Monthly Archives: April 2014

Trampling the First Amendment in a small town by the sea

Even the chamber of commerce asked us to remove our rack from its vicinity. Images by Stacey Warde

Some readers felt we had crossed a line. Even the chamber of commerce asked us to remove our rack from its vicinity. Images by Stacey Warde

by Stacey Warde

In the early days of the Rogue Voice, when it was still merely a monthly newsprint journal, we published a story about what prisoners do when they get horny.

Tito David Valdez, Jr., doing 25-years-to-life for conspiracy to commit murder, wrote an essay about “Hittin’ it,” an intimate look at the secret ways inmates find opportunities to masturbate or get off without being observed in a well-guarded penal institution.

We also learned about lady boys in mini-skirts who look fabulous and would by all appearances seem to be real women, except for the fact they weren’t, and how most inmates, like David, avoided unnecessary drama and complications in prison, by not getting involved.

It was an informative and educational narrative. David’s column, a regular known to readers as “Life in the Cage,” and all his other subsequent columns, gave taxpayers a close-up, insider’s view of how their dollars were being spent to incarcerate convicted felons.

But one meddlesome mom from our fair village by the sea didn’t like his column. She felt we had stepped over the line, and offended the community standard for frank talk about prison sex in ‘06.

As any good moralist, she decided to take action. She meant to protect her teenage daughter and other impressionable youth in our town from the adult content, and unseemly influence of our magazine, which was then in 2006 only four months old.

Like an enormous huffing beast, she stormed into the coffee shop where I was talking with a friend and barreled into the rear of the shop where we kept stacks of our magazine. I felt her rage as she passed by me.

Seconds later, she came back our way, a full stack of Rogue Voices stuffed under her arm. “Hey, wait a minute!” I demanded. “Where do you think you’re going with those?”

“I’m going to make a barbecue out of these,” she fumed, heading for the door.

“No you’re not!” I answered. “I work my ass off to put out those damned magazines. Put them back, right now!”

She harrumphed, breathing loudly and laboriously through her nose. I felt as if she were about to punch me, but she turned away, with close to 100 of my magazines stuffed under her arm, and walked out the door of the coffee shop.

A sheriff’s deputy arrived. The barista, a contributor and editor and supporter of the magazine, had called for law enforcement to protect my First Amendment right to free speech.

The angry mom had stolen that right. She was violating state, federal and constitutional law.

The deputy dutifully questioned me, asked me what was the problem, and I told him that a woman had walked out of the coffee shop with a stack of my magazines and threatened to burn them.

“Well, why should I help you,” he said finally, “when you write negative stories about law enforcement?”

Dell Franklin had recently written a first-hand account of the City of San Luis Obispo’s fascist policing operation to intimidate Mardi Gras revelers by bringing in hundreds of police from around the state to control the unruly student mob.

By many accounts, including Dell’s, the police, called upon to keep order, were as likely to create disorder—randomly shooting bean-bag rounds into parties, freely harassing passersby on the street, detaining and questioning revelers—as students were to misbehave by celebrating the centuries old annual tradition of upending the conventions of culture.

Dell’s article offered graphic evidence of police going a bit too far, terrorizing college students who were minding their own business.

Tired of moralists trashing our publication, we ran a full-page ad reminding them of another standard.

Tired of moralists trashing our publication, we ran a full-page ad reminding them of another standard.

“Your job,” I reminded the deputy, “is to protect my First Amendment right to free speech. It doesn’t matter whether you like what I print.” I pointed my finger in the direction where I’d last seen the angry mom walking out the door with my property: “She’s violating my right to free speech. What she’s doing is illegal.”

He thought for a moment. “It’s a free magazine, isn’t it?”

“That doesn’t mean she can take the whole stack!”

In fact, state Assemblyman George Plescia, a Republican from San Diego, had recently authored, and the legislature passed, a bill, AB2612, protecting free newspapers and magazines from abusers lifting full stacks off the racks. Apparently, San Diego was having the same problem. The offense carried a sizable fine.

“We must work to ensure that no one is able to deprive others of their First Amendment rights,” then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement on AB2612. “The freedom of the press is one of the most precious freedoms that Americans enjoy.”

The deputy left, presumably to consult with the offending party, and asked me to wait. He returned and informed me that the woman had been reminded that it’s my right to publish what I want and that she didn’t have the right to refuse it.

“Where’re my magazines?” I asked.

“They’re gone,” he said.

