What follows here are some of the major points in our struggle against an extremely lethal disease -- SLE Lupus -- and the accompanying serious diabetes.  [SLE is rare and Natives, Chicanos, and Blacks are especially vulnerable to it.]  We believe our record here is important.  We know the fine comments and thoughts by many friends are absolutely critical to us.  Thus we are listing this highly significant material. 



Here's a tribute to "Professor Salter" from some of
his Tougaloo College students.  Would you please see
that it gets added to the website. 

Thanks, Joan Mulholland

                                     May 14, 2004

The Tougaloo Class of '64, meeting for our 40th
Reunion, sends heartfelt greetings to Professor and
Eldri Salter and their family.  We remember their time
with us (and we with them)--their encouragement,
guidance and welcoming home.  Above all, we remember
their commitment to the Civil Rights Movement and
their faith in us.  For all of these gifts we say,
"Thank you, thank you."  We are saddened to learn of
Professor Salter's infliction with lupus.  We want him
and his family to know that our hearts and prayers are
with them as they face this life's challenge.  His
support and inspiration are living legacies for all
who were fortunate to know him, especially the Class
of 1964.  For this we are ever grateful.

Robert Calhoun
Lavern Johnson Holly
Annie Belle Calhoun ('65)
Carrie Lapsky Davis
Doris Browne
Memphis A. Norman
Steve Rutledge
Shirley Barnes Laird
Jerrodean Davis Ashby
Rita Huddleston Parker
James C. McQuirter
Sylvia Davis Thompson
Deloris G. Daniels
Albert E. Lassiter
Gwendolyn R. Ross
Emma J. Campbell
Charles E. Quinn
Norma Jean Lathan
D. Camille (Wilburn) McKey
Ruth M.(Moody) Byrdsong
Norweida (Rayford) Roberts
Joan (Trumpauer) Mulholland
Bennie Cohran
Shirley (Wells) Green
Joyce Ladner


Tougaloo, Mississippi


Received and posted today, May 27 2004, and with great appreciation, on  the official Tribute Page at  Lair of Hunterbear.


Hunter, now THAT is something to be proud of.

William (Bill) Mandel  5/29/04


They are honoring you because you bring joy and power into all our hearts.

Just recently, at your suggestion, I have been reading the poetry of John Beecher.  Thank you for the lead--it is powerful and beautiful writing!  I will try to honor his tradition in my own work.

sam [friedman]   5/30/04






"In our Gray Hole, the ghosts often dance in the junipers and sage, on the game trails, in the tributary canyons with the thick red maples, and on the high windy ridges -- and they dance from within the very essence of our own inner being. They do this especially when the bright night moon shines down on the clean white snow that covers the valley and its surroundings.  Then it is as bright as day -- but in an always soft and mysterious and remembering way.[Hunter Bear]  See Gray Lands and Gray Ghosts at



From Sam Friedman: "It is an amazing outpouring of love and respect.  Not just for today, but as something we can show our grandchildren and they can show their grandchildren to say, "This is what you can aspire to."

From Lois Chaffee:  "It is a great tribute - I'm very glad that you can see the impact your life has had on so many other lives and so many significant events.  Best to you all." 

From Heather Booth:  "Hunter, You have captured our hearts and spirits. 
I am so glad you like the web site and know some of the impact you have had not only on those who have been with you in common struggle, but also those of us who are moved by your example."


As many are aware by now,  I have been very ill since July 2003 with an extremely dangerous version of systemic Lupus [SLE].  It took weeks to effect a specific diagnosis -- during which  I came very close to dying at our Pocatello hospital in early September.  Eventually diagnosed as deeply rooted systemic Lupus, the prescribed medicine backfired, the Lupus returned  -- virulently attacking lungs, kidneys, liver, blood vessels and other vital organs. 

When I entered the hospital again on November 5, 2003, my face was covered with very large blood blisters, I had  virtually no strength, and  could not walk, talk, nor eat.

I was very near death --but with twelve doctors of various specialties, Ignatius Loyola, and our Mohawk bear medicine, obviously made it. I was in the hospital once again for over a week.

The Lupus then struck hard a third time -- in early December 2003 -- and again I came extremely close to death.  I was in the hospital more than a week.  I was also hit by diabetes which I am now fighting as well.

I see the doctors with regularity. [BTW, I did an extensive film interview on my Lupus experiences for their medical students.]

I am taking many medicines.  There have been disturbing Lupus flare ups that have lasted many days:  this spring and summer.  The doctors can offer no prognosis; and, frankly, it's obvious this could all do me in -- pronto at any point.

It's increasingly
clear that SLE can be characterized by both a profound and dangerous shot out of the blue -- and/or slow and consistent erosion.  My kidneys, for example, are showing some signs of the struggle -- nothing heavy yet -- these are the organs frequently responsible for Lupus mortality.  My
brothers have offered a kidney should that ultimately become necessary.  But that juncture, were it to come, is still a long, long way off indeed].

