It’s amazing how much we can fear the things we don’t understand. As an example, the Indians who lived around the geysers of Yellowstone. The early Indians thought that the hissing and thundering were the voices of evil spirits. Even though the geysers were frightening, the Indians regarded the mountains at the head of the river as the crest of the world, and the man who gained their summits could see the happy hunting-grounds below, brightened with the homes of the blessed. They loved this land in which their fathers had hunted, and when they were driven back from the settlements the Crows took refuge in what is now Yellowstone Park, but they were still not safe.
The soldiers pursued them, intent on avenging acts that the red men had committed while they were being so wrongly mistreated. A small group of the original fugitive band gathered at the head of that mighty rift in the earth known as the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone…a group that had succeeded in escaping the bullets of the soldiers, and with great courage they resolved to die rather than be taken and carried away to be held in a distant prison. They built a raft and laced it on the river at the foot of the upper fall, and for a few days they enjoyed the plenty and peace that were their privilege in former times. A short-lived peace, however, for one morning they are awakened by the rifle fire, and they knew that the troops are upon them.
Boarding their raft they thrust it toward the middle of the stream, perhaps with the idea of making it to the opposite shore. If that was their intent, the rapid current kept them from attaining their goal. A few among them had guns, but their bullets had only a slight effect at the troops, who stood watching in amazement from the shore. The soldiers didn’t fire, but watched, with something like dread, the descent of the raft as it passes into the current. Then, with many a turn and pitch, it whirled on faster and faster. The death-song rises triumphant above the lash of the waves and that distant but awful booming that is to be heard in the canyon. Every red man has his face turned toward the foe with a look of defiance, and the tones of the death-chant have in them something of mockery and hate. The Indians went defiantly to their deaths, refusing to show the slightest amount of fear.
The raft was now between the jaws of the rocks. Beyond and below are vast walls, shelving toward the floor of the gulf a thousand feet below. The beauty of the falls will be their last vision…brilliant colors shining in the sun of morning that sheds as peaceful a light on wood and hill. They believe they are heading to a place where humans don’t shoot human, and where they will be free again. The raft was galloping through the foam like a racehorse, and even the hardened soldiers could not hold back the shudder as they imagined the fate of the brave Indians. Now the brink is reached. The raft tips toward the gulf, and with a cry of triumph the red men are launched over the cataract, into the bellowing chasm, and the rocky floor that waited below.
My niece, Machelle Moore has been married to her husband, Steve for fifteen years now, but when she first met him, the one odd thing she noticed was that just abut everything he had was labeled SRM. I’m not sure if Machelle knew why everything had SRM on it, but when her sister, Susan came to his place, she immediately asked what that was. He said that it was his initials,. The girls thought that was funny, so to this day, they call him SRM. When he was born, his family called him the 10 Guy, because he was born on 10/10, and weighed 10 pounds. No wonder he’s so tall now.
Steve is very into guns, and his dream is to have a gun building business someday. He and my Uncle Bill would have gotten along great, as they are both gun nuts. Steve doesn’t hunt, even thought he likes guns and the mountains, but I can relate to that. I would much rather hunt wildlife with a camera than a gun. I am not against hunting, but I just don’t think I could do it myself.
Steve loves the mountains. He is very much a homebody, and doesn’t like traveling very much, but for the mountains, he will make an exception. In fact, for the mountains, he will almost be the first one out the gate. When Machelle’s parents were getting a new trailer, Machelle wanted to buy their old one. Steve didn’t think he wanted to do that, but she insisted. Once they had it, and they could go camping in the mountains, Steve was sold on it. I suppose he thought she was going to want to travel all over the country, but when he found out that she wanted to go camping in the mountains, he was totally on board. He likes to leave it up in the mountains all summer, and then go up every chance they get. For someone who didn’t really want a trailer, he has sure changed his view. Steve did make and exception this year, when he and Machelle did travel to Yellowstone Park this summer, and all I can say is, “Steve, what happened? She got you out of town!! Are you going to be ok, after such an awful experience?” Ok, just kidding. I know you all had a great time. You aren’t a total hermit, just a mountain man, and Yellowstone Park is in the mountains.
When I first met Steve, he was a clean shaven young man, but these days…like most mountain men, he likes to sport a beard. That and the love of the mountains really does make him a mountain man in my book. I honestly think he could be one of those mountain men who move out to the wilderness, and come to town once a year. That isn’t to say that Steve is anti-social, but he really doesn’t like to travel, and if Machelle was ok with it, I think he would be one of these people who cold like that lifestyle. I can relate to that sometimes. Bob and I love to hike in the mountains, and when you are out there, you are very free from all the hustle and bustle of the city. Sometimes that might feel really nice, but I don’t suppose I would like it on a daily basis. Steve, on the other hand, just might. Today is Steve’s birthday. Happy birthday Steve!! I’m glad you are a good sport. Have a great day!! We love you!!
Turning 21 is a big day in the life of a kid. I use the word kid lightly, because they really haven’t been kids for quite some time. Nevertheless, to me they are still kids, except that they can now legally drink, and their parents truly hope that they will be careful and have a designated driver or take a cab home. Well, today is that special day for my cousin, Cody, but that isn’t what Cody is really all about.
I first met Cody when his Uncle Bill and Aunt Maureen brought him along on their family vacation in 2007 to visit our family, and leave my Uncle Bill, Cody’s grandpa with us for a week while they went to Yellowstone National Park to show their daughter Kristin and Cody all the sights there. Cody was a bit shy at first, but that really isn’t his true nature, and by the end of our time with them, we were enjoying good conversations with him. Since that time, I have watched Cody grow up on Facebook, and I’m very proud of the wonderful young man he has become.
It’s not easy for a young man to grow up without his dad, and since my cousin Jimmy died of Mesothelioma on February 1, 2006, that is what Cody has had to do. His mom, Tami has been a wonderful influence on him and did an amazing job of raising him, but a boy still misses his dad, when he doesn’t have him in his life…and Cody and his dad were very close.
Since finishing school, Cody has embarked on a new career with the developmentally disabled. It takes a very special person to work with the developmentally disabled, but the rewards are so amazingly great that every moment is priceless. I know this because of my own developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Marlyce, who passed away far too soon in 1989. The developmentally disabled, love those people who love them, and they love them dearly. Nevertheless, they do have special needs and need special handling, and being the sister-in-law to Marlyce, was very different that working in a group home with a group of developmentally disabled people. That is a big job and one that makes me very proud of Cody for his undertaking of it. More importantly Cody, I know that your dad would be very proud of the man you have become. Today is Cody’s 21st birthday. Happy birthday Cody!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!