OUR COMMUNALISTIC WILL
[AND OTHER MENTIONS INCLUDING WILLIAM JAMES AND FAMILY] HUNTER GRAY
[HUNTER BEAR] UPDATED WITH THE NEW AND FINAL WILL ON MAY 13 2006 -- UPDATED WITH
COMMENTS ON MUCH -- AN ADDED NOTE, FEBRUARY 8 2008
[Of course, your major
"estate" will be the good you have done and the inspiration you have given to so
sam friedman 6/28/2004]
NOTE BY HUNTER BEAR:
NOTE BY JOHN HUNTER GRAY: CLARIFICATION /
REITERATION RE A DIMENSION OF OUR COMMUNALISTIC WILL:
This is February 8, 2008, at Pocatello, Idaho.
When the time comes, which I certainly trust will not
be soon [and, indeed, far off in the future], that I "travel on," I
definitely want my ashes distributed by those family members able to make
the trip, on the eastern rim section of Sycamore Canyon. The preferred
location would be at our old family hunting camp-ground on the Rim above
the down-in Dorsey Springs. [I shot my Great Bear several hundred yards
below the Springs, very near a rather small and relatively level marshy open
area into which the spring waters flow.] Obviously, this "ashes process"
would not be one necessitating any urgency at all. [Eldri has been at our
old camp-ground -- in 1968.]
John Hunter Gray
2000 Sandy Lane
Pocatello, Idaho 83204
February 8 2008
This is our somewhat revised but
our still very communalistic Will:
The basic outlines of the Will were formulated
in early September 2003 at a
full family meeting , which I chaired from my hospital bed. In addition to
those who live with us here at Pocatello, John [Beba] and Peter [Mack] had
come from Glyndon MN [near Fargo] and Lincoln, NE, respectively. Two
additions, via codicil, were subsequently added. It is not an extensive
document but it reflected, normally enough, a good deal of cordial
discussion. In Idaho, where there is still some simplicity, probate judges
tend to accept simply the basic thrust of a will.
Our family is extremely cohesive and this holds for our various clusters of
grandchildren. This solidarity extends into and between all of the
component family groupings in our One Big Family -- or Horde, as I call it.
Although our financial assets are quite modest, this house is a major
investment which is presently climbing rapidly in value. In addition, we
have a very extensive collection of historic and contemporary Native arts
and crafts, a massive collection of radical [mostly Western] materials,
a large and diverse library. The library includes a great sweep of Native
and radical works and also virtually every book written by
William James [plus his father's book, that of the old Henry James; and
two volumes of letters edited by WJ's son, Henry]. Almost all of the
James books are signed personally by James with a very few signed
by son, Henry.] WJ was a good friend of
my extremely young father, referring to him as "Uncle Jack." Henry
James, the novelist, made at least one visit from England and got on
well with Dad. Dad's adoptive mother, Mary Gibbens Salter, was a
good person -- but the adoptive father, William Mackintire Salter,
brother in law of WJ, did grow cold and remote.
A very close friend and colleague of my father -- and then of our family as
a whole - was the internationally known French/Mexican painter and muralist,
Jean Charlot. [He had been an associate of Diego Rivera with whom our family
was acquainted.] Dad was born in 1898 and died in 1978 and Charlot, born
the same year, died only a year later. The Charlots often visited us at
summer/cool Flagstaff and we [and especially my folks] saw them at San
Miguel de Allende, GTO on occasion. After he died and his good wife, Zomah,
passed away, we lost track of the offspring.
And then, last summer  or so, I saw on E Bay a whole slew of Charlot works
being sold by one of his grand daughters. I felt a sense of deep shock.
FINAL WILL OF JOHN HUNTER GRAY and ELDRI J.
GRAY [aka ELDRI JOHANSON
SALTER], 2000 SANDY LANE, POCATELLO, IDAHO. [This is dated May 13 2006].
This is being sent today, May 13, 2006 to the Five
Heirs. For recording
purposes, it will also be published in the Lair of Hunterbear website
on the page presently occupied by the former Will.
All previous wills, codicils, and related instruments are -- with one
exception -- herewith rescinded and thus are null and void. This refers,
among other things, to that Will whose last date is September 28 2003. The
sole exception is the Codicil dated September 7 2003 which relates to all
Native American artifacts, creative works, crafts, paintings, and related
dimensions being retained by and in the Extended Family and that
Codicil is maintained herewith in full.