I was too angry to press the matter about the fate of that stack of magazines. I did not want to be thrown in jail for harassing or assaulting an officer.

I wrote a letter to Plescia, thanking him for protecting my First Amendment rights, while local law enforcement and would-be protectors of community standards thought less of those rights than they should.

“I edit and publish a free monthly literary journal,” I noted after thanking him, “which has had its share of vandalism from those who object to its content.

“Until now, our only support [has come] from readers who do not want others deciding for them what they can or cannot read.

“Thanks for your support. We lift our hats to you, Mr. Plescia, for your defense of our First Amendment right to a free press.”

As regards community standards and federal guidelines for offensive material, we avowed again in our pages the value of reading, of determining for oneself whether there are any redeeming qualities in our content, which would then guarantee its full protection under the law.

Not content with literally trashing our magazine, the angry mom rounded up a herd of like-minded matrons to pester local businesses to cease advertising in our magazine or to quit displaying the Rogue Voice on their premises, which is their perfect right.

The Cayucos Chamber of Commerce, coerced, asked us to remove our rack from its vicinity. We lost one advertiser while another said: “Tell those gals to get a life!”

Those “gals,” I noted in a 2006 February column titled “Our naughty little rag,” were going about town, raging to this or that business owner, “to protest its unseemly content, and to protect our impressionable teens from words like ‘fuck’ and ‘titty.’”

We were amazed that our troublesome youth had given up the internet and cell phones to go in “search of colorful language in the pages of our…morally reprehensible rag. It’s hard to imagine youngsters,” I mused, “pulling themselves away from their computers to actually read a newspaper; more terrible to think they’re reading one with naughty words.”

Oddly, or perhaps not so odd, the small-town upheaval came on the heels of an earlier trashing of another publication in which it seemed everyone everywhere in the county felt they had a moral duty to censor content they didn’t like.

Local alternative weekly New Times had published a story about methamphetamine by Alice Moss that also included a recipe on how to make the stuff. Residents went berserk, lifting the rag off racks throughout San Luis Obispo County and sending them to the landfill.

An eery absence of the weekly could be seen on virtually every rack in the county. Not one New Times could be found any where. The article itself had been informative enough and may have actually had some redeeming social value, despite its loony and irresponsible instructions on how to make meth.

A better method for informing readers about the ease of making meth would have been to take a photo of and list the ingredients. Let some fool decide how to put it all together. Good citizens, meanwhile, took it upon themselves to protect hapless individuals from the dubious joys of meth-making by eliminating the newspaper’s presence from our community.

The hysteria broke national news.

Amid the frenzy of throwing newspapers into the trash, KVEC hometown radio host Dave Congalton asked me and Dell to go on the air to discuss the issue. Many callers agreed that while they may not like what our publication prints, it’s our legal right to publish as we see fit. In fact, despite our “liberal” label, as some claimed, our most vocal defenders were more often conservatives.

It wasn’t the last time hoodlums took it upon themselves to sabotage our publishing efforts. Throughout the county, we continually heard reports from our friends that individuals were helping themselves to stacks of our magazine and making them disappear.

Finally, we’d had enough and ran a full-page photo on the back cover of the Rogue Voice showing nothing but a bible sitting on our rack, no magazines, with the headline, “Thou shalt not steal.”

It may not have made any difference in whether people trashed our magazine but it made us feel better, and we got a good laugh out of it. More importantly, we continued to publish, 32 more editions in all, without apology, and with a commitment to give voice to those who don’t often have a voice, protected by the First Amendment. §

Stacey Warde is publisher of

From the publisher

the road home

THE ROAD HOME Rogues go their own way, choosing roads that aren’t always easy or meet general approval but contain all the joy and terror one might wish to have in one lifetime. Photo by Stacey Warde

One month has passed since we began publishing online, a new venture for two guys who started their writing careers on manual typewriters.

We’re learning as we go, just as we did when we began publishing in print nearly 10 years ago, figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

We love stories and that’s always been our focus. We started out wanting to publish news and quickly grew into a forum for artful and memorable expressions of life lived differently, whether it’s driving a cab, doing time in prison, or window washing one’s way across country.

We got our name from the belief that some people, wise or not, like to go their own way, running against the grain, pursuing dreams of their own choosing.

If you’re one of those people, we’d love to hear from you.

So far, we’ve heard from many who like (and some who don’t like) what we’ve posted. In the short month we’ve been online, we’ve had more than 2,000 views, which Dell and I consider a milestone.

