Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Why are people so afraid of this guy?

Nathan Myhrvold on archeology, animal photography, BBQ ... | Video on

Another guy who isn't afraid to explore, evolve and question.

She hails from Montana.......yep she does.

  The feeling was deep but somewhat dreary. Like a numb unsettled conversation that leaves you wanting closure. I walked to the brink, on the edge…. and fell forward. Allowing myself to be swallowed by her icy breath and swollen eyes. I was not new to this, no…not new but maybe still a bit naïve to the temptation of chasing this flurry of hints she left strewn across the hillside. Swirling, twisting and evoking a desperate need to stay upright and not fall and still she whirled in circles chasing, chasing, chasing and never pinning this elusive tail.  The white skin from all corners of the compass moves about with ease, no sign of ending because above her crown I see another storm pushing ahead. I fell into her again and again and she continued to present this everlasting compassion and give as I fell and tumbled against her.

A kind soul and a wise mother she became as the day continued to progress and make sense. I think I understand. I know what I must do. I must give myself and skim only the surface of her frozen spine. I must not push or pressure the ebb and flow of this dance. I feel so weary and confused as the day comes to a close. A full day dedicated and yet denied, no pass, no easy way out, no one piece of you was given without a play. I see you and I know you. The rise and fall of many will not be explained today, no, not today. She will hold her silence tight to her bosom.

She will not break and will not soften her lips to speak on high; rather she will flutter her lashes in the wind and sleep again under the sky above. I anticipate our next exchange of words and long for your presence as I invade your space again and again, please wait for me.  Another day complete with nothing left to speak. Her given name is Lone Peak and she resides in Big Sky Montana.  ……………………………………………………….JP

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Crash on First Street Update

I got a call today from a man named Paul Kent. He was the man who was taken to the hospital last Monday. He thanked me and said he was fine. He was admitted to the hospital for a day and a half and released. Glad you're OK Mr. Kent!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The show isn't in California, The show is here!

Check out this story that made it to YAHOO news.
This is a story of a man who lived life on his terms, he really did explore, evolve and question. I can hear it now "evolve?", yeah I said evolve. True serenity or enlightenment is sometimes based on the amount of quiet calming peace one has between the ears, if you don't believe me try and quiet the mental chatter you experience on any given day. Much harder than it seems. This man spent years with himself and his thoughts and never reached out to outside stimulus to replace a missing piece within himself. He felt whole. I went fishing in the Salmon area with Dave Winn one year and he pointed him out to me. I really wanted to talk to him but talked myself out of it. Mainly because of the mental chatter. "He's a hermit for a reason, he is probably easily annoyed, a loner, maybe even crazy, he might growl at me and tell me to leave him alone". I wish I would have taken a risk and asked him......"why?".

Death of 'Caveman' ends an era in Idaho
Richard Zimmerman, known to all as Dugout Dick, succumbs at 94
Copyright: © 2010 Idaho Statesman
Published: 04/23/10

A lifetime of living alone in solitary places shows in Dugout Dick's face in this photo shot in 2002. Born Richard Zimmerman, he was the last of Idaho's legendary loners. Zimmerman died Wednesday.

Dugout Dick's caves, dug with a pick, shovel and prybar, became an informal tourist attraction on this hillside near Salmon.

Dugout Dick's caves, dug with a pick, shovel and prybar, became a virtual tourist attraction on this this hillside near Salmon.

Known as the "Salmon River Caveman," Richard Zimmerman lived an essentially 19th century lifestyle, a digital-age anachronism who never owned a telephone or a television and lived almost entirely off the land.

"He was in his home at the caves at the end, and it was his wish to die there," said Connie Fitte, who lived across the river. "He was the epitome of the free spirit."

Richard Zimmerman had been in declining health when he died Wednesday.

Few knew him by his given name. To friends and visitors to his jumble of cave-like homes scrabbled from a rocky shoulder of the Salmon River, he was Dugout Dick.

He was the last of Idaho's river-canyon loners that date back to Territorial days. They are a unique group that until the 1980s included canyon contemporaries with names like Beaver Dick, Cougar Dave and Wheelbarrow Annie, "Buckskin Bill" (real name Sylvan Hart) and "Free Press Frances" Wisner. Fiercely independent loners, they lived eccentric lives on their own terms and made the state more interesting just by being here.

Most, like Zimmerman, came from someplace else. Drawn by Idaho's remoteness and wild places removed from social pressures, they came and spent their lives here, leaving only in death.

Some became reluctant celebrities, interviewed about their unusual lifestyles and courted by media heavyweights. Zimmerman was featured in National Geographic magazine and spurned repeated invitations to appear on the "Tonight Show."

"I ride Greyhounds, not airplanes," he said in a 1993 Statesman interview. "Besides, the show isn't in California. The show is here."

Cort Conley, who included Zimmerman in his 1994 book "Idaho Loners", said that "like Thoreau, he often must have smiled at how much he didn't need. É What gave him uncommon grace and dignity for me were his spiritual life, his musical artistry, his unperturbed acceptance of life as it is, and being a WWII veteran who had served his country and harbored no expectations in return."

