WESTERN AMERICAN CULTURE AND RODEO AND BIG BILL HAYWOOD -- AND MORE HUNTER GRAY  1/25/02

  REFLECTIONS ON SOME OF THE GREATEST THINGS OF ALL [HUNTER GRAY  1/04/02

NEW MEXICO [A RADICAL INDIAN'S TOUR GUIDE]  HUNTER GRAY    1/03/02  SLIGHTLY UPDATED   DECEMBER 3 2007

 

 

WESTERN AMERICAN CULTURE AND RODEO AND BIG BILL HAYWOOD -- AND MORE HUNTER GRAY  1/25/02

The American West is always changing these days -- for sure:   new people
and sprawling cities, paved highways and Interstates, television and
computers -- all that and more.  And more.

But much of the West doesn't change -- ever:  The Big Sky; the  Land -- the
Earth and Plains and Mountains and Deserts; and a great many of the
people -- the native homegrown Westerners and the people who come into the
West and who [naturally] convert to Our Way of Life.

Rodeo doesn't change.  It's like it always was -- brave men [and now a few
brave women]  and wild beasts:  mutually adversarial right down to the dirt
and the bloody bone [sometimes literally.]

I don't claim to be a rodeo man in the participant sense.  One of my younger
brothers was a very good calf-roper for years.  But, although our family had
horses -- on very good lower Oak Creek land south/southwest of Flagstaff in
the Verde Valley, not far from the old copper camp of Jerome -- I've never
really been a horse person.  I am, however, a very good mule man:  a mule is
always smart; always very stable -- doesn't shy in a skittery way, say, from
a rattler as will a horse; and a mule is extremely surefooted.  I like mules
and know them well.  [The best one with which I was closely associated, and
which I rode much indeed for work  and other purposes, always tried,
cunningly, to carry me under low hanging pine limbs -- but, once you knew
that little idiosyncrasy, no sweat and no fall from the saddle.]

Most radicals these days don't know much about William D. "Big Bill"
Haywood, who started out in Mormon Utah in 1869 [hatched Episcopalian] and
died lonely at Moscow [the other one, not Idaho] in 1928: half his ashes in
the Kremlin wall and the other half at the consecrated-for-radicals Waldheim
Cemetery at Chicago.  In between, of course, Bill Haywood was the cutting
edge of the legendary Western Federation of Miners and a key founder of the
Industrial Workers of the World.  He was the major defendant in the infamous
Steunenberg  murder frameup trial at Boise in 1907 -- where, defended ably
by Clarence Darrow and others against the forces of the Mine Owners'
Association and the Pinkertons, he and his WFM colleagues -- Charles Moyer
and George Pettibone -- were freed. In Darrow's eleven hour address to the
jury, the great Artist of the Defense roundly attacked "The Spiders of Wall
Street" while much of the courtroom wept.  On that, see my rather extensive
1997 review/essay on the background and development of the Boise Trials and
related matters -- published in the Butte regional newspaper:
http://www.hunterbear.org/jhg_review_of__big_trouble.htm

Bill Haywood was many good things: great courage and great commitment, great organizer, creative strike activist and tactician and leader, top speaker,
Red Socialist -- much more.  And, for all of this, he was  seized and
imprisoned  by the Feds in 1917 with 150 other prominent IWW leaders.  They
were eventually tried at Chicago and Wichita and Sacramento under the
hastily concocted and Wilsonian "Espionage Act" which, ostensibly targeting
anti-War activities [it reached out and grabbed Gene Debs and others as
well], was really of course aimed against social justice -- and especially
militant labor -- radicalism.  In the end, an ailing Haywood and a few
others, out on bail pending appeal,  understandably enough under the
horrific circumstances fled to Russia.

