McManus Index Spend more time laughing, less time looking

I've Never Laughed So Hard 

Patrick F. McManus is an outdoor humorist. He became most well known for his humorous essays in the back of Field & Stream and Outdoor Life magazines beginning in the late 1970s. Over 400 of his stories have been collected into books which can be found in nearly any bookstore.

This presentation is for fans of Patrick McManus, especially those who have so many of his books they can't find the stories they're looking for.

Remember your first Patrick McManus book? For me it was The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw. My brother brought a copy of it to a family reunion and we ended up reading several of the stories out loud till we hurt from laughing.

It wasn't long until I found another one at the local library, Rubber Legs and White Tail-Hairs. I was laughing so much reading the story "Pigs" I thought they were going to ask me to leave.

I bought a few more books and every year at our family reunions we made sure to set aside time to read a few of his stories.

I was starting to get a nice collection of McManus stories. As long as he kept writing them I had no choice but to keep buying his books.

I went on eBay and found books that were out of print. I bought the book The Deer on a Bicycle where Pat explained his writing process and talked about humor writing in general.

Where's the One...

One year while visiting with my Dad we had read a couple stories, then he asked me to read the one about the deep-sea divers. I couldn't remember which book it was in so I picked one up at random and skimmed through the table of contents and didn't see it. I picked up another and still no luck. All the laughter and fun times ground to a halt as we spent the next hour poring over the tables of content of each book and still we couldn't find it.

We were looking for a story called "The Deep-Sea Divers" and therein lies the problem. It doesn't exist. As most of you know, Patrick often includes several stories within one individual story. I eventually found the story of the deep-sea divers in the story titled "The Bush Pilots" in the book Never Sniff a Gift Fish.

All together there are 16 books of his collected stories, 6 novels, and 1 recipe book that contains more stories. What I needed was an index of all his stories, and I was sure I wasn't the only one.

I spent the next 12 years (as time permitted) compiling a database of all the stories; the main topics, main characters, and events.

The index was finally published in 2011 and is available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Nobles' website.

McManus Index Website

I created a website to promote the book and help McManus fans find stories they couldn't remember clearly. For example, if you're looking for the story about the Mason jars in the barn rafters, even my index wouldn't help because it was actually "canning jars" in the "garage rafters." Our memories are tricky things. Sometimes all you need is someone to help jog your memory, and I'm happy to help.

McManus Index website on an iPad.

I've helped hundreds of people find their favorite stories. My index has even helped Patrick find stories he can hardly remember writing.

Gifts for the McManus Fan

As an illustrator and graphic designer Patrick's stories have sparked my creativity. At first they were perfect t-shirts and mugs but I found they worked on so many more items.

If not directly inspired by McManus my designs try to reflect the passions and ways of life of those who love the outdoors.

If you're looking for unique, customizable gifts with a quirky sense of humor you're sure to find something at the Bim Toggle store. T-shirts, mugs, pillows, hats, magnets, buttons; the list is too long.

Here’s a sample:

A sampling of the many outdoor-themed designs on the Bim Toggle store.

I know I'm preaching to the choir when I say that no one has made me laugh as much as Patrick McManus. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and if you know of another McManus fan in your life who would appreciate it, please forward this on to them. They'll thank you for it!

About the Author

I'm an illustrator, graphic designer, photographer, writer. I grew up in Utah, spent some time in North Carolina, and now I've settled down in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in California, not far from Yosemite National Park.

Created By
Lauren Ball

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