Spring is about to be sprung...
Cleaning up the winter damage...tilling the soil and smelling the awakening of another growing season...planting flowers and vegetables...the freshness after a gentle shower...all those wonderful things are just around the corner! We at Ironbear wish you every joy that springtime has to offer.
And while we are at it, we wish you a very happy and lucky Saint Patrick's Day, too!
How I Got This Way...
LUNCH AT THE LODGE
You Want Bear?
He is a Cherokee Indian, a kind, quiet man; and he and I are friends. I’ll call him John, for if I were to use his real name, he would be embarrassed. Over the years, Laura and I have attended sweat lodges with him, participated in pipe ceremonies, and come to appreciate his humble dedication to his belief system. We enjoy our differences and our sameness a great deal.
Many years ago, my wife and I traveled to northern Arkansas to attend a Black Powder Rendezvous. A Rendezvous is a gathering of buckskinners, modern day mountain men, and practitioners of primitive arts. These men and women take this time to step back amid the trappings and values of the early nineteenth century. At Rendezvous, competitions are held in marksmanship, knife, axe, and tomahawk throwing, fire starting, and other disciplines necessary to life in the wilderness from times long past. Much is as it was; the camp ground full of Baker tents, lean-to’s, and the occasional tipi. Traders hawk their wares of Green River knives and Hudson’s Bay blankets, skins and weapons are bought and sold, beadwork is bartered, and marvelous costumes and authentic clothing are abound. It is a slice of the past, with different social rules and regulations than our current society. It’s an etiquette and ambience that presents the visitor with a sense of history in some ways surpassing
what may be gleaned from books. Many Rendezvous are closed to the general public for a few days of their duration, so the participants can practice their lifestyle and skills in peace, away from gawkers and tourists.
On this particular day the grounds were open to all comers, and it was crowded. Reeboks were more common than moccasins, and shorts outnumbered breechclouts. Laura and I strolled through the camp, watching the visitors watch us, and enjoying their gaping. After searching for a short time, we found John and his wife sitting on Hudson’s Bay blankets in front of their lodge. John’s lodge was a sixteen-foot tipi of Sioux/Cheyenne design, one of the most versatile shelters ever created by man, a true pine and canvas cathedral. We joined them in front of the lodge as John surreptitiously ignited a fire with a carefully concealed Bic lighter. Feeding the blaze carefully, he soon had a small cooking fire ready. His wife entered the tipi and returned with an iron pot containing two cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew. We sat back, jawing, and watched the parade of tourists peer at us. John and his wife were in buckskins and Indian garb, Laura and I in kettle-cloth clothing appropriate to
the period; and we were all armed with knife, tomahawk, or both. Picturesque, we were fascinating to passers-by.
Rules of etiquette demand a cooking fire not be approached by strangers without permission. It is no more acceptable than an outsider entering your kitchen. The rules of etiquette also state that anyone at your fire, or “in the kitchen” must be offered something to eat, if food is ready. Soon after the Dinty Moore stew had begun to bubble, a couple stopped and stared at us. They appeared to be in their early forties, were excessively white, and dressed in matching outfits of madras shorts, sport shirts, and jogging shoes. Fresh from Rotary and the Junior League, with a Taurus wagon in the dusty parking lot, they seemed fascinated that real Native Americans and mountain persons were available for easy inspection. They watched us from a distance for a while, then gathered their courage and walked directly to the fire.
“What’s in the pot?” the man asked, smiling at us.
John put on his best impression of Jay Silverheels as Tonto then replied.
“Bear?” the man squeaked.
“Huh!” John replied. “Bear. You want to eat?”
This offer was unanticipated, and the visitor hesitated a bit. To his credit, he plunged ahead.
“Ah…sure! Thanks. I’d love to try some bear.”
John’s wife produced a wooden bowl and iron spoon from inside the lodge and ladled some stew into the vessel. She passed it to our guest. The fellow took a small bite of the Dinty Moore, chewed, swallowed, and grinned.
“This is good!” he beamed, then shoveled in a big spoonful and continued. “Bear…wow! C’mon, is this really bear?”
“Huh!” replied John, never cracking a smile. “That his name when we kill him. That Bear…him one good dog.”
The visitor regarded John for a moment as this new bit of information soaked in, then shot Dinty Moore Beef Stew all over the fire and my moccasins. He scurried away, wheezing and coughing, as his wife skittered along beside him, attempting to wipe the stew off his shirt and shorts. The four of us collapsed in mild hysterics.
Was our treatment of this obviously nice man wrong? Probably, but certainly small enough revenge. I think Jay Silverheels would have been proud.
TRAIL SERIES UPDATES
David's audio of Glory Trail is now available!
So,here's a link for Amazon.
Glory Trail @ Amazon.com
We have a release date for Dakota Trail!
David is near enough done on Dakota Trail that we are now able to set a release date for the ebook! Are you ready?
April 27, 2018
for Amazon and Smashwords
The release for other major distributors will follow shortly afterward.
We named the channel David R Lewis. So, you can just type in David's name, and the YouTube search engine will pull it up, or you can click on any of the links below.
David performs some excerpts from his books, shares some memories of his youth, and rants a little about the writing process.
AND, HERE'S A DIRECT LINK!
David R Lewis
The Crockett Series
The CROCKETT series:
Remember: eBook #1 of the CROCKETT series, FEAR OF THE FATHER, is still free everywhere. Here's the links:
Amazon Fear of the Father
Barnes and Noble Fear of the Father
iBook Fear of the Father
Kobo Fear of the Father
As we have mentioned, David has written a total of 8 Crockett books. At present, 7 are out. Number 7, Behind the Badge, was released in eBook format, January 27, 2017 on Amazon and Smashwords and has made its way to other major distributors now. Number 8, SIX CUT KILL, was released Friday, November 3, 2017!
Take to the TRAIL
DEER RUN TRAIL is free on Amazon and other distribution sites in eBook format. GLORY TRAIL was released on December 25, 2016. That makes 8 books in the TRAIL series.
Passing that information on to all your friends would sure be appreciated. Below, we've included a few of the links.
Amazon Deer Run Trail
Barnes and Noble DEER RUN TRAIL
iBook Deer Run Trail
Kobo Deer Run Trail
See ya next time on April 1st...no joke! If you enjoyed this newsletter; please tell all your friends to visit our website and sign up for the fun.
Ironbear eBook Facebook link
Heartland Memories story page