"Today is Hunter's birthday. He is so old he still uses buckskin condoms."
JS [ John Salter, aka Beba, my oldest son, posting on Redbadbear].

We much appreciate the good comments by various friends [and family].  Each
birthday [and I am 71 today] is now a kind of victory. 

In the fall of 2002,
we ran into a friend in the wild, high country that begins immediately above
our house.  Ed Guthrie is the Pocatello police chief [succeeded a very
problematic person who was here when we came] and lives across a canyon from
us and 'way high up like we do.  [He runs.  Walking, Maria and I and
Hunter/Shelty traditionally go much further back and up.  But Ed does very
well, believe me.] His two adopted dogs, Lakota and Toby were rescued by him
from  the county pound.  Neither of us knew who the other was until, after
some chance meetings, we introduced.

And then we knew:  he had heard of me, I of him.  There was a kind of long
and mutually awkward moment.  But the Big Sky and our dogs [who immediately
had gotten on well] and our common love for the hills and mountains won out.
Doesn't mean we always agree by any means, there are still plenty of
problems around here, but things have certainly improved police-wise  in
Poky since he took over.  [The suburb/town of Chubbuck has real and
continuing challenges in that realm, however.] When we were talking in that
fall of '02, he commented that I did not look my age at all.  And I, then
68, told him, "I only hope I can live to see 70 and climb these ridges."

We both immediately saw this as a very strange comment. I did not know where
it came from. Ed looked surprised, concerned, quizzical.  I pooh-poohed what
I had said.  "Oh, I'm just fine," said I.

"I hope I can do as well as you," said he.

But there had been, however quickly transitory, a strange and somber moment.

Almost nine months later, when I was 69, SLE struck openly and hard. It has
no cure and I almost died, of course, several times.  I didn't think I would
ever walk in the hills and mountains again.  But, of course, as I traveled
into 70, I began to do so once more.  It's tough, there is back and forth
and ups-and-downs, and things are also inhibited by this winter's heavy snow
and ice.  As I noted once, life for me now is a "clock without hands."

But, too, as I often say, It's critical to always keep fighting -- and to
always remember that, if one lives with grace, he/she should be prepared to
die with grace.

As Ever, H

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]


Dear Amos and Mutale [Chilinda]: Parents of Mimmie, to whom Thomas, my grandson/son is married.  They are of Zambia and presently live at Edinburgh, Scotland.

I -- we -- want to thank you so very much for what is the best card of any
kind that any of us have seen from cyberspace!  I am not sure that I feel as
old as "71" but, of course, that is a fact and such a genuinely upbeat
visual-and-sound message certainly makes it all both very real and extremely

And we for sure want to thank you for your very fine daughter!  She is
certainly a Sparkling Presence in the most positive sense.  With her, we are
all very fortunate.

We very much hope -- and do feel certain this will be the case -- that we
will meet you fine folks before too long.

Eldri and the others join me in sending you both, and your whole family, all
our love and enduring good wishes.

As Ever, Hunter Gray [John R Salter, Jr]
I am sitting here in Michigan about to give a big deal talk to the dept
of epidemiology on "Can epidemics be analyzed as dialectical processes?
when it comes to me that it is your birthday!

What a Valentine you are to the world!!!

Have a good one for me.


Sam Friedman
National Development and Research Institutes
71 West 23d Street, 8th floor
New York, NY 10010
Beba [John Salter] writes on Redbadbear: Today is Hunter's birthday. He is
so old he still uses buckskin condoms. JS

Talk on another matter follows.  I mention my birthday.

Beba [John Salter] then writes:  Oh, it's your birthday?

I respond: Don't play innocent, B.  Your crudely creative comment on RBB was
broadly noted at 2000 Sandy.  There are responses I could make, crudely and
creatively, but now, since I have become a de facto Saint, I must pass on
the temptation [for the moment at least.]  Best Again, D [Dad]

HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR]   Micmac /St. Francis Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'
____Well perhaps I can run a little outside flare on your behalf Hunter.

Hey, John, re. "buckskin condoms", is that a typo?