Recently, hometown radio host Dave Congalton, whose movie “Authors Anonymous,” premiered in San Luis Obispo last week, brought us on the air to talk about our new project. If you missed the program, you can listen to the podcast at

We’re fortunate to introduce a new voice belonging to author Ruth Rice, whose poems “ritual” and “no need of boxes” went up this week. We were introduced to her through an old friend and past contributor Larry Narron. Thank you, Larry, for the introduction.

Ruth has three books published by PoetWorks Press and has contributed in numerous anthologies, including “Bravura,” for which she also edited. As well as writing poetry, Ruth is a ceramic artist, water colorist, metal smith and fabric artist who spends her days with filthy hands and a glad heart, making art.

We revere those who get their hands dirty, making themselves glad, creating art. Welcome, Ruth. We look forward to hearing more from you as well as others who dare to go their own way.

Watch for more of these new and familiar voices in the days and weeks ahead.



summoned at the altar
with the host of wine and flesh
she lifts her lace and lights a votive
waiting for the voice
el dia de los angelitos esta pasado
this night belongs to the dead.

unlike the spanish from her mouth
that drowning soft unloosened song,
this hymn marches on agave feet
feeds her body peyote dreams
while the forbidden words
of a forgotten language
sund her eyes with spirit tears.

condemning, cajoling, questioning,
the souls gather a flock as birds
thrown across the moon
madly twining the night into stars.
she sleeps safely beneath the altar,
smoke seeping from her hair.

—Ruth Rice

no need of boxes

let the soil touch my face
in a final sharing of stored light
for it is the dirt of this earth
that gave me birth
let it take me home again

i will sing with the worms
lift blades of grass
as fingers to the wind
raise saplings to catch the rain
i will speak from stones
beneath a broken moon

let me crawl into the earth
and she into me
we will make love, eternal
as the crickets sing

—Ruth Rice


Wall art on Clarion in Street San Francisco

by Dell Franklin

Fall, 1968

I was dwelling like a mole in a subterranean garret in San Francisco and trying to land a bar-tending gig after working the past summer at Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe as a bar boy. But I soon found out San Fran was a union town and there was no chance for a 24-year-old newcomer to break in. In short order, my priorities were finding a good watering hole, a job, and a woman, or, better yet, getting laid, as I’d been on a brutal drought.

The city economy was booming and I went to an employment agency where a savvy lady felt since I was clean-cut and an army veteran and scored high on an aptitude test and cheated to pass a psychological evaluation, I was prime salesman material.

Meanwhile, after considerable searching in the meat-market bar scene, I found Danny’s in the Marina, a hallway size affair with a pool table in back, and a blue-collar, working-class crowd I instantly forged a rapport with. Danny himself was enthused I’d found a job as salesman with Graybar Electric, a huge corporate supply company in the industrial belt across Market Street.

I reported to work in the same cords and white short-sleeve shirt and snap-on tie I wore to the agency interview and with the man who hired me, Bernie, to whom I reported at the monstrous drab three-story building after a night of celebratory boozing in Danny’s. The level on which I was to be employed was lined with desks of typing secretaries and salesman talking on phones, scribbling on invoices, or paging through telephone-book size catalogues of items and prices. Everybody was terribly busy. They smoked and drank coffee. There was no conversing among employees. Alongside this hive were private offices where older, rather portly men in beautiful suits signed papers, talked on the phone and, from time to time, patrolled the room, visiting, asking and answering pertinent questions, attempting amiability to boost morale. Pictures of these men were displayed along walls above their offices. I was issued a corporate handbook in which there were capsule biographies of these men, along with an outline for success within the corporation.

“To begin with, Rick,” Bernie said. “This is not exciting work. It can be confining for a restless person. You are always at your desk, working the phone, consulting the catalogue. This can be tedious and demands patience and persistence.” He watched me stifle a yawn. “Of course, after a while, you can move from the desk to the road. You’ll have an expense account, travel. I’ve done both. At this point in my life, with wife and kids, I like it here. I see you’re not married.”

“Not yet, Bernie.”

“Okay. Well. I’m going to start you out with one of our top salesman—Bill Rogers. He started out like you, and last year he was employee-of-the year throughout the country!”

I sat next to Bill at his large steel desk that was a-sprawl with manuals, invoices, and the giant catalogue. He was pale, clean-cut, chipper. A framed picture of his wife and two children stood at the corner of his desk. His handshake was solid. He was busy, working his phone, calling on trade in all parts of America, displaying an easy familiarity and rapport with each person, like old friends.