Most radicals of today couldn't tell you much at all about Bill Haywood and
that very fine crew of trail blazers who "saw the elephant and heard the
owl" in some very, very tough crucibles. They might know that the copper
bosses got the great Wobbly martyr, Joe Hill, but they probably couldn't
tell you when; and they've heard some about the gentle Debs -- but probably
not the fact that  Debs several times publicly threatened that legions of
armed Westerners  would converge on Boise and free Haywood et al. if the WFM leaders were convicted.

But even the more informed radicals of today probably don't know that, in
addition to being a highly skilled hard-rock metal miner, Big Bill had also
been a prospector -- and an extremely successful Nevada cowboy.

And hardly anyone now would know that his brother-in-law, Tom Minor of
Nevada, was a very top United States rodeo champ for a good and super long
spell.

In fact, both Haywood and Minor structured a dimension of the IWW especially
for cowpunchers, "bronc riders" and rodeo men -- and some did indeed sign up
in the  fighting Wobblies.

Rodeo is like the rugged Real West In The Flesh, so to speak:  it's
equalizing and egalitarian.  You're face to face in the Real West with raw
nature:  big sharp mountains, furnace deserts, the wild and roily rivers of
no return, wild critters and wild people.

With rodeo, it's wild bulls and wild horses and wild men [and now a few wild
women.]

And it's a setting where, as in the mountains and deserts and on the wild
rivers, you're taken for what the Real You is and can do and does.  Long,
long before the Movements great and good, and all of the important Civil
Rights Acts and such, and reflecting the ethnic demography of the West,
Native Americans and Chicanos who rodeoed won not only  their spurs as
men -- but were fully accepted by their rodeo colleagues and many others as
the humans they indeed were. And there've always been some Blacks and some
Orientals  who rodeoed, risked much -- and who forced recognition of
themselves as  people.

[Kind of like the military for ethnic minorities -- especially after Harry
Truman's sweeping military integration order. "If you could shoot good . . ."]


Anyway, I like rodeo.  Sometimes a guy gets killed and I have good buddies
who were crippled for life by the time they were 21.  But most people get
through it OK and almost all of the animals always do.

This  coming-up newspaper article talks about one of the  bigger ones -- but
the little rodeos in the backwoods settings of the West, the little towns
and the great rural sweeps, can be really first-rate.

And then there are the Great All-Indian  Rodeos:  Flagstaff with its annual
three-day Indian Pow-Wow over the Fourth -- and then the Gallup Indian
Ceremonial early in August.  In each of those and others like them -- full
of top-flight Native dancers from a myriad of tribal nations in the 'States,
Canada, and Mexico and hundreds of first-rate Native artisans and
craft-people -- rodeo is a great big piece of the Experience for everyone.

Anyway, I [a faithful mule man] always like good Real Western Rodeo -- and I
always will.

So find one -- a good one, big or little -- and try it, folks.  If you don't
think it's becoming a socialist, then always remember Big Bill and tip your
Stetson or  your little Eastern-type cap to a guy who, among everything else
he did, was a renowned Nevada cowboy.

Hunter Gray [Hunterbear]

=========================================

Date:  Fri Jan 25, 2002  9:24 am
Subject:  SD, Ride'em cowboy Rodeo's best to compete in 25th anniversary
performance


Ride'em cowboy Rodeo's best to compete in 25th anniversary performance

By Jim Thompson Special to the Journal
http://rapidcityjournal.com/stock_show/stories/ridemcowboys.htm

PHOTO:
http://rapidcityjournal.com/stock_show/photographs/reeves1st_perf_36P.jpg

The newly built Rushmore Plaza Civic Center was dark in the rodeo arena that
cold January night in 1978, with only a spotlight shining on the dirt floor.
The chute gate opened, and the great Sutton Rodeo bucking horse, Night Raid,
and his rider exploded into the darkness.

The horse was so exact in his bucking style that rodeo producer Jim Sutton
was able to predict to a fraction of an inch where he would finish his 8 seconds
of mayhem. So when his rider reached that spot, the spotlight was already
there. Larry Mahan, the rodeo legend, bailed off in a perfect landing, took the
wireless microphone from Jim Sutton, and, never missing a note, sang "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys."