His metamorphisis to Dugout Dick began when he crossed a wooden bridge over the Salmon River in 1947 and built a makeshift home on the side of a hill. He spent the rest of his life there, fashioning one cavelike dwelling after another, furnishing them with castoff doors, car windows, old tires and other leavings.

"I have everything here," he said. "I got lots of rocks and rubber tires. I have plenty of straw and fruit and vegetables, my dog and my cats and my guitars. I make wine to cook with. There's nothing I really need."

Some of his caves were 60 feet deep. Though he "never meant to build an apartment house," he earned spending money by renting them for $2 a night. Some renters spent one night; others chose the $25 monthly rate and stayed for months or years.

He lived in a cave by choice. Moved by a friend to a care center in Salmon at age 93 because he was in failing health, he walked out and hitchhiked home.

Bruce Long, who rented one of his caves and looked after him, said the care center "had bingo and TV, but things like that held no interest for him. He just wanted to live in his cave.

"People said he was the only person they'd ever known who was absolutely self-sufficient. He didn't work for anybody. He worked for himself."

Born in Indiana in 1916, Zimmerman grew up on farms in Indiana and Michigan, the son of a moonshiner with a mean streak. He rebelled against his domineering father and ran away at a young age, riding the rails west and learning the hobo songs he later would play on a battered guitar for guests at his caves.

He punched cows and worked as a farmhand, settling in Idaho's Lemhi Valley in 1937 and making ends meet by cutting firewood and herding sheep. In 1942, he joined the Army and served as a truck driver in the Pacific during World War II. When his service ended, he returned to Idaho and never left.

He raised goats and chickens, tended a bountiful vegetable garden and orchard and stored what he couldn't eat or sell in a root cellar. A lifelong victim of a quarrelsome stomach, he survived largely on what he could grow or make. Homemade yogurt ranked among his proudest achievements.

He was married once, briefly, to a pen-pal bride from Mexico. The other woman in his life, Bonnie Trositt, tired of life in a cave, left him for a job as a potato sorter and was murdered by her roommate. He claimed to see her spirit in the flickering light of a kerosene lamp on the cave walls.

He rarely went to church, but read and quoted continually from the Bible.

Services are pending. A brother, Raymond Zimmerman, has requested that his remains be sent to Illinois.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Crash on First Street

I was on my way to drop the kids off at school on Monday morning. I was on First street, on Monday morning auto pilot, when a Dodge truck in on coming traffic comes across our lane and hits the grounding lines of a telephone pole! The truck is launched upwards and then rolls onto First street on its side. I pull into the right lane and turn my blinkers on and that is about all I remember. Apparently I told my daughter to call 911. I went to help and saw a man seizing in the vehicle. After another man and I got into the vehicle we were able to hear the elderly man say his name was "Bill". Although the story seems unreal even now the most amazing part was when I looked up and saw my daughter holding the cell phone to her ear and asking me " They want to know if he's breathing, and if he's conscious, can he talk?" All the while.....calm as can be. An 11 year old in a crisis and she was calm as a glassy reflecting pond on a calm day. I was so proud. I bragged all day. I hope the man was able to get help in time. I would really like to know.

Amazing how it can all change is seconds and when you least expect it.

Note: Painting done by Peter Gric, title: Event
Check out his website to purchase original works.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Do you remember learning about fire as a kid? “Don’t play with matches!” say the concerned adults shaking their finger in the air. The first time I heard this I thought “It must be too much fun and they just don’t want me to waste them, but I’ll just burn one to see what it’s like”. I had learned about the importance of fire being a “tool” within the previous few months of my sixth grade year. At home we used a wood burning stove to heat, a book of matches or a box of strike anywhere matches were the tool of choice on cold mornings. On one particular morning I stuffed one of my pockets full of the strike anywhere matches. I brought the matches with me to school. Not to burn the school down. Not to cause anyone harm. No bad intentions. Honest.
Like I said, it was my sixth grade year and I sat several desks away from our teacher Mrs. Brower. I’m sitting in class bored out of my skull and I remember my pocket full of fun. I grab two of the matches, with my hands poised on the metal lip of the desk opening I start rubbing them together. I didn’t know this at the time but when you rub the tips together in a slow circular motion it makes these great “SNAP” sounds. Every time the snap would go off, I’d pretend to be busy and inconspicuously look around like everybody else. It’s all I could do to keep from breaking up or peeing my pants! It’s important at this point in the story to mention that my desk was never neat and never organized. My desk looked similar to images in the media following hurricane Katrina. Papers crumpled here and there with some actually protruding from the desk. Anyway, on the third attempt at a perfect “snap!” the dammed things lit! I stuffed the matches in my desk in hopes of snuffing them out! I could feel the still scorching match tips on my fingertips! Once extinguished I immediately put plan B into action and played stupid. (I later noticed one piece of paper had ignited, evidenced by the black ash and sooty edge.) Hoping nobody would catch on I folded my arms and covered the desk opening with my body. No luck, Mrs. Brower and every other student was up and smelling heaters and garbage cans in a panic. The damage had been done, smoke now escaped my desk, and unfortunately I couldn’t see it as it wafted up around my armpits. I considered telling Mrs. Brower to look in the hallway to buy some time when I heard a loud voice behind me call out.
“Mrs. Brower his desk is on fire!”
Caleb was his name. He yelled with such vigor it made me want to start looking for the fire. Mr. Brower snatched me out of my desk with a well deserved yank that made me see double. As she drags me down the hall I keep thinking to myself “I’m never doing this again”. Then it quickly changed to “I should have only rubbed until the second snap”. Ritalin-free kids of the 80’s will understand why I had those thoughts and everyone else is still wondering why I took a pocket full of matches to school. Perspective I guess. This was a sixth grade snap shot of things to come, so this is absolutely continued.
Remember, always explore, evolve and question.
Note: A special thanks to Mrs. Brower for being tough and not giving up on students.
Painting: Zdzisław Beksiński: title unknown
Check out his official website for more info. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bubbles, AKA Bubs

