PASSION PLAY AND OTHER THOUGHTFUL THINGS FROM THE DUTCH OVEN  [HUNTER BEAR  MAY 12  2004 ] AND AN ADDED NOTE [MAY 22, 2004]

 

Around 3 a.m. several mornings ago, I looked out our back door.  'Way up in
the Eastern Idaho hills just above our house, a full moon shown dimly
through the thin cloud cover and, concurrently, nearby trees were weaving
wildly across the moon in super high winds.  I always call this scenario the
"Witchy Moon."  I like it and tend to see it as a Good Sign.

And the coyotes were howling.

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When I was very much a kid, a group of us developed a kind of passion play
which we did, always with a few variations, a number of times.  Among the
participants were John and David Woods, sons of the song writer, Harry Woods
["I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover" and "The Red Red Robin Goes Bob Bob
Bobbin' Along."]  The Woods family, good friends of ours and residents of
Glendale, Arizona [near Phoenix], often spent summers at cool Flagstaff.  At
one point, I had shot a coiled rattler upon which John was getting ready to
step.

My role in the Play was to eventually be lethally shot.  Clutching my chest
with one hand, I would fall into the pine needles, moaning slightly.  A girl
would then bend over me.  Our eyes locked earnestly, I'd hold her hand with
my other hand.  "I'm a goin' gal," was my line.  Wiping her eyes with her
one free hand, she would then ask, "Do you have any final words, John?
Anything."

Of course, I always had something to say, truly creative pronouncements --
if I say so myself.  Never, ever, have I been at any loss for words.

It's been a tough, medically difficult year for me and the last several
weeks have been rocky.  On the other hand, I'm not planning to be "a goin' "
at this point [or any foreseeable point].  And when I do, I'll have a great
final verbal testament [whether or not anyone sticks pluckily around for all
of that.]

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On May 5,  the little low-post but fun Bear Without Borders discussion list,
which had originated at the beginning of February or so in connection with
the really great Surprise Tribute quite a number of good people developed
for me, was summarily killed by Yahoo [no warning, all archival stuff lost
forever.] A few other vaguely related lists were killed as well.  The BWB
List had retained almost all of its original 50 or so members.  Barry Cohen,
who had initiated the List and served as its owner, commented:  "Frankly, I
have loved this little group. It's been a warm spot in a too-cold world.
It's an outrage that it should be so callously terminated. "

Barry made contact with People Link [which now carries Portside] -- a
movement oriented server.  I reconstituted the original membership list.
Within hours, Bear Without Borders was resurrected and now lives on very
nicely indeed!  So far, out of 54 people I listed, we have coincidentally
lost only two.

Several List members are astutely doing some relevant research on this kind
of acute chicanery.

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Idaho State University has so far failed to do anything visible
regarding the recent [April 24] police harassment of my grandson/son,
Thomas, and his special friend, Mimie [from Zambia].  Here is my very recent
letter to its administration:

Hunter Gray
2000 Sandy Lane
Pocatello, ID  83204
May 10  2004

Dr. Douglass Covey
Vice President for Student Affairs
ISU

Dear Dr. Covey:

This is with respect to my grandson/son, Thomas Gray Salter and his friend,
Mimie Chilinda -- each an ISU student.  Thomas is American Indian and Mimie
is African.  And both are very visibly so.

I appreciated our conversation of two weeks or so ago.  However, I have
heard nothing further from anyone at ISU.   There has only been a pro forma
call from a Chubbuck police lieutenant on April 29 2004 which, although
mutually civil, was not strikingly productive.  We do not consider that an
objective answer.

We declined to go to the Chubbuck PD to view their tape.  That exercise
strikes me as essentially diversionary.  We could argue for an hour  or more
about a minor deviation  vis-a-vis the "center line."  That really is not
the point -- no one arrested him for reckless driving -- anymore than an out
tail light [which barely came up] is something major in nature. [He
purchased a new tail light and was given the wrong one, had exchanged it.]

The point is that Thomas and Mimie were driving along, shortly after 1 am on
April 24.  They were stopped on the edge of ISU and hassled for
several minutes by the  Chubbuck police officer.  Thomas was accused of
drinking
[he had not]  and, according to both he and Mimie, Thomas
was called a "liar" by the officer when he denied any drinking.  He agreed
to the cop's demand for a sobriety test and Mimie suggested the straight
line thing.  In the end, the officer declined all of this and left.