Only 100 fans were there to watch that bit of rodeo history. The next night,
200 showed up, prompting announcer Hadley Barrett to declare "the Black
Hills Stock Show Rodeo is the fastest growing in South Dakota!"

Much has changed in the past quarter century, as a ticket to the Black Hills
Stock Show Rodeo now is one of the hardest to find in the entire area.
Sutton Rodeos expects this year's 10-performance attendance to surpass 50,000.

The rodeo begins on Friday, Jan. 25, as more than 1,000 contestants begin
their qualifying runs to be in the elite group that makes the Wrangler Pro Rodeo Tour Finals at noon Sunday, Feb. 3.

Other features of this year's rodeo includes one of the highly rated
specialty acts in rodeo, The One-Armed Bandit and Company. John Payne began this unique act after an accident with a power line took his arm. Today, both his son, Lynn, and daughter, Amanda, travel the country representing their father and his award-winning horse, dog and longhorned cattle performance. Rapid City will be graced with Amanda Payne for the first weekend of the BHSSR.

Returning for the second weekend's entertainment in the arena will be Flint
Rasmussen of Stevensville, Mont. The 34-year-old barrel man has won Clown of the Year honors in the PRCA the past four years and will come to Rapid City
following his debut at the Denver Stock Show in Colorado.

Another feature of this year's BHSSR is the inclusion of the Badlands
Circuit Finals Rodeo in the first weekend. The two-performance event will feature the top 12 in each event battling for the circuit title and the right to
represent North and South Dakota at the Dodge National Circuit Finals in Pocatello, Idaho, in March. The circuit finals rodeos will be held at 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan.26, and 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 27. The Sunday performance also will be Family Day at the rodeo
with 5 tickets selling for $25 in specific parts of the civic center.

Something else for this year's rodeo will certainly be popular with fans:
the instant-replay screen sponsored by Smart Lic. The large screen will allow
the review of spectacular rides or the agony of the buck-off. Staff of area
television stations will be in charge of the pictures for replay.

Among the 1,000-plus contestants entered this year are every current world
champion except the injured All-Around and Calf Roping champ Cody Ohl. Ohl
was injured in the ninth round of the 2001 National Finals Rodeoand is still
healing from surgery.

Just about every cowboy or cowgirl hero that both old and young seek out
will be in Rapid City: Jesse Bail, Jake Barnes, Ote Berry, Thad Bothwell, Trevor
Brazille, Roy Cooper, Rorey Lemmel, Stran Smith, J.D. Crouse, Frank
Thompson, Billy and Robert Etbauer, Marvin, Mark and J.D. Garrett, Kappy Allen and Janet Stover.

Further adding to the interest in the BHSSR is the fact that the
Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association is undergoing some radical changes. The long time rodeo administrator, T.J. Walters, it is rumored, has been fired and to this point no replacement has been named. That could complicate or perhaps facilitate some growth within the rodeo world.

Commissioner Steve Hatchell has promoted advanced television coverage,
putting
more weight on the promotion of large rodeos and promoting rodeo stars that the public can relate to and recognize. The acceptance of any of these goals is contingent on accepting that Pro Rodeo will change and there is the rub. At this point the speculation is that the PRCA will increase its Wrangler Tour concept and require that a minimum purse be offered.

Sutton Rodeos has increased the purse at the BHSSR through the past
quarter-century anyway and the $10,000 per event would be a natural growth .
In addition it appears that these Tour rodeos will accept fewer contestants in
each event, which will mean, at long last, an end to two of rodeos biggest
bugaboos; turnouts and slack. For the uninitiated, a turnout is when a
contestant enters a rodeo and then decides to not attend. The contestant
must call the central entry office within a given time window to declare the
intention of not competing in a given rodeo.

That creates a public relations problem with the well-known names of rodeo
when fans assume that someone will compete and then not show up.