Edward [Pickersgill]

Happy birthday, you have outlived many of your enemies, and continue to work
your will on the world. What could be better, except a walk in the hills?

Martha E. Ture
Research Director
Hunter: Before that damned lupus hit you, I imagine that birthdays were
minor events involving close family only, except for those marking
quarter-centuries and decades.
    Today, each of your birthdays is a triumph.
Bill Mandel
Now that I've stopped laughing - in a respectful way, of course, as
befits your de facto sainthood-  Best Birthday Wishes to you, Hunter!  
      cheers, Steve Harvey

John Salter wrote:

>Today is Hunter's birthday.  He is so old he still uses buckskin condoms.
Who's Hunter Gray? Is that that guy who's goal in
life it is to cause Yahoo's extensive computer systems
to crash by flooding my electronic mail box?

  Well, I can't say as a man whose goal in life is to
cause Yahoo to suffer catastrophic system failure
could be regarded as anything less than a saint,
bucksin or no. So I'll pass along my wishes for many
happy returns, and my encouragement that he persist in
his efforts and see if we can't bring down Yahoo by
working together.

  Now, gather 'round the fire, let's sing kumbiya,
each grab a slice o' cake, and then grab our shovels
and go do some research in the WHITE MAN's graveyards.
Turn some tables all the way around.

  -Michael [Marino]
I love your oldest son's note. Of course, what is good news is that you
have a use for the condoms!

We live by grace, we die by grace. Any police chief who rescues dogs from
the pound is one who
lives by grace.
David McReynolds
Ed Pickersgill to Beba [John Salter]
When you see "him" give him an activist hug from all of us, eh.


The problem with a long life is that while you may outlive your enemies,
you also outlive your friends!

Which is why young people are essential - that, and long walks in the hills.

David McReynolds

Hey Hunter - Birthday Greetings to you.  Keep on keepin' on.  We Will Win!  Steve R [Rutledge]


A day late (and a dollar short?) but Happy Birthday.

Peace, Joan [Mulholland]


Happy birthday....

I was stretching my memory to come up with what that wonderful movie was
about the Heydrich meeting at Wannsee.  That meeting has such a
hauntingly familiar ring, didn't it?  I've seen people I like sit in
meetings like that and vote to do utterly horrendous things to people
who weren't involved.  And the concept of "professional" and "collegial"
relations among the participants was excellent.

Mark L.

Thanks, Mark.  Like you, I noted many faculty types in Conspiracy -- plus
the Machiavellian Dean.

Best - H


From Hunter:  See my short list of choice films herewith:

Yesterday, I dashed off a list of several films I consider especially
choice.  One, which I named Circle of Honor, should be IN PURSUIT OF HONOR.
In an odd twist, I continue to misname the title of this film that I have
seen a number of times. [At least I remember the names of my children and
grandchildren --  most of the time.]  Starting with old film footage of the
1932 veterans' Bonus March at DC, suppressed by Herbert Hoover and General
Douglas MacArthur, the focus of In Pursuit, based on historical reality,
involves US cavalrymen defying MacArthur's order to slaughter their horses
and switch to armored cav.  They take the horses -- almost 400 -- from the
Mexican border into a receptive Canada.

The other films I suggested were Conspiracy -- the hideously
"normal-appearing"   early 1942 meeting of Nazi honchos at Wannsee
[outskirts of Berlin] under the leadership of top SS General Reinhard
Heydrich to finalize the Final Solution; the generally well known Shane --
in which a professional gunman defends embattled homesteaders in the Teton
Basin; and Salt of the Earth, the blacklisted 1953-54 Mine-Mill film, based
on the 1950-52 Empire Zinc strike in Grant County, NM, and picked several
years ago by the Library of Congress as one of the one hundred most
important films made in the United States.


Sheila Michaels writes, re "Colloquy in the Hills": 

Happy Birthday.  You foresaw the lupus.  Foresee a hundred and twenty years.  We are always with you & you with us.

Dear Sheila:

I cannot think of any words I would rather hear!  You have said it so very
well indeed.

Best - Hunter


Happy Birthday Comrade Hunter Gray!

