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 Order of the Rainbow Finch

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LongHunter
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LongHunter

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PostSubject: Order of the Rainbow Finch   Order of the Rainbow Finch Icon_minitimeSat Mar 12, 2011 6:33 am

With great affection we referred to this ancient giant as 'Old Friend', 'Warm Friend' or 'Old Shady' and did spend many hours of our young lives underneath it's huge spreading branches.
No one really knew just how long this giant White Oak had shaded the dirt lane that cut through the wood and farmland near our old neighborhood, but what I had gathered from an old Black Sharecropper who worked the fields this Tree was already old during the late 19th century.
"Aht waz dat big, eva sinze ah waz ee lil thang" He told me one hot Virginia Summer day while we both happen to be taking advantage of our Old Friend’s shade over 40 years ago. Ancient it dwarfed all other Trees in that area and probably had been growing during the American Revolution as these White Oaks have long life spans.
On a hot July day it lend us cooling shade and bestow a pleasant yet strange warmth during a cold December's Night. We could always count on it being there or so thought in youthful way. Nearing a hundred feet in height and with a bottom trunk diameter of about 5', it was the biggest Oak I had ever known, truly a Forest Giant.
Being part of the dope addled, boozed soaked, Teenage Party Culture of the early 70s, many of us would gather around Old Shady while under the influence of any or a combination of any mind altering substance one could smoke, snort, swill, pop, and melt in our mouths on tiny blotter paper sheets or on a sugar cubes. We especially congregated at this spot during the wet season from late Winter to mid Spring when both land owners and law enforcement bothered little with the old sunken dirt lane which in many places was submerged rendering it un-passable.
But we had blazed secret paths through the dense tangle of brush and bramble bits of higher ground around the wetter low.
There were a good several we had hacked from the dense growth of sapling Gum, Maple, Pine, clumps of Bayberry and Blackberry Bramble with our machetes. A thick tangle of former field, we had other secret party spots, but would stay away from the large patch of Laurel which was known as Lair of the Glue Sniffers. Nothing quite like encountering one of these Whackadoos with a brown paper bag filled with Testors Model Glue stuck to his face, blithering away some brain damaged inspired gibberish at Dusk deep in the woods. They did not dare to frequent our spots as we mostly stayed away from theirs.

Old Shady’s massive root system kept the ground around, high, dry and firm.

While most of the Old Mallory Tract was cleared of old growth Forest sometime during the early 18th, our Old Shady Friend along with a few others were allowed to survive for some reason or another and no doubt provided shade for any passerby. Aside from a few soybean and feed corn fields, most of this area had long gone un-farmed growing into high fallow or thick tangles of smaller Trees and brush.
Although we held no title to this Tract, there existed within us a sense of belonging and kinship.
We knew every natural aspect of this area called the Big Trail Woods so named for it's un-paved lane, and had all agreed that Old Shady along with the ground above it's wide root system was a sacred place, a place of no ill feelings, a place of celebration and a place of power. What we did not know, but in time would so be learned was indeed sad.

By coincidence I was thinking about Old Shady and those Big Trail Woods when my phone rang early one Saturday morning in May of 1982, Flip had called from his home in Hampton with terrible news. Living and working 2 jobs in Williamsburg allowed me very little time to visit my old stomping grounds and it had been a month or so since I had seen Old Shady.
"Well good morning. What's happening Flippy ?" I managed with phone crooked between ear and shoulder while adding some powdered non-dairy creamer to my coffee.
"Man, you aint gonna believe this,,"
"Believe what ?"
In a very sad tone Flip went on to inform me that the Old Mallory Tract had been sold and was already under attack by bulldozers, along with chainsaws in order to build a new subdivision for Hampton's ever-growing population. I happened to be off that Saturday and although it was raining outside, decided on making for Hampton, but quick.
Flip lived only a short distance from the Big Trail Woods so I parked at his place and we walked on over to where this destruction had begun. In only a short time over half of the Old Mallory Tract had been razed. Trees, brush, along with many happy memories were now bulldozed into big dead piles leaving only the muddy ground. The old farm lane was no more and we could hardly recognize any familiar landmarks. We did however find Old Shady as it lay upon the ground dying with all limbs cut away and piled nearby. The heavy rain that started yesterday had halted this development thus allowing our Old Friend to die where it had sprouted from an acorn hundreds of years ago. I looked on in great sadness.
Before saying our farewells, Flip and I gathered a few mementos such as saplings to be made into walking sticks, along with a smaller, straight end section I cut from one of Old Shady's huge branches. I would never step a foot into the Old Mallory Tract again..
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LongHunter
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PostSubject: Re: Order of the Rainbow Finch   Order of the Rainbow Finch Icon_minitimeSat Mar 12, 2011 7:07 am

Mid Spring 1995




The loss of such an area caused us a terrible sadness and left a hollow place in our hearts, yet fond memories of The Old Mallory Tract managed to surface every time I pulled out the big Pipe. Big in the sense for us as it had been fashioned in the Plains style, but was only 14" long with a bowl carved from green pipestone and a hardwood stem made from part of the branch I had cut from Old Shady.

Buzzing somewhat Flip held Our Pipe in his hands and happily recounted times past. "I still remember having to hoof it all the way to Old Shady before you jerkwads smoked all my Whoodee up"
It was as he said, the memory of that Autumn evening of 1975 remained clear. Bear and I had copped abit of Whoodee over in North Hampton for Flip but decided to halt upon the Big Trail under Old Shady for another sampling taste before delivery. We sampled and continued to sample until the Birdman arrived, knowing just where to find us.

"Bear you want in on some of this ?" I offered before taking my draw off the Pipe.
"You know I don't mess with that shit anymore" He returned while peering through pushed aside gold colored motel window curtains at the driving rain outside. It was the same savage storm which halted this journey Westward thus prompting the five of us to seek alternative lodging many miles East of our destination. Although a fine establishment, Bear was none-too happy about having to hold-up here at the Colony House Motor Lodge outside of Waynesboro. He had rented a large Ford SUV and was eager to take it down Afton mountain, across the Shenandoah Valley and then climb up into the Alleghenies. However in this heavy rain we could barely see the road, motel and our other two companions on their motorbikes while pulling into the Colony House.
As I passed Our Pipe back to Flip, Bear growled out his discontentment as the local television news Weather Weasel informed viewers that this rain would continue on until the morning hours. With that Flip changed channels on the bolted down set.
As Bear snarled at the rain I advised him to - "Lighten up and make the best of things. Mother Nature, man. At least we're high and dry and not upside down in some ravine"
"Yeah ? Well we're losing a night away from Moomaw here at Afton, not to mention the bucks paid for these rooms" Bear returned.
Flip chuckled and asked - "So why are ye in such a huff ? R.W. and Mitch can't travel in this weather on motorcycles. Besides, I thought you didn't care for sleeping on the ground,, here ye got a bed" to which I had to remind the Birdman -
"We don't know that yet"
At that Flip got up, walked over to his travel bag and pulled out a brand new deck of cards.
"May as well get it over with" Flip said while opening his new deck.
Two beds, 3 people and a new deck of cards, at least our two other companions would not have to rely on the draw for a comfortable night's sleep as they had their own double room around the corner. It wasn't that we didn't mind sharing a bed with seemingly normal life-long friends, but there was nothing normal about the sleeping habits of these Heathens. Due to Flip's diet of mostly cheap fast food substances he suffered from night time gas so bad that once expelled could shoo away Skunks, while Bear on the other hand would emit loud snoring that rivaled the Thunder Booms outside. Even with hearing protection it was too loud to bear. Their complaint against me was that I talked and tended to kick about in my sleep. Of course I didn't believe this.

