BIRTHDAY SOLIDARITY MESSAGES  [FROM FEBRUARY 14 AND BEYOND]  -- HUNTER GRAY / HUNTER BEAR --  FEBRUARY 2008

Preliminary Note:
 
A few days before my birthday, Steve Rutledge sent a kind greeting.  Steve was a student at Tougaloo, very active in our Jackson Movement, and now is a long time human rights activist in West Virginia.  H.
 
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John Salter:
 
Time to wish Hunter a Happy Birthday!
 
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Ed Pickersgill:
 
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaoooooooooooooooooooooooo

yes!!! its all good Hunter.....
 
Hunter Bear:
 
Well, actually, Edward, I am 74.  [That why I recall the Western saying, "Hoover Beef" so well. And I was born during a solar eclipse.]  But, assuming you have me in mind, I am deeply appreciative and grateful for your complimentary sentiments and for the good thoughts from a throng of Friends and Fellow Workers.
 
All of my offspring and Eldri remembered this day,  Probably doing better on those things than I.
 
Our very best to you -- and All -- from this snowy scene in Idaho.  [But the Sun is finally shining today -- and we see that as a Great Good Sign.]
 
In Solidarity, Hunter
 
74...... now that's a better notch!!!! Valentine's Day ten years from now
I'll get it right.  Edward
 
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Dennis O'Neil:
 
Hunter commands, I obey.

I hereby direct the list's attention to the Official Slogans for
Comrade Valentine's Day, 2008, which are up at the Fire on the
Mountain blog.
 
Hunter Bear:
 
In addition to Comrade O'Neil's apt mention of Comrade Valentine's Day, this is also the anniversary of my noisy hatch -- as well as that of the Great, Sovereign State of Arizona.

Fraternally, Hunter

P.S. "Hoover Beef," a homegrown saying from the Western sage country, refers to jackrabbits. H
 
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Norla Antinoro:
 
Well Happy Birthday Hunter!!
It's a double day for an Arizona boy for sure. That must have been quite special to share the same birthday as your state.
 
Hunter Bear:

Dear Norla:

 
Thanks much for your upbeat comments regarding my birthday -- and that of our Great and Sovereign State.
 
I imagine that, as you and I have grown older, we really haven't changed greatly.  As Arizona has grown older, it's gotten a hell of a lot bigger -- at least in certain areas.  For all of its problematic dimensions, growing up at and around Flagstaff helped me much as I've gone further and further in Life. [Learned to be tough and resilient!]  It is, of course, much bigger than the 5,000 plus it was when I was a kid -- and it got to 7,000 around the time I graduated from high school in '51.  I gather that it's about ten times that now.
 
I'm sure Tucson, big as its gotten, remains a good place.  We in the North never liked Phoenix.  Last time I saw that, it reminded me of Los Angeles.
 
But whatever Humanity has done, for better or worse, to the Great Grand Canyon State, the wilderness regions remain pleasantly intact.  "Nothing lives long," sings the Cheyenne death song, "Only the Earth and the Mountains."
 
However, I have a strong optimistic feeling about my medical situation and also about yours.  We are fighters and we have good things for which to fight. [I am, I should add, rather psychic.]
 
Our old Jackson Movement motto -- still given as the sign-off in letters from my students who were so much the shock troops in that extremely hard-fought campaign -- has always been, WWW. 
 
And that -- which I tender to you and myself -- is We Will Win.
 
All best and all our good thoughts and prayers  to you, Norla!
 
In Solidarity, H
 

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Sam Friedman:
 
Indeed, happy birthday for sure.

and 200 more to come!
 
Hunter Bear:
 
Thanks very much indeed, Sam.  I'll try at least to make the century mark.  I have always appreciated that fine poem -- Hunter -- you did during that very grim period a little more than four years ago.  It's always on our website index/directory.
 
Sam:
 
 hope you are having a great birthday.  All the various aggravations in re lists should not interfere with that.

By the way, what animals are living with you now? I noticed you did not refer to any when listing your blessings on another post.
 
