Life. Death. And many things in between.
Hey. I see by our Normblog profiles we are weirdly alike.
Yes, I'd noted that too. There is much we share, not least an appreciation for Plan 9 From Outer Space, guitars and social democracy.But it's clear you write better. I was intrigued by the quote from Henry Solomon that you cite as a favourite bit of political wisdom: 'Guns are better'. I haven't managed to find anything about the context of that -- excellent -- comment. Any pointers?I'm glad that Norm has brought you to my attention. And thanks for stopping by.
Henry's story:I once co-authored a book with several elders and some young translators of the people of the Nemiah Valley, the Xeni Gwet'in, who are the direct descendants of the warriors who escaped and were not hanged at the conclusion of hostilities in what came to be called "The Chilcotin War" of 1864. It was one of the few such tragedies to occur in the Canadian west, and "white" opinion was bitterly divided at the time about which side to take, and white opinion is still somewhat divided on the question. The Nemiah people had great stories about it all. I lived out in Nemiah for some months, and Henry was once of my favorite interlocutors. Great storyteller. We'd known each other from my previous visits, and his sons taught me how to sing Hank Williams' I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry, in Chilcotin, so we were palsy from the outset.Anyway, it wasn't until 1973 that a proper road was punched into the Nemiah Valley, and it's still pretty remote, so the Xeni Gwet'in, since the war ended in 1864, had always been pretty capable of deciding what to take from the outside world, and what to leave for other people to worry about. Henry and I would have long and ofen hilarious talks about what it meant for the Nemiah people to be connected to the world beyond the mountains, and how they went about the negotiation of independence and dependence; Pick up trucks versus horse-drawn buggies, old mountain rodeos versus the big Williams Lake Stampede, country food versus groceries, and so on. Henry would go back and forth on certain matters, but one thing he was unequivocal about. Guns are better. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
And an excellent story it is. Thanks very much for taking the time to tell it. Henry sounds like a great guy. Wise too.One question: can you still sing the song?
". . .can you still sing the song?"Strangely, no, but I can still sing that other Hank Williams' tune they taught me, "My Bucket's Got a Hole In It," in the old language.
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