As tradition called for we each shuffled the cards and then drew to decide who got the final shuffle before drawing again to see which one of us would get either bed or green carpet. Winning the first draw with only an 8 of clubs, I could not help feeling an unlucky sense while shuffling again. Bear pulled an Ace of Spades and Flip got a King of Hearts thus beating my queen of diamonds. Hopefully this was not a sign of any future bad luck on my part at cards.
"Damn ! I always lose on the final draw !" I snarled as Flip passed me the Pipe and then stated on an cloudy exhale - "Yeah but ye always clean up on Poker. Tough luck old boy,,, but it shouldn't be all that bad atop a sleeping bag,,"
"And pillows" I said while bounding out of my chair to grab one off each bed along with a thick wool blanket from the high metal shelf near the bathroom.

All and all the floor was not such a bad place to sleep, here at Afton's Colony House Motel on that foul weather night of early May 1995. This was our annual Spring Celebration to be held this year as it had been the last 2 before at Morris Hill Campground above scenic Lake Moomaw.

Although having enough beverages to see us through this night, we were without real food as our plan was to take on supplies in Covington before making camp atop Morris Hill. If rationed, the bottle of rum and 2 liters of vodka would last us until tomorrow. Bear had also brought along 5 six packs of hot German Beer which was now chilling in our motel ice filled coolers and small fridge. Locked away in Bear's rented SUV, our gallon jug of Shenandoah Wonder which was not to be uncorked until first night at camp.
We very much appreciated the motel ice machine as it's small frozen cubes would chill the beer, yet upon leaving the machine two other guests hurled a small amount of scorn upon us for relieving it of all the ice. "First come first serve" was Bear's Parthian shot as he lugged away his large cooler.
As far as tonight's fare,, it was going to be either vending machine crap or pizza and with this savage storm howling outside our door, we held little hope for the latter. May as well put one on. I fetched Bear a half chilled beer from the cooler then proceeded to pour Flip and I a good measure of rum.
"Well don't just sit there boozing it up,," Bear roared above his growling stomach - "Somebody call the pizza place !" Not about to get up with a full cup of rum in front of me, I kindly asked Flip to make the call - "you have such a pleasant phone voice "
Getting through he attempted to place our order and give location, but paused with a blank expression while listening to some muffled, garbled mish-mash sounds we all heard pouring out of the phone. Following about a half minute of carefully listening, Flip proceeded to order then hung up.
"Well ?" Bear inquired.
Flip returned to the table, had a drink then informed us - "The pizza man said they would try to get through, but the storm has knocked out power to parts of Waynesboro and with the rain, expect a delay"
With that bit of news we scraped together what food stuffs there were which consisted of a half pack of beef jerky, 1 SlimJim Beef Snack and an un-opened bag of Bugles. Moving swiftly for a big man, Bear snatched up the SlimJim for himself as Flip protested - "Hey you big jerkwad, you ate your SlimJim back at Gum Spring !"
Tearing the snack wrapper open with his teeth, Bear snarled in return - "Guess you should of ate yours back there too"
With a mouthful of brown paste-like substance, Bear suggested - "Get ye some jerky Flip"
Hopefully the pizzas would come soon before The Hungry Bear thought about cooking parts of us in our small motel microwave..
Despite his surly demeanor, Bear was no doubt happy to be away from a house full of grown, sometimes feuding live-in children and grandchildren. He worked long hours and looked very much forward to these outings. Here of late this was the only time we would get to spend time with The Bear. Flip's home life was a little worse. Following a divorce and hefty child-support payments he had to move back into his old family home with a aging, sickly father, sister, brother-n-law and a seriously disturbed zombie-like nephew. My plight was a little better, separated and living by myself, I was coming to the end of a 10 year marriage. Working 12 hours a day, I was glad to be anywhere other than Williamsburg and in the company of long time friends. Our bonds pre-dated both wives, children and careers. Sometimes we knew each other better than ourselves and always had one another's back.
The SlimJim beef snack, some jerky and a few mouthfuls of Bugles took abit of the edge off Bear's hunger while a couple of more beers improved his outlook. It wasn't the first time he had put one on at ye ole Colony House Motel. I reminded Bear of a time during a three day acid trip he stood in the bathroom talking to water in our room's toilet. Many of a fond memory here at the Colony House, too bad I can't remember them all.

As Flip gnawed upon a piece of jerky there was a loud knock upon our door. Bear flashed a huge smile and happily roared - "Pizza sure got here fast !"
"Who is it ?" I shouted as Flip muted the television volume. "Sheriff's Department ! Open up !”
Recognizing the voice I got up to let them in. It wasn't any uniformed law enforcement officers, just our two motorcycle riding companions, Mitch and R.W. Both had to cover their bikes and get into some dry duds. Their wet stuff down at the Colony House's coin operated laundry room drying, they had joined us. "Give me a beer Skid" was the first words to escape R.W.'s mouth as he entered our room.
"They're in the coolers" Bear growled - "We only got about a case" and at that both of them plucked a chilled bottle from the ice.
R.W. always struck me as a very interesting fellow for his ever changing style, like a Human Chameleon taking on the appearance, trappings and outward crust of culture of whoever he happen to be dating or married to. Over the last 3 or so decades he was a hippy, a sharp dressing fan of disco, a new waver, an over cultured frilly fop, a clean-cut businessman, and now a biker who roofed with Mitch for a living. Gone were the days of courting William and Mary Gals, now he was wrapped-up with some young woman he had met in a bar across the James River in Windsor. No matter what our darling dandy looked like, once R.W. got too many drinks in him, he was the same fellow we had known for many years. With his long poofy, light brown curly locks R.W. now looked like a member of a Hair Band.
Mitch was of a somewhat different sort. Although several years older than any of us he grew up and still lived in the old neighborhood. A rangy fellow, Mitch was slightly above medium height with long dark brown hair and eyes. His Sun-browned face was complemented by a long dropping western-style moustache. Mitch would often get out of hand, but was now finally calming down with age. My older brother gave Mitch a broken nose in 1969, which prompted him to come after me on a few occasions over the years, but following the last attempt in 1978 he ceased and grew very fond of his gold tooth. Now we were cool with each other, yet I knew Mitch's sanity tended to hang by a thread when he was deep in the cup. He was cool with Bear too, as he bore a bump-like protruding scar, the result of our huge friend having to slam Mitch's head on the edge of a pool table a year after I knocked his tooth out.
Sometimes he was known as 'Bump' or as he often called himself - Uncle Mitch, yet none of us were of no relation. We were taking a chance inviting Mitch along, but knew he was always good for a comical diversion. Although a band elder, Mitch was no chief man. We would try to keep an eye on him.

I really had not anticipated upon either of these Kats tagging along on one of our expeditions as Mitch and now R.W. associated with other circles. Last night while at the grocery store Bear had ran into R.W. and his new lady, where he told them of our camping trip. From what Bear told us on the way up to Afton, R.W.'s girlfriend more or less insisted that he go with us while in the check-out line. Bear informed us that R.W. didn't want to go, but she kept insisting until he finally snapped-out and told her - 'Alright I'll go if you don't want me around, but don't expect me to check in' Bear suggested that something was going on and left it at that. Sometime twixt last night and today Mitch was invited to join us as well. In the rented SUV there was just enough room to store what our motorcycle riding friends could not haul themselves. Mostly their fishing gear.
At five, we had a better showing than the last few years and made camp card games a little more interesting.
Looming over our table like a Turkey Vulture, Mitch took notice of the large bottle of spirits. "Wow, rum too !" Taking a closer look at his beer bottle - "Imported beer and top shelf booze, you boys do it up right"
"Nothing but the best for my liver" Bear returned atop a belch. I made it a point not to mention the bottle of vodka chilling in the fridge as these were some hard drinking bravos. R.W. did inquire upon the Whoodee situation.
"Fair enough for the higher elevations" I informed him. At that Bear rose from his seat, tugged upon his bushy beard, laughed then said - "Nothing for the coolers, nothing for the head, ye be some poor travelers indeed"
R.W. assured Bear he would put-in for supplies once we reach Covington. Handing Mitch and R.W. 2 of our 4 clear plastic courtesy cups, I poured then both a good measure of dark rum.
While they took their rum with a beer chaser, I removed Our Pipe from it's Deerskin bag, but insisted Flip load it up as this was his turn. Upon seeing our Pipe Mitch issued a loud whoop then broke into a chant - "Hi-yah, hi-yah, hi-yah, hi-yah, hi-yah- high !" Raising an open palm he introduced himself as Chief Hump-n-Run of the Slap-a-ho Tribe. Flip and I, whom Mitch often referred to as 'breeds' took scant offense to Mitch as he was somewhat touched.