Hunter Bear:
 
At this point:  Two dogs -- the older Shelty and the young-middle-aged Australian cattle dog; three aging cats; one rabbit; the eternal turtle. One kitty, Wooly, small and black, was a rival [for my attention] with the always remembered [many times each day], Cloudy. But they also were empathetic with one another. She was devastated at Cloudy's passing but, early on, assumed Cloudy's ministerial duties re me.  Two of the cats, Wooly and her brother, were at different times recently in precarious shape.  We ourselves nursed them back to a pretty full measure of good health.
 
We keep our fingers crossed!
 
Best, H
 
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Steven McNichols:
 
My birthday is March 26, but I expect something more than salutations.

Steven F. McNichols
 
Hunter Bear:
 
Agreed, Steven -- although in my case, I have about everything I need.
Plenty of firearms, lots of Western clothes from the LDS big thrift shop
[Deseret Industries], three tobacco pipes etc.[The latter did not, of
course, come from the Mormon shop.] Our family here does feel I need one
more gift. I've been tempted to ask for a half gallon of Johnny Walker
Red -- but this probably isn't the best time for that -- for what would be a
quite affectionate reunion.  [I did insist that the jacket cover of the
first edition of my book, Jackson Mississippi, reflect the deep red color of
the Johnny Walker Red label and I sent a tear piece from a bottle.]  So I've
settled for simply some more of my whiskey-flavored smoking tobacco.

March 26 is one of my now many significant anniversaries -- but too long a
tale for the moment.

I do hope you draw in a good catch.

All best, H
 
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John Lacny:
 
Happy birthday, Hunter -- though I trust that, however bloody our entrances
into the world always are, yours was not as bloody as the entrance of
Arizona, preceded as it was by the massacres of Mexicans and Apaches.

John Lacny
http://www.johnlacny.com
 

 
Hunter Bear:
 
Thanks, John, for the B-Day greeting.  And yes, you are quite right -- Arizona has been, to cite the title of a library book from my school days, Arizona's Dark and Bloody Ground.  That involves a famous sheep/cattle feud that spread over three generations or so [to the edge of the 20th Century] in the Territorial days -- but the title exemplifies a good part of the ethos, and not just the founding period.  The sanguinary list is long and still growing.
 
I was fortunate in growing up to a large extent with much involvement in wilderness areas in the northern part of the state and also with much family involvement in the Navajo Nation -- always very much sovereign turf in very depthy, vital ways.
 
About the time I was born, Apache descendants of Geronimo's band, whose kin had been able to escape into the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico, returned briefly and burned three small Arizona border towns.  The governors of Arizona, California, and New Mexico mobilized National Guard units.
 
Glad that we survived our entrance, John.  I trust the world has profited from our presence.
 
Take care and all best -
 
H
 
[Added Note By Hunter Bear Following Several Apt Comments:
 
While a few Mexicans -- in Mexico itself -- were scalp hunters for bounty paid by the Mexican government, they were very rare. After the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, they didn't function within the new U.S. territories. While Mexicans in the American Southwest -- e.g., Arizona and New Mexico -- were not murdered en masse, they were frequently murdered by Anglos seeking their land and water. And later, of course, they were victimized by the copper bosses -- e.g., the Jerome and Bisbee deportations of striking miners in the summer of 1917 and in many sorry events thereafter.

I might add that scalp hunting was introduced by the English in the latter 1600s in what is now Maine. The practice is still known by the Natives there -- the Wabanaki nations -- as "kinjamus" [after King James.] Minnesota briefly paid bounty on Native scalps at the beginning of the 1860s -- but broad public opinion ended it quickly.

Best, H
 
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Reber Boult:
 
Yes, Happy Birthday, Happy Valentine's, Happy and Productive Life, and
just a bunch of Happys.

It's getting ready to do a big snow around here, a good bit less,
though, than the 10 feet or so that buried houses in Chama a couple of
weeks ago.

Obama's still got big hills to climb to get the nomination--Ohio and
especially Texas with all its Latino voters who are still being trained,
by the Clintons at this point, to think black people are the enemy (what
a gift the powerful got with the addition of a second large bloc of
minority voters to pit against the other bloc).

- Reber Boult
 
Hunter Bear:
 
Great to hear from you, Reber -- down there in the Land of Enchantment [which, snow-wise, is beginning to sound like Flagstaff when I was a kid and had to shovel out a long driveway each early morning when we lived in Sunnyside, now East Flagstaff, along with all sorts of "marginal" people.]  We've had four or five waves of snow right here. A big one yesterday. The road up to our area was blocked  and chaos reigned generally in the Snake country.  Josie had an unneverving trip back from Blackfoot -- even in her Jeep with 4WD and snow tires.  The Sun shown today, finally. Temps haven't been bad.
 