The doctors are not encouraging at all on the matter of long term remission for me [or possibly any remission] -- and certainly not for a conclusive cure.  I have asked directly about all of this several times and the answers do not change.

I can and will live with all of this.

So we do fight on, always have -- always will. 

We have received many hundreds of support communications and are tremendously grateful.  Many Native American tribal nations and individuals have been mounting an extremely welcome massive prayer service which is continuing and, in fact, expanding.

Hunter Gray  [Hunter Bear]  Micmac/St Francis Abenaki/St Regis Mohawk




"Your Lupus is out of control!"

For a provocative lead, this -- which I have just heard today on the phone from our lead medic, following his receipt of my very extensive blood tests -- does very well as an attention-gripper.

The situation is this and I do NOT want to belabor folks with my medical challenges:  An appointment with the medics had been scheduled for July 19 but fell through because their office computer lost it.  Eldri and Thomas and I got there in a timely fashion, with our appointment slip -- but the earliest the office people could schedule conflicted with the forthcoming
visit of my editor son, Peter [Mack], and his three lively offspring, from Lincoln.  The appointment finally occurred on Tuesday, August 10, and lasted for quite awhile. Thomas and Eldri came with me.  For some days prior to that, I had been experiencing some of the basic incipient symptoms of SLE Lupus: much pain, cramped hands, sense of some fatigue, heavy night
sweating, substantive depression [not something with which I am normally afflicted] etc.  Heart, lungs, blood pressure, temp were all OK.  Much blood was taken and the results now show a relatively high sedimentation rate [sed rate] and some other things. I wasn't floored at all by this news.  I did
ask specifically about my kidneys [a very major danger area in SLE] and was glad to hear that nothing has changed in that bailiwick since May -- when they were still, but barely, in the normal range.

The doc did not mention the hospital.  My half-Bobcat, Cloudy, would never let me be taken there again -- nor would other members of our family.

So we are increasing the Prednisone [surprisingly inexpensive] and calcium. I dislike the Pred very much indeed but it is, as I see it, much much better than the alternative:  Imuran or Methotrexate -- chemo drugs that can in
some instances cause cancer in their own right.  [I continue to take the many other medicines as well.]

In addition to the kidneys still being within a "safe" range, it's clear that my basically renewed strength has allowed me to keep the SLE from staging a quick comeback coup.

I will keep walking -- and always fighting.  Forever.

In another context, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, our old civil rights colleague spent a very pleasant day with us at mid-week.  She had earlier had a fine visit with Steve Harvey in Courtenay, BC.  She was delighted to get the e mail messages from Theresa Alt and Sam Friedman [who had, it turned out, been in the major protests with her at the segregated Glen Echo Amusement Park, Maryland, 44 years ago.] And she certainly appreciated Bill
Mandel's fine supportive message. Joan told us of a Tougaloo College family which has lost two members to a hideous death from SLE within the past few years.


HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR]   Micmac /St. Francis Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

Macdonald Stainsby comments:  "The things that make life itself worthwhile are worth treasuring like this. It's always good to hear of your health, Hunter-- and your particular way with words and love and understanding of your place in your surroundings
tells me that not only are you very much alive, you are as much Hunter as could ever be."
Macdonald Stainsby


oy.  thinking of you all and sending vibes up over the front range.
much love, k  [Kass Fleisher, 8/14/04]

In Robeson's amended words to "Old Man River":
    "I'll keep on fightin' until I'm dyin'." [Bill Mandel, 8/14/04]


I hope your health improves.  My regards to Eldri.  Joyce Ladner [8/14/04]  

Dear Hunter,

      I read your posts with much interest, and I send metta every day.  It's a "Buddhist thing", not much different than good vibes/friendly good wishes, I think.  Hello to Eldri and Maria and Thomas and the others.  And keep walking, my friend.
      Paz, Clyde [Clyde Appleton, 8/14/04


You are in our thoughts and hopes, my friend.  Despite the subject line, you seem to have decent options.  Be healthy and enjoy being out of the hospital and free.
[Mark Lause, 8/13/04]

You have seen the view from many levels. Your doctors know not the energy and power of your being. No one or nothing will silence your voice. It  reverberates and gives us all strength to confront the battles ahead.
Hoka Hey!
Mato Ska [8/13/04]

[On Saturday, August 28, '04 -- as per suggestion of medics -- I returned to the much smaller dosage of Prednisone.  However, on September 27, '04, the larger dosage of Prednisone was restored for a month by the physicians.]


I was extremely pleased and personally very reassured to learn yesterday that my favorite mountain boot company – Lowa – continues to offer my boot-of-choice -- XL Extra Trekker -- in Size 16. That is as high as they go there but that’ll do very nicely, for now. More on that interesting development in a few moments.