Offered the first draw, Mitch had a new found respect for our Spring Celebration after taking a good hit of fine Whoode from the ceremonial Pipe.

After the third go-around Mitch's eyes were as glassy as Flip's Whoodee was superb - "Damn you boys are living large !" He proclaimed with a big smile as I took our Pipe to load another then passed it R.W's way for another spark-up.
Offering a light I told him -"Been doing this for about 20 years, Mitch. We don't live quite this large all the time, but these are special occasions"
"That's,,, right " R.W. hacked out with an exhale of smoke. He had been on a number of our outings in the past and knew well how we do it up. Somewhat lofty-headed himself R.W. went on to clear his throat with a shot of rum and say - "When we get up here,,," He then pointed a finger upwards - "We get up there"
"Yeah, you f#cking Buzzo-nauts get way up there and hope the pizza delivery man doesn't smell that shit and turn us all in" This prompted me to take notice and a big whiff of the thick swirling pungent smoke as did Flip who calmed worries by letting us know - "I've got a can of air freshener"
Mitch issued a short bark of laughter and asked - "You take air freshener camping ?"
"Always" the Birdman replied.
Mitch cackled not knowing Flip was the epitome of a well supplied camper and our expeditionary quarter master. Tents, tarps cord, lanterns, propane cookstove, tools, firewood, coffee pot, cleaning supplies and spray can of Glade Air Freshener not only belonged to the Birdman, but was in his charge as well.
As for our current lodging situation, nothing that the Whoodee and booze couldn't blur into a blissful glow.
As luck would have it we finished up our ceremonial smoking and gave the room a good spray only minutes before pizza delivery arrived. A pair of high school kids with our grub, three large supreme pizzas and order of hot wings. Paying and big-tipping the youngsters I noticed the girl smiling as she sniffed about. Guess they were use to such. I had also took notice that everything outside was tapering down to a misty sprinkle.
While the rest of us split 2 pizzas, Bear had consumed almost a whole and half the wings as he watched some lame-ass Chuck Norris movie. A huge creature with a giant appetite, Bear needed to fuel his massive frame, but tonight, atop the ale, our large friend was out like a light. An almost empty pizza box rested atop his gut. For a man dead set on driving all the way to Moomaw, Bear had crapped out for the night. I removed the box as Flip cut up television volume as to muffle Bear's thunderous snoring. Prepared, I had brought along a pair and a spare of foam hearing protection inserts.
"Well sh!t man " Mitch said - "How we gonna sleep tomorrow night with that ear-twisting shit ?"
"Don't worry, his ass is gonna be sleeping in that SUV tomorrow night and the next, we had a vote last year at this time" Flip assured Mitch.
As spirits flowed Flip showed-off his new camera - "If it comes back,, I'm ready" Knowing full well what he was speaking of, I asked anyway - "If what shows up to where?”
With an eager smile Flip replied - "Bigfoot at Morris Hill"
Mitch howled with laughter - "Bigfoot ?"
With so many words and hand gestures Flip gave account of our early morning encounter two years ago atop Morris Hill at the same spot we planned to make camp at tomorrow. R.W. having a few weird experiences up in the mountains remained silent, but Mitch however burst into a guffaw. Pointing at Bear's size 151/2 foot He said - "There's your f#cking Sasquatch, you damned dopeheads probably just had too much Whoodee. Sure you goofs weren't dropping acid ?"
Getting away from such scary talk, I raised my cup in cheer - "Lake Moomaw and fine fishing ! " We clashed cups and drank, but Flip put the camera down, rubbed his hands together and asked - 'Do you know how much the press would pay for a photo of a Eastern Bigfoot ?"
"Then there's the local news and CNN interviews" Mitch added.
"Oh yeah, they'll have us all on one of those morning talk-shows, some regular, rude, run of the mill, substance addled campers expected to perform for the masses of television viewers near and far" I returned.
"Regis and Cathy Lee" Flip said in wonderment.
"Let's find that Big hairy f#cker tomorrow so I can meet Cathy Lee" Mitch laughed - "We'll make a day of it !"

Oh how I didn't want to court something like that back into our camp.

Following a few more drinks Mitch and R.W. opened the door to check weather conditions, then announced they were riding up to The Afton Inn's lounge. Not far atop Afton Mountain, The Inn was more of a upscale motel/hotel with a decent restaurant and lounge. It was a place that may not understand Mitch's sense of humor and Friday Night along Afton's main drag wasn't the kind of road that screwed-up guys on motorbikes should not travel upon.
Attempting to talk our half snockered companions out of such a dangerous venture and then threatening them that no one would bail their stupid asses out of jail, we ceased after seeing such advice was to no avail. Flip and I bade them safe travels, lots of luck, then farewell.
"Dumb shits !" Flip barked as they rode out of the Colony House's parking lot - "They're on their own !"
With Virginia's tough new drunk driving laws, we had little sympathy for those foolish enough to break them. Maybe on motorcycles their chances would be in favor of them getting back to the Colony House tonight with whole skin.
Getting a bit restless myself, I suggested a walk around the Colony House's grounds. donning hats and jackets we exited the room out into a heavy mist.
Nothing going on out front, so we headed around back. Rounding a corner Flip patted the building like it was an old friend's back - "Good Old Colony House" This place was very much an old friend and a place of Good Spirits. Over the past two decades many from our band lodged here. Whether it was a romantic get-away with a wife or girlfriend, or a place to duck in out of a rain storm, The Colony House has often served as a base of recreational operations.
Off to the motel's left, an ascending trail which led up to a mountainside meadow and small spring-fed pool, but we would not attempt that on this dark, damp night.

Nothing going out back except for the wet and happy Leopard Frog we saw under a outside light. Having about enough of this exciting journey in the mist, Flip and I headed back to our lodging..
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LongHunter
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PostSubject: Re: Order of the Rainbow Finch   Order of the Rainbow Finch Icon_minitimeSat Mar 12, 2011 7:30 am

