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So we're not on the road this time (although co-editor Marilyn is off teaching at Ohio State again), but instead I'm sitting at home and watching snow melt and confused wintering birds fly by in great loops. And introducing the new High Ground for 1999. This issue is a little different. We'd always wanted to have a documentation of Marilyn's large installation called "The Dark Side of Dazzle." As well as the piece itself, we wanted to celebrate the stories that she had collected from veterans of World War II, and Korea and Vietnam... stories of ordinary people in extraordinary situations which we were afraid would eventually just be forgotten. Over the years we had tried to generate interest in a catalogue but it had never worked out and so, in conjunction with the Boise Art Museum's exhibition of "The Dark Side of Dazzle," we decided to have Fox Mountain do it. And it happened and that book has become High Ground '99. We hope you enjoy it.

We also have been thinking a lot about what to do for a millennial edition. (Of course if Y2K turns out to be a really apocalyptic sort of disaster then High Ground 2000 may end up as a pencil scrawl on a legal pad...) We wanted something special and so we needed to have a bit more lead time than we usually have. Having the Dazzle book at hand was serendipitous. We also wanted to take some extra time to sell the High Grounds we have on hand. And there is the chronological question of whether the millennium actually occurs in 2000 or 2001. Anyway, one of our thoughts for the millennium issue (whether 2000 or 2001) is to look at artist's books on the Plateau and beyond... a bit self-referential perhaps but very interesting. And we have found out that the Museum at WSU will host an artists' book exhibition this Fall ('99) so the synchronisms pile up nicely. This is a nice segue into welcoming Dyana Curreri-Ermatinger as new Director of the Museum at WSU She comes to Pullman from the Dorothy Weiss Gallery in San Francisco, and has already begun to point the Museum in new directions. We all wish her well.

The list of contributors of course is a little different from the normal High Ground. It may be best to just quote from the book, "[our] greatest appreciation goes to those who allowed me to tape, sometimes with great difficulty and emotion, their experiences: Pete Daffin, Tim Doebler, James Duffy, Mark Eastman, John Lysohir Jr., Virgil Rhoades, Louis Sartori and Charles Wallace. This book honors them and all those who have shared the experience."

We also thank Terri and Sancho for the dramatic book design and for their expertise during the printing part of the process and Roy de Young and Temel West for the finished package.

Another project that we initiated last year is "Art for Health." In October '98 two Russians came to visit at Washington State in Pullman (see High Ground '95). Elias Zinatulin had an exhibition in Gallery II, and Marina Kulikova (art historian and critic) lectured to classes at WSU and the University of Idaho. Marina had been diagnosed with breast cancer in Vladivostok, and her doctors hoped that she could obtain some special treatments here. We got on the phone and eventually two hospitals (in Moscow and in Lewiston) arranged for a bone scan and radiation treatment for her.

We wanted to pay them back in some way (since Marina had no health insurance) and so we asked the hospital administrations if they would like a collection of local art. They were excited about the idea and so Marilyn and I began to curate a collection. Local artists responded enthusiastically and when the artists in Vladivostok heard about the project they sent work over too. So this spring both hospitals will have a nice international art collection as a thank you for helping Marina (who is doing well back in Russia) and as a thank you in advance for helping others in the community who also don't have the means to pay. "Art for Health" has been a heart-warming experience for all of us involved.