In the event of the death of John Hunter Gray, the sole owner of all family
monies, home, possessions and related dimensions becomes Eldri J. Gray. In
the event that Eldri J. Gray predeceases John Hunter Gray, John Hunter Gray
will become the sole owner of all family monies, home, possessions and
Upon the death of the remaining individual/parent, the following provisions
become operative immediately:
We have five Heirs: Maria Heath Salter, John Randall Salter, Peter Gray
Salter, Josephine Heath Salter, and Thomas Gray Salter. These are
hereinafter referred to collectively as the Heirs. The Heirs may, if they
wish, choose one of their number to serve as Executor or they may
wish to collectively serve as Executor.
All family decisions related to this and collateral dimensions will be made
by consensus agreement of and by the five Heirs. Heirs may indicate their
formal wishes either by a collective meeting of their full body or, if
necessary, signed individual statements. Heirs unable to attend a
collective meeting in person may convey their formal individual wishes
via written conventional mail or by signed e-mail.
1] All stocks, bonds, and other monies existent following settlement of
expenses will be split five equal ways among the Heirs. Any motor vehicles
will be sold and the proceeds split five equal ways among the Heirs. Other
possessions can be distributed and taken by mutual agreement among the five
Heirs. But all Native American artifacts, creative works, crafts,
paintings, and related dimensions must remain owned by and within the
Extended Family as a whole and are duly covered by that Codicil dated
September 7 2003.
2] The house at 2000 Sandy Lane, Pocatello, Idaho presently owned by John
Hunter Gray and Eldri J. Gray [or any succeeding home owned by either or
both of them] at the time of his/her death will be owned equally by the five
Maria Heath Salter [with or without Samantha residing with her] will have
unlimited use of the house effective until either her death, decision to
move on, or until the five Heirs decide, by consensus, to sell it and
divide the proceeds equally among themselves. Maria Heath Salter,
during her residence therein, will be responsible for all taxes on the
house, its upkeep, and its maintenance.
The remaining Heirs and their families may also use the house. No one of
any of the five Heirs can buy out any of the others. No lien must ever be
attached to the house as long as it is owned by the Heirs and its title
during their possession must remain free and clear. [Should any of the
heirs become deceased their heirs will receive that share of the deceased --
but will not be a part of any consensus decisional process.]
 All written material created by John Hunter Gray is covered by copyright
and any income derived from such must be divided equally among the five
Heirs. [Given the considerable body of work extant in this context, the
Heirs may choose one of their number to handle those matters -- and/or to
grant permission rights to anyone seeking to publish such material.] It
should be noted that two written works by John Hunter Gray, and owned by
him, are formally and explicitly copyrighted via the United States Copyright
Office: Jackson, Mississippi: An American Chronicle of Struggle and Schism
[published book]; and An Organizer's Perspective on Civil Rights and Social
Change in Mississippi Prior to 1964 [an extensive monograph]. Each of these
has a formal copyright certificate presently held by John Hunter Gray, and
carrying his original name of John R Salter, Jr.
The Open Papers of John Hunter Gray [aka John R. Salter, Jr. and Hunter
Gray] are held by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison; and by
the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson. His Closed
Papers are likewise held by those two repositories. Those Closed Papers at
Wisconsin may be opened in 2010 and those at Mississippi in 2017. Their
respective archivists are aware of those Closed Papers opening dates. Other
papers presently held by John Hunter Gray may, depending on the wishes of
the Heirs, be maintained in the Family or appropriately donated.
JOHN HUNTER GRAY __________________________________________________
ELDRI J. GRAY _______________________________________________________
Things on our side have been challenging lately -- in fact, pretty damn
trying -- but we do keep pushing right along. My battle with SLE continues
unabated -- rashes, unstable legs and painful joints and feet [the latter
have now reached Size 17, five sizes of length growth since 1989], periods
of much fatigue, a few other cactus spines. [The diabetes is long gone and
my weight has returned to normal.] Anyway, earlier this morning, Maria and
I [and Hunter Shelty] decided to spend an hour and a half or so in the wild
and immediately adjacent Hills in which we haven't been since the heavy
snows and persistent rains came in late fall and continued with close
regularity until just a few sunny days ago.
And it all went well.