Coming back around the corner we saw 2 people stepping out of their room and halting as if taking in this damp night air. Flip and I approached un-noticed as the pair gazed out to the main road. Moving a bit closer without detection, they appeared to be in their 30s and very much a couple, as the fellow embraced, then kissed his gal.
At this point we were walking right by them when the male finally spotted us. Then waved in our direction while pushing his woman away at the same time.
"Hal y'all dooin" was his initial greeting. He was a rather portly fellow clad in grease-stained jeans and a ragged black Lynyrd Skynyrd Tshirt with a large beak of a nose sticking out of a chinless face. The fellow's dirty blond hair was cut into an Action Adventure Mullet-like style. Similar to a State Trooper's short cropped perfectly pointed flat-top in the front, while the back was long and scraggly. He seemed friendly enough.
"Howdee there" I returned raising an open palm in a sign of peace, but kept a close eye on him as some of these back country types were very unpredictable, especially when a stranger gawks at their women abit too long. With a slur he introduced himself as 'Jerry' - "And this here is Faye Maye" With that his partner raised a stubby little hand and bestowed upon us a quick, but incomplete finger wave. From what I could make out in this misty gloom Faye Maye was a short, somewhat chubby, but otherwise cute woman clad from nape to heel in a white sweat suit. Her long wavy hair fell about her shoulders, but had bangs that were gooked up at the front in a Crow Indian-like fashion. Flip and I offered them first name introductions and then engaged in abit of small talk.
"Just up heraw, getting the hell outa Doodge" He informed us.
Jerry, who did all the talking for the two told us in a rural, broad vowel accent which bespeaks of the Eastern half of Virginia from valley to bay that he and Faye Maye were out of King William County,, up here for some R-n-R. Before our parking lot conversation got too far along Faye Maye blurted out - "Jerry Bay-bee, ahm cold,,ahm gonna goo insyde" She shivered with arms crossed, hopping from one foot to another like a little kid that has to pee real bad.
"Then carry yoself insyde bay-bee" Jerry softly ordered. Faye Maye turned and with head lowered in an almost servile manner, she turned about to go back inside.
Jerry was typical of the White folk who dwelt between the lower Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers. Aside from a few business clusters and the town of West Point, there wasn't much but rural scenery in King William County. Settled during the middle to late 17th century by English farmers following the last Anglo-Powhatan War, some of these colonists grew wealthy from growing Tobacco. For those folk though, this declined after some 200 years of this cash crop depleting the soil along with all of their free help walking off the job following the Civil War. A lot of the Tobacco based economy of that area dropped off prompting these people to re-locate or try their hand at something else.
Many of these English descendants have names that date back to Jamestown's founding, but now with the exception of a few well bred gentry families, the majority of these people had evolved either by inbreeding or due to their geographical location, into a stocky, short-limbed folk, well adapted to the low and often marshy area in which they lived.

Jerry was a true son of these folk.

Strangely enough where ever I've traveled, one Whoodee Head can most always find another as this recreational, ceremonial smoke produces a certain social summoning. Perhaps it's a recognizable overall visage or a particular shine in one's eye that allows us to tell one another apart from the others. After a long careful look at both of us, Jerry grinned and then inquired - "Hey man, eetha of y'all have any rolling skins ?"
"Not me, man" I replied then gave Flip a glance - "You got any ?"
"Got some Jokers"
With that Jerry proclaimed - "Hot damn !, thought I waaz gonna have to smoke out a can, man" He invited us into his room. It wasn't a matter of trust, Jerry just didn't look like cop material, but every now and then I've been wrong when it comes to spotting the fuzz.
With the exception of a framed Still Life print hanging on the wall and bed spreads, his room was identical to ours in layout, with the same gold curtains covering the one large motel window. Unlike Jerry's room we did not have shotgun propped up in the corner beside Faye Maye who was sitting up, relaxing on her bed with a box of CrackerJacks and watching some television cartoons. Briefly regarding us with a distant cloudy-eyed glance, she shifted what little attention there was left to the program. I couldn't help but take notice of her plastered-on makeup and two toned hair now illuminated by a standard motel between beds nightstand lamp. Beside the woman sat a large stuffed animal that may of been a strange looking Doggy or bloated pig as it was pink in color with a blue ribbon around it's thick neck.

Flip handed Jerry the pack of papers and he proceeded to twist one up at his small table.

With more effort than what it was worth, Jerry finally twisted a crooked bone and sparked it up with a shiny new Zippo Lighter. Taking a long one until a seed exploded, Jerry held it in and passed the # to me. Applying a little spit to stop an uneven burning run, I took a toke and immediately tasted it's low quality. Passing it on to Flip, the Birdman made a sour face after taking his. Going back to Jerry, it was all but a spent roach.
" Sho eenuff some,,,good,, shit,,, huh ?" He coughed out on an exhale.
In being polite I returned - "Sho eenuff"
"Great" Flip agreed.
Having finished the short #, Flip and I listened to our host go on about a broad range of subjects that included hunting, fishing, Monster Truck Shows, Auto Racing and Television Wrestling.
Pointing at his shotgun, I asked - "Going hunting, Jerry ?"
"Naw man, that there iz fo protection"
Changing the subject I brought up fishing as a way to talk us out of Jerry and Faye Maye's room - "Speaking of which, Jerry, we gotta be going so as to reach our fishing hole tomorrow"
"Don't rush uff noow"
Smiling and shaking my head, I returned - "Early morning comes,,, early,,, but I appreciate the buzz" With those words Flip gave Jerry several more skins before we both said our goodnights, shook hands and walked back out into the mist.
He seemed a nice enough chap, but I really didn't want to hear anymore about the last 'Cage Match' Jerry had saw in Richmond. We were on a different trip and very much wanted a different scene, even if it was out in the parking lot or back at our room.
"That Marsh Saxon, had some pretty shitty smoke" Flip said as we approached our door - "Tasted like some old, moldy brown ragweed. Gave me a slight headache"
"Yeah, but he was kind enough to share" I reminded the Birdman while walking into our room.
Locating some headache powders, Flip washed one down with a cool ale, while I had another slug of rum and a Winston. Over Bear's thunderous snoring we conversed in loud tones as to hear each other. Needing abit of a boost-up from Jerry's Whoodee, I pulled out my own stash and loaded one up. As the Pipe went back and forth we took a good gander at Bear and had to laugh,.
The Great Bear lay as we left him, pizza sauce in his beard and snoring loud enough to shake our gold curtains. Flip suggested we blow him a 'shotgun' from our pipe as he slept, but I advised against this - "Do you want that giant critter waking up in a psychotic state and start bouncing us off the wall like basketballs ? I don't. It's bad enough when he sleepwalks" Although Bear didn't normally sleepwalk, he use to when we were room mates some ten years ago or so, especially when he had brought a woman home for the night. I still remember the time both Bear's lovely date and I had to herd that big critter back into our pad as he stood by the side of the road, buck-ball-nekkid, yet deep in a weird sleep. Although his eyes were open the whole time, there was no wakeful light to be seen in them. Lucky for us it was around 3:00AM and little to no traffic.
As I recall, the two of us were having some more spirits to top off the Whoodee and watching something on television called Kentucky Fried Movie when a sleepy feeling overtook me.
"I've had enough" I informed Flip and asked him to - "Turn up the volume, so I don't hear that human f#cking log splitter" Rolling out my sleeping bag, I made my bed as far away from the sleeping giant as possible.
Inserting the hearing protection and putting an extra pillow over my head, sleep came to me swiftly despite Bear's snoring.

I awoke suddenly to the sound of a door slammed shut and Bear's booming voice - "Rise my sleeping uglies,, I got coffee" but that wasn't enough, he kicked me in the shoulder, then tightly rolled up a local attraction/area guide into a baton-like shape and whacked Flip none-too soft upon his forehead - "Get the f#ck up !"
Managing to growl with a dry throat I promptly informed him - "Already up, you damned ogre, isn't there a lonely road you should be haunting ?" Rising to a sitting position, I first looked at the motel alarm clock/radio, it was 7:12, much too early to be kicked out of my sweet sodden slumber. I guess that last big slug of rum had whomped me but good. Looking past the hulking brute, I saw three steaming styrofoam cups on our small motel table. Slightly hung-over, stiff, but otherwise in good spirits I rose from my nest and made way to the coffee while thanking Bear for his thoughtfulness. He had hit the Motel Office's courtesy pot and I for one was happy he did, even though it tasted a bit watered-down. Better than naught as we always say.

