Alta States 

Point of no return - the Bosco years


" I was too whacked to ever become a permanent Whistler resident. If I'd stayed, I would have probably turned into the official town drunk... "

Bosco aka Bob Colebrook


It's not like he never moved away. In fact, his 25-year affair with Whistler had more moves than a Latin Conga dancer. He'd stay put for a while - piss off the authorities in the valley with his shenanigans - then disappear for a few months. Or a year. Whatever.

Suddenly things would get quiet at Whistler. Really quiet.

But like the proverbial cat, he always came back. He couldn't help himself - there was something about the Whistler community that drew him like alpine catnip. It was during one of these unscheduled returns that Bob Colebrook first heard about the new magazine.

The Answer , as the buzz went, was everything Whistler's more conventional weekly wasn't. No subject was taboo. No one was safe. Irreverent, outspoken, unorganized -even anarchistic - it strove to reflect the unique gestalt of Whistler's youthful denizens.

"I don't exactly know how our association began," says Bosco. "I was a late arrival, but I do remember Charlie Doyle telling me, 'You always have opinions. Why don't you write for us?'" He stops. Smiles. "You see, I'd written a bit for the local paper back home in New Westminster," he says. And snorts out a laugh. "But it was a real free-flow process. It was all a big joke, you know. We were doing it for the pure rush of doing it."

Doyle, for his part, remembers the moment with a slightly different twist. "The first time I heard from Bosco," he says, "was in a message he sent to me shortly after the first issue came out in 1977. In it, he wrote: 'Your chances of a Pulitzer prize are indeed at risk without my participation.' Crazy, eh? Such a talented writer - one of the best I know."

And Bosco did eventually become The Answer's editor. No? "I could have called myself anything," says Bosco. "It really didn't matter to the process. I could have been head astrologer, for all anybody cared. It was mostly about having fun and tweaking people's noses a bit."

He grunts. Shuffles his feet. "You know, that was the thing about Whistler back then. There was a culture there right from the beginning. It wasn't what you might call 'High Culture' but it was definitely a shared way of approaching life and the world. It was unique."


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