How Cracker's Crumbs

came to be...

Under typical publishing circumstances one might expect the introductory paragraphs of a book to have been written by the author. Alas, that is not the case in this book, for the simple reason that the publication of then-complete collection of the Cracker’s Crumbs newspaper columns was intended to be a surprise birthday gift to the author, Gib Bergquist.  In other words, the project was accomplished by sneaking around behind the author’s back.

Publishing the book took nearly a year and involved many consultations among the conspirators as well as many comings and goings at odd times of day and night in order to bring the necessary people and materials together to produce the finished manuscript.

Much of the weight of preserving the cabalistic secrecy required for accomplishing the project fell upon the shoulders of the Cracker’s wife, Madeleine Bergquist, who not only had to spirit away the original column clippings and art from the Bergquist household without giving away the secret, but also had to make herself available for innumerable discussions with an assortment of people about various phases of the project.

Now, of course, the cat is well and truly out of the bag and Madeleine can relax.

The Cracker may bear a distinct physical resemblance to the legendary Ernest Hemingway, but his writing style is reminiscent of certain other writers. He manages to combine a warm understanding of his subjects and an unerring ear for Southern dialect in the tradition of Ferrol Sams, with the occasional twist of profundity one might expect from Tennessee Williams. But in the final analysis, these writings are uniquely the voice of Gib Bergquist sharing cherished images, sounds and memories of the people and things he loves.

While those of us who worked on the project hope that the Cracker will be pleased with his birthday gift, we’re certain that many new readers will be pleased by his gift for words.

And in that sense, this book is a gift for everyone.

— Dennis Ecklund, editor

From Cracker's Crumbs, 1995 Gib Bergquist

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