In the meantime, Summer has ended, days are cool [50s and 60s for the most part] and so are nights [30s and lower 40s.] With reasonably adequate water finally at hand, game continues to come down from the higher country: mule deer and elk, moose, coyotes and cats. And maybe a wolf or two.

Although the docs continue to say that I can expect no substantive remission in my fight against SLE Lupus – and certainly no cure – I have never accepted that and I never will. The potentially lethal disease can erode or can strike from the blue – but I sense a positive shift. My walking into the rough country is more frequent, my breathing is now normal, and my legs are stronger each time. Still lots of medicine and many of the various and aggravating symptoms that accompany SLE – but I am now increasingly [and I think realistically] optimistic. Everyone’s good thoughts, I should add, are critical. Clyde has regularly sent Buddhist metta and Alice and Dan and Steve are among those who have sent very helpful reading materials sketching out critical trails toward the Sun. And many, many others have been doing their good things.

Depression is a common characteristic of Lupus, especially my oft lethal variant, but I have been able to handle that without resorting to any substances – other than strong coffee. I am fortunate that the disease has not entered my brain or nervous system. I ask myself, occasionally, rhetorical questions, such as: "If your mind was going over a cliff and so was your coffee, and you could only save one, which would you choose."

And my answer is, "My mind – but I’d have to think about it for a quick moment."

Yesterday at Jackson, Mrs Doris Allison was laid away in an appropriately consecrated Catholic cemetery. [I believe I know the priest from Canton who did her funeral mass – a very fine person.] The major state paper, The Clarion Ledger, carried a good obituary. The Allisons have no children and we here are all pleased with the inclusion that,

"She is survived by godson, Thomas Salter."

On politics, our interests and assistance are focused almost exclusively on the vigorous and promising grassroots populist campaign of veteran Idaho Labor activist, Lin Whitworth, for the Second Congressional District seat now held by rightwinger Mike Simpson.

My youngest daughter, Josie, is the extremely special friend of Brother Whitworth’s grandson, Cameron. They, Josie and Cameron, are presently on a bow hunting expedition for deer – close to the nearby Wyoming border.

And now to the feet and boot situation – which is an old phenomenon having nothing whatsoever to do with Lupus or any malady. In 1989, my feet which had long been Size 12, suddenly grew to Size 13. At the beginning of 1998, they suddenly jumped to Size 14. And, at the end of 1998, they went up to Size 15. I have one big-footed grandson, Scotty [a mid teen] in Nebraska, who loves boots and, as I am forced to discard footwear that has become too small, I pass those on to him.

Recently, I told him, "I think I have probably stopped growing."

That was quite premature. It’s now very clear that I am at Size 16. Nothing to worry about as long as I have appropriately sized boots – but it is sort of mysterious.

[Excerpt from a post of mine, September 9 2004:

 "What would General Rommel do in such a case?"  said I to Eldri -- in the
unwelcome event that my feet should grow toward Size 17 with commercial boots no longer available in that size. I recently saw a fine film on Rommel.

[Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, "Desert Fox" from the North Africa
campaigns, and the most capable general
on the German side during World War II.  Also -- from many perspectives --
an increasingly obvious critic of Hitler et al, aware and supportive of the
unsuccessful effort to do in the Fuehrer via the bomb route -- for which
Rommel was pushed into suicide by the Nazis.] Interestingly, he was publicly praised twice by adversary, Winston Churchill, in the House of Commons -- once while he was alive and once when dead. I have his excellent World War I book, Infantry Attacks [London:  Greenhill Books, various editions, initial copyright by Erwin Rommel, 1937.]

Eldri surmised Rommel might cut off the ends of his boots, but I disagreed.
"More than likely," said I, "he'd cut off the tips of his feet rather than
impair good military equipment."

And General MacArthur?

We both agreed that he'd want to Nuke the feet.

"Now Geronimo," I went on, "would simply kill a buck mule deer and make
appropriate moccasin/leggings from its fast drying hide. I think that
arrangement would fit us and our feet much better in the personal/cultural
sense -- although, of course, it would hurt the deer."

I can find no sign of any major boot manufacturer who proceeds beyond Size 16 -- and it's tough enough to find that size.

At this point, such a choice is not on our table -- not yet.  My brand new
Size 16 Lowa Extra Large Trekker mountain boots [four pounds in weight] have arrived and fit perfectly.  I immediately took them on the Trail  -- about two miles steep up/steep down and they did wonderfully.  [Although I have previously printed it, see my glowing endorsement of Lowa Extra Trekkers -- a testimonial still used much by Lowa -- from almost two years ago when I secured Size 15. It's at the conclusion of this.]  As it turned out, Lowa itself had none of its Size 16s and Summit Hut at Tucson, the major Lowa outlet, had only two pair.  I moved Real Fast with a solvent credit card, Bless Its Shiny Plastic Alchemic Soul.]

