In 1956 when the free program I published for the personal appearance showings of my latest ski film needed some written copy, I wrote a story about living in the parking lot at Sun Valley, Idaho for eighteen cents a day during the winter of 1946/47. When the printer got finished setting the type, he had some extra room for another paragraph, so I wrote the following: "To reserve your copy of Wine, Women, Warren & Skis at the pre-publication discount price of $2.00, mail me a penny postcard with your name and address and, when the book is published, I will mail your copy C.O.D."Six hundred and thirty two people mailed me two dollars! I thought I was rich!The following year, the title of the story in that year's ski film program was "GOOD GRIEF MORE EXCERPTS." That winter 1119 people mailed me their two dollars. During that time I was personally narrating the film in over a hundred different cites, traveling to all of the ski resorts to get the footage for the following winter, editing the film, putting together the musical score, soliciting ski club bookings, writing the script, and sleeping on Greyhound busses more nights than I care to remember.In the spring, when the book had not been written and mailed out, irate customers started to ask for their two dollars back. I had already spent all of their money for film and travel, so late in the summer I sat down at a manual typewriter and without spell check or anyone to correct the punctuation, dangling participles, or politically incorrect statements, I typed, cut, and pasted the book together and then timed the self-publication release date so it would be delivered one week before the first showing of the 1958 film. I knew I could sell the book personally from the theater stage for $2.00 and make a dollar a book profit. I paid the printer on time, and it is now forty-six years and five more books later. So join me back in the Sun Valley parking lot one year before I bought a riverfront lot in nearby Ketchum for $350.00, and pardon any politically incorrect foibles, grammar or punctuation mistakes that are causing my 9th grade English teacher to rollover in her grave.
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