By adding more prize money and having fewer cowboys allowed to enter each
event, the need to "pick" the best won't be as large an issue. The best
cowboys will want to compete in the best rodeos. Regarding "slack", that part of the competition that is held prior to or after a paid performance, the same is
true, fewer cowboys means that everyone will compete within the performance
eliminating the need for rodeo slack.

Whatever transpires in the PRCA, one fact remains. This is the 25th
anniversary of the Black Hills Stock Show Rodeo.

Now if only Larry Mahan could make that jump in front of 7000 fans on a
screaming Saturday night!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



REFLECTIONS ON SOME OF THE GREATEST THINGS OF ALL [HUNTER GRAY  1/04/02

I very much appreciate your Southern reflections on ASDnet, issodhos.  They
carry the ring of authenticity -- touching off the frequent flow of
reasonant memories which, in some odd fashion, could  sometime lead us back
there once again.  One of my sons, John, born in North Carolina but  now
living very close to Moorhead,  Minnesota on the North Dakota border,
consistently encourages us to move down to Mississippi or the North Carolina
Black Belt.  He's a  successful writer and we suspect that, in addition to
the great congeniality he knows we'd find there, he'd also like a pleasant
winter refuge -- and we're always pleased to have offspring [and their
offspring] arrive for stays of whatever length, wherever we might be.  I
hear with frequency from people with whom we worked in the old Southern
Movement days -- and from some of those  we worked against but who've
become, through the magic of the Great Southern Moons and the Ghostly Mists, good friends from another War.

My almost 20 year old grandson, Tom, living right here with the several of
us, is one-half Mississippi Choctaw from Leake and Neshoba counties -- and,
in addition to him, I have my faithful Life Membership in the Mississippi
Historical Society.  Tom's mother, Maria, was born in Jackson and was almost
killed when shots were fired into our home Christmas season of '62, one
bullet passing right through her crib as she lay sleeping therein.  Maria,
and her other child, Samantha, live here also -- as does Eldri of course
[we're almost 41 years married], and, too,  my youngest daughter, Josie, who
was born in New Mexico. Another son of mine is city editor of a large Great
Plains newspaper.

We do have the things we're doing here in Idaho -- social justice stuff --
and the things in that vein still yet to do.  This has its own magic --
especially 'way up here on the edge where we and our animals and our
faithful life-line -- the Jeep with its 4WD -- are camped in acceptable
quarters with an extraordinary view.  At night, the bright lights of
Pocatello sparkle below us --  sprinklings and scatterings of electric
gold --  but in daylight the scene in that direction is largely dominated by
mountains, near yonder and out yonder.  And, in the other direction, right
behind us, out the back door, everything goes up -- ever steeper,  through
the cedars and junipers and right into the pines and spruce and fir.  The
extremely serious regional drought broke, but did so, of course, in
December -- and not in August when it would simply have been heavy rain.
There's always some wildlife around -- year round:  mule deer, a
now-and-then moose, plenty of bobcats and at least two mountains lions [a
large male and a smaller female] -- and coyotes, lots of coyotes, singing
coyotes.  But now, with very heavy snow, much game has come  'way down into this general area -- and they're just above us.

The great rich and pungent smell of  snowy, damp cedar and juniper in this
setting ends any sense of "apartness" that any human might have -- and
gently brings into one's full consciousness the interconnectedness of every
single component of this great Creation.

There are things -- human things -- that can be jarring:  a hate call now
and then, the paucity of good humor in one or two [not all by any means]
radical discussional circles on the Net, hostile visitors.  But the great
wonders all around us -- the rough country and the vigorous wildlife, the
perfume of the sage and the woods and all of this under a vasty sky of deep
dark blue mixed with oft-roiling black clouds  and the brightest stars of
all at night -- get into one's soul and toss pitchy-pine onto your
inner-fires.

And one's Vision then rushes out  on the  high and sweeping winds -- into
the Four Directions and far, far beyond.