The Sun was out and the Sky turquoise -- with just enough breeze to keep us
fairly cool. Everything plant-wise is Green -- with wild animal sign and
plenty of birds. What passes for a BLM "road" in one section is pleasantly
washed out [there are plans to try to clear it a bit, so we've heard, but we
trust the elements will keep it functionally impassable.] As the far up
homes below us grew smaller and smaller, we felt better and better. Maria
collected Idaho sage for a Native friend in a far off section of North
America, Hunter Shelty ran about as he hasn't for months, and I didn't
collapse -- not by a long shot. On the way back down, we encountered a good
neighbor friend hiking up who brought us news of moose nibbling his flowers
and of two -- two! -- nearby fox dens full of very attractive little
youthful foxes. Most people around here -- and certainly those in our 'way
up locale -- are selective hunters [for meat] but we all appreciate wildlife
and like to see our friends of fur and hoof bouncing about. We spotted none
of our rattlesnake buddies on this junket but will soon, especially when the
weather grows warmer.
So we are optimistic.
And we remain realistically optimistic about the state of the nation -- even
as the Separation and Division of Powers and much more [and certainly the
populace] endure some of their greatest pressures and strains in our
recollection. [I add as an aside that no one who has struggled for
meaningful social change is ever surprised one whit at revelations of
Federal surveillance -- and the challenge in that context, as in all others,
is simply to Keep Fighting right along.] The basic bones in this country,
structural and conceptual, heavily influenced and shaped substantially by
the ancient but quite ever-enduring example of the Iroquois Confederacy,
will -- we are quite convinced -- remain essentially intact. Assuming, as I
think we can, that that most ultimate Genesis of all continues to feather
out -- hard, tedious, democratic and non-violent grassroots organizing,
throwing out its sparks of life and hope into the dry grass and hot pine
needles of peoples' discontent -- we will move with increasing speed, force
and effectiveness up that Shining Mountain toward a full measure of bread
and butter and a full measure of liberty.
Back in my own very medically very difficult Fall of 2003, when I was
hospitalized several times and nearly died on a number of occasions, a long
family meeting in my hospital room developed a creative and interesting [if
we say so ourselves] Will relating to myself and Eldri and our family. In
that, we drew, among other things, from basic Native communitarian
dimensions. [In individualistic Idaho, the obvious intent of any clear and
explicit Will, however rudimentary, is quickly recognized by all
authorities.] We published that on our Hunterbear website for recording
purposes and sent it to a couple of lists on which many friends reside. A
few days ago, I re-did it, with a few modifications and additions -- and
keeping, of course, its communalistic essence. It is, to use the words of
immortal Joe Hill, our "last and final will." Here, in case anyone is
interested, is its website link -- replacing our earlier version.
We are having a most chilly May - here it is, the time
of year when one puts on the air conditioning
(sometimes) and it is really chilly. But the annual
"miracle of the trees" has taken place, with umbrellas
of green shade on offer on every street.
The last thing you need is yet another change of
address, but I operate mostly from email@example.com - this
Yahoo account is slow
and very cumbersome.
(and a thoughtful will - or as the saying goes, where
there's a will there's a way)
Thank you for your last message. The good positive
mood was contagious.
I'm working out my schedules regarding Joan
Mulholland's visit. She'll be here around July 18-22 and I might still be in
Spain at that time. But that remains to be seen. I would really like to meet
I saw an interesting documentary on television here
about the farmers' socialist movement in the US and Canada. I didn't know
that a lot of the "socialist" health-care and other policies that came to
be introduced in Saskatschewan and later throughout Canada actually owed
their roots to large numbers American farmers who emigrated to Canada and
developed the CCF. Interesting to consider socialism an American export.
Today I started to clear a woodpile at the country
place, but I was stopped short when I saw that a blackbird had made a nest
in it with three eggs, and remembering it was Mother's Day I thought it
best to leave it alone. Fortunately, the bird didn't reject the nest -
blackbirds sometimes do it quite easily. They seem to be more nervous than
many other birds. Anyway she came back after about five minutes to
brood. So it may be some time before I get to that woodpile. Of course a
squirrel or woodpecker may always get there and eat the eggs, but for the
time being it's a good excuse to tell the wife (who will no doubt remind
me of other woodpiles).
Hunter mentions the truism that "no one who has
struggled for meaningful
social change is ever surprised one whit at revelations of Federal
surveillance." This illustrates the absurdity of the present federal
administration's claim that revealing the existence of these programs is
news to the adversaries and so damages national security. As usual, it's
trying to make us think that when it keeps secrets from us it makes us
It is my hope that we can walk those mountain
trails together sometime.
I say that realizing that my feet would not at the moment let me do
that because a ten-year-old problem has flared up a little bit
recently, but I will overcome it soon.
There is a lot of very healthy anger abroad in the country and the
world. Let it flourish and grow the thoughts of creative rebirth...