I've never really understood Texas.  We used to say that the rich Anglo Texans would drive into New Mexico and Arizona and look down on our home folks like we were,at best, poor relations.  Beba may recall our driving in my pickup from Tsaile [Navajo Nation, of course] to Jackson.  We had an Indian rights sticker on our back bumper, New Mexico plates [McKinley County], and a 45/70 rifle in our gunrack.  We were followed for at least fifty miles by a Texas state cop -- but, in the end, were never stopped.
 
But it felt good to get into the freedom state of Louisiana.
 
Take care and all our best, H
 
And Reber Writes:
 
"I've never really understood Texas."

As you know, Hunter, New Mexicans have occasion to know a good bit about white Texans, what with Catron (actually from Missouri but surrounded by Texans), Santa Fe Ring, burning the Chicanos' land records, a few cattle barons, and those thugs pillaging under the banner of being Confederate soldiers.  "Involuntary research," I call it.  The present day summary is "If God had intended Texans to ski he'd've made bullshit white."  Or as the ski area employee told me as he turned the traffic away from going to the overflowing ski area, "Texas is empty and the ski area is full."

Shortly after the U.S. took Texas from Mexico, some functionary went there and looked around.  What he saw was too many Mexicans.  So the government hired some bounty hunters to go to Europe and bring back some white people.  That's why Texas has a lot of people descended from Germans and Czechs.

Hope this helps.

- Reber
 
 
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Louis Proyect:
 
And all the more welcome considering Hunter's health crisis from a
few years ago. The spirit is stronger than the flesh!
 
Hunter Bear:
 
Now that is indeed a kind and timely note of encouragement, Louis. [We
always remember that fine box of New York City candy you sent me right after
one of those miserable hospital incarcerations.  That could well have been
the spark that played a signal role in keeping my body and soul more or less
linked -- as I began the long and tough upward climb to a semblance of
living normalcy.  We have always appreciated that mightily.  [Being a
communalist, I did share some of that with our family -- not a lot
[sometimes I'm not a pure communalist.]

It's very good to hear from you, Louis.  We always wish you very well
indeed.  Yours was the first discussion list I ever saw, brought to my
attention by the intrepid Maria.  That was in the early Fall of 2000 -- 
another time for sure.  But it's still the same struggle.

Take care, good friend.

Fraternally, Hunter
 
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David McReynolds:
 
And indeed, from one who is your senior in years, but your junior in wisdom and courage, a joyous birthday.

David McReynolds:


Hunter Bear:
 
Thanks so very much, David -- but you are for sure no slouch with respect to wisdom and courage.  We got started in this Save the World Business at close to the same time, have known many of the same people, tangled with the same issues.  We both seem to keep going but you do have two or three years seniority on me.  I look to you for Example -- and always remember your adage:  "A man who hates cats can't be all good." [I know our good colleague Sam Friedman joins us in that!]
 
All best, H
 
And A Cat Comment By Hunter Bear -- responding to fine comments from David McReynolds and Sam Friedman:
 
Apt comments from yourself, David, and from Sam.
 
Yes, they do know who is master and servant.  The late Frank Dolphin, cowboy and artist and a thousand other things from a thousand places across the Real West, always said, "Cats always know who owns who."
 
Ours have this whole family very well trained.  They've accomplished with me what no K-12 teacher or administrator ever could.
 
May they always be with us.  Best to Shaman -- and to Sam's kitties [whose names I may not know but who I know are kindred souls.]
 
H.
 
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Dorothy Lockhart:
 
 

Happy Birthday...
from the

 

    Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago
                                        
and Dorothy Lockhart
 

we are happy you are one of us.

[ON A WONDERFULLY LARGE, GREAT AND COLORFUL E-CARD]

 

 
Dear Dorothy:
 
And it's very good for us to be part of the Ethical Humanist Family.  Eldri and I recall so fondly our great Jeep Cherokee trip to Chicago, now almost five years ago, when I gave the Founder's Day address and a Native Challenges workshop as well.  A super high point was meeting all of you -- and it's been a consistently warm, encouraging, and always up-lifting experience and relationship for us ever since.
 