As I've noted, my feet in 1989 grew suddenly from Size 12 to Size 13.  And
then, at the beginning of 1998, they moved to Size 14.  At the end of 1998,
they were Size 15.  And now, late summer/early fall 2004, they are a full
Size 16.

This, a long standing phenomenon spanning 15 years, has nothing to do with SLE Lupus.  Nor does it have anything to do with falling arches -- since I was born with completely flat feet [like my father] and have never had an
arch of any kind.  Nor does it have anything to do with any disease.  My SLE
took a long time to diagnose, during which I had no end of tests:  bone
marrow for literally hundreds of diseases, cat scans all over, urine tests,
and no end of still continuing "blood work."  Nothing exotic in me, just
plain old lethal SLE, recent and rare.  But the foot thing is mysterious.

These Size 16 Lowa Extra Large Mountain Boots have given me a substantial physical and psychological boost.  We are hopeful that I will now be able to cover much more turf on my frequent Treks.    H ]


Good widebrimmed hats [I have four]; good firearms [I have seven, all descended from pre-1900 patents and, with the exception of one shotgun and a revolver, all Western lever actions]; and good mountain boots are always my most important material possessions.

Although rarely do I do consumer endorsements, here is the one I made for Lowa on December 15, 2002 and they continue to carry it:

Reviewed by: Hunterbear, Mountaineer, from Pocatello, Idaho, USA


My Lowa Trekkers [Extra -- size 15] are splendid in all respects. I do a great deal of climbing in and out of very rough and rugged mountains and canyons here in Southeastern Idaho -- often on a daily basis. I require super-traction -- especially since some of this occurs in pre-dawn darkness. Within hours after receiving my Trekkers, I was on the trail. Within a six mile stretch, they dealt in extraordinarily capable fashion with steep up-hill, steep down-hill, snow, ice, mud, fixed rocks, loose rocks, slippery sage brush. In the days following, in addition to all of the foregoing challenges, the Trekkers dealt extremely well with water. They could not be
more comfortable. Virtually no breaking-in period was required. I recommend them with the highest enthusiasm.

Customer Service:
Excellent service. I called Lowa [USA] which rushed the Trekkers to the retailer -- who then rushed them to me.

Similar Products Used:
I have used Vasque Sundowners -- have two pair. They are quite good -- but my Lowa Trekkers have better traction, are better fitting, and seem less cumbersome.


My Great Lowa XL Trekkers

Fraternally and In Solidarity -

Hunter Bear

HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR]   Micmac /St. Francis Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari


'ano 'ai e brother hunter bear (greetings in the spirit of aloha),
mahalo for the good news -- my wife would certainly choose the coffee, and she loves to pull on her cowboy boots on extra special occasions (i never did find out what brand it is)!
we look forward to your sharing of your mana'o -- it's always very inspiring...
 e malama pono,  take care... 'imiola    9/3/04


Hi, Hunter,

Are you sure you have all your genealogy down?  No Sasquatch beings anywhere?

Anyway, your email was good to read.  May you have lots more days of walking your trails, and if you happen to come upon  Wolf, please say hello to him (or her) for me.

Alice Azure   9/3/04



hey, feel as good as you can.  go kick some sage
for me.  xo  Kass Fleisher  9/3/04



My hopes and good wishes are still with you. 

Claire (O'Connor  9/3/04



This is a short but quite optimistic report on my so-called medical
condition and my fight against the most lethal form of SLE Lupus.  On our
walks into the hills which begin just above our far up home, I am now seeing old-friend geographical vistas that, even a few months ago, I never thought I'd ever see again.

A very few days ago, I had my regular med appointment and, simultaneously, was fighting off the same cold that had hit Eldri very hard, and Maria and Josie as well.  To play safe, the doc quite temporarily increased my Prednisone -- a short term increase.   Even now that hasn't had time to kick in -- it doesn't affect colds anyway -- and very significantly I by myself completely fought off the cold which, because of my presumed loss of immunity, should have immediately struck me very hard indeed.  But, to reiterate, I threw  off the cold.  [Eldri is still quite ill, Maria better,
and Josie with Cameron is now hunting deer on the Wyoming border.]

Yesterday, Maria and I and Hunter [Shelty] walked much further than usual -- to the Cattle Guard.  Early this morning, we went much further than that -- 'way, 'way up.  It is extremely steep turf at every point.  My brand new
Size 16 Lowa Trekker Extra Mountain Boots are doing a wonderful job.

The medic of the other day said I looked "Much healthier."  When I went to
get a very nice [our third] dog from the pro-animal county shelter [a branch of the sheriff's department], I asked -- almost for the first time in my life -- if they had a senior discount.  They do [thirty bucks off seventy or
so] but the very nice lady raised an eyebrow and said, "You really do have
to be at least 60."  Maria and Josie were grinning and when I indicated I
was 70, I was carded via my driver's license for the first time since I was
38.  Anyway.  In addition to our faithful Shelty and a black Siberian Husky,
we now also have an Australian Stumpy Tailed Cattle Dog which the animal shelter had hopefully kept since June 11.  Maria, who with others in the family, walks dogs there weekly on a volunteer basis, reported that this gentle pooch in which she had a very special interest could not be kept much longer.  We acted fast and obviously successfully.

