Introduction

Baffler no. 15

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We finished this issue in November 2002, shuttling between Dan Raeburn’s pied-à-terre in the fashionable Kenwood neighborhood of Chicago and our spread in Woodlawn. More than a year has passed since our last issue. We beg your pardon, but we’ve been busy homesteading. Our old building is still but a shell. Tumbleweeds blow across its dirt floor, and a nice group of youngsters called the People’s Republic of Delicious Food have put up a tipi. We just sold the steer we grazed in there since last spring. Greg and Diamonds should be done with the smokehouse in time for hog-killing season. The trailer we ordered from Indiana is a real beaut. It has heat, unlike the one poor Wong Lee and Dan Peterman got.

We were able to procure that trailer, and to publish again, thanks to the generosity of BAFFLER supporters across the globe who contributed to the Baffler Recovery Fund, attended one of our benefit concerts, or otherwise helped us out in the aftermath of the fire that destroyed our office. It is no exaggeration to say that we were overwhelmed with support and good wishes from all quarters (excluding those in the City of Chicago who are in charge of granting building permits.)

We have many people to thank for helping us get through our troubles. Five concerts in three cities were organized for our benefit. The shows went on due to the hard work of Steve Laymon, William B. Mollard, Terri Kapsalis, John Corbett, Tim Tuten, and Katie Nicholson Tuten; thanks also to the generous managers of Tonic in New York and Chicago’s Hideout and Empty Bottle. Jennifer Farrell of Starshaped press donated design and printing of invitations. The musicians who performed at each event are true friends, and we want to express our appreciation to Janet Bean, the Dishes, the Downwinders, the Goblins, David Grubbs, Harvester, I Am the World Trade Center, Mason Jennings, Barbara Manning and the Go-Luckys, the Moore Brothers, Robert Nedelkoff, D.J. Tone B. Nimble, Archer Prewitt (twine time), Sam Prekop, Mark Sheehy, Tim and Andy from Silkworm, Eddy Torres, and the Ken Vandermark Five.

We are especially grateful to the several hundred individuals who made contributions, and we have decided to acknowledge their generosity privately. Rick MacArthur of Harper’s Magazine deserves special mention. A gift from the Lannan Foundation was thoughtful and completely unexpected.

Thank you all. We are glad to be back.

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