FROM HUNTER BEAR 5/15/06
While quite sad, Sam, to learn of your present
medical travail, we are
certain that we will at some point travel these mountain trails together
which, as you know from having visited us [including Cloudy], can be
within a very few short minutes from our home. You are tough and
and, for my part, I am thoroughly committed to killing this SLE.
that's why I carefully cleaned my revolver just the other day -- not, I
suppose I should add, to do myself in which would be quite antithetical
my basic values -- but because of its reassuring symbolism in this Lupus
fight. Hang with it, amigo, and when we hit those trails together,
show you some interesting things -- including the mysterious Black Nest.
Apropos of nothing, probably, a memory of how
tough Hunter is. Once as a teenager I threw a fire extinguisher at him
and it bounced off him like a basketball. Then I knew I was trouble.
Luckily we made peace before he could catch me.
FROM HUNTER BEAR MAY 15 2006
Genuine thanks, Beba, for that apt comment which
helped start my day in an
optimistic fashion. Of course, many things were thrown in our family
in those times -- and, come to think of it, a few still are now and
With the exception of our sweet and ever-sanguine Eldri, none of the
us have ever been inclined to let our discontent and frustrations simmer
long under the surface. That characteristic, in my opinion, maintains
individual and collective equilibrium and helps strengthen our mutual
commitment toward consensus.
Have you ever been tested for acromegaly - excessive growth hormone
FROM HUNTER BEAR May 15 2006
Thanks very much for your good question, Morton
-- which, I add for the
benefit of other readers, is a highly informed one in the professional
sense. Although I was not, as far as I know, tested for excessive
hormone production, my extensive diagnostic experiences in early Fall,
2003 -- following this dramatic explosion of SLE [attacked many organs
its all-out assault] -- featured a wide array of blood tests, cat scans,
x-rays, biopsies, other kinds of tests before twelve physicians
and collectively told us that I had "full blown SLE Lupus." By that
top, specialized lab in Salt Lake had thoroughly sifted and analyzed my
[anti-nuclear antibodies] and related dimensions.
I feel certain that, in this, any excessive production of excessive
hormone would some way have been detected and pursued. In time, I spoke
with my primary doc about the slow and steady lengthening of my feet.
my feet are quite normal in appearance -- perfectly proportionate -- and
everything else about me [outwardly at least] is essentially normal as
well -- he, medically conservative [which I appreciate], and taking
for granted in my rather wild medical scene, saw the length growth very
interesting, but not at all alarming. He had already noted that, at 72,
retain my life long adult height of a bit over six feet.
So my primary problem on that score is to find a new mountain boot
which can accommodate me -- since my fairly new [purchased in 2004] Lowa
Size 16s are getting somewhat tight, even with light socks. [A few
ago, I wrote one of my rare consumer's endorsements -- for Lowa, based
five to six daily miles of hiking in extremely rough country, which they
to very good advertising use. But it was only with difficulty that Lowa
found a pair of 16s.] Now, I may go to Columbia which does carry 17s. I
obviously, intend to "keep on hiking."
As I have indicated, in that Fall and Winter of 2003 and the Spring of
I and Mortality brushed one another very, very closely on a number of
occasions. As recently as a month ago, our primary doc said that I was
"Lucky, very lucky."
I am inherently and pervasively quite tough.
As do we all in our situations, I fight on -- committed to the defeat of
Adversary and to "full blown" Victory. I sense that I am now at a
juncture. We shall win.
So good to hear from you and to hear that you
are well enough to travel through your beloved woods. Your description
of the turquoise skies , trees , wild animals, particularly the baby
foxes was delightful. Thanks for sharing .
I'm at home today . My brother is visiting from
Los Angeles and I took off three days to spend with him . At my age, I
can't stay up half the night , chatting, going down memory lane about
growing up with him and our younger sister who lives in Chicago also
and then get up and go to work . He is a retired captain for the LAPD
and is eighteen months younger than I .
I , too , completed my Will approx. two mos.
ago . My two daughters thought that I was keeping a secret from them
about my health. I reassured them that I had no intention of checking
out anytime soon but no one knows when that time will arrive.
In my work, I frequently see basically good
people become warring animals when a love one dies without a will . I
don't think that my daughters will resort to that but then some of my
patients didn't think their children would either.
Your family history is really interesting .
Also want to note that if I want to see your closed papers in
Mississippi , and I will, I'll be 73 y/o when they're opened ( smile )
If I'm not senile by then, I'll have a look.
Don't want to tire you out , so take care .
Love and regards to the clan .
HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk www.hunterbear.org
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
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]