I AM THE KIND of historian who enjoys looking in hidden nooks and crannies for people, places and events that have never been examined before, as is the case here.
During the research of my first book, “Seattle Prohibition: Bootleggers, Rumrunners & Graft in the Queen City,” a name kept appearing with increasing regularity. It was not a name I was familiar with, but it quickly became apparent this person represented an important part of the overall story that I soon would be documenting.
Pushing aside the towering pile of research material, I grabbed my laptop, typed “Alfred M. Hubbard” into the search bar and watched as a number of interesting results popped up on the screen. Clicking on the first result immediately led me down a deep and mysterious rabbit hole. As a historian, this was a good sign, because rabbit holes are usually a strong indication that something interesting has been found. Intrigued, I continued my research of this strange figure. This led me down further passageways, followed by others and, before long, I found myself traveling down a mesmerizing maze of tunnels, caves and bottomless pits. The more I learned about him, the more questions I had. Hubbard was, as the old saying goes, “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” I was completely hooked.
As soon as I completed “Seattle Prohibition,” I was frequently asked the question that I’m sure most writers hear, which is, “What is your next book going to be about?” For me, the answer was abundantly and unhesitatingly clear: a biography about Al Hubbard. His story has been briefly covered in a few other publications, but “Seattle Mystic Alfred M. Hubbard: Inventor, Bootlegger & Psychedelic Pioneer” is the first book dedicated to telling the complete and definitive story of his life.