Peace, Justice, Freedom and Socialism!

with comradely regards,
Tom Siblo

From our Idaho State Journal, February 18, 2005

"Allene Leeanna Martinez:  Fort Hall -- Allene Leeanna Martinez, 29, of Fort
Hall [note: Shoshone Bannock res adjoining Pocatello], died Wednesday,
February 16, 2005, at her home after a brief but courageous battle with
rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.  .  ."

Rheumatoid arthritis usually takes a long time to run its course.  An old
friend of mine, Bill Redcloud, fought it for decades before he succumbed.
SLE lupus can move fast.

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

       It is the unanimous opinion in my family (three middle-aged
children and me) that my wife lived to the respectable age of 84 simply
because of a stupendous desire to live despite her advanced cases of 
diabetes and congestive heart failure, ultimately complicated by a hip
twice shattered in falls. My guess is that's why you're still around.
       None of us lives forever, but the capacity of the mind and will
to affect one's physical state seems to be pretty well established. No
one has any doubts about your will power and ability to think, so I'm
guessing that we'll all be exchanging e-mails for quite a while yet.
Bill Mandel
You are absolutely right on Target, Bill.  The Will to Live is a very
powerful force and I retain all of that  that I can.  I wish I had known of
Ms Martinez's medical situation before she passed.  I am not sure what is
meant time-wise by "brief . . .battle".  We watch my things carefully and,
since SLE is genetic, all children and grandchildren are now watched as
well.  On the other hand, it often takes big generational jumps.  But, like
you and your fine wife, I never stop fighting!

With admiration,  Hunter Bear
Russell Burton writes:
My meditation, thoughts and prayers are with you in your current fight
for existence in this world, but when you pass into the next you should know
that you have truly changed this world and this world thanks and honors you
for your service!
HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR]   Micmac /St. Francis Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk

Note by Hunter Bear:

FROM Steve Rossignol  2/20/05

Too good not to forward onward.  Steve, a good Socialist Party USA comrade,
is on the Tribute.  Have just returned from a tough walk:  slick snow, slick
ice.  All basically OK, which is a relief of sorts.  Yesterday, in an
extreme version of what sometimes happens, my balance went slightly askew
and my legs buckled completely.  Three family members grabbed me.  After I
sat down, it passed.  So I [and Maria] had to walk today just to show the
SLE that it cannot win.  And, as I say, things went well.  Before we hit the
actual trail, a neighbor came by in his pickup and we all talked.  He noted
my newly huge feet [16s].  At his request, I am giving him one of my old
pair of lace up high top Vasque boots, Size 14, which I got in early '98
just after my feet went from 13 to 14.  He'll stuff them with rags.   Best,

Happy Late Birthday, Hunter Bear!  Hope you are doing well!

Buckskin condoms, huh?  Doesn't that give you saddle sores?


Steve Rossignol

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]

As I often say, It's critical to always keep fighting -- and to
always remember that, if one lives with grace, he/she should be prepared to
die with grace.



Concerns about Ward Churchill go back many, many years in the Native
community -- along with a number of heavy questions about his research and
teaching.  The fact that his teaching salary is something like $95,000
[U.S.] and his chair stipend carried him above that, plus a great many
speaking engagements [and not for simple expenses alone, I suspect] -- based
on his ostensible standing as a key Native American speaker -- probably has
something to do with these Native concerns but I believe these considerable
inhibitions are even loftier and deeper than simply the money things. [Just
one case in point of many: his published fabrication of alleged deliberate
genocidal efforts by the United States with respect to the Mandan Nation in
what is now North Dakota. That small pox epidemic came inadvertently from
fur traders -- essentially a well known tragic fact.]  In any event, Ward
Churchill's support in the Native community is, as I have said, as thin as
river ice in July.

I have noted before that Churchill may be very fractionally Indian -- no one
seems to really know -- but, frankly, a bit of "blood" in itself doesn't
necessarily make a Native.  Indian cultural perspectives and values are
critical.  The Native ethos places heavy emphasis on serving one's community
and not one's self.