So we are now walking much more frequently and further and further.  While it's true the SLE [and the consequent diabetes] are capable of anything, we may well be seeing something very positive occur.

One of the landmarks  up in our hills is the Cattle Guard. [Not to be
confused with a simple barbed wire cattle gate.]  This Cattle Guard is on an
obscure Bureau of Land Management road ["road" is a generous
characterization.]  The Cattle Guard [a  constructed break in a barbed wire
fence] is a rectangular gulch about six feet long and a couple of feet deep
and maybe four feet wide.  It has, across it, seven or so medium size steel
rails -- separated from each other by a few inches.  People and trucks can
cross easily enough, horses and mules have to be led.  Cattle will never
cross it.

I want Eldri to come with us at least that far.  She works very hard around
the house -- with the help of all -- but she isn't sure she can get up that
high in the hills.  So, even though my real forte is nonfiction and fiction,
I am working on a Song to Eldri:  Oh Come With Me To The Cattle Guard.

Best - Hunter Bear

HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR]   Micmac /St. Francis Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

Hunter:  I am glad to learn that you are feeling so much better.

Sandra  [Adickes ]   October 2, 2004


Dear John,

I am so glad you are feeling better.  Give my regards to Eldri and tell her that I hope she recuperates soon.
Joyce [Ladner]  October 2  2004

Good news Hunter.  Positive - no hell raising determined - attitude can
Claire [O'Connor]  October 2  2004


Nothing cheers one up, quite so much, as being told you don't look old
enough for a senior discount.

Excellent news that you beat the cold and and been breaking in your new
boots. My best to the new dog.

David [McReynolds]  October 3, 2004


     This is a wonder-full post.  It warmed the cockles of my heart. (hmmmmm.  What do cockles have to do with one's heart?) It surely does bring joy to me that you are feeling better, looking better, walking to higher heights, enjoying those vistas that you thought you might never see again.  And, yes, DO turn to poetry -- at least long enought to compose the poem for Eldri!!  
     May you and your family be well and happy.
     Paz, Clyde [Appleton]  October 2  2004

Dear Clyde: [October 2 2004]  From Hunter Bear  On BWB List   October 2 2004

[Clyde -- to whom the attached is addressed -- is one of our very oldest
companeros and close friends.  This relationship goes back to another time,
and with consistency, to Tucson 45 years ago.  This little piece of mine,
which I published yesterday on one of our lists in response to his kind
note, indicates  that -- in my long fifteen month struggle against the most
lethally malevolent version of SLE Lupus and accompanying diabetes -- we now
may well have the offensive.  My physicians, who have made it clear that I
can expect no cure nor even a substantive remission, may be somewhat
surprised at this.  While we take nothing for granted, we are obviously


 Thanks to you -- and to all others -- for good words and good thoughts.  Now who would have thought 'way back decades ago at Tucson and Raleigh that you and I et al would have reached this really interesting point?   But, by God, we have and we all and certainly you will keep on. . .We won't be giving regular walking reports -- unless there is a significant milestone -- but we will certainly continue to walk and climb, more and more and higher and higher.  Last Spring I told family members that when we hit October we would top out at what we call the First Top -- and today Maria and I and our faithful Shelty did just that. Went much further than yesterday.  Long, narrow game trails up and then 'way along a deep canyon; then on the special trail we made several years ago through timber but have not used since July 2003; heavy aroma of pines, juniper and sage; and then Up, to right above the old John and Marienne Gray winter valley camp of our ancestral Iroquois fur hunting family -- with all of its  surrounding hills and high ridges and mountains.  It is there that Peter Gray -- born, according to the family records, "born 1818, born in the Rocky Mountains" surfaced into the world.  On this BWB list, is his present namesake Peter Gray Salter [Mack], and Beba and other family members and the whole slew and crew of damn good friends -- All Of You.
Nothing really changes.
Our new dog, rescued from the county pound [good people who kept him alive for several months] has turned out to be a very probably full blooded Australian Stumpy Tailed Cattle  Dog, originally descended from the Australian sheep dogs and wild dingoes but now a separate breed.  This explains his very facile ability to catch [and eat] flies -- always the bane of cattle and herdsmen.  He is essentially very gentle.
Through this menagerie of people and dogs and cats [rabbits and the turtle are in generous confines for their own protection] moves the  haughty Family Boss:  the one half Bobcat, Cloudy Gray.  Occasionally she favors someone with a warm nudge and a purr -- but often a bat with her furry front paws [claws usually pulled, not always.]
Our very best to you, Clyde, and to All.  Hunter  [Hunter Bear]
HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR]   Micmac /St. Francis Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