"Get up Flippy" Bear called in a much softer voice.
"Ya gotta be smacking people in the head ?" Flip asked as he swung around to sit.
"Smacking ?" Bear laughed - "Why that was a wake-up kiss my sleeping ugly, now come, get ye some coffee before it cools"
As those thick gold curtains blocked out all outside light, Flip taking his coffee wanted to know - "What's it like outside ?"
"There's the door, take a look fer yerself " Bear suggested as he poured more powder creamer into his cup.
Opening our door Flip and I gazed out at a magnificent vista, the Sun peaking over a distant mountain ridge. The morning was cool, but otherwise refreshing at this new day's start. I was also glad to see Mitch and R.W.'s bikes parked beside Bear's SUV.
"A fine day indeed" Flip stated as we seated ourselves on some lounge chairs right outside the room.
The Colony House courtesy coffee and a couple of cigarettes lent me enough gumption for a good morning shit and invigorating shower.
Upon exiting our bathroom, Flip rushed past me as he had urgent business to take care of as well.
Feeling a lot better after my shower I flicked through the channels attempting to find some weather reports.
Finally I located a 24 hour weather channel with local updates, but what annoyed The Great Bear much more than I, was the Kenny G background music.
"F#ck man, come on, you saw the weather when ya sat outside for coffee, so turn that shit off before rip it out of the dresser, bolts-n-all and throw it through that window !" I knew it was no idle threat as Bear really hated what he called - puzzy jazz.
"Besides,," he added - "I'm gonna call R.W.'s room and check on their condition"
"Probably still passed out" I said - "Them jerkwads better be ready to go when we are, cause neither one of them knows the way to Moomaw"
"Damn right they better be ready, now shhhhhhhhh, I'm calling" Bear picked up the phone dialing 0 as we didn't know their room number. Reaching the motel office, Bear got connected to our companions room.
After letting it ring a good several times, Bear hung up and said - "Might as well check on these jerkwads. Wanna go with me ?"
"Why not,, got nothing better to do,, no telling how long it's gonna take for Flip to squeeze-out a turd and wash off the funk" Not bothering to put on shoes I followed Bear out the door and around the corner.

Bear's hammer-paw banging brought no answer from within, but the door was unlocked so we walked right in and immediately were met by the stench of vomit, but it was not overwhelming as someone had cleaned up a bit, but not all that much. The stench did not go good with the woman laying on the bed, fully clothed and as motionless as fresh death.
"Wonder who she is ?" I asked taking notice of a good many empty beer cans scattered about.

"I don't know" Bear returned - "But she smells like puke" Leaning in to take a closer look he stated "Well at least she is alive, I hear gurgling " Going to inspect their bathroom, I almost stepped barefooted into a puddle of spew on the green motel carpet. Their toilet was streaked with the foul 'up-chuck'.
"Someone got sick " I informed Bear.
"No shit,, open that f#cking door and let some air in here"
Flicking on a few more lights I got a better look at this un-conscious woman. She appeared in her early thirties with hair the color of old rust some of which was plastered together with puke. there were also splatters of spew on her sweater and jeans as well. Yesterday sometime she was no doubt a comely looking woman, but now she lay a foul mess. Hopefully by having her clothing and boots still on was a sign that our two motorcycle riding companions did not violate her in any way while she lay passed out cold.
"Would ya stop gawking at that mess and open the damned door ?" Bear demanded.
"I thought your kind could hold their breath for long periods " I said while opening the door. Both us were very much surprised to see Mitch and R.W. just outside each holding a coffee and danish.
"Hey where did ja get the danish ?" I inquired
"Motel office" Mitch replied - "They just put em out"
Bear pushed me through the door in his dash for fresh air growling - "How can you jerkwads eat with that stench ?"

We let the place air-out a few good minutes before walking back in.

"I see you've met Brenda" R.W. introduced Bear and I to his guest.
"Oh yes" I confirmed - "She was just telling Bear and me all about herself "
More blunt and to the point The Great Bear asked where Brenda came from. I could tell he was getting somewhat ticked -off and no doubt saw this as a delay in our plans of leaving before nine. R.W. informed us that he and Mitch had met her at the lounge. "Then we ran into her again at the store"
Taking another good look at Brenda I said - "Not a bad looking and fine figure of a woman"
"Once cleaned up" Bear added as he lit-up a cigarette.
"Not too bad looking last night, but drunker than a Skunk" R.W. then went on to recount how Mitch got them thrown out of the bar and how Brenda was asked to leave for just associating these two.
"Mitch got you thrown out of a bar ?" Bear asked in jest.
"No not Mitch !" I laughed still remembering the time about 5 years ago when he got both of us kicked out of a York County drinking hole before even finishing our first beers. Through past experience Bear had learned as well, Mitch was someone not to go out on the town for a night with. Mitch had a habit of blurting out statements that most normal folk would find offensive. I was quite curious to find out - "What the hell did he do this time ?"
With a sh!t-eating grin Mitch replied - "I offered the nice lady a seat" Then with a sour look of disgust he added - "She rudely refused my hospitality"
"Yeah because you told her she could sit on your face" R.W. stated, then continued his account of how the lounge was filled to the brim with standing room only. Mitch and R.W. were lucky enough to swoop in on a two seat table. "This nice looking chick came sashaying in bitching because there was no place to sit,, then Mitch came out of his mouth with some dumb shit"
"I was a perfect gentleman" Mitch argued.
I found out a short time later that the young lady whom Mitch offered a seat to was the owner's little sister and the food and beverage manager's girlfriend. "Enough of y'all's monkey shining" Bear growled and then inquired again about the woman on their bed..
"We can leave her here to wake up later" Mitch suggested only to have R.W remind him that since the room was in his name he feared this woman may be the type who would walk out with something.
Mitch laughed and asked - "What the hell is she gonna take ? Everything is bolted down ! Even the damned television remote"
"There's always the towels" I said while looking at a pile of them, puke soaked in the corner - "Damnation ! She must of been a real spewer"
"Projectile upchucking" Then Mitch went into more detail - "If I hadn't of ducked, she would of barfed all over me"
"Shot over his head,, a real gusher" R.W. added. To back up his story he showed me their puke fouled gold curtains.
"Regardless,," Bear said yanking us back to the problem we faced - "Y'all just can't leave her for housekeeping to clean up, which brings to mind, If I were you two, I'd leave a hefty tip for the maids"
R.W. informed us he had tried to get her up, but she wouldn't budge.
"Dead drunk" Mitch chuckled, then tapped the toe of her western boot to which she farted.
Bear growled - "Oh that's just lovely !" Turning about he walked out of the room cursing at every stride.
R.W. stated that we would probably have to wait until Brenda awakened from her coma-like slumber. I asked him in no friendly manner - "And how long do ye think that's gonna take, tonight sometime ? Check-out is at 11:00, but Bear want's to get this party moving within an hour or less"
"Less !" Bear growled upon re-entering this fetid den. In his paw he held a styrofoam cup which looked to be filled with ice and water which our huge companion proceeded to pour on the woman's head.

She woke up, took a good look at Bear and issued a horrible Harpy-like scream..

Atop the bed on her hands and knees, Brenda looked like a She Panther at bay. Her wild eyes took in the rest of us and she slashed foul motel room air with yet another bloodcurdling shriek.
"Shit, man !! can't you do something to calm her down ?" Bear roared.
Mitch weighing in on this troubled situation suggested - "She might be a whack job"
Hopefully that wasn't the case. Perhaps this was only the initial shock or bewilderment of waking up suddenly out of a sodden slumber in a unfamiliar environment and then seeing a huge shaggy man-brute looming over her.
Bear and I decided to split this scene leaving our two traveling companions to calm this woman down. Looking over his shoulder The Great Bear said in parting - "We're heading out in about a half and hour, so handle this"
I was getting a little ticked-off myself as none of this would of happened if Mitch and R.W. would of stayed-put last night. With our long patronage here at The Colony House, we didn't need this kind of mess to ruin our good relationship with motel management.
Flip's time in the bathroom allowed enough time for Mitch and R.W. to jar this lost woman's memory of last night's expelling events. We all later learned that up until yesterday Brenda was a married woman who happen to get a tip that her husband along with his secretary were carrying on in the same hotel that our friends found her in. She caught him between acts as he was exiting the room for some ice. Following a rather unpleasant encounter and perhaps a moment of overpowering clarity, Brenda cleaned out a bank account, then booked a room at that very same hotel. Her anger diluted with bar drinks and now on the rebound, Brenda's inhibitions were washed away with the savage rain storm raging outside, along with a massive amount of alcohol she had consumed. She no doubt mingled abit and had no problem at all hooking up with two wild, long haired Heathen travelers.
Perhaps it was a good thing Brenda got sick, who knows what would of happened if she had not.