It strikes me here that a portion of the Left -- and not a very big one --
is hungry for a martyr. And, while I don't doubt the genuinely good hearts
of most of these folks,  that small portion does seem to think it's found
what  it wants:  not around the very real issues of academic freedom,
tenure, First Amendment rights alone -- only the rabid right and some
counterfeit liberals would ride rough shod over those -- but in their newly
canonized Victim.  Sorry -- it takes more than attacks by reactionaries to
make a deserving martyr.  What is especially disturbing is that these long
standing concerns in the Native world are either simply unrecognized by
Churchill's non-Indian supporters [he, himself, has never given an apparent
damn for those concerns] or are simply dismissed in cavalier, and sometimes
even scurrilous fashion.

Well, have fun.  But I suspect the Churchill trip is a River of No Return
[not far from here, BTW] without the great scenery of that Middle Fork of
the Salmon.

I haven't read Lenin recently on Infantile Leftism, but as an old and
deep-dyed "frontier syndicalist" I have always tried to observe the warning
issued repeatedly by the old-time IWW:  "Watch the man who advocates
violence."  The implication here, of course, as it was explained  to me by
my old and invaluable Wobbly mentors of a half century ago, is that such a
person is either a provocateur or a G__Damn fool.  Personally, I suspect the
latter is the basic core in Ward Churchill's case.

I imagine that, as he should, he will keep his job.  The real question may
well be, Can Churchill attract and retain Native and thoughtful non-Indian

Anyway, I am posting -- following this -- a recent piece on the Churchill
situation.  Once again, I recommend Indianz.com  http://www.indianz.com/
and also Native News http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NatNews/?yguid=66720841
These carry, in addition to solid roundups of Native news and doings, all
sorts of things on the Issue.

I have said on this, as the old time Natives often put it, "All I have to
say."  [Well, maybe.]

I am far more concerned about the plight of Lynne Stewart and the very
serious issues and ramifications and implications involved in her case.   I
should add that, of course, she is a person of great personal courage and
commitment -- and also one who has defended Indian people.

Yours, Hunter Bear

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]

As I often say, It's critical to always keep fighting -- and to
always remember that, if one lives with grace, he/she should be prepared to
die with grace.

Thanks again - very helpful. I hope it is read with care by those who

David [McReynolds]


Hunter Bear,

Just a note to tell you how much I appreciate the lyricism and literacy of
your posts. And on a list for socialists!

George Orwell's comments on the types one find in the SP notwithstanding,
your posts (and David's, and a few others), give me hope.

=Eric Bagai
  SP-USA, IWW, VFP72, PSR, etc.



Thank you Hunter for the post on Ward Churchill.   This is a valuable
use of this list. The left needs to be well informed on cases such as
Duane Campbell


Ward Churchill has, long ago, antagonized beyond repair a great many Native
scholars and writers indeed.  A number of these are women -- Jodi Rave,
Suzan Harjo, Patti Jo King, others -- and that will ensure a very rough trip
directly into the River Rapids.  I agree essentially with just about all of
Churchill's Native critics.  His civil liberties should be defended on
principle.  But he is not a man with whom I would care to work in any
meaningful social justice endeavors.  He is focused on himself, not on the

Mainline AIM -- the Bellecourts [very substantial White Earth Chippewa "blood"
indeed and culture; I know them and Eldri knows their family from the 1950s]
and Dennis Banks  and others in that fine Native activist tradition -- are
working at the Native grassroots, much of this in the Twin Cities and other
urban crucibles.  Their focus is on the things Native people sorely need and
want:  employment training and placement, sensible anti-drug and alcohol
work [prevention, treatment], housing.  If you have labored in these tough
and grinding areas, you need ethical funding -- churches, foundations, state
and government grants.  To get those -- and this is one of the really
bizarre lines of hostile and demagogic attack by Churchill's Denver/Boulder
AIM against the mainline AIM -- you always have to be incorporated on a
not-for-profit basis under state law, have a constitution, a viable board of
directors, a registered agent, and 501[c]3 status from IRS.