All best - Hunter [Hunterbear]



Hunter Gray [Hunterbear]
www.hunterbear.org (social justice)

Left Discussion Group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Redbadbear

 

NEW MEXICO [A RADICAL INDIAN'S TOUR GUIDE]  HUNTER GRAY    1/03/02  SLIGHTLY UPDATED   DECEMBER 3 2007

Early morning observations by Hunter Bear:

The first nuclear device in the history of Humanity was successfully test
exploded at Alamogordo, New Mexico, in July 1945 and, on August 6 and 9,
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, were struck and substantially
destroyed by atomic bombs.

And now they're fighting witchcraft at Alamogordo -- burning books.

Some Easterners -- many, in fact, when they see a New Mexico license plate,
immediately think it's Old Mexico.  No joking here -- I'm  totally dead
serious.  [At least we Real Westerners know there is something -- some kind
of thing -- east of Denver. I've seen Kansas.]

Flagstaff, Arizona -- the high mountain/plateau Navajo and Hopi Indian
country of Northern Arizona -- is my home area.  But I also grew up
partially in Western New Mexico [and presently have a brother who lives  not
really far at all from Alamogordo. ] That's all down in southeastern N.M. --
the most conservative [Texas-influenced] part of the Land of Enchantment.
The other sections of New Mexico are generally much more open-minded --
heavily Chicano [Spanish/Native] and Native American [Navajo and Apache and Pueblo nations] in the central and western portions of the state, with many Hispanos [Spanish] in the northern portions.

 Albuquerque, the first big city that my parents allowed me to drive through
as a kid via Highway 66 [really very, very small in those days], is now huge
and fascinating -- but does have one of the highest daily murder rates in
the West.  Santa Fe mixes global cosmopolitanism with the best traditions of
the Southwest -- but don't go there unless you have plenty of dinero that
you're willing to lose for very good things.  Taos, to the north, is one of
the state's Native Pueblo settings that began to draw Eastern artists and
writers and at least self-perceived intellectuals as early as the 1910s --
the excellent Mabel Dodge [friend of John Reed, Bill Haywood, and John
Collier] being one of the first.  The author and Native rights activist,
Oliver LaFarge [Laughing Boy and many other fine Indian books] was an early
Anglo Taos traveler and then basic residential fixture.

The class struggle, as we  all know, is global and it's certainly all over
New Mexico  but, when you get down into Southwestern New Mexico -- Silver
City and environs -- you're in old and traditional Mine-Mill country:
copper bosses, e.g., the  vast Chino mine. And, right there, too, is the old
zinc setting where the classic film Salt of the Earth [worker rights,
minority rights, women's rights], based on the October 1950 into January
1952 Empire Zinc strike was successfully filmed in '53  [in the face of
intense vigilante harassment and violence and state and Federal
witch-hunting attacks.]  Mine-Mill, sadly, merged with the Steelworkers in
'67,  and  the metal mining situation is  presently precarious in New Mexico
and the West generally -- but  "Salt" was recently picked by the Library of
Congress as one of the 100 most important films ever made in this country.

Lesser known now are several  closely related and extremely bitter coal
miners' strikes which occurred in the early and mid '30s at Gallup, New
Mexico under the aegis of the radical National Miners Union -- and about
which the Left writer, Philip Stevenson [Lars Lawrence] wrote extensively,
publishing a multi-volume fictional workingclass epic, The Seed,  in the
1950s.  Gallup, on the old Highway 66 route, is over in the far
western/northwestern end of New Mexico  where you're also in heavily Navajo
country. A reservation "border town,"  typically taking Indian money and
then kicking the Natives out, Gallup was once so explicitly and crudely
racist that my father would never stop there -- and we always made certain
we had sufficient gas to get  through it and past.  Now, thanks to waves of
AIM and Chicano activism from the late '60s into the '70s, Gallup is
somewhere in the 20th Century .

