Click Here for, DANCING WITH THE WILD BEAST, diary among friends of the Mozambique Bush

Hard Nosed Big Game Hounds

Hard Nosed Big Game Hounds
Click the pic for "The hard Nosed Pack"

Luwire Photographic Safaris

Luwire Photographic Safaris
Looking across the Lugenda from one of the camps

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Games of Night, Jim Harrison

I admit it, sometimes I dream in Harrison and when I wake from dreams that sometime resemble pages from a Harrison Novel I often have to fight off a shudder of sadness. Not because the experience has dragged my subconscious through some narcoleptic trauma. No I shudder at the reality that no matter how blessed a life I am leading here in this southern diorama of semi rugged culture, which I adore, there still abides in me some headish zoonotic emotion of woe or forlorn melancholy brought on by the deprivation of the fulfillment of certain childhood dreams. Harrison does this to me. Some times during full moons they, the dreams, are stronger and dominate my thoughts long into the day. Sad that from such a romantic dazzling light seems to come a permeating layer of wet cold vapor like concrete that slams upon my soul and seals the sound of my soulcry in mid voice drowning out all possibilities. Possibilities that the childhood expectations of a now 55 year old semi mature child are null and void and will never be. I live on as usual and play the game of adulthood as many like me do occasionally looking in the mirror for the other one, the one that accompanies me ( Machado ) for advice, but nothing. Realistically I do not deserve the right to indulge in such sullen, contrary, selfish thought but it only comes around once in a full moon and this one has doubled up on the invisible pressure that makes me a bit unstable and pushes me to produce this rambling train of pure self serving dribble. I long for what will never be again here on this earth, those of you who know me will courteously allow me my refrain and those who don't? Well, I know your puzzled at this point but I still wish you well. I miss my Dad, the old days, the old ways, I miss the dreams we concocted, I miss others as well and their voices and I dearly miss my young soul being happy with the dreams of adventure to come, a life full of it. I woke up this morning early enough to watch the sun slowly light up the hall way in our place. I think I was dreaming about him. I always have dreamed good dreams about him since he died. The last time I saw him he was dressed in a clean white t shirt tucked into clean white boxers unceremoniously laid out on a cold slab of concrete in a shack with no roof in a Catholic Cemetery in Tapachula Mexico. He had been dead for almost two days when finally his bloody clothes had been taken off him by undertakers that came 500 miles from some other little Mexican town to embalm him cause there were no embalmers there in that little town, they had cleaned him up and dressed him as he was, then burned his clothes, they lay smoldering on the ground in the corner, the smoke wafting up through the open rafters. I kissed him on his scared swollen forehead and told him that I love him as I do, but that's another story, for some other long full moon night.
Recently I was interviewed by a fine gentleman that writes a blog called, "The Sporting Life", good reading and I believe he shows a lot of Class with what he does! Another gentleman posted a comment on the interview saying something like, he enjoyed the thing for the most part and thought that he and I had a lot in common, could relate to each other except, he had issues with my statement that I didn't believe in Global Warming, Seriously McGee, Wow! he wrote. I thought a while on this. You sir, you would choose Global Warming as the culprit that negates a possible friendship, or just becoming an acquaintance even, on the web no less. This day and time I need substance from people, grit, blood, blisters, strong hand shakes, the look of integrety in a mans eye! I need not, any further shallowness around me, I need not, those that you can easily see to the bottom of their wells, enough said.

Mr. Jim Harrison, he brought all this on, all his words that I feel as I move my eyes across them and that full moon of course. So here are a few lines from "The Games of Night" from his latest Novellas collection entitled, "The Farmer's Daughter". 140 proof Harrison, over all a very good read.

Nestor was acclaimed as a boy who hunted jaguars and began to get occasional jobs guiding rich hunters but he was still often hungry. One of his hunters killed a female black bear and Nestor fed a remaining cub goat's milk but one winter day when he was cold and hungry he killed the cub and roasted it. When Nestor told me this he began weeping and we walked back to his pickup. On the ride back to camp he said that by the time he was eighteen he knew he was himself becoming a wild animal so he married Celia. He said that he feared someone would mistake him for a lobo and shoot him.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Good Days In The Keys, Kay Wilkinson of Platner Florida, a little look at her wonderful life.

Back around 1934 a young girl and her mom came to visit friends and relatives down in the Florida Keys. She falls in love with a man, a lifestyle, her surroundings and follows her heart. What ensues is a wonderful life lived in a wonderful place by two unique individuals. Kay and Jack Wilkinson lived off the land, or in this case off the sea in the tradition of Huck Finn or Robinson Crusoe. They fished and shrimped, caught turtles, dove for Lobster and sponges as well as earned money by catching marine specimens for science, Marine World and others. They lived life that was at times a little hard but the rewards, in their eyes far out weighed any hardship. They started off in a lean-to and in the beginning if there was little rain to be caught in their cistern they would walk a few miles to haul water in jugs back to their home which was later updated to a Sears and Roebuck tent over a wood platform. Eventually they got a truck, and better living quarters but continued to live off the sea along side an awesome group of neighbors which included direct descendants of the first Conchs to inhabit the Keys. I came across Kay down in the Keys back in the early 90's, I think? We happened to be at a small book store, she with a delivery of her books and myself just roaming around the area. I asked her to sign a copy and I would buy one, so she did and I did and I stored the book away for later. "Later" turned out to be several months down the road. I have always regretted that I didn't read into the book a ways at the time cause I know if I had I would have promptly looked Kay up and took her to dinner just to hear a story or two and to make her an acquaintance. Sadly, I learned today that Kay passed away a few years back and with her, except for this small book, all the wonderful stories, memories, and that cute little smile she showed me that day. My prayers tonight are that she is with her husband Jack back down in Planter setting on their dock as it was back in the early days, sharing a "toddy" their fishing line stretched tight under a Full moon over the Keys. AP