A few years ago I received a call from a close friend who spoke to me about his son who was suffering with some pretty hefty addiction problems. He explained (with an angry tone) how he wanted me to visit with his son who was ready to change. Hoping it was true I agreed to meet with him to see the amount of “buy in” he had regarding the treatment process. Since I work as a substance abuse counselor and I was a close family friend it only made sense that I be the one to point them in the right direction. I had no idea what I was getting into.

My first meeting with him was obvious in every aspect. How? He lied and nothing I said seemed to penetrate the glossy residue or the distant melancholy in his eyes. It feels a lot like talking to the elderly in the stages just before they pass. Lost and swimming in a sea of confusion he stated his case and action plan. Unlike the elderly that almost always come to grips with death, my friend was not ready to die. He was dying before me nonetheless, he just didn’t know it. The gray of his eyes glistened as the salty tear held on to the rim of his eye lid and then gave way. The uncontrollable flood of emotion visible and genuine couldn’t be concealed any longer. His upper lip quivered as the face muscles lost hold of control. Nose wrinkled, and gnashing of teeth couldn’t keep the secret from being exposed to the light. Lies turned to truths and the gray leaking eyes wept away the guilt. I sat and I listened to the endless stories of tragedy soaked memories. I couldn’t help but think of his little kids sitting at home wondering where their father had gone. Not just today. Where had he gone many days or months before today? How many times had he fragmented this way?

“I haven’t been able to sleep, I fell asleep for three hours last night, they gave me the highest dose of Trazadone and some other crap and I couldn’t sleep. The first night I was crawling out of my skin! My legs were cramping and my toes would curl and it felt like they were trying to make fists! Runny nose, diarrhea with the sweats and then the chills, like dying, but knowing you’re going to live, wishing for death, I know I’m going to die if I don’t stop. My wife will leave and the kids will grow up without me”.

This after 6 days without heroin, oxycontin or cocaine, I saw blue eyes; flesh toned skin and shaky hands. He wept like a small child being pulled from his mother’s arms as we left him again, this time at the actual treatment center. I felt the tears well up in my eyes as I walked away. It was the most horrible combination of grunts, sobs and saliva spewing exhausts of sorrow. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had never seen this up close. Personal.

Note: I created a painting out of this blog, a way to expel and express it more fully. The title of the painting: Bubbles named after the character featured in the HBO series The Wire.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Here we go!

I have pondered the idea of a blog for some time but have thought better of it for a slew of reasons. The most obvious reason or question I have is "Why would anyone waste their time reading it?". Which is still a very big concern. Then I realized that this is a process I am ready to attempt and if it fails I delete the account and the remnants can float in space for eternity. I also thought about family. Will I post family updates and expose our life once again on yet another social media site? Well, no. This is already covered by Bren who does a much better job of it than I ever could. Besides if it is to benefit me and/or the family I really should do it separately. You never know the neighbors might read this!

What finally did it (along with feeling ready) was the inability to make sense of twitter. That's the truth. I want to expose the process of art as it occurs in and out of me in hopes of finding like minded individuals who are stubbornly creating art out of self taught techniques. Twitter gives you so many letters to update, I wanted to fully express. I want a place where I can write about the influence behind the art. (without giving away to much) I don't usually expose the meaning of the art other than the basic theme. The other big draw for me was the idea that all confused feelings, thoughts and overall negativity needs to be exposed in order to live more free. I would like to dispose of the unpreventable by-product of art. Van Gogh might have had success with the blog before he decided to hack off his ear! Theo might have welcomed Vinnie seeking support from fellow art nuts. Now that I think of it Vincent was blogging, old school blogging!

Anyway, here are the random thoughts of the first entry.
Always explore, evolve and question.