In early 1973, many of us set up the all-Indian Native American Community
Organizational Training Center, based at Chicago. I was its Chairperson for
years.  We handled all of the paperwork ourselves, except the 501[c]3 tax
exempt dimension which is super complicated.  I persuaded faculty friends at
the University of Iowa Law School [I was a prof in UI's Graduate Program in
Urban and Regional Planning which worked closely with Law] to set up a
Practicum -- in which second and third year law students could get  academic
credit for doing our Training Center 501[c][3].  Initially, IRS seemed
concerned about the "community organizational" dimension but we overcame
those inhibitions and got exactly what we needed and the students got their
academic credit.  The Training Center then drew church and foundation money,
and accomplished much as it rolled along.  Eventually, it produced Native
American Community Health Services, for which we handled the initial
paperwork -- and Law students got its 501[c]3 as well.  The incipient
American Indian Business Association of Chicago and the Midwest -- I was its
board member from Iowa -- asked us to get 501]c]3 status and, once again,
that was secured.  [The Association's focus was small Native business --
much in the arts-and-crafts realm -- and also tribally owned and controlled
economic programs: e.g., fisheries in Michigan.

If you have done this kind of work, necessary and much needed -- and I doubt
very much that Churchill ever has -- you will know exactly what I'm talking
about.  And you won't shoot at it.

Yours, Hunter Gray [Hunter Bear]


On the whole, the visit to our key doctor early this afternoon went well.
Lasted for about an hour and was characterized, not surprisingly, by "frank
and friendly discussion."  Eldri and Thomas accompanied me.  He examined me
pretty thoroughly, finding nothing profoundly amiss.  I had pretty well
deduced that the disturbing loss-of-balance and leg-collapse [and other
family members agree with me] is coming about because of the legs [affected
by SLE and aggravated by too much sitting] and not because of SLE in my
nervous system [always a danger.]  In other words, the leg situation is
causal, not the other way around.  The doctor agreed that was quite probable
and we will watch it very carefully.  In the meantime, we will try reducing
the Prednisone [which has caused diabetes] and bringing in, as a mix with
Prednisone, the more moderate drug, Plaquenil.   He was thorough in telling
me the warning things to look out for in the use of Plaquenil.

[This doc is a young Utah Mormon, just married -- to a Finnish American girl
from Virginia, MN -- in the main LDS Temple at Salt Lake.  In our family, we
very much trust Mormons. Flagstaff was and is heavily Catholic and Mormon.
I was a pall bearer at  the LDS funeral of a friend's mother when I was 15;
it was impressive in its grass roots simplicity. Cameron who lives here is
LDS -- as is his grandfather, Idaho's senior Labor advocate, Lin Whitworth.
Eldri is, of course, substantially Finnish.]

My feet are once again swelling significantly so I will have to return for
awhile to medicine that I don't like: Lasix.  Some pain continues and is
always around, feet hurt and hands cramp, it is tough to sleep at night for
several reasons [including retrospectives of my Life], but things could be
worse.  Like the old Catholic bishop on ER or the young Native woman on the
nearby Shoshone/Bannock reservation, I could easily be dead from SLE.

And it, mysterious and malevolent and unpredictable, plays only by its own
rules.  It can do anything -- destructive.  For me, things continue very
much to be a "Clock Without Hands."

But I am still planning a Fall bear hunt in the Soda Springs area, just east
of here, and close to the Wyoming border.  I'll use my 1895
Browning/Winchester  30.06 lever action, "High Grade" and "One in One

Hanging On, Standing Tall.  H

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

Peter Gray Salter on The Caribbean Cruise [and other matters] 2/26/05

Peter [Mack] writes: [My response follow.]

1. Plaquenil isn't the chemo drug, is it?
2. What are the warning things to look out for with Plaquenil?
3. Take me hunting with you, Pa?
4. While Beba may think about you and Fidel and Mainstream while he leans on
a railing (trapped on a germ-infested cesspool of a cruise surrounded by a
thousand other pasty and pale northerners trying to escape winter) I keep a
copy of that month's cover in my cubicle as I spend 60 hours a week
upholding my noble profession.

Response by Hunter Bear
[who agrees  fully with Thomas that ours is a rather
strange family -- though, I must say, quite competent in all cases.]

