A Few Notes on the Life of Warren Harding.


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Park Rat

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 9, 2013 - 07:45pm PT
I thought this might be a good time to bump this thread.

I find myself changing a few words here and there and adding phrases that come to mind. I think writing is somewhat like painting are never sure when you're finished there always seems to be something you could add, especially to Warren story.

For those of not read it, I hope you enjoy hearing his saga.

I can be pretty sure that Warren would've enjoyed it.
He might've said is a great party while it lasted.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 9, 2013 - 08:29pm PT
I'm pretty glad Warren didn't place bolts like you describe your writng style, Susie. I mean, it's tough to erase that bolt hole, much less delete the entire last pitch... :O)

It's a good observation, though, and I like it a lot.

First-person stories are so rarely published in the original form. Our history society is very strict on letting folks edit their words before they go into storage. I personally use the edit process here on many occasions. It's a blessing.

Warren seems to have invented himself to a great extent, letting others take away a pre-determined and cultivated view of his personality. Your insights show this, too. There is a lot to ponder in this thread.

One thing I have learned in going back and re-reading this in sobriety is that the lady second from the left in the photo by Kelly Laakso could well be Alice.
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 9, 2013 - 10:09pm PT
Great stuff parkrat...knew Warren in his Moab years...left my shoes at Wall St and remember on my way back to Colorado. Called Warren and he when out and retrieve them for me. Nice gentle man.
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Jan 10, 2013 - 12:08am PT
Great job, Susie!

Guess I could add a few minor things - if you do a book, I’d be honored to take a look at a draft and mention possible additions.

Mouse, he was definitely a red wine man when I climbed with him, though I saw many pics of him with white in later years. Might have become easier on him as time went on. In those early years, I remember Pedrizetti at $1.25/gal., Vino de Tavola in a bottle with a red-checkered tablecloth-like label, various reds from Masson and Beaulieau, and there are a few which were blurry then and invisible now. All were passable table wines, and the jug wines were much like what you can get from roadside stands in Italy where they will refill your empty bottle from a cask. We refused to drink Gallo, which wasn’t very good at the time. On a very special occasion (which meant a few bucks in the pocket) it might be a Lois Martini Cabernet. Or for super-special events, a Paul Masson Rare Tawny Port or a Ficklin Port.

Those were the early years. His tastes may - or may not - have become more refined as time went on. But his capacity was as big as his climbing dreams. He must have had a liver like a basking shark.

Oh yeah - on the Nose we had a pint flask of port with us. We drank it on Camp 6 during the storm. Being in an aluminum flask it was pretty bad, but we got a good laugh out of “any port in a storm” and slept better for it.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 10, 2013 - 12:56am PT
"Vino de Tavola in a bottle with a red-checkered tablecloth-like label"
is one of the brands I saw advertised on fifties TV and remember on our table at home--Italian-Swiss Colony, Mogen David, these were the bridge to the emerging "California nomenclature." Old country know-how allied to new climates, my ass, just hype.

Joe Fitschen's got the Teton Tea recipe in his book, and he states that the cheaper reds are the best for the buck and I'm sure they're perfectly adequate to a walk on the wild side of the Wine Boulder among others.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:00am PT
In my beer drinking prime I courageously tried to see him under the table after a show in Seattle. Many pitchers later I think My honor was saved by the closing time bell. He didn't seem to mind drinking beer but perhaps it was a case of 'when in Rome'.

Trad climber
Feb 23, 2015 - 12:56am PT
my favorite quote from harding is when he heard they had freeclimbed his east face of the column(astro man) he said"those guys are just jacking off"or something very close to that.

Social climber
Mar 1, 2015 - 09:06am PT
hey there say, all... just was reminded about this thread, the other night, and wow... came to see it WAS recently bumped up...

parkrat is one very fine person... am happy to re'read this...
i only had a vague memory of the stuff on here...

i got to enjoy seeing warren harding remembered here, :)
thank you susie, parkrat...

really neat and nice gal...

Mountain climber
Mar 3, 2017 - 03:51pm PT
I have just finished to translate DOWNWARD BOUND into Italian; the book will be published in a month or so. It is the first translation of this book into another language, and the Italian fans of Warren Harding are impatiently looking forward to reading it.
I appreciate your description of Warren and of is life: it helped me very much while I was working at the translation, because to translate does not mean just to write words into another language, but it is necessary to capture what the author wanted to transmit to the reader. Your notes helped me to understand him and his feelings behind his apparent nonchalance and farcical language. Thank you very much.

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
Mar 3, 2017 - 04:32pm PT
Thank you Mirella for translating one of my favorite climbing books and favorite climbers from the 1960's. It sounds like you really understand the spirit of a good translator.
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Mar 3, 2017 - 05:12pm PT
Nice article, Suzie! Can't wait for the book.

Harding did other things than just climb. I think it was around '60 - in that neighbourhood anyway -
that he and I got interested in gold diving. I was a new ranger and actually had an income, and we got a couple of wet suits, a small suction dredge you could operate from under the water, and a "Hookah" air compressor which floated on an inner tube and pumped air down a tube to a mouthpiece. We dived down in the Merced and in the South Fork. One time we even went into a hole in the South Fork when there was a glaze of ice on it. We didn't have very good gloves, and the 1/4" wet suits weren't good enough. Talk about pain when the blood came back! And we never saw a speck of gold.

Some folks think that Warren didn't give a damn what anyone else thought, but that wasn't true. When he had a bit too much he'd get a bit maudlin at times and brood about how "everyone is out to get Harding". And he could get combative too when in his cups. But he had a great, wry sense of humour and I'd like to know how many hours we spent laughing together. Good memories.



Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 3, 2017 - 08:43pm PT
is there a book out??

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Mar 3, 2017 - 08:49pm PT
Drove by Warren's bust just off 395 yesterday....Could have sworn he winked as i passed...?

Big Wall climber
Mar 4, 2017 - 08:32am PT

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