Thursday, May 21, 2009

Great Honor

We live 'over the hill' from the Meadowcroft Rockshelter . Mark grew up playing in the woods there back in the day.

I kind of take it for granted, letting the school take the kids on field trips instead of me taking them. I haven't been there since I was in girl scouts, but I love taking a drive out that way.

To get there you have to drive along a winding road down, down, down into the bottom of the deep woods where a beautiful, rocky stream flows. I love how it feels like you are so far away from civilization even though 5 minutes in any direction will have you in some backwoods, white trash (or very nice) locale. I feel like I belong there, like it's my place. Not the the trash part, you know what I mean.

I love to imagine the Native Americans living there all those many years ago. I wonder how they survived through the difficulties of each season.

And yesterday Sam found an arrowhead in our garden, so now I can imagine them living at our house. Which I probably did anyway, but still. Somebody made this: How cool is that? Unfortunately it's a little busted. Still in pretty good shape, though.
And now for a ridiculous Native American-related story. It happened a few years ago.
Mark has some of the weirdest acquaintances you'd ever want to meet including 'Jeff' ,a forty-something guy living with his parents. (Ya, that narrows it down.)
I don't remember exactly why he would stop at our house but I want to say it had to do with mushroom hunting. Those of us around here who mushroom hunt like to swap stories and compare notes so it's not an odd reason to visit. Now we don't go to other folks homes specifically for that reason, but we won't turn you away if you come to ours.
Even if you're as socially backward and unshowered as Jeff.
Jeff also raises 'Squirrel Dogs.' Not dogs that are squirrel-like, but dogs used for hunting squirrels. And he had a stack of snapshots of his newest litter. Not one of them was in focus or centered on their subject, but you could just make out that he was taking photos of puppies sitting in his lap. A whole roll of film worth, plus duplicates.
So here I am politely thumbing through all these photos, trying not to laugh, and I can feel Jeff kind of staring at me. Or can you innocently leer at someone? I know that's an oxymoron, but I just don't think he knew any better.
So he starts to tell this story. Oh, and picture me at the time with my long and nearly black hair straightened and parted down the center. Are you picturing Pocahontas with her hair down? Good.
Jeff tells of a time after the buffalo have all gone away and he is driving through the forest and cities in his Great 18 Wheeled Beast. (I'm embellishing. Badly.) On this particular day as Jeff is travelling down the road he looked into the sky and saw Hawk flying overhead. In an instant he saw Hawk swoop down, scoop up Snake in his talons, and fly away.
He ended this completely pointless story with a grave look and said 'Great Honor.'
He also gave us the name of some Indian tribe he supposedly belonged to, some name he couldn't even spell. We finally figured out that, because of my hairdo that day, Jeff assumed I was a Native American. And to this day, whenever Mark and I see a hawk or buzzard overhead, we will solemnly remind one another: Great Honor.
Now go in peace. And great honor.
Oh ya, almost forgot. So we were out in the garden and raised beds planting last night and I sent Lily to go play with coon dog Jill who is tied at her box at a corner of the garden. I wasn't really paying attention until I heard Lily doing her half scream half laugh. Jill was trying to hump Lily and Lily thought it was hysterical.
I call that Great Dishonor.


Becky said...

Your blog is a deep well of great catchphrases: "I'd buy five dollar jackets all day," and "Put a piece of cheese on it!" and now "Great honor." It might be my new favorite.

What a hilarious dude. Or rather, a hilarious story about that dude.

Emily said...

I have to go with Becky on this one. It's always fun to know the background of all the phrases that come from Hickory. Poor Lil.
I thought you were Mexican.

Camp Papa said...

Once, while parked behind a Church's Chicken I saw Red Tail Hawk take Squirrel off the trunk of Tree at the neighboring McDonald's. And Hawk didn't use Squirrel Dog. Unexpected Lunch-time Entertainment.

Sara said...

LOL! Now that is truly a mystical experience, CP! Dang! I'm still laughing!