After a while, I asked, “You ever meet any of these people?”

“Oh no.”

“Don’t you want to meet them?”

He paused. “If I go to a convention. But I’m not one for conventions. I’m not a drinker or a partier. I’m a family man.”

“So they’re just voices…without faces or bodies, huh?”

He seemed impatient with my questioning, wanted only to discuss my training. He was not one iota interested in me as a person, like I was not a face or body. I was just a project.

“Some of these secretaries are cute. Do you have company parties, where I could meet some of them?”

He sighed. “No. Now, Mr. Kelso, the first thing you might do is take home a copy of our catalogue and study it.”

He was actually too busy to train me the first day. I paged through the handbook, reading bios. A striking red-haired man around my age, swinging his ass, dropped Bill off a cup of coffee and appraised me with fleeting distaste before dropping off more cups to other salesmen.

“Who’s the haughty queen?” I asked Bill.


“What’s his problem?”

He sighed. “Just read the catalogue, okay?” He returned to his phone. Time crept by slowly as I grew bored with the catalogue and handbook. I peered around in hope of finding an interesting face. There were no blacks, Latinos or white low-brows.The handbook contained no pictures of blacks or Latinos. I felt perhaps there were minorities in the packaging and shipping area downstairs.

At lunch I attended a room of long tables where dozens of secretaries and salesmen ate box lunches or food from the automat. Edward hung with the girls. The salesmen talked about clients, mortgages, their kids, vacation deals, the 49ers, etc. Bernie, among them, kept an occasional eyeball on me. From time to time he conferred with Bill. Some of the secretaries appeared uneasy and flashed me dirty looks when I stared at them too long, trying to keep my boner down as I fantasized fucking them in my miserable garret. Edward also shot me a look if disdain. So I polished off my sandwich and returned to the desk where Bill was still nonstop busy and I spent the next four hours watching the hands of the big clock on the wall inch toward 5. I was never so exhausted.

Afterwards I drank at Danny’s and later had a chili cheese dog at the Doggie Diner and passed out and reported to work at 8. Early on, I found myself closely studying not only the offices of the executives as I took little strolls to break up the monotony of studying the catalogue, but their smiling yet sober visages on the walls. One of these men caught me observing him, and I nodded as he peered up from his desk from paperwork, and he nodded back, but I could sense he was not impressed with me.

“Bill,” I said, after lunch the second day. “You like this job?”

He was very, very busy, since Christmas was near. “Of course.”

“Are you passionate about your work?”

He sighed, dropped his pen. “Listen, do YOU like the job?”

“I’m trying to.”

I kept drinking coffee, because there was nothing else to do. I became jittery, started sweating. I switched around a lot and cleared my throat and rubbed my itchy nose and made several trips to the water fountain and restroom to piss. After my second day I was so drained I could barely drag myself across the industrial blight and catch a bus to Danny’s, where I got drunk, forgetting to eat. Everybody wanted to know about my new job as I sat with tie in pocket, shirt open at the throat. Next morning I arrived at work an hour late with nicks on my face, some of which were clotted with dabs of toilet paper. I sat down beside Bill and he cringed at the sight and smell of me. I was sweating cold bullets. The red-headed queen flounced by me, sniffing sourly.

“Edward!” I called. “Get me some coffee!”

He halted in his tracks, hands on hips. “Pardon me?”

I flashed him a look of icy malevolence and he quickly slammed a cup of coffee on the desk and huffed off before I could thank him. Bill was on the phone and I blindly paged through the catalogue with quivering fingers when I was not staggering—on the verge of puking—to the drinking fountain to gulp copious spouts of water as salesmen and secretaries and Bernie at the big desk up front peered over. I finally visited the john to puke violently into a toilet. When I returned to the desk, Edward, to his credit, brought me another cup of coffee and appeared sympathetic. I had slept in my sweat-and-coffee-and-beer-stained shirt and now Bernie repeatedly glanced at me. I began to shake uncontrollably. My clothes were bathed in cold seat. My scalp itched and burned. I scratched at it like a man aflame with lice. My legs went numb. My heart beat like a parakeet’s and I gulped for breath.

San Francisco wall art on Clarion Street

Wall art on Clarion Street in San Francisco

“Bill!” I said, standing. “You’d better call the paramedics for me!”

He was on the phone, covering it. “Not now!”

“I need a fucking doctor, man.”

“Listen, jackass, what are you doing here?”

