic version while either Bill Bishop or Christian Wright read the original out loud. We took turns at it as well. These two gents did some very heavy lifting and I am indebted to them both for their willingness to see this through. The two-person read made sure the electronic copy had all the original manuscript material is order in a way that made timeline sense. Dock was a little casual in that regard.

Then I went through the electronic version yet again, before we sent the various chapters out to over two dozen reviewers. Hazel started the layout, and we were fortunate to have a retired highschool English teacher friend go through the entire manuscript yet one more time. Sandy Muleady got the bid for the cover art, and we put out bids for the printing. Then, we put up the cash and had the work published. Sheridan Books did the printing, by the way. Excellent folks to work with.

Not quite as logistically challenging as organizing a Grand Canyon river trip, but hey, all credit to Dock Marston! He was the one who grabbed the tiger by the tail in writing the history of the first 100 river runners, or grandcanyoneers as he called them, to go through Grand Canyon from Lee's Ferry to the Grand Wash Cliffs.

That's why I was asking Johnryan what he had... If he had done all this for a book about Grand Canyon history, I would have bought a book from him this morning...

All the best to you all, tom
 

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Quite a project Tom - it sounds like the effort preserved some cool early Canyon history. I'll have to order a copy after the holidays. Hopefully the hard cover is still available and you have a pretty autograph!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Autograph is not THAT pretty Randaddy. If we plow through the 100 numbered/stamped/signed hardcovers (down to 30 now) we have 12 hardcover overrun copies (they will be labeled as such), and then poof! All gone. Sorry, poor planning on our part. We NEVER dreamed that we would move through the hard covers at this rate...
 

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Thanks for the back story Tom, it didn't sound like an easy job to put all this together. looking forward to getting a copy.
 

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Tom - sounds like a great read, and sorry I missed the hardcover run. I really enjoyed your previous Big Water, Little Boats and look forward to more of your signature style of meticulous research of little known tales of The Canyon.

Hate to quibble, but you noted $5 shipping in your initial post but when I go to order, it goes straight to "air service" and wants to charge $10 on the Vishnu Temple Press website. I'm anxious to read it, but not in that big of a hurry!

Is there an error on the Vishnu Press site or was the $5 shipping a limited time thing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well spotted 90Duck. I apologize for the confusion! The Soft Cover is available via the River Runners For Wilderness store at $30 with $5 shipping media mail.
https://rrfw.org/product/powell-power
The Soft Cover is available via Vishnu Temple Press at $30 with $10 shipping priority mail.
Vishnu Temple Press... Grand Canyon and Colorado River books.
And there-in lies the difference! Thank you for asking for a clarification!

And thank you for your kind note on research... following in the footsteps of Marston is intimidating, especially as he was a real stickler for the facts, with amazing source material to back up his writing. There is another Grand Canyon river tales book bubbling away on the back burner, and the research for that is a lot of fun!

Let's see what the next few years bring. Thank you again, yours, tom
 
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