In the late '70s and very early '80s, we were in an especially remote
section of the vast Navajo Nation -- Tsaile, right under the great
Lukachukai Mountains -- where I taught and did other things at Navajo
Community College [now Dine' College] and was active in the anti-uranium
wars.  Now and then on weekends, I'd take the three older kids [my youngest
daughter was born at Gallup in '79], and we'd travel the 90 miles down to
Gallup, get a motel, sometimes swim, hit MacDonalds a couple of times, and
watch "Dukes of Hazzard" on color TV.

South of Gallup and adjoining the Arizona border is the geographically
large, isolated -- in fact, downright insular -- Catron County:  Anglos,
Chicanos, Catholics, Mormons, some very nice people, but also gun-toting
militia crackpots -- and some of the most notorious public land coveting
"Sage Brush Rebellion" leaders in the West.  There was a saying when I was a
kid -- and there still is:  "If you want to kill a man, get him into Catron
County  to do it -- but never steal a horse or a cow."  The town of Reserve
is the county seat and the big attraction there --  one that never changes
over the decades -- is Uncle Bill's Bar.

Farmington, on the northwestern edge of New Mexico, is still pretty bigoted
in old-timey ways -- with Navajos as the special victims.  At Jackson,
Mississippi to speak at a large civil rights retrospective  conference in
late 1979, I stopped at an Exxon station to tank up my bright yellow Chevrolet
pick-up, purchased in Gallup and with New Mexico license plates.  The Anglo
owner was immediately cordial  "I used to live in New Mexico," he told me,
"where it was just like Mississippi."

And  then I  knew -- I knew -- somehow, someway.

And, smiling with profound affection and appreciation, he confirmed:
"Farmington."

But when all is said and done, I recommend most of New Mexico to anyone
interested in rich and colorful earth, wonderful mountains and deserts,
deep -- very deep  -- blue Turquoise Sky, Native and Chicano and Hispano and
other cultures with all sorts of appealing wonders, and a very rich history
of enduring social struggle  -- much of which continues to this very moment.
[And, if you do want to "kill a man," Catron is still available.]

And burning "witch-craft" books really does not fit the general New Mexico
ethos.  [They don't even burn people there anymore -- as some Spanish did
some Indians.]

But, for God's sake, don't tell  Bush and Ashcroft about  this bookburning
at Alamogordo.  It hasn't occurred to them yet to put witchcraft on their
subversive lists and into the Patriot Act.

Hunter Gray [Hunter Bear]  -- in Idaho [now here really IS a place and more
on that later, for sure]

 From the LA Times, 1/1/02:

*****

Book Burning Sparks Debate in New Mexico  [Alamogordo]

Calling them "a masterpiece of satanic deception, a religious group burned
Harry Potter books Sunday in Alamogordo, N.M.

"These books teach children how they can get into witchcraft and become a
witch, wizard or warlock," said Jack Brock, founder and pastor of the Christ
Community Church.

Across the street was a line of protesters stretched a quarter of a mile
long.

"It may be useless, but we want [the church] to know the community is not
behind them," said Joann Booth, who took her four grandchildren to the
demonstration where one protester dressed as Adolf Hitler.

A letter to the Alamogordo Daily News inviting the community to attend the
fires sparked debate in the town of 36,000.

On Tuesday, some locals turned out in front of the public library, holding
signs reading "Book burning? Shame on our town."

Not to worry, Brock said. The media attention is actually a blessing.

"There are those that are doing their best to make us look bad," he said.
"But, because of this, I've been able to preach the gospel around the world."

*****

BRIEF NEW MEXICO FOOTNOTE [HUNTER GRAY    01/03/02]

Note by Hunter Bear to ASDnet:

This is a footnote to my "radical's tour of New Mexico" -- posted yesterday   on RedBadBear.