Before we came to Pocatello seven years ago, I was -- for many years -- the
leader of the Mayor's Committee on Police Policy at Grand Forks, ND.  The
Department at that point came to be seen as a positive model and was cited
as such by the Justice Department.  Although a full professor [and other
things] with a full teaching load at University of North Dakota, I did many
years of work with Student Services.  Attached are two letters which attest
to these human relations involvements. [BTW, I am not angling for a job!]

[Note by Hunter Bear:  I enclosed paper copies, but here's the link to the
letters if anyone is interested:
 http://www.hunterbear.org/there_is_a_saying_in_our_native_.htm

As I told the Chubbuck lieutenant, I don't think Chubbuck police officers
have any business at ISU.  I also believe any police officers interacting
with university students -- minority or otherwise -- should be specially
and vigorously trained.

Sincerely.

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

This racial issue, not uncommon at Pocatello and environs, is far from over.

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A series of exceptionally kind communications from a new friend contained
this -- I've omitted the full spelling of the mentioned individual's last
name:  "Somebody said they thought you were actually Hunter M., someone I
didn't know, but then someone else thought Hunter M. had passed on."

This reminds me of the conclusion of Shane -- the book by Jack Schaefer --
in which speculation is rife about the origins and ultimate destiny of the
great, altruistic gunfighter.  Now that's good company for me!

Keep Fighting - Down To The Very Bone

HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR]   Micmac /St. Francis Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk

 

AND AN ADDED RELATED NOTE [HUNTER BEAR   5/21/04]

Note by Hunter Bear:

This from the Gallup [NM] newspaper deals with the continuing trail of death
engendered by nuclear fall-out from Camp Desert Rock, Nevada testing -- very
common a few decades ago.  Obviously related directly to this hideous
tragedy is the even more sweeping one of cancer and related deaths plaguing
vast numbers of former Navajo and Laguna uranium miners especially -- and,
via spilloffs, poisoning the general environment and air and water and
livestock.  All of this began in the late '40s and continued directly into
the 70s -- with the lethal effects going to the very present moment.

From my bedroom window north of Flagstaff, I could sometimes see the
northwestern horizon light up.  That was far off Desert Rock.  To some
extent, as it turned out, Flag itself was protected from fall- out by the
huge San Francisco Peaks north of town and, even further north, the vast
Grand Canyon and its quirky winds.

Recently I posted "Passion Play and Other Thoughtful Things from the Dutch
Oven" [5/12/04.]  Part of that mentioned good childhood buddies, John and
David Woods -- sons of  songwriter Harry Woods.  There is more to that
story.  I have mentioned it briefly before, long ago on a discussion list or
two, but it certainly bears telling once again.

In the late spring of '59, I was in Salt Lake and Bingham Canyon and
environs.   John Woods was then in the Army, a veterinary officer, attached
to the Camp Desert Rock situation.  He came over to see me and we spent a
pleasant couple of days -- among other things, flying in his plane whose use
he had just mastered.  His job in the Army, which he had come to detest,
involved staking live animals out at various points in the predicted nuclear
fall out area and then assessing the various levels of "damage"  on their
burned and broken bodies. He planned to leave the Army as soon as his hitch
was up, and he did -- becoming a veterinarian in the Mesa, Arizona [Phoenix]
metro setting.  We kept in touch via a letter or so a year but I never saw
him at any point in that period.

In the Summer of '75, we were visiting my folks at Flag.  Our house
on-the-edge-of-town was on the back Fort Valley road to the Grand Canyon and
there was much seasonal tourist traffic.  Dad and I were sitting on what
passed for our lawn when a camper came by slowly. The people -- an old man
and a young woman -- looked out intently at us.  They went around and
returned, and then went around again.

Mother now sounded Supper Call and we went inside.  But then there was a
knock on the door.  It was the curious couple from the camper who I now
initially assumed were lost and needed directions.  "Can I help you?," I
asked.  The man looked at me.  His hair was pure white and his face deeply
lined with mini canyon wrinkles.

"John," he said, "It's me.  John Woods." He introduced his wife. I recovered
quickly.  "You have to know me," he grinned.

"Of course I know you, John" said I, poker faced and then mustering as much
affability as I could.  We were both 41, same age -- and he looked in his
eighties.

We had a pleasant visit that late afternoon and evening.  I never saw him
again.  Less than three years later he died of super multiple cancers.

And we knew, of course, from whence they had come.

Hunter [Hunter Bear]



HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR]   Micmac /St. Francis Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
In the mountains of Eastern Idaho [where we're getting rain and snow]
www.hunterbear.org
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]
 

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