“I don’t know, Bill, but I gotta get the fuck outta here. I can’t breathe.” Sweat dripped off my face. A foul stench emanated from me—a toxic effluvium equivalent to a dead seal rotting on shore. I careened across the room, bouncing off desks like a runaway pinball while employees cringed and ducked for cover or stood to observe my demise. I arrived at Bernie’s desk gnashing my teeth.

“Bernie, I gotta get outta here!”

He stood. “Mr. Kelso, please calm down!”

“I can’t! I’m going nuts in here. I suffer claustrophobia.”

“Perhaps this is not the right job for you…”

“No job is right for me!” I ripped off my tie and hurled it at one of the walls. All the executives were out of their offices, stood at the doors. I reached out and shook Bernie’s hand with my clammy paw. “You’ve been more than fair.” I dashed to the door.

“We’ll send you a check in the mail,” Bernie called.

“You don’t have to. I did nothing but sit.”

“We have to.”

“Okay, okay.” I fled the place. Dashed across the industrial blight and caught a bus to Danny’s. The sweat dried up on me and I ceased shaking. Danny fed me two hotdogs and everybody bought me drinks and I told them I could not handle a white collar job and quit. Soon they were all advising me on finding a new job. I never found one I liked, and never got laid, and ended up thumbing across the country and working on a riverboat out of New Orleans. §

Dell Franklin tended bar and drove a cab for a living for many years before retiring to his hovel in Cayucos to write full time, and care for his very needy rescue dog, Wilbur.

Let go, let Amtrak

Photo by Stacey Warde

Photo by Stacey Warde

by Stacey Warde

A couple of guys in shirts and ties board the northbound train in LA. They reek of the corporate office with their shined winged-tip shoes, dark slacks, crisp powder-blue dress shirts, and navy blue coats slung over their shoulders in a sort of “casual” way.

“Yeah, sure, we could probably add another million dollars in sales if she didn’t have such a volatile personality,” says one as he, and then the other find their seats across the aisle. “She’s a diamond in the rough. She’ll be all right.”

“You’re too soft on your people,” says his companion, as he neatly folds his jacket and sets it aside.

“Yeah, well…” the other starts to hem and haw, and concocts a story about giving people a chance, room to grow, management by positive incentives….

He is too soft, I think, just as his companion says.

He’s probably a lousy manager, even though he tries hard, no worse than I’ve ever been, I’ll bet. He means well, but he’s lousy. I hate managing people. What can you do with someone who’s volatile? Get rid of the bitch, I think, fire her, and find someone who can sweet talk customers and bring in the million dollars. That’s what I would do but I’m not cut out for the sort of heartlessness that’s required to succeed in the business world.

I’m too soft, just like this guy who’s trying to convince himself that giving people a chance in the cold corporate world of maximizing profits, increasing production and making quicker turnarounds really makes a difference, that the guys sitting on the top floor really give a rat’s ass about giving someone, even a diamond in the rough, “a chance.”

His companion stops him mid-story and counters: “If you create goals, with clear-cut objectives, and set a timeline….”

“I know, I know,” the other interjects, annoyed but conceding the point, unwilling to hear more of what his companion is going to say, looking through the window as if planning an escape, and then attempting without success to convince his companion that a softer, more humane approach will bring out the best in this volatile sales woman.

I try to listen over the rattling of the passenger car, the frequent whistle of the train, and announcements from the conductor over the exceedingly loud intercom, but it’s impossible to hear what he’s saying, how he’s trying to rationalize his softness in the face of the hard and fast facts of production, the cut and dry narrative of numbers, results and annual reports, the reminder that his only purpose is to produce, to whip people into shape or send them packing.

My instincts tell me he’s not mounting much of an argument; he’s bullshitting, a storyteller, like me, buying time, trying to find a shred of the humane in the inhumane and prefab world of corporate values. What a waste of time, I think, put on a shirt and tie so you can spend your days making up stories and kissing people’s asses. I feel my throat constrict.

It can’t be good for you, this life of stifling your humanity, of living a lie. Sooner or later, if you’re not cut out for it, as I’m not, corporate life, where you have to suck up all the time to people you fear and despise, whether you want to or not, will turn you into a shell of a human being, or worse, a raging sociopath.

I’ve never been a friend of the corporation. It represents just about everything I abhor: the attempt to be original despite sameness and lack of invention or originality, save for its branding; its flowery and false rhetoric; its brutal agenda to profit no matter what; and its disregard for everything humane.