From Hunter Bear:

Thanks  very much for your post, M.  But let me quickly clarify
something:  Actually, with respect to my thinking on my piece concerning New
Mexico, I did not overlook the military and military/research bases in New
Mexico -- and  was even about to put in something about Los Alamos
[including the fact that it was almost destroyed a couple of years ago in
the massive fire on the Jemez National Forest.]  The reason I didn't mention
it, or the more general "national defense" dimension in the state is, simply
and sadly, that it's no longer that unique in the United States.

So, since it's not that exceptional anymore, I deliberately left that out --
and concentrated on the purely unusual dimensions in The Land of
Enchantment.

A good many states, quietly and smoothly, have been loaded up with defense
and defense-related installations of one kind or another.  Until very
recently, there used to be a joke in North Dakota that, if it seceded from
the Union, it would be the third largest nuclear power in the world --
because of the tremendous plethora of nuclear missiles located in various
places across the state. [Some have since been dismantled.]  Arizona is
loaded with defense and research things -- and, here in Idaho, there are a
number of installations and facilities -- including the Idaho National
Engineering and Environmental Laboratories, focused primarily on
nuclear-related stuff, which is too damn close to Pocatello for my comfort!

Some of these installations across the land are explicitly and publicly
governmental -- and others, heavily subsidized by the government, are
cunningly disguised as private outfits.

Whatever they are specifically, they seem to be almost everywhere --
proliferating like poison ivy.

BTW, I was one of several people from around the country [I came in from the
Navajo Nation] -- a kind of citizens' committee -- who were involved in the
immediate aftermath of the extremely bloody New Mexico State Prison upheaval in early 1980.  In the course of that  36-hour nightmare, 33 inmates were killed [by other inmates] and numerous guards and other inmates were
substantially injured. It was a hideous mess epitomizing, in exaggerated
form, everything that's wrong with the prison system -- globally.  Among the
members of our small group, which gathered at Santa Fe, was the Black civil
rights/civil liberties attorney, Lennox Hinds -- and Mrs John Else, a
radical social worker.

In Solidarity - Hunter [Hunter Bear]

AND AN ADDED NOTE ON CATRON COUNTY [HUNTER BEAR  DECEMBER 3 2007]

Just a little more on Catron.  Can't resist it.
 
When I was on Bear Mountain Fire Lookout [1960], I could look way down on that self-perceived little "utopia" -- just across the state line.  Nice to be way up on Bear Mountain.
 
Harley, an anthro friend who, when I knew him worked for the Coconino National Forest out of Flagstaff, once remarked to Joe Janes and myself that, at some point in 1950, he was in Catron's capital, Reserve, to buy groceries.  The man ahead of him in the grocery's cashier line paid for a box of food, stepped out of the store, and was promptly shot dead on the sidewalk.  Harley, fresh from the East, was visibly shocked.  "Their families don't get along," the storekeeper explained to our friend, matter-of-factly.  Meanwhile, the shooter drove away in leisurely fashion.  That apparently was the end of that.
 
In 1979, a friend and I were passing through Reserve on our way to Socorro -- well to the east.  "Want to stop at Uncle Bill's?" I asked. [That's Uncle Bill's Bar, a fixture in the town and general setting.]  "Let's not," said my friend -- himself only a few years removed from the Vietnam War.  We pushed on.
 
I had not heard until Reber's post of the anti-cohabitation law enacted by Catron -- but, in the mid-1990s, the County produced a "law" requiring "adults" [not defined with precision] to carry a firearm while out in public.  This jolted even me -- and my NRA colleagues.  None of these "statutes" had, of course, an ounce of legal validity.
 
Now they're skeered of wolves.  Someone must've read Little Red Riding Hood.
 
Yours for the Wild West -- but not quite that far.
 
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 social justice website:  www.hunterbear.org
[The site is dedicated to our one-half Bobcat, Cloudy Gray:
http://hunterbear.org/cloudy_gray.htm
 
And see Outlaw Trail:  The Native as Organizer:  http://hunterbear.org/outlaw_trail1.htm





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