Stay well, walk long and often,
[McReynolds]  October 3 2004

Thank you for sending on the beauty of that day and that piece.
I had an e-mail to you come back for some reason in which I felt gratitude as
well for the pieces you wrote on your Dad, and the young woman from your
youth that you wrote about - a friend- her name eludes me in the moment, but
each of them were rich, soulful, moving---resplendent stories.
Thank you.
Thinking of you regularly.
Climbing toward the Sun.
Peace my brother,
[McGowan]  10/03/04



Had what could have been a bad fall about 3 am.  May have something to do
with one of the many medicines, and also an off balance progression.  Fell
against the Big Chair [soft] and spilled a cup of warm coffee on the chair
and on my face as well. Cloudy and a companion cat rushed to my assistance.
Called out several times.  [Beba's dream?]  I was able
to get  up with some assistance from Eldri.  Trek yesterday went even better
and a bit longer than usual.  So it is a mixed bag.  Anyway, we will keep

From Beba [oldest son, in Western Minnesota]  9/20/04:
"Had a dream you should be aware of:  the phone rang and it was you calling
for help and then you hung up.  I assumed you'd dialed me because people in
the house couldn't hear you.  I called local 911 and asked for help in
contacting Poky police to check on you.  They asked your race.  I said,
"Half American Indian and half White."  They seemed interested in arresting
you and I had to re-explain that I didn't want you arrested but only wanted
them to check on you."


Eldri refers to the Fall and early Winter of a year ago as a horrible time.
The first hospitalization saw my being given a colonoscopy -- during which
my heart stopped twice [most likely because of acute anemia], necessitating
much physical beating on my chest. I was generally deathly ill at that
point; and I almost died again during the second hospital incarceration;
and then yet once again during the third. During much of this awful period,
all sorts of tests were being run -- bone marrow, cat scans, x rays etc --
with the unspoken  presumption on the part of most  of my doctors
that I had some exotic form of blood cancer. [Eldri and offspring have
remarked many times that I have always remained cool and confident --
including during this especially trying diagnostic crucible.]  It turned
out, of course, to be the most lethal form of  SLE Lupus, joined in due
course by a heavy version of diabetes. There is no  physician-predicted cure nor
substantive remission for my SLE; and at one point my diabetes saw my blood sugar reach almost 1,000.

The doctors would like me to use Imuran or perhaps Methotrextate -- with
Cytoxin as a possible step beyond that.  But these powerful chemo drugs
do sometimes cause cancer in their own right, so we shall continue to stick
with the unpleasant steroid, Prednisone.

There are other medicines in our basket as well.

It can certainly be tough:  periodic waves of pain [I have a high pain
threshold, something any "controversial" agitator certainly needs!];
occasional acute physical weakness; bouts of depression which I fight off by
becoming busy; uncertainty always lurking -- including the realization that
I am much more mortal than I once thought and "something" deadly could
happen either via subversive slowness [e.g., kidneys] or with abrupt

Within the past six months it is now being authoritatively reported that
Native Americans are at especial risk via Lupus -- followed by Afro
Americans and Chicanos. But Lupus can strike all -- and it is certainly
global in its skeletal focus. It remains an essentially rare and mysterious
illness with many ugly faces.

But our basic message now is that, despite the fall of very early this morn,
we do feel alive and quite confident and fully in accord with the William
James dictum that "life is worth living."  We are walking higher and higher,
further and further, with my new Size 16 feet and top flight Lowa Extra
Trekker Size 16 mountain boots serving me very well indeed.

Our minimum trek is now more than three really rough/tough miles -- up
and down.  We often go further.

We continue our involvements on behalf of racial and related justice.  No
known  racial killings have occurred in this general region for almost  two
years.  The police situation remains problematic -- especially at the very
large Pocatello suburb of Chubbuck which adjoins the Fort Hall
[Shoshone/Bannock] reservation.  In North Dakota, no arrests have
yet been made in the 2001 killings of Robert and Damian Belgarde
[father and son], Turtle Mountain Ojibway, out in Grand Forks County.
No one has been arrested anywhere for the 2002
murder [probably psycho sexual] of 19 year old Russ
Turcotte, also Turtle Mountain Ojibway, in a remote area west of Grand
Forks. We keep on all of these local and out-of-state issues and I am, among
other things, in contact with North Dakotans.

Cold at night in Idaho and cool during the days -- with rain and snow and
much game continuing to come down into the lower regions.  I have a
hankering to kill a big bear for meat and may apply for the Spring Bear
Hunt.  Bear meat is my very special medicine.

I am never a Happy Camper where hospitals are involved.

Our Lair of Hunterbear website is heavily visited -- sometimes nearly 500
contacts per day.

