Men in Black – what do you fear?

When I was four years old, two men in black suits came to our home in Concord, Ohio and tested me. My parents claim this never happened but I remember it clear as day. I remember they took me into a room and did a series of test – cards with forms and shapes on them and then they talked with my mother and left. How can I have such a clear memory of this event and yet be told it never happened. When I was five I wrote a letter to President Nixon asking him to help “my people” Indians in the west. His Secretary of the Interior, Walter J. Hickel wrote back and told me that he was working to help the native people. Sitting in a meeting with a medicine man and asked to relay my clans I state Hungarian and German and….later the medicine man takes me aside and says you have another Clan Northern Cree.6291

I can remember my nightmares as a child falling. Being on a large ship and then plummeting back to earth.

Abstract thoughts that play over in my mind – the why of each.

I started to title this post To Fear or Not to Fear because growing up I was always afraid. I remember building these scenarios in my mind to get to sleep at night because I knew someone was going to “get me”. Abduction played over and over in my young mind. Christian school for thirteen years did not help matters. They instilled the fear of Johnathan Edwards “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”; your hair is touching your ear therefore you are going to hell legalism. I was whipped and rebelled, whipped more and began to escape into books and nature. I learned to ignore but the fear remained.

No one ever gave me options. I fumbled along through college and then through life directionless.

The one thing in life I have wanted to do – I have never done.

There is so much good I could do – yet I stand motionless – without ego – wondering, thinking, “IF”

Fear? It is amazing what one can live through!

It always goes back to 4th grade, Mrs Spurrier – Memorize Rudyard Kipling “IF” ! and then 7th grade Mrs Spurrier being hauled into the hallway and asked to rat on another student and not saying anything while she berated me and tried to trick me and say that “he said – she said” routine…I stood solid and never flinched and she finally smiled and told me I was okay – she hated rats! I took the whipping for David Smetters in fourth grade, took the whipping in fifth grade for Jimmy Venman, I can still feel the muscle memory of being whipped to this day. I think that is a good thing because it got me through my fear. Through one of the toughest times – “Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,” Lies ruined my life but set me free and they still circulate and I smile thankful.

I met a cashier at the local IGA who was being questioned by the FEDS. She was shaken up – dire fear – and asked for advice – no, I did not quote Rudyard Kipling – I simply told her to keep her mouth shut. Don’t talk to friends, relatives, e-mail, text, anything!

I think often of Edward Snowden who gave his life for our country and I wonder about his fear. I know the media is a mass manipulation of lies. Our politicians sold to the highest bidder.

Life is the energy you surround yourself with –



If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


Thanks be to God who giveth to all men liberally –

This is dedicated to my old friend David Smetters – thanks for the brick in the wall!

Shooting My First Raccoon

BeaverOne of the most quintessential moments in a young man’s life is when he first takes the life of an animal. I spent many many hours with my father trapping in Ohio as I grew up. It all started with a Daisy BB gun that he bought me when I was eight years old. My mother had a fit but my father prevailed. (Mom thought I was too young) My father hauled me all over  Ohio and Canada in pursuit of fish and fur. Until  I was in  fifth grade, he would always kill whatever we trapped or hunted.

I remember being about a mile from our home in Concord, Ohio and checking traps we had set a couple days before and discovering a big old coon. I had my trusty Remington 22 single shot bolt action rifle but knowing I could not shoot without my father, I trekked home. I brought my dad back to the trapped coon – one leg caught in a Victor #2 leg hold trap. My dad asked me if I would shoot it. I was surprised because it was the first time he had ever asked. I chambered a round and pointed the gun toward the raccoon and fired. I missed by about a foot and almost shot my dad in the leg. My dad gently said to me – don’t close your eyes when your aiming and try again. I shot and can still see the quick death of that raccoon in my minds eye. Skinned it, fleshed it, and stretched it and finally went to Cooper’s Hide Shop to sell all our hides. (Mom would always freak out if we were busy and just left the raccoon in the deep freezer to skin later – we thought it was funny leaving em with their head peaking up from under the venison!)

George trapping
George trapping

I trapped many more raccoon and red fox and too many muskrat to count and even one beaver. My fondest memories are preparing the traps by boiling them in bark and water till they were black and ready. Catching salmon to bait our traps (my father would reach right down in the river and grab them by the eyes) – Catching hawks in traps (by accident) and letting them loose – I thought the hawk would peck my eyes out. Learning about possum and seeing the babies in her pouch. I was taught respect both of guns and wildlife.

My good friend Kyle proudly showed me his son George’s first antelope the other day and I could not help but remember and know that George has stepped into manhood. I gave George a 22 rifle last year for Christmas with 100 rounds of ammo and the three of us

Jade's buffalo - great knife thanks to Hank Will
Jade’s buffalo – great knife thanks to Hank Will

went beaver trapping. It is a good way to raise a child.

I am so thankful my father took me everyplace with him trapping, hunting and fishing. I don’t trap anymore but fish and bird hunt all the time. I am blessed to live in Montana where game is plentiful and moose and buffalo are in the freezer.IMG_20140427_165706950