Having no desire to breakfast in Waynesboro, especially after discovering Brenda's husband was not only the owner of a large car dealership, but a city councilman as well. We were on the road by 9:00AM..
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LongHunter
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LongHunter

Number of posts : 562
Age : 64
Location : Beaverdam Creek
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Registration date : 2009-02-22

Order of the Rainbow Finch Empty
PostSubject: Re: Order of the Rainbow Finch   Order of the Rainbow Finch Icon_minitimeSat Mar 12, 2011 7:58 am


West past Staunton then South passing Lexington and Clifton Forge, we managed to arrive at Covington around 11:45. It was another 20 or so miles North to Moomaw up a rural state road, but first we needed provisions. Having supplied-up at the grocery and liquor stores, Bear's rented SUV was jam-packed. Flip, already squeezed between provisions had to travel with a full grocery bag in his lap. No worse than 2 cases of beer on the floor board where my feet should be. Following ten miles of such crowded travel conditions we stopped at The Bait Place, a well known outdoor sporting goods store and halfway point twixt Covington and Moomaw. It was also the closest place to purchase bait, tackle, cigarettes, ice and more beer if need be. Here we stocked up on live crickets, night crawlers, red wigglers, new lures, hooks, line and bobbers. I even bought another case of heady highland ale that was not available anywhere else. This would ride upon my lap for the next 10 miles.

Behind this establishment, an outdoor archery range, where local men women and children sent there shafts with accuracy into life sized game animal targets. They are very fond of bow and black powder hunting here and near about. Wild and rugged as this land, these were the kind of folk who stood a chance if or when the SHTF.
We and especially Bear watched with great interest as a tall, big boned, strawberry blonde haired lass put arrow after arrow into a large model-like target of a Black Bear. Anyone could of been kill-shots.
"I'd chase that one across a few good creeks" Bear stated, catching a smile from the young lady as she pulled arrows from her target. "I suspect she would chase you across a good few creeks and up and down the Jackson River Valley" I returned.

Ha ! we managed to secure our old camping site atop Morris Hill without a problem and by 3:00 camp was all but made. Just like last year and a good few before, we got up here not long after Spring opening. With the exception of a couple of pop-up campers, one other tenting party and a small camper trailer Morris Hill was almost vacant allowing us abit of privacy along with safe distance away from normal folk.

With ale and beer chilling we opted for a cold screwdriver as there was plenty of orange juice.
This whole wooded hill top was awash in green, new Spring foliage along with a riot of colorful blossom as the Dogwoods, Sourwoods, Mountain Laurel and Rhododendrons were in bloom. Behind and below us, Lake Moomaw. Although it could not be seen through the dense growth, we could smell Moomaw's clear, cold water on every updraft. To our West, The Jackson River meandered through this hilly valley. South of our location and truly a mysterious place, was Oliver Mountain. According to my topographical map there was suppose to be a large hollow-like rift atop this ridge with a stream running through. Remote, sheltered with a good supply of freshwater, Oliver mountain seem the perfect habitat for whatever it was that rummaged about our camp 2 years ago. We could barely see this ridge looming through the thick leafy boughs. Even though there were no encounters with this creature last Spring, we found ourselves constantly on the lookout and our slumbering shallow.
Everyone either lacking sleep or burned out from the road would remain in camp tonight, drinking, feasting or relaxing with the Whoodee. Besides no one needed to ask Bear about going down and casting lines, as he wasn't driving anywhere else this day. Tomorrow morning held a better promise of good fishing. Flip had just about finished lashing the last tarp cord to a Tree when we hear a terrible growling in camp. It was our stomachs with Bear's being the loudest. "Enough of this !" He roared and proceeded to ready our Weber Grill. In scant time Bear had coals blazing then set about prepping some very thick Porterhouse steaks. Flip wasted little time getting some spuds cut up as to make camp taters while I stood guard with my vodka and orange juice.
"Shirking work again are ye ?" Flip hissed like a Turkey Vulture.
"I'm standing watch !"
"What are ye gonna do, splash any un-invited intruder with your drink ?"
"Told ye, I'm standing guard"
"Bullsh!t ! You could get some beans started"
Laughing, then offering him a re-fill, I promptly informed Flip - "You are the beans and taters man, and I am the home guard, we must carry ourselves accordingly"
Flip sneered and returned - "Which means you, along with Mitch and R.W. get to drink and f#ck-off while I'm stuck making side dishes”
"I bought the potato salad" R.W. reminded the Birdman - "We can have that instead of camp taters"

Flip would hear none of that. His camp taters were not only a traditional dish, but tasty fare as well.

Soon the aroma of charcoal grilled meat drifted about our Heathen Camp reminding me that I had missed both breakfast and lunch. Grilled for individual taste that varied from R.W's almost raw to Flip's burnt blackened crisp, Bear placed a platter of steaks next to the beans and taters. With vittles before us we dug in like famished Hyenas. There was much lip-smacking tinged with our dinner time conversation.
In a rush yesterday morning Bear had forgot to pack his prized drinking horn and was somewhat at a loss without it. Flip had lent him a bright purple plastic thermo-mug which was not at all befitting for The Great Bear. At least it was brand new and keep beverage cold or hot. All the same R.W felt he had lend a comment - "That's a real nice mug you have there Bear, that color really shows off your bloodshot eyes" Just when R.W. was about to open his mouth again, Bear bared his teeth and growled - "How about I make a drinking cup out of your skull ?"
"That would f#ck-up a Saturday evening" Mitch added while gnawing the last shreds of meat off a steak bone.
Flip was the last to finish as he had to hack-saw his burnt cinder into bite-size pieces. R.W. suggested he take a hammer, pound it into powder and snort it - "It'll go straight to the brain, man. Meat rush baby !" We tended to mess with Flip about his overly well done meat.
This being Bear, Coon and Skunk country, cleaning up was a must. Cookware got washed at the campground spicket and just as he did last year, Bear cleaned out his grill. All refuse was deposed in the new Bear-proof dumpster. Coolers and ice chests containing foodstuffs were secured in Bear's SUV. Other measures were taken as well. Flip splashed abit of special pepper sauce around the outside of our camp, while I hung a few fetish objects from low branches. For any un-invited visitor who felt compelled to count I scattered dry rice grains about the ground and leaned a straw broom against a Tree between our tents.
"Just what the hell are you Kats doing ?" Mitch inquired as he had been watching us making precautionary preparations.

"Just keeping away the blood suckers" There was something in Flip's voice that hit a nerve and prompted me to scan my surroundings.
"Vampires ?" Mitch laughed.
Taking no offense to his mirthful disbelief, I enlightened him abit - "Vampyres, Azeman, Sukuyans, Churells, Soul Eaters, they exist and thank goodness such encounters are not at all uncommon, especially when far from home. Broom straws, rice grains, some of them will stop and count such things before attempting any foul acts"
"You're pulling my leg, right ?"
"Ask R.W. about what sashayed into our camp in human form back in 86"
"Don't worry Mitch" Bear said - "Every time we go camping something weird happens. Stick around, you'll see"
"Come on Bear!” Mitch laughed - “You goof-balls are too weird enough already to expect any more"
"Bigfoot, giant birds, albino midgets, essence eating vampires and a yard long Salamander down in the Jackson, pretty damned weird if you ask me" Bear returned while pouring a beer.
Flip making light of it all reminded us - "And we got til Tuesday morning, who knows what's gonna happen" Hearing that I knocked hard upon our table.
We all drank out of cups and mugs as the Park Rangers frowned down upon visible alcohol containers. Actually we were not suppose to have booze here, but would not be bothered as long as liquor and beer bottles remained out of sight. Of course we had to be somewhat cool, not upset the other campers and keep the noise down after 10:00PM QUIET TIME. This we did not fret over as the closest camping neighbors were out of earshot of our usual racket. Besides our wild appearance and strange trappings all in all we were good campers, never once being asked to leave a campground. At the State and Federal campgrounds this time of year there was little to worry about.
"Well since we're in for the evening, I'll get a fire going" Flip announced although it was only late afternoon. With little effort he had a decent kindling blaze in the fire pit. We always brought in our own firewood as it beat the hell out of foraging for dry fuel, especially at a campground. With kindling blazing and Oak catching

Flip suggested we burn one.