Fighting on -

HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR]   Micmac /St. Francis Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

Hunter, I am glad you came out of this okay. 
Give my thanks to Cloudy, companion cat, and Beba.
sam  [friedman]    10/12/04

Hunter: I put this post in my folder, "Free Country," because of Beba's
As far as you are concerned, no one will ever be able to say you gave up
without a fight, or, more accurately, that you gave up at all. WOW!
            BILL  [MANDEL]   10/12/04

watch those dreams, buddy.  i'd keep a cell phone in my pocket at all
times if i was you  :>.........  kass
[fleisher]   10/12/04

I'm sorry to hear you fell Hunter. I'm glad that you're OK though. I hope you start getting better.

-Dave W   10/12/04

Hunter, do you have snowshoes for hiking when the snow comes?

Martha  [Ture]  10/12/04

Note by Hunter Bear:  In the past, I have had both basic types of snow shoes:  conventional length and bear paw.  Since winters in these parts have recently tended to be characterized by relatively little heavy snow, I have needed no snow shoes . Last winter, as the drought began to break, there was much more snow -- but I was doing no walking at that point.  Now, things are pleasantly different.  I'll get bear paws soon since they are good in rocky rough country.  Martha is right in reminding me.


I hope you are doing better, Hunter.  I include you in my prayers.  All the
best to you my friend.

Walk in Beauty, Peace.  Scott
  [Colborn]  10/13/04



Up at 2 am this morning.  Had a gallon of strong black coffee.  Temp down in Pocatello was barely above freezing but, 'way up here where we live, it was well below freezing and the wind was very strong.  Maria and I and our faithful Shelty headed 'way up in the hills in 7 am dark pre-dawn.  Higher we went, the colder it got and the fiercer the wind.  Saw no other people -- no surprise -- and no human tracks. Much wild game sign. Eventually, as the Sun peered over the Caribou ranges from the east, and we climbed higher, we and the Sun met each other.  We kept going.  Heavy rain with snow is coming tonight and tomorrow to our Snake River country.

There'll be much, much more of this before Spring -- but we are off to a
great start.  Very fortunately always, our three family-affiliated Jeeps
[mine/Eldri, Thomas/Mimmie, Josie/Cameron] all have 4WD.  [And with my new Size 16 feet and my really great Size 16 Lowa XL Trekker Mountain Boots, who needs snow shoes?]

Eldri et al. have been making Navajo tacos tonight.  Tossed the diet out --
and feasted.

It wasn't but a few months ago that I couldn't even get out of my chair or
off my bed without assistance.  Things are not perfect but, as the Rubaiyat
puts it, "Take the cash. . .

HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR]   Micmac /St. Francis Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

In our Gray Hole, the ghosts often dance in the junipers and sage, on the
game trails, in the tributary canyons with the thick red maples, and on the
high windy ridges -- and they dance from within the very essence of our own inner being. They do this especially when the bright night moon shines down on the clean white snow that covers the valley and its surroundings.  Then it is as bright as day -- but in an always soft and mysterious and
remembering way. [Hunter Bear]


I remember last autumn when we were pulling for you to get the first taste
of spring. Here we are again, a year later.

I get by with one strong cup of coffee in the morning - a gallon would be
pushing it for me.

Glad you tossed the diet out for an evening,

David McReynolds  [10/22/04]


       Dave McReynolds beat me to the punch by a few seconds. Anyhow,
Bill Mandel [10/22/04]
P.S. A GALLON of strong black coffee? Maybe you've discovered the cure
for lupus extremis. Drown it in the bladder.


This makes me so happy.
Sheila Michaels  [10/23/04]



Hi, Hunter,

What good news, especially when our prayers here are that you and all our family have a good day.
 Alice M. Azure   [10/23/04]


Hunter: I wish you’d stop bragging about your health. It makes me feel inferior. I don’t have any disease to justify my condition. Mazel tov! Steve

Steven F. McNichols   [10/23/04]

This is indeed heartening.
I have been cut off from email for several days, and to come back to this news was very nice indeed!
sam [friedman]   10/23/04


John,  Glad to hear you are drinking a gallon of coffee  Very very heartened to hear that you are making your early morning trek. Stay well.     Dale [Jacobson]  10/23/04


Note by Hunter Bear:

This geographical setting in the following Severe Weather Alert is precisely
where we are -- and this is just the kind of weather I like.  With my fine
new Size 16 Lowa Extra Mountain Boots, I [and other likewise well outfitted
family members] expect no problems as we hike along in the "Idaho back
country."  Later, depending on the developing winter, I may get bear paw
snowshoes [good in brush and rocks] but my boots alone may be enough.  As I
have previously indicated, we do need 4WD around these parts.

