Always a life-long early riser, I was awakened on schedule this morn by cats
at 3:30 a.m., led of course by Cloudy [the Bobcat mix with her now heavy fur
coat and a great ruff].  FUCK LUPUS greeted me, vividly on my bedroom
wall -- a framed hand-made poster with a militant Activist Fist as backdrop
across which the boldly inflammatory words are emblazoned.  It's one of many
fine gifts -- lots of them from our always very thoughtful grandchildren.
[Some presents are still in transit, but from the Grapevine we know we will
be pleased.]  This one is from the 14 year old son of Peter -- a kid whose
consistent involvement with our Catholic Church has never inhibited his
commendable candor.

On another wall is the quite unique indeed Cloudy calendar, product of Maria
and Josie via a local copy firm -- each month featuring a great photo of Her
Highness [Holiness] in conspicuous play-to-the-audience poses.  Gifts were,
as always, many and thoughtful within our now far-flung family and food was
and is bountiful.  Hereabouts, the buildup to the Season was characterized
by Mormon neighbor families bringing plates of home-made cookies.  Eldri,
Maria, Josie, and Samantha, who had baked many tasties themselves, cooked up
a huge feast with ham and our traditional baked scramble [eggs, cheese,
bread] and much, much more.  In the late Christmas afternoon, Cameron
arrived with more quantities of food.  He [an IBEW electrician] and Josie
live in part of our lower level.  Each Thanksgiving and Christmas, his own
large extended LDS family with early roots in this broad region, prepares
and serves meals to Everyone who comes to their operational food settings at
the Pocatello senior center and the local Episcopal church.  Yesterday, they
served the usual number -- about 400 folks -- and still some food was left

After arising this morning, I began -- in our darkened living room --
tanking up on imported Teton water and very strong black coffee. And smoked
my wonderful pipe. With the lights of Pocatello below me, I listened to the
wild wind and waited for the predicted rain.  Warm weather has been with us
for the last several days and will continue for awhile.  Most snow and ice
have melted up where we are -- and all of it down below -- but the
line-of-the-surviving-snow is not far above us and, of course, more heavy
snow will come again throughout Idaho before long.  Josie, in her Jeep,
almost hit a small herd of mule deer the other day -- well below us.

FUCK LUPUS does sum up my sentiments.  It is for sure a "tough disease" [as
a friend commented recently.]  But I am able to report that, although I
still become too tired; and still cannot yet set my one remaining Number
Four Victor Double-Spring trap with my bare hands as I could before this
Malevolence struck me openly, each time I now try The Trap I come a bit
closer to that marker goal. [Have to be a little careful because I could
lose a finger and No, I haven't actually trapped in decades.] A shift in
medicine has seen my weight return to normal and the diabetes produced by
the earlier med is now history. My blood pressure appears to have definitely
returned to its usually low level.  It's not unusual for SLE, especially my
especially severe version, to get into one's brain and thus affect one's
mind. I've been spared that and, if any readers should note that I'm writing
about giant rabbits or whatever, please contact Eldri asap.  I have also
been spared serious pain although not awful, itchy rashes -- but those are
fading.  Cuts and scratches are now healing very quickly.

Things around me seem much more Real -- and in a generally good and
optimistic fashion.

Messages from afar are always very welcome whether or not I'm on the edge of
the Fog.  This morning a good friend in semi-rural Finland, Jyri, wrote in

Dear Hunter Gray,
"Thank you for your message. Good to hear that you don't intend to "cash in"
in the near future.
The world needs fighters, and examples to us younger ones. And lore.
By that I don't mean tall stories, though they have their place too. I mean
networked information of the much older kind long before Bill Gates came on
the scene, and which now has new forms thanks to Gates & Co. An example: my
younger son of 17, who is displaying mildly activist tendencies and a lot of
sharp political criticism of both the right and left (that is, when he
manages to forget his girlfriend for more than ten minutes) was immediately
receptive to the material on your website when I pointed him that way. So
things are being passed on in a totally different way, geographically and in
terms of time, than ever before. Great perspectives for good, evil and total
idiocy, too.

Presidential elections coming up here. The  incumbent Ms. Tarja Halonen
(social-democrat) is running for her second term. I voted for Red Tarja the
first time; I might do it again.

About the smoking. My father started smoking again two years ago at the
tender age of 75 after a pause of at least a decade or more. We gave him
some friendly criticism about it but he replied: "What the heck. I'm in the
home stretch anyway." Not much you can say to that."  [Jyri]

No, there really isn't.  On the other hand, I have lots of ancestors who, if
they didn't get killed or fall prey to heavy drink, made it very gracefully
and effectively well into their Nineties.  Mother's father [son of a violent
Dakota horse rancher, Idaho mining engineer, and much more], on his death
bed at 96, got into a violent argument with Mother and, experiencing a rise
in blood pressure [who can blame him?], lived for two more years.