"Lets" R.W. agreed already somewhat buzzed on alcohol.
Mitch, sparking his butane lighter gleefully added - "Fire it up Flippy ! Lets get exhilarated ! Remembering it was the Birdman's turn to load or twist one up I suggested he do something as the time had come. Flip looked at us all with dark, beady Shrew-like eyes, rose and made way to his tent. In this dimming pre-Dusk, late afternoon light we could barely see the lantern glow inside, through tent fabric. Head tilted as if oddly struck, Mitch stated - "Guess we're not invited"
"Be out in a minute !" Flip shouted out, but it was more like 5 until he emerged holding a large, finger-sized twisted bone. Mitch was swift in lending butane flame to this well-crafted Fatty. Drawing upon it, Flip struggled to hold it all in as he passed this # on. As Mitch took one, a whirling swirl of smoke jetted out from it's glowing end and brushed past Bear's nose. He couldn't help not taking a little whiff. Coming to me, I hit it hard and immediately felt my poor abused lungs expand like a party balloon. I fought not to cough it out. Flip's Whoodee had a nice taste and I could feel it's effect soon after exhaling. "Good Whoodee !" I proclaimed pushing out the last wisp of smoke from my strained wind bags.
"It should be, I paid a pretty penny for that shit" The Birdman informed us. I was just surprised to see 'The Pin Joint Master' roll up such a big one instead of the usual toothpick size bones that he was known for.
Being a big # it went around the four of us several good times. More than once, forgetting Bear didn't partake, Mitch attempted to pass it his way - "Get that shit out of my face, man !" But something in his eyes told me that Bear really wanted some, but would not oblige to this need for weed.
Snuffing out a stubby, stained-brown roach the four of us found ourselves in a state of altered, dream-like consciousness. Light as a unattached strand of spider web aloft in the soft breeze, this green wooded hill top took on a whole different appearance and for a few minutes our bloodshot eyes scanned these beautiful surroundings. I was lost in my substance addled ponderings and having a very good time, until Bear, deep in his cups loudly demanded - "Music!" Activating our boombox Flip dialed through the various stations that were coming in. N.P.R., Classical, Rap, Country Western and some soft oldies station where for some reason he paused for Marie Osmond's - 'Paper Roses'. Goofing a bit on Miss Osmond's sugary but sad song Mitch issued a loud "BOO-HOOOO" to which Flip, R.W. and I feigned a good cry until Bear demanded we stop this nonsense and turn Marie off or - "I'll toss this boomBox into the fire !" Something told me he wasn't bluffing.
Fiddling with the FM dial, Flip located a decent Classic Rock station out of Roanoke. Smoked-up and quaffing deeply, our over-all mood was good. We cracked some old jokes and shared any new ones that had been heard since the last camping trip. As The Grateful Dead’s ’Trucking’ began to play, Mitch who's sense of humor was often twisted and sometimes un-called for, jolted my memory by his recollection of the time back in the mid-80s when R.W., my cousin Charlie and I went with him to see what he called - "Head Deads"

Boldly young in years, we were all too eager to see these strange and colorful folk.

The Grateful Dead were in town playing a 3 show, all weekend gig at the Hampton Coliseum with all hotel/motels along a good stretch of Mercury Boulevard packed to the gills with their 'Dead Head' fans. Taking off on foot from where Mitch had parked at Coliseum Mall, we carefully crosse the highway to where their main encampment was located. Before we even got to the other side of the highway there were plenty of these people to be seen. Crossing the road we found ourselves in a vast colorful, nomadic Pseudo-Hippy gathering. Everywhere we looked there were tie-dyed Tshirts and other bright swirly garments, trappings and banners. As it had been sprinkling outside, many of these folk wore Mexican-like hooded pull-overs, either woven from wool or hemp. I did find it quite odd looking at a good many young white people sporting dreadlocks as the only ones I'd ever seen wearing their hair in such a fashion were some of the Black West Indian folk who lived and worked around the Williamsburg area. I remember Mitch telling one whose face was painted like a Mime - "It's ok man, I understand, I dig, and it's alright" Venturing near a motel, Charlie caught the scent of Whoodee and wasted no time in bumming some. Instead of giving up a single bone, some Kat wearing a red, white and blue tie-dyed sweatshirt reached into his van only to pull out a handful of buds from a large black Hefty brand trash bag. Taking this gift Charlie asked - "Can you lay some on my cousin also ?" Which he kindly did. We had a devil of a time finding something to put all this Whoodee in. Mitch and R.W. got a handful as well. We thanked the generous Hippy and pushed on through the crowded parking lot.
Cramming all of his in an old fast food bag he found on the ground, Mitch showed us a sheet of Mr. Natural blotter acid that the 'Whoodee Man' also gave in gift. In short time we were smoked-up and tripping pretty good. Swirling and whirling all about us, a mass of smiling, brightly colored and somewhat smelly people. This being the outer edge of our old stomping grounds we considered the Whoodee and trips as tribute of sorts. We walked among them like Native Chieftains. We were like Kestrels flitting about a vast herd of happy livestock, waiting for the Grasshoppers to jump. Although in a elevated state none of us were really expecting to be this damp Friday afternoon, we had ourselves a grand time, that is until Mitch spotted a crowd of Head Deads over at the motel next door. Tripping his brains out, Charlie mentioned something about the asphalt parking lot feeling like foam rubber under his feet as we followed Mitch over to that large compacted gathering. We pushed our way to the front of this throng. With substance addled eyes I attempted to focus on what all the commotion was about. For awhile everyone sounded like buzzing Bees, but I then heard someone shout - "Come on, Sun-Drop, please come down !"
Somehow a brightly garbed young man had gained access to the motel's second floor roof and was now on the edge flapping his arms like a fledgling Redwing Blackbird. It wasn't that long of a drop, but landing on the sidewalk from such a height would no doubt prove to be a painful, bone shattering experience. Right next to my ear the young lady screamed again - "Come on down Sun-Drop, please get down from there ! Sparkle Noodle and I love you ! Don't do this !!" With that others joined in calling this whacked-out Head Dead down. Already several of them were running into the building when Mitch lifted his voice above the crowd - "Go ahead mutha-f#cka,, you can fly !"
'Oh holy shit !' I thought - "He didn't say that'
"Fly Sun-Drop, Fly ! Fly far ! Fly away !"
Just as Sun-Drop was ready to leap off, helpful hands pulled him away from the ledge. After that things got kind of ugly. We looked around at the hundreds of displeased faces. They probably didn't appreciate Mitch's words as their angry eyes bore holes into us, or tried to anyway.
Charlie, R.W., Mitch and I stood back to back forming a very small defensive square, but to our relief there was no rushing onslaught. They just hurled lame insults at us until we left.

Pouring himself an ale, Mitch said - "Oh how very damned rude those Head Deads were! I had confidence in Sun-Drop ! I'm sure he could of flew over the Hampton Coliseum if he wanted"
"You're damn lucky that stinky crowd didn't pelt us with their body cheeze" I told him while lighting up a Winston - “Glad it wasn't a crowd of religious fanatics or we would of been torn to shreds”
Yes Mitch could be a riot at times often running the risk of getting not only himself, but those around him as well into precarious predicaments. I anticipated scant trouble out of him up here though. Instead my thoughts were of tomorrow down at either lake or river. Even Bear, who did not care much for fishing, always enjoyed casting line into the Jackson.