When I was about 16, I checked out Granville Hicks' fine book on Jack Reed
[John Reed:  The Making of a Revolutionary, The Macmillan Company, New York,
1936.]  Got it at the Arizona State College, Flagstaff, library.  [ASC is
now Northern Arizona University and huge.]  Dad, of course, taught there and
was the long time chair of the Art Department.  The old librarian, Miss
Ragsdale, an Anglo Mississippian -- involved in a many years affair with a
thoroughly reactionary college retainer, Colonel Drake, knew precisely who
Jack Reed was and raised her eyebrows. They were always on the scout for
Reds.  But, a "faculty child," I got the book, which had not, incidentally,
been checked out since about 1938 or so.  [At that point, I had been barely
four years old.]  Later I got my own copy and have it right here, right now.

Anyway, in due course, I came across an old copy of The New Masses [October,
1930] and, therein, was a fine drawing by the excellent radical
cartoonist/artist, Art Young, which had originally appeared in the
predecessor Liberator, " made at the time of Jack Reed's death, October
1920."  Underscored by Reed's bold signature, it shows him -- face up and
chin out, bright-eyed, anticipatory -- advancing steadfastly into a hell of
a dark and windy storm.  And the caption is indeed "Storm Boy." Immediate
empathy!  I clipped that out and it's pasted at the fore in my own copy of
Hicks' book.

I had a regularly scheduled session with our primary doc early last Friday
morning.  Checked me over quickly and thoroughly.  Took a conventional
amount of [routine] blood and indicated that if anything is amiss, he'll
call and "we can go from there."  The medics are always concerned about
kidneys where SLE Lupus and Lupus/Diabetes are involved [as is the case with
me.]  He expressed no undue concern and has not yet called.

There was just last Sunday a 4.0 earthquake near Challis, Idaho, which is
not all that far from us.  So far, three quakes -- this was the biggest --
in this region in a month.  Nothing more from any family skeptics on my
purchase of Earthquake Insurance via State Farm.

Severe Weather Alert for Pocatello, ID


UNTIL TUE NOV 23 2004 04:00 PM MST.


Yours, Hunter [Hunter Bear]

HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR]   Micmac /St. Francis Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'



Sounds like rough weather - and shaky. (I remember, if dimly, the great
"Long Beach Earthquake" of 1933,
which left me with a life-long fear of buildings that shake).

Enjoyed your story of Granville Hicks' book on Reed - and the librarian's
raised eyebrows.

Glad the doctor wasn't unduly worried.

Watch out for the weather! Enjoy the boots.

David [McReynolds]  11/23/04



A day or so ago, I posted on several matters -- imminently severe weather
for us in Eastern Idaho, John Reed ["Storm Boy"], a very recent and not far
away 4.0 earthquake.  I also indicated a trip to our medics last Friday saw,
among other things, a good deal of blood taken for more testing.  Good news!
A nurse has just called to indicate the test results have just come back,
all OK -- and, in fact, things are improved.  This means, among other
things, that the kidneys -- object of general concern -- are now much safer.

And the rain and snow storms, which I like much, are now upon us.

As Ever, Hunter Bear  11/24/04

HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR]   Micmac /St. Francis Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'
Something we can all be thankful for at last!!
 Another thing to be thankful for:  Soldiers and vets have been taking part
in our peace vigil.

 sam [friedman] 11/24/04
Glad to hear the good news, John.  Dale [Jacobson]  11/24/04
What good news for the holidays. Hang in there! [Louis Proyect]  11/24/04
 And Clyde Appleton sent us a great Happy Thanksgiving card.

Re your latest medical report:  HALLELU!!  paz, clyde [Appleton] 11/24/04


Hi, Hunter,
What wonderful news for this Thanksgiving season!  Keep up the walking, Sasquatch-man!  
Alice Azure  11/27/04


That's really great news you've sent about your medical condition.  You have a lot of people praying and thinking positive thoughts for you, Hunter.  That and a strong determination will take one far.  I have no doubt about your determination!
 Scott Colborn   11/28/04


Bill Mandel   12/11/04




[A very fine, sharply honed, eminently complimentary -- and genuinely optimistic poem ["Hunter" -- by Sam Friedman]  January 21 2004

Hunter, here it is.  I hope we have the chance to read an updated version together at night to the stars on your 100th birthday!

I know him
as electronic words
on a list serve,
printed words
in a few articles
and a book,
and by brief talk
by telephone-
and by the echoes of his deeds
which were not his
but those of the movements
he helped to organize.
As he would say,
the greatness is theirs,
or maybe, grudgingly, "ours,"
never "mine,"
never "me,"
though not through the false modesty
he reviles.
His ego resembles
a Pocatello pine,
his mind ranges over the Rockies,
his caring and vision
spills from the Arizona of his birth
through Jackson, Eastern Carolina,
Rochester, Chicago, the Dakotas,
down deep into the dark metal mines
where safety depends on power,
through the longshore bars of Seattle
and the firefronts of arid Arizona.
When he dies, the Scorpion and Centaur in the sky
Will drive Lupus from the star-fields with meteors,
and the Bears will dance around the Pole Star
to commemorate a life of their own.