by David Tatelman
It is truly an honor to write the foreword to John Allen's book Mushroom Pioneers.
I first met John Allen when he published Magic Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest in 1976. I was utterly surprised when his book, written by hand, then published and printed by him on an AB Dick Offset Press, did as well as my own slick new book, Magikal Mushroom Handbook. Readers will appreciate his authentic knowledge of the local mushroom scene, not to mention how he personally sold copies, sometimes by leading hunts to his own private spots.
People in the field of mushrooms are very jealous of their turf. Professional mycologists feel superior to amateur mycologists. Those who make little or no money look with disdain at those who have been successful at selling books or products about mushrooms. John Allen has managed to make friends with just about everybody, the icons, the professors, and the amateurs, by proving that he truly loves mushrooms and knows where to find them perhaps better than anybody. Mycologists and authors alike have ended up working with John and acknowledging his authority in the field.
He has found mushrooms directly across from my office, and in places as far away as Thailand, India, Cambodia, Malaysia and Australia. If there is a mushroom to be found, John Allen can find it. He even has discovered a new species which now bares his name, which is more than I can say. John has been an invaluable historian for the entire mushroom movement. He has self-published a whole library of books about the mushroom world, documenting our humble history.
It is only fitting that John would be the one to write a book about the history of those involved in the movement. I know he doesn't always appreciate being called that, but to me he will always be Mushroom John!
And I mean that as a mark of respect for all he has done for the field of mycology.
Homestead Book Company
Welcome to the Wonderful World of the Sacred Fungi