Progress Update, Soirees, Aquaintances, and Pearls

Maybe just a great looking southern backwoods woman up early with her hounds. Or, late at night hearing a noise has walked out and has slowly snatched on the single bulb light hanging from the rafters of a tin roof front porch. Actually she's a bit crazy, a little eccentric, deeply independent, attractive to some and having dressed for the occasion by donning her mother's pearls is answering an invitation to go for a little soiree with acquaintances deep into the Big Woods with William Faulkner.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My 69 4WD, 4SPD, 3 Door, under construction.

I had been looking for some time for an old Suburban to fix up and was fortunate to come across this old gal. I flew to Montana with cash in hand and was plesantly surprised at what I found. She had 89000 original miles, a little blemish here and there, ran out with a little transmission noise but over all everything worked very well including the heater and the am radio. I took a little over a week on the drive back south stopping off in Jackson Hole to see John, Willie and Nancy, and Mike Trombower, happened to be Willie's Bday, it was a good time. Eased on down to Santa Fe and Abiquiu to see the Manzanares boys, David, Daniel, Michael and their mom and dad, gracious gentle people. Man I miss them! Anyway got her home, been through the tranny and transfer, brakes, radiator, new leaf springs, tires and wheels which I will be changing out for some plain 16 inch steel rims with a 9:00X16 Co- Op tire or a big narrow Michelin. Next, roof rack, front bumper, winch, etc. etc. I will follow up with pics as I go. AP

Monday, April 5, 2010

I've always wondered why they call it GIN!

I was down on the Lurio River with a few friends surf fishing and camping our way back to Pemba along the coast while doing a bit of a recce locating future camping sites for fishing safaris when we came across an old boy with a pasteboard box full of Rhino Gin Pints. He was a dominating character all decked out for his daily advance on the fishing fleet at the mouth of the river. He wore a frazzled navy blue turtleneck sweater with the neck stretched beyond it's limit to his breasts to reveal a black T-Shirt printed with a silver Che Guevara silhouette peering over the edge of some sort of stripped fabric used in the form of a scarf. Keep in mind that it was 90 in the shade as all this was worn under a very soiled especially around the pockets, grey London Fog trench coat complete with a pair of thread bare red Gucci knock off jeans that were decidedly to large for his waste but too short for his long legs being held up with a length of palm leaf split and tied in a square knot at his side. All this topped with a "too dirty to recognize the color," toboggan pulled down over his eyebrows. The Rhino Gin, a born and bred product of Mozambique beckoned to us and we purchased a few bottles and along with a few bottles of Portuguese wine a sore night ensued for some of our party. A good supper and a few highballs gave us the incentive to surf fish on late into the night and about 1 am those of us that were still fishing were attracted to a bonfire a few miles down the beach near the site of the fishing village. We unloaded the four wheeler off the Unimog and drove down to join the jubilance. Our Man of Gin was holding court and selling his wares to the sounds of mombo music from a station out of Zanzibar except, all the gin had been consumed by customers and the plastic bottles had been recycled by the Gin Man himself being refilled with the Mozambican variety of a primitive moonshine made from fermented mangos or cashew nuts or a variety of other things I'd rather not mention. After giving numerous rides to the revelers on the four wheeler we retired for the evening and later I awoke surprised to find the Gin Man seated by our fire in the predawn light. After casual small talk my Portuguese being foggy, he finally in a sheepish way let me know that he would like the Rhino Gin Bottles back. I confirmed in Portuguese that it was No Problem and he promptly rounded up the empties and was on his way. Let it be said that as far as Mozambique goes you will never see a Rhino Gin Bottle on the side of the road. I'm sure you all are wondering about how a Gin distilled in Mozambique compares to other varieties. Well let me just say this. How proud are you of your product when you bottle it in plastic and I mean cheap plastic then you come up with such a cheap looking logo using cheap primary colors with a cheap scew on cap that if you tighten too much it becomes useless? It tastes, well it tastes "Vulgar" so I painted it a bit Vulgar, hope you enjoy! AP

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About Me

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I’m a Southern Boy, just 56 last November, I get around here and there, Central America, Africa, Red Bay. I’m a Father, Grandfather, Husband, Artist and general flunky of sorts. Live in a little historic town in an old building I remodeled. Just wanted to hear myself think I guess, talk about the need of simplification, show some art, express an interest or two, brag on my dogs and see where it goes. That’s it!, That’s the deal, Thanks