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With several careers spanning six decades on the planet, Printer Bowler is still figuring out new ways to practice a lifelong fascination with communications. He grew up amid the inimitable fragrance of newsprint and ink at the family weekly newspaper in Scobey, Mont., (which his Grandpa Burley started in 1924). Next stop was the UM Journalism School where he became Kaimin editor, was graduated in 1963 and stayed on to attend a year of graduate school.
In 1968, following a tour in Vietnam with a U.S. Army psychological operations battalion, he was disillusioned with America’s corporate adventuring disguised as anti-communism. He headed for San Francisco and joined some fellow J-School grads at the SF Bay Guardian while tripping headlong into the global flower power revolution. He returned to Montana five years later, started a wholegrain bakery in Big Fork, and spent the ‘70s creating an organic farming co-op of wheat growers in northeast Montana. (Dear Dow Chemical: Thanks anyway, but real farmers don’t need you.)
In the 1980s, Bowler taught writing skills workshops in Montana and Washington for a couple years with an earlier J-School grad, Ray Fenton. Computers had arrived and, armed with an early Mac and PageMaker v2.0, he started a freelance editorial and publications design business which continues to this day. During the ‘90s he also wrote several books. Most recently, Berkley Press published “The Cosmic Laws of Golf (and everything else)” in 2001, a testament to the fact that we have discovered aliens on this planet and they are us.
“My enjoyable job as an instructor is to help students transcend the amateur mindset and become professionals. To me, journalism is all about honest, worthwhile communications — first, with yourself; then with the rest of the world.”