And I am glad that our family was able to finally come to positive terms with the memory of William Mackintire Salter.  Coming to Chicago completed the final bridging of that historic breach in our family.
 
We shall always be with you -- as we know you are with us.
 
Hunter
 
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Heather Booth:
 
 
HunterBear,
I've long admired you, learned from you and shared some of your struggles through this list.
I surely wish you a happy birthday with the love of family and friends and enjoyment of the revitalizing sense of possibility (and maybe even movement) developing in this country.
 
Here is a poem by Seamus Heaney (which you probably know) that I hope you enjoy. 
Happy birthday, remarkable organizer and inspiration to so many.
 

Human beings suffer,
they torture one another,
they get hurt and get hard.
No poem or play or song
can fully right a wrong
inflicted and endured.

The innocent in gaols
beat on their bars together.
A hunger-striker's father
stands in the graveyard dumb.
The police widow in veils
faints at the funeral home

History says, Don't hope
on this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
the longed for tidal wave
of justice can rise up,
and hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea-change
on the far side of revenge.
Believe that a further shore
is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
and cures and healing wells.

Call the miracle self-healing:
The utter self-revealing
double-take of feeling.
if there's fire on the mountain
or lightning and storm
and a god speaks from the sky.

That means someone is hearing
the outcry and the birth-cry
of new life at its term.

 

 --Heather Booth

 

Hunter Bear:

 

Dear Heather:

Our admiration is mutual.

Yours are good and kind words indeed -- an especially pleasant and encouraging way to close yet another day. And it's been a very good day, through and through.

Good -- very good -- to hear from good friends.

I like that piece of poetry -- and am glad to become acquainted with Seamus Heaney's work. He very obviously knows that of which he writes so movingly. I'm taking the liberty of sending this message of yours, with his, to the several lists in our little "system." It will all be well received.

A packet with a letter and much more came the other day from Joan Mulholland [Joan Trumpauer.] Among all of the very nice pieces was a photo of yourself and Claire O'Connor. You all look just fine! Joan has always been the wide-ranging scout who keeps track of so many of us.

When I think of bona fide community organizing -- and Chicago -- I think of your good work. And that, of course, always continues on your part, wherever you may be. Always will.

Once again, many thanks, Heather. We will certainly keep in touch.

In Solidarity, Hunter Bear

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Dale Jacobson:

 

Yes, Hunter, let me chime too, happy birthday to you,
as I am happy to know you as a neighbor, near or far.

Dale

 

Hunter Bear:

 

You're always a welcome voice, Dale, from the truly Frozen North!
 
And you are indeed a fine and loyal old friend.
 
Lisa calls at least once a week, passes on the news about Grand Forks, North Dakota in general, and what she can gather about the merry-go-round at your bastion [or penal institution], University of North Dakota.
 
You may have gathered from an earlier post of mine that UND president, Charles Kupchella, sent me the [genuinely high grade] special UND 2008 Calendar -- along with a quasi-personal letter.  I found this a little surprising given the many years feud we've been having with the place.  But it's on my wall -- and I can look at the April page [the earlier ones have too much snow] and see that old battleground, Merrifield.  My memories of That  involve, of course, countless fine students, and a few faculty companeros such as yourself.
 
Take care, old friend, and always remember that our door is always open here in Idaho.  I miss our long conversations in our living room on 49th Street -- as does Eldri -- and the rich discussions we used to have via lunch at Hardee's.
 
Our very best, Dale -- H.
 
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Michael Marino:
 
And, here, I done did fergit and neglected to send the Prof. a bowx
of chowcklits. This'll reflect badly on m'grades, Ah jist KNOW it.

But yer only 74?!? Shee-YOOT! An' here Ah wuz, thanking you wuz an
old feller. Y'had me fooled, Prof., y'did.

-Michael C. Marino
(Legend has it he really talks like that.)
(And has before been cited by a Federal Judge for "Tawlkin' lahk one
o' them there fellers frum the Sowth! $50 n' time served!")
 
