John Denver and ramblings

John Denver – Rocky Mountain High

 I was drawn to John Denver tonight as I got ready to blog. I have worked a little more on the quilt but not enough to show yet. I thought I’d tell you about the bears and why they are significant to the quilt for my dad. When I was 8 years old i spent the summer in Eagle, Alaska. My dad took me and a young family friend with him to pull in nets of salmon and go up the Yukon river to stay at a remote cabin, to smoke the fish and camp. It was a new experience for me and parts of it are still very vivid, even though more than 30 years has gone by. We must have only stayed at this cabin for a few days while my dad smoked the salmon, but so many things were new and strange to me that they stay with me. On the way there my dad gave me my very own pocket knife. Richard,(son of my dad’s best friend) who was eleven years old, really liked my new knife and persuaded me to toss it back and forth with him in the boat as we neared the bank of the river. The knife went swoop into the water. I have a feeling that Richard having lived on that river his whole life was able to secret that pocket knife away from my 8 year old self…no matter, what would an 8 year old girl in central California do with a pocket knife in her ordinary daily life? Now an 11 year old boy, in Alaska would have surely needed a pocket knife. I do hope he found that knife!  We stayed at a cabin that belonged to a stranger, my dad said that people routinely left food and supplies, for whoever may wander through and need was sort of like an unspoken rule that you shared what you had in that wild place. My dad called this place the “Bush”. A new term for me. We ate some of the supplies at the cabin, wild berries and the state bird, which I can never pronounce or spell,  it tastes just like chicken though…..There was a fancy outhouse, that didn’t even smell bad. We slept in sleeping bags on top of pine branches, that are suprisingly bouncy, comfortable and smell wonderful.

One day, while I was using the outhouse, and Richard was farting around near the cabin, we hear gun shots, and my dad comes running up to the cabin asking us if we are okay?. He had been off cutting firewood and had heard bears near the river. He rushed back to make sure we were okay and realized two bears had been hollering at each other from across the river and that we were safe enough. it was a strange realization that i may have been in danger in that idealic setting, and a little magical knowing how much my dad loved me, that he would shoot a bear to protect me. He didn’t shoot any bears by the way, only a warning shot to try and scare them away from us. I’m glad there was no need for drastic measures and all creatures were left to live in that beautiful place on the river. So, there had to be bears in this quilt…..just had to be…

p.s. I had an odd dream the other night. Willie Nelson showed me his scars from a bear bite on his arm and told me my dad was lucky to have never been bitten by a bear…….strange, strange dream…Acey do you have any ideas? So many things are associated with Willie……is it symbolism or simply the obvious?



  1. jude said,

    October 11, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    loving the story and i’m sure acey has something to say… but she is having computer troubles. some fabric coming your way tomorrow. confirm your address again will ya?

  2. clara said,

    October 11, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    i love this story so much! and the quilt is ‘beary’ meaningful.

  3. kim said,

    October 14, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    great story.

    willie and bear bites, most interesting dream! gather you are a willie fan – have you read the tao of willie, per chance?

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