Glenwood man’s new book chronicles Crested Butte’s humorous marshal’s blotter |

Glenwood man’s new book chronicles Crested Butte’s humorous marshal’s blotter

Staff ReportGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A 20-year dream of Hjalmar “Hal” Sundin has finally come true with the publication of his first (and probably only) book, “Law and Disorder in Crested Butte.”Sundin, 85, is widely known as a columnist for the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, organizer for the 100 Club and board member for the Glenwood Springs Community Concerts Association. “Law & Disorder” is an entertaining compilation of excerpts from the reports of Crested Butte Chief Marshal Rob McClung and his successor, Chief Marshal Michael White, from 1972 to 1983 as published in the town’s rival newspapers, the Chronicle and the Pilot.In 1980, Sundin visited Crested Butte as a tourist from Illinois, when he was first exposed to the humorous renderings of crime and disorderly conduct as reported by the marshal’s office and further expounded upon by newspaper editor Myles Arber.”A column headed ‘Law and Disorder in Crested Butte’ caught my eye. The first entry elicited a chuckle, the second a chortle and the third a guffaw. Clearly someone was having fun making light of the police blotter,” Sundin said.After moving to Glenwood Springs a couple of years later, Sundin made more trips to Crested Butte, where he visited the newspaper office in search of more police blotters from back issues.His request led him to the archives of Western State College in Gunnison, where the college library yielded a briefcase full of choice entries.”The idea of preserving them in a book took root. Now after a lengthy interruption, it has finally happened,” Sundin said.The era of 1972 to 1983 is when Crested Butte employed the two loquacious marshals. It was also a time when the culture of the town was shifting from nearly 100 years as a rough-and-tumble coal mining town to a quirky ski town that attracted a younger generation.”Crested Butte became the center of an unconventional, free-spirited lifestyle in which no one took themselves or anyone else very seriously. Casual liaisons, domestic disturbances, barroom brawls, general disregard for conventional standards, and strange behavior became the norm,” Sundin writes in his introduction to the book.”Law & Disorder” captures the flavor of the era in a manner that is as entertaining now as it was when the marshal’s reports first appeared in print.Sundin will be signing copies of his self-published book ($14.95) from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday at The Book Train, 723 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs.

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