Hunter Bear:
 
Thanks much indeed, Michael.  You sound in genuinely fine form, yourself.  My maternal grandfather made it to 98 -- ever the capitalist to almost the very end -- probably toughened by his growing-up in Dakota Territory capped off by his stint as a mining engineer in the Idaho Coeur d'Alenes.  Mother was 95 when she left for the Beyond -- though in the latter stages her .38 revolver had to be surreptitiously slipped away from her.  Eldri's father hit 95, a consistently gentle person.
 
I intend to be around for a long time -- and you sound just like you always have: sparky as Hell.
 
In Solidarity, H.

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Joe Torma:

Hunter – Just want to chime in with all the others in hoping that you had a great 74th birthday/Valentine’s Day.  I enjoy hearing about your life and keep hoping that I can get out to see you when I’m in the West.  I hope that you got our annual Christmas letter, so that you know that things are going well for us.  As for birthdays, I remember well my 35th birthday – April 18, 1978 – because you had come to my class at the seminary and then you bought me a birthday scotch at Grumpy’s tavern!  All the best - Joe

Hunter Bear:

Dear Joe:
 
I do indeed recall your birthday at Grumpy's.  Lots of Scotch and related things that day!  Great times in Rochester!  [I hear occasionally from Tim and they, as you most likely know, are doing well.  I am sure they will survive the winter.]
 
We did indeed receive your, as always, fine full Christmas letter -- to which we always look forward.  Fine Christmas letters are an Art and you all mastered that long, long ago.
 
I suspect that, as always, we all agree pretty much on the contemporary political dimensions in this country -- and on global matters as well.
 
I have always remembered the time we polled your St Bernard's Seminary class [social theology] on certain aspects of our quite successful campaign on behalf of the hundred or so [plus their families] genuinely imprisoned Algonquin mink workers at Lester Bennett's feudal ranch in 1977 into 1978.  A key question, as you well recall I'm sure, was the matter of "pragmatic ethics" re Elliott's feigned love affair with Bennett's "apple" Algonquin control person, Mary Jane Smith -- and our subsequent gathering of much valuable intelligence data on the Bennett operation, capped off by our slick maneuver, via the duped Mary Jane [who was maneuvered away by Elliott early on for a "night on the town"],  in order to get all of the Algonquins and their families into Rochester to St Francis Xavier for the Great Strike Rally.  As I recall, two thirds of the potential priests felt our maneuver, under the dire circumstances, was quite justified.  The other one-third dissented on somewhat narrower ethical grounds.
 
Quite encouraging.
 
Too damn bad that Elliott is now gone.  [Elliott Ricehill, Ho-Chunk [Winnebago] passed away in 2006 in Wisconsin.  See, for his background and an outline of the Algonquin struggle at Bennett's ranch [with some related links]:

http://hunterbear.org/SEDONA,%20FOREST%20FIRES,%20AND%20RABBIT%20EARS.htm

 

 
I gather your brother is still in Missoula.  We all should be able to connect directly in the foreseeable future.
 
Our very best to you and your fine family, all of whom are obviously most successful in worthy vocations.
 
Eldri et al. join me in sending our very best, always -
 
And, by all means, Joe, keep in contact.
 
Yours, Hunter [or John]
 

 

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Macdonald Stainsby:

 

love to you, Hunter. Glad you are here for another year, let's make it 20.

Hunter Bear:

 

Thanks very much, Macdonald -- and you are certainly doing great grassroots
work for sure on several key social justice fronts.  We are surviving our
Idaho winter and trust you are handling yours in the Canadian prairie in
fine form. Can't say I miss the North Dakota blizzards and 35 below, with
100 below wind-chills. But, as they say there, "It's a dry cold and keeps
the riff-raff out."  I have never quite understood what they meant by the
latter term.

I am planning to make at least the century mark.  Have to out-do some of my
long-lived forebears who made it deep into their 90s.

And we will both keep fighting -- all the way!


Best, H
 

 

 

HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR]   Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
 and Ohkwari'
 
Check out our Hunterbear website Directory http://hunterbear.org/directory.htm
[The site is dedicated to our one-half Bobcat, Cloudy Gray:
http://hunterbear.org/cloudy_gray.htm
 
See Forces and Faces Along the Activist Trail:  http://hunterbear.org/forces_and_faces_along_the_trail.htm
And see also this companion piece, http://hunterbear.org/outlaw_trail1.htm

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