So who is this

    I am quite honored to have received my name "Talking-Bear" in a way that is highly respected among some Native American tribes. Children were considered to have been born with innate wisdom that was lost as they became older, so their observations were taken quite seriously. A name that was given to someone by a child was considered to reveal the true character of the recipient. I received my name at a gathering of friends from one of their children, a little girl. As I have a full beard and long hair and look somewhat intimidating, the little girl wanted nothing to do with me. Her mother told her to think of me as a big fuzzy bear. She looked up at me and said, "…..a talking bear?"

    Many things in my past have led me to buckskinning. Many of my earliest memories are of family vacations into the mountains. As I became older, backpacking trips into the Rocky Mountains and even into British Columbia, Canada revealed a sense of completeness that comes to me when I'm alone in the wilderness. An even though he was highly fictionalized and romanticized character in a popular television program, Grizzly Adams provided the missing piece, a character who lived with the sense of completeness with nature as I did: the Mountain Man.

    Being raised in the city, I had no idea where to find others who were like me. Things began to change rapidly when I met a mountain man in authentic buckskins at an Indian Powwow. He told me of the place in Colorado where he had them made, so I soon had fine buckskins, but no rendezvous. Shortly afterwards, I heard of a small rendezvous as part of the Wichita River Festival. So I put on my buckskins and went, looking for a way to become part of it. I stayed all day and into the night, and made some acquaintances. I met up again, by chance, with one of them, and he was active in rendezvous and had the information I was so badly wanting. He mentioned his computer printer that was giving him problems, so I went to his place to see if I could get it working. When I got it going, his wife was so pleased that they sold me their rendezvous tent that they had outgrown, and she also promised to make me a linen mountain man shirt, which she later did. And so it began……

    I've been involved with buckskinning for about seven years, so I still have a lot of goals ahead of me. I participate in the competitive shooting, a skill I'm enjoying working on. The same can be said for my knife and hawk throwing, but those skills need much more development! My primary contribution to a rendezvous is music, either backing up a singer with my guitar or, if necessary, playing my guitar and doing the singing myself. I've always felt my singing could be compared to the sound of a calf dying in a hailstorm, but I get invited to the evening campfires,so I must not be all that bad. Or they are desperate for entertainment, or it might be that they are a such a forgiving bunch…

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