Peter [Mack] keeps a very good copy of the cover of the May 1960 issue of
Mainstream in his office --  that with Fidel's name and mine thereon.

Mike Francisco, the top flight hematologist and quickly a good friend [I
said at the time that his great arrogance was matched only by mine], was,
with another fine doc, the first to eventually diagnose profound SLE in my
case after many weeks of others trying to delineate Whatever which had just
about done me in.  I had been sent to Mike because the general feeling was
that I had some kind of far out blood cancer.  After the diagnosis and all
the related blood checks [including via Salt Lake], he initially prescribed
Plaquenil.  It is not a chemo drug and is more moderate than Prednisone.
However, it was not strong enough to contain the rampaging Lupus at that
point and so, after massive anti-biotics to kill the related Lupus pneumonia
etc, Prednisone was given me in high dosage, later slowly reduced somewhat.
Now, we are trying to slowly reduce Pred even more [it can't be stopped cold
turkey without dire consequences], mixing it with Plaq. [More pills!]  An
eighty year old friend asked me, "How many pills are you taking these
ays?  -- he, himself, is taking many for other things -- and I told him,
thinking, "Jesus, it's come to this!"   I am taking about 20 at least per

If we can conclusively dump Prednisone, the diabetes, caused essentially by
the high dosages, may go away.  Of course, there is no cure at all for SLE

There are a number of side effects of Plaquenil.  The major one involves
what can be irreversible eye damage.  I will have to have a couple of check
ups each year on that score.  SLE itself develops spectacular rashes but, if
another kind of less drastic rash appears, it'll be because of the Plaquenil
and I have been asked to call our doc immediately.

I will be happy to take Pete bear hunting with me -- delighted.  As I will
any other family member.  We are going to try to do some advance
bear-scouting. [Unfortunately, I cannot walk as I once could -- at least
now].  I have never and I will never, as people who know me know, fall into
the unfortunate trap of "bear-baiting":  that is, placing food regularly for
bears over a period of time and then eventually killing one at that locale
when the season opens. Me and my Rifle, the Bear and its Great Wits and
Sharp Claws and Sharp Teeth -- on a reasonably level playing field.  That is
the proper and Traditional Way. Our whole family agrees very much with me on

Of course we all do hope Beba and Nancy have a fine little cruise.  It
should go well.  In any case, measured against the super cold temps of North
Dakota and Minnesota, Anything is an improvement.  My parents sometimes
traveled by ship -- especially since my father, throughout his long life,
steadfastly refused to fly at any point.  But, if Beba's boat should go
down, perhaps we can arrange for Cuba to rescue.  Beba likes Hemingway, and
H. loved Cuba which consistently honors him.

Best to you, Mack, and to Beba et al., and to all else.



Enjoyed the post - am glad you don't bear-bait. I admit I'm not a hunter,
except perhaps with camera, but I know the world is made up of all
different kinds of people. However the animals (the other ones, noting we
are also animals) should be given some chance, not tricked!

Pills, yes, one can laugh and of course the pills can hit at any age. I
take only two things - if we don't count aspirin and vitamins
(though the vitamins may do as much good as the others).

These days I can see in the gay press lots of ads which make it sound as if
AIDS were a mere nothing, that being HIV positive were no more than a
headache - and I am certainly extremely lucky that in my sometimes
irresponsible life I didn't contract this. But when it comes to pills, I
wish younger gay men (and anyone, for that matter - in Russia, which is
falling apart because of AIDS, gay men are the least of the problem!) would
grasp that it is a regimen of pills all day long and all night long.

March is nearly here. The sun outside is bright, and the one reliable sign
of spring, the one unfailing marker, my chives, are up on the fire escape.
I have a pot of chives that sits there winter and summer, giving green bits
during the growing season. But of course with the first hard frost they die
down. Are covered by snow. The pot frozen solid with hard freezes, yet
EVERY YEAR, regardless of the temperature, and regardless of whether there
is snow sitting on top of the little clay pot, the chives poke up green
shoots between Februaryy 10 and 15, without fail.