I started roll-your-own cigarette smoking at age nine, about 1943. [One of
the hardest swats on my butt that I ever got from a high school principal
was his futile response to my Bull Durham -- which I continued unabated.]
In 1966, I was -- and had been for years -- smoking four packs of Pall Malls
per day.  I stopped and, not long thereafter, began heavy pipe smoking that
continued until 1989.  And, last week of course, with a fine new big pipe, I

Smoking is traditional among a great many Native people -- and certain
nations, very much including our closely linked Wabanaki tribes, are noted
pipe smokers.  Various herbs are often utilized, but tobacco is native to
the Americas and our indigenous folk have always been fond of That.  And it
isn't just men.  A rather "proper" Massachusetts Anglo writer, visiting the
Wabanaki at the beginning of the 1970s, was somewhat disconcerted to see
elderly Native women -- some close to the century mark -- puffing their
tobacco pipes. Several were doing so in nursing homes.

I do like Jyri's dad's comment.  Here are only a few of the other supportive
comments I've gotten:

"How about some Johnny Walker to go along with that?"  -- John Salter [Beba]

"Personally, I favor briarwood ChurchWarden. . . Keep on keeping on. " --
Bruce H.  12/21/05

"Go for it!" -- Mary Ann Hall W.  12/22/05

"If I had the disease you have, I'd be doing a lot of things." --  John
Salter [Beba]  12/25/05

[I stopped any alcohol drinking several decades ago, realizing I could like
it much too much -- especially Johnny Walker Red.  Each of my parents was
alcoholic.  Dad, a very heavy whiskey drinker but completely unimpaired in
his role as father and artist and teacher, made it only to age 80.  Mother
passed away at 95, but had stopped drinking at about 90.]

Well, anyway, that's Us in Idaho as we and the planet face 2006 and its
challenges, some of which I hope to engage -- in a hard-hitting, positive
and effective sense.

FUCK LUPUS, Eat Hearty, and Keep Fighting.  We Will Win.

Our very best to all of you from the Western Mountains.

Nialetch / Onen

Hunter Bear


It is wonderful hearing from you. Your writing presents a clear and lucid picture of your mind set. Always wonderful and inspiring stuff to read, Give all my love. Do not exclude the cats. 
In Solidarity and With Much Respect,
Colia [Colia Liddell Lafayette Clark]   12/26/05
. . . . what will tomorrow bring?  My hope for you is that your
miracle will come in one way or another.  It must be beautiful country
up there in Idaho, I have never been there.

One of my goals this year will be to read your book-- I have really
enjoyed reading your organizing ideas which are very inspirational.  I
think I will recomend the link to Robert Parry, an exellent writer who
is a professor in Texas.  He has a keen interest in organizing for
social justice issues.

Best wishes and Keep fighting!

Robert B. Livingston
San Francisco  12/26/05

.  .  . Again, I so enjoy your description of  the wilderness , mountains, snow ,etc. in Idaho . Sounds so picturesque.
I mailed the pictures on 12/24 so that you should receive them this week. I hope that you have yearbooks from 62 or 63 so that you can compare people . I recently looked thru I believe the ' 63 book. You autographed my book by writing, " Congratulations to our church visiting boycotter ".
Regards to everyone . Stay warm.
Mary Ann
Mary Ann Hall Winters  12/26/05
Needless to say, that's the most F-bombs I've heard or read in one setting in quite a few years. Smiley emoticon
However, I do like your sentiment regarding your lupus all the same.  It's important to have a strong positive attitude.  I recently read that happiness breeds success, not the other way around.
Things are going well for us in Utah.  Had a merry Christmas and look forward to '06.  Working on some screenplays and I have finalized the story for my satire on border patrol vigilante groups.  Of course, I'll never be able to go to Arizona or Texas again but it'll be worth it.
I hope all is well with you and your family.  We think of you often.
Loki  [Mulholland ]  12/26/05



It's great to hear that you are doing well both physically and emotionally.

My wife (a proud member of TWU Local 555) and I have had to spend more
time than we'd like recently defending her union from people who should
be our allies but instead have chosen to attack Local 100 and the
transit strike first from the right (liberals parroting the corporate
line and hoping for another PATCO) then from the left (radicals
attacking the union for betraying its members by returning to work).

In such times, good news like yours is especially welcome.

David Grenier  12/27/05
Writer. Bowler. Revolutionary.


I have been much encouraged by your reports on your health in recent days!  Keep it up!  and FUCK LUPUS, and AIDS, and ...

and all those macro-parasites too like capital

sam  [friedman]  12/27/05


Good Morning, Hunter,

Well, thanks for your very sprightly note!  Whew!  About women and pipes --
my great grandmother, Celestine Pothier Boudreau, as well as being a tea-leaf
reader, smoked a pipe well into her old age.  My mother never did say what kind
of tobacco she used, though. . .

Keep up the good cheer, and as always, thank you for keeping all of us up to
date about things.  My best wishes for a Happy New Year. 

Alice Azure  12/27/05


Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
 and Ohkwari'

Check out our big page on the art and practice of Community Organizing

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]