More often it’s an enemy of health and well being, killing the soul, if not the body and its environs. It’s all about the money, getting rich, or more likely making others rich. There’s nothing wrong with earning a living, even making it big, but not at the expense of turning into another heartless cog in the system and destroying everything and anyone who gets in your way.

As the next station stop approaches, the organization men grab their coats to jump off the train, continuing to discuss their million-dollar problem.

“Maybe the thing to do,” the soft one says as he heads downstairs, “is to set a timeline, like you say….”

I resign myself to the ride north, relieved, five more hours of nothing to do but watch and listen, as the commuter train makes its way closer to home, where so many people like myself have removed themselves to escape this very same screwed up system that runs LA and most of the country, the one that makes us look out the window and see nothing but dollar signs.

In San Luis Obispo, the train’s final stop, and in Cayucos, in particular, you can rest assured you’ll find outcasts, escapists and “misfits,” as mom says, people like me who don’t want to live in LA, and some who don’t belong in LA, who have had enough of the corporate life and the hyper-reality of amusement parks and shopping malls that it creates.

They move up there to escape, mom adds disapprovingly of the people in my community. They couldn’t get along in the “real” world, she says, so they found a place where they could be slackers, hermits or just plain weird. There are plenty of slackers here, I agree, misfits, hermits and weird people too, many of whom, as I, would die in the “real” world, I tell her.

Still, I argue: “There are a lot of smart, independent people here too, mom, good people who just don’t want to live in LA.”

The train picks up speed as it winds its way north and the hum of the engine and wheels overtake me and time seems to stop and there’s nothing to do but let go, relax and let Amtrak Train 777 carry me home.

Then, a flash of my own life, a jolt of panic runs through me. Another diamond in the rough, my girlfriend, who is supposed to meet me at the end of the line, who also has a volatile personality, says she will pick me up at the train station in San Luis Obispo if I buy dinner. Deal, I say, knowing that our days are numbered. I can feel it. I’ve been living my own lie, pretending that my life is just the way I want it, staying in a relationship that went bad years ago.

“I’ve found someone new,” she says. “I think he’s the one. Can you move out ASAP?”

I assure her that I can, and make the painful realization that living a lie, stifling one’s humanity isn’t limited only to the corporation. It’s a household thing too, and I’m more than eager to move out. §

Stacey Warde is publisher of The Rogue Voice and lives like a hermit deep in the hills where no one can find him.

In the beginning

The Rogue Voice began with the promptings of a cab driver whose writings always left me feeling baffled, amused and aghast.


In the beginning, in the days of print, Stacey and Dell read proofs (remember those?) for their June 2006 “Jesus loves you, Wal-Mart hates you” edition. Photo by Phil Klein

Dell Franklin, a guy I knew only from publishing a few of his stories at the local alternative weekly, kept yakking it up.

“You gotta start your own goddamn newspaper!”

At first, I thought he was just trying to cheer me up for getting canned from a thankless managing editor’s job, where I’d been introduced to Dell’s cab exploits and anthems to the bachelor’s life. Then, I realized, he was dead serious.

I liked Dell’s spirit, his enthusiasm for the printed word. I laughed at his stories and envisioned others who would also enjoy an independent publication unafraid to voice its thoughts, experiences, and wildness. There was just one problem.

“Dell, you gotta have capital to start a newspaper.”

Neither of us had the smarts to come up with the money needed to get a publication going. When Dell’s mother, Rose Franklin, died, she left him a portion of her estate, enabling us to realize our dream of publishing The Rogue Voice.

It took a few months before we found our feet, but by our third issue distressed lonely matrons of morality were already tossing our “newspaper” into the trash or burning it at backyard barbecues.

We’ve persevered, driven by our need to shout, and scream and laugh. Along the way, we’ve toppled a lot of apple carts and drawn a devoted readership that has thrown money at us, begged us to keep going, urged us to get our asses online, even though we’re products of the Old School world of print and live like Luddite dogs in creaky hovels.

So, here it is, finally, an emerging online edition of The Rogue Voice, A Literary Magazine with an Edge, featuring original voices from prison, on the road, at sea…or from right here in our quaint little village by the sea, Cayucos.

We look for stories that are local in nature with universal appeal, stories that get under your skin. We want our readers to come away with an experience they won’t soon forget. We will continue to provide our readers with the edgy, independent, unaffected fare they’ve come to expect over the years. We hope our online presence will inspire more readers to join us at The Rogue Voice.