Hey, Spike! focuses on Mark Fox | SummitDaily.com

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Hey, Spike! focuses on Mark Fox

Being a professional newspaper photographer means you have one of the best views of the action.

Now, veteran newshound Mark Fox lives in Buena Vista, which means "good view." Preferring to be behind his Nikon cameras and not in the news, Mark continues to shoot up his surroundings and peddle two coffee table photobooks he authored.

"I am just a little more than a lot nervous about this," he admits. "I like to fly under the radar. Always did like being on the back side of the camera."

The native of Cando, North Dakota, who moved to Colorado in 1979, with a degree in graphic arts, has newspapered in Castle Rock, Aspen, Frisco, Santa Maria, California, and now has some Chaffee County credits.

Recently he had some of his work in the Buena Vista-based Chaffee County Times and the new Discover The Heart of Colorado magazine.

Mark moved over last fall to Buena Vista from his little log cabin on the edge of the forest in Frisco, where he bought a bit larger home that needed some help.

"The quaintness, warmer weather, close proximity to Summit," he explains. "I can be back in Frisco in just over an hour, as long as I don't make any detours to Leadville Hardware Antique Store and the Silver Dollar in Leadville."

"I found a great fixer-upper on Pleasant Avenue that just speaks Pleasantville," Mark adds. "I'm almost caught up on the interior — time to move outdoors. This has been a great project and undertaking. I received some great advice and help from Dirk Fowler, longtime Frisco and Summit builder."

Mark knows some projects don't just happen overnight.

His two hard-bound volumes I and II of "Colorado's High Country — A Photojournalistic Look at Life in the Mountains" compiled years of capturing action. The books include essays from buddies and news writers M. John Fayhee, T. Alex Miller and Devon O'Neil.

Mark's latest book is available at the Summit Daily News office in Frisco, the Next Page Bookstore and Bona Dea's hair salon in Silverthorne. He has some as well.

The second and final book features 160 pages of color and black and white photos.

Peter Fonda, Peter Frampton, Warren Miller and Johnny Winter in Breckenridge, and Willie Nelson in Aspen are some of the big names included, but most are shots of the important community fabric: locals.

Among those regional locals' photos are brothers David and Doug Tomlinson, Ullr, Shannon Galpin, Roxanne Holmes, Holly Holmes, Jody Thompson, Paula Petersen, Kim Clark, Jill Sorenson, the Leadville Re-Enactors, Bill Lee, Beth Sharp, Paul Molinar, Tim Dudley, Bevan Frost, Tim Hannon, Vernon Gibson, Campy Campton, Brian Anderson, Kelly Frechette, Cooke Fisher, Ksusha Shambarger, Chip and Eli Rogers, Jessie and Jackson True, Norman and Louise Barker, Andy Blumenthal, Terry Dolan, Scott Crawford, Mark Thompson, Alison Maginity, Don Johnson, Dan Gorman, Jim Gelatt, Alf Rudd, John Longhill, Colette Smith, Cody Wheeler, Barre Lee, Rebekah Jordan, Sandy Greenhut, Nic Kubes, Len Rhodes, Arnie Green, Mo Dixon, Bruce Ruff, Jeff Dahl, Steve Smith, Todd Sandoval, Danelle Ballengee, Luke Slottow, Cindy Birchler, Leon Joseph Littlebird, Lynda "Mamma Moose" Colety, Kirk Kizer, Jimbo Deines, Boot Gordon, Mike Salamon, CJ Mueller, Sigurd Rockne, Simone Belz, John Warner, Randall McKinnon, Jeff Westcott, George Blincoe, Bob French, Lynn Bauer, Warren Alloway, Steve Fisher, Dave Pringle, Mike Kopicky, Rick Asher, Jere Lynch, Shamus O'Toole, Barry Comeau, Nancy Cook, Andre Ayala, Anna Confer, Bob and Wendy Moore, Kelly Renoux, Patty Theobald, Gene Dayton, Karen Berg, Cheri Breeman, Steve Puchek, Jack Cowger, Matt Lit, Chris Sutton, Steve Jones, Rick Devin, Steuart Bremmer, Todd Powell, and Steve and Cindy Lewis.

Ironically, the last three — Todd, Steve and Cindy — may appear in Mark's photos again, as they now have homes in and around Buena Vista.

Other Summiteers who have "gone over the hill" to lower elevations include writer Kim Marquis, kayakers Earl Richmond and Chad Gorby, Richard and Rita Kiteley, Tara Flanagan and Greg Wright, Ron and Peggy Alexander, and Dave Lukens and Michelle Morrisette.

"Surely there are more," says Mark, "and probably more to come."

While many people with "regular jobs" use photography to express themselves artistically, Mark "heats and beats" metal as a blacksmith.

He explains the smithy outlet thusly:

"Once I realized it was time to experience new experiences (so-to-speak) from photography, blacksmithing was a new old-school art form for me to focus on. The smell of the coal forge in the morning is pretty cool. So is shaping, pounding and bending metal."

Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed "Spike," a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former hardrock miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. He and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to milesfporteriv@aol.com.