Through luck coupled along with what skill we possessed, there would be Trout in the skillet tomorrow evening.

Dusk bade the Sun a lengthy farewell as it journeyed Westward and we cheered on Night's certain arrival. I raised my mug in thanks for allowing us such a place to enjoy. Following my cheer, Bear raised his in honor of all here and those we've known who could not or would not sit by our campfire. We quaffed deeply and recalled a few more fond memories knowing all the while that these modern times were eating away at us.
A good several of our band had forsaken the old ways only to join the growing number of fenced-in domesticated human livestock. Shearing off their long Heathen locks, they traded Nature's true sight and sound for man’s written words. For some, their outlooks and mannerisms had become rudely dogmatic having naught to do with us. When our paths did cross, we were either treated with scorn or else shunned. They had become like the rest of the bleating Sheep, under the ever watchful eye of shepherds who happen to have a taste for mutton. Those of us still roaming beyond the fence remained Fishers, Foxes, Wildcats, Wolves and Bears. However 'the fence' was ever pushing us further back into a wilder state or in some cases, trapping us within.

"Poker anyone ?" Flip had produced his deck of cards.
"You must feel lucky this evening" I returned with a chuckle, but ceased as not to shoo away my own. Mitch and R.W. wanted in, but The Great Bear remained silent, inspecting the new lures he had bought earlier. Flip asked if he was going to play, but Bear took a long quaff, then replied - "You guys go ahead, I'm sitting out on this one" At the risk of having his head chewed off Flip wanted to know why.
"Cause I ain't" Was Bear's short response.
"Why ?"
Bear finished his beer, poured himself another, then grimaced at the purple plastic mug - "Because I don't have my lucky drinking horn"
Cutting him a sharp look, I asked - "Lucky ?"
"That's right, it's my lucky gambling charm"
"Since when has it gave you luck ?"
Somewhat flustered Bear returned -"When ?"
"Shit man, every time you have brought it along, you still got cleaned out" I sorely reminded him.
Flip dared a few more words - "Never know Bear, purple may just be your lucky color"
With his stormy grey eyes hard upon that purple plastic mug for a long half minute, Bear suddenly raised it aloft then proceeded to drain the contents. Following a low rumbling belch, he said - "Alright deal me in"
Indeed Purple must of been Bear's lucky color as he had cleaned me out of my gambling coin. Both Flip and got out when the other three began to toss down paper money. With a 'can't lose' attitude that has been the bane of many gamblers Mitch and R.W applied themselves to take down The Great Bear, but there was no sign of his winning streak coming to a end. Before any big bills came out, Mitch and R.W. saw fit to fold for the evening. Bear displayed sneering look of disgust tinged with the haughtiness of short-lived victory, he raked in his winnings and called us all chickenshits. Counting his take aloud, just to rub it in, Bear had won 37 dollars and 15 cents, not bad considering our standard nickel ante. Stuffing his winnings into a zip-lock sandwich bag with a shit eating grin, he inquired - "Same time, same place tomorrow boys ?"
"No thanks" Flip laughed - "You're too much of a card sharp for me"
The sore loser he was, R.W. offered to finance Flip or anyone else willing to play and take Bear down tomorrow night. "Tomorrow is a different day,," R.W. hissed - "And luck may just turn her back on you"
"Put yer money up, you perfumed dandy !" Bear growled.
"Tomorrow" R.W. returned with a sinister smile.

Reveling in his victory Bear called for The Shenandoah Wonder to be un-corked, which we gave him the honor. Filling our cups before his he called for a toast - "To The Shenandoah ! To Virginia !" We clashed mugs and had ourselves a good slug. It spread down through my insides like a warming, friendly fire while Mitch never having sampled 'The Wonder' before declared - "This is a very fine spirits ! Extending his cup he requested another. Pouring another good measure in our cups, The Great Bear went on to praise his plastic mug - "This is my lucky charm !" To which Flip reminded him - "Hey man, that mug cost me five bucks !"
While Bear went into his winnings I asked - "You paid 5 bucks for that ?" The Birdman nodded his narrow head yes as Bear plopped down a new shiny quarter on our table. "Well here's 25 cents"
"What's that for ?"
"Paying for my lucky mug"
Flip shot Bear a puzzled look and said - "I'll take that as a down payment, but I'll be needing another four 75"
"Down payment ? Oh no my dear Flippy,, that quarter is your profit"
"My profit ? What the hell are ye talking about ??"
"I've already paid you your five bucks, Flippy" Bear said with a smile.
Dark Crow-like eyes darting about, Flip appeared very much puzzled by Bear's last remark. As the Birdman strove to make sense of those words Bear lit up a cigarette, blew smoke in his confused face and added - "Well Flippy you may have to dig deep in that Whoodee befuddled brain of yours,,"
"Whoodee befuddled indeed to pay 5 bucks for that piece of crap !" Mitch laughed, prompting R.W. and I to join in the mirth. Banging the purple mug hard upon our table to restore order, Bear continued - "I remember it like it happened yesterday,,"
"Remember what ?" The Birdman demanded.
"Yep, still fresh in my mind" Bear chuckled.
"What's still fresh in that mind ?" I laughed.
"Yep, still fresh in my mind, and the Jim here, can back me up"
"Leave me out of this shit !" I protested as Flip turned to me demanding to know what Bear was talking about. Regarding the Birdman with the smiling grey eyes of one finally having a long-awaited moment, Bear went on - "Yep, just like it was yesterday"
"What the f#ck are you talking about ?!?"
Following a long draught of 'Wonder', Bear replied - "Well Flippy, it was about this time back in the Spring of 74, That Jim and I had just put in 10 bucks apiece, copped an ounce and were in the process of splitting it up under Old Shady, when you came walking down the Big Trail"
Noticing Flip's sudden change of expression, I could see the past yapping hard at his heels.
"Alright keep the damn mug, Bear. I didn't like it anyway" The Birdman hissed with a sneer knowing Bear was in his rights to claim this prized piece as payment due. Being there that day, I had to back Bear's story. After we shared one with Flip that day over twenty years ago, he had asked Bear if he would sell 5 dollars worth. At first The Bear kindly refused, but after Flip offered-up some hard luck storey about having a date and needing some smoke, our huge friend, generous in his pre-jaded youth complied. Bear fronted out a nickel bag to Flip on a promise of payment that following weekend. Needless to say, that weekend was long in coming. Personally I thought Flip was still getting over, because if it would of been anyone else, The Birdman would of been charged going Whoodee rates plus a hefty interest.

Ahh, the days of cheap Whoodee and friendly, easy credit. With that bit of 20 year old business completed we could now kick back and enjoy this beautiful highland evening..
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LongHunter
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LongHunter

Number of posts : 562
Age : 64
Location : Beaverdam Creek
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Registration date : 2009-02-22

Order of the Rainbow Finch Empty
PostSubject: Re: Order of the Rainbow Finch   Order of the Rainbow Finch Icon_minitimeSat Mar 12, 2011 8:28 am


There we were five of us sitting around our rough hewn table, truly a different breed of camper. Although we had a fine fire burning, around which we told stories and cracked jokes, there was no toasting of marshmallows or burnt weenies on a stick. For us this was an opportunity to revert back to a wilder state, or as wild as we could get here atop Morris Hill.

As always I brought along our banner which consisted of a large Snapping Turtle skull with beaded Deerskin tassels and Osprey feather streamers. This I lashed to a sturdy Oak sapling by standing high on the ice chest. Attached to our banner as well was a silver button tipped strip cut from R.W.'s brother's black leather jacket. An addition R.W. tied himself upon our banner, I watched it waver in the breeze and was moved enough to raise my cup in honoring the fallen - "To all who have traveled far over the last ridge ! To Denny, although in life he had never known this place where our fire now burns, may his ever-lasting Spirit be with us where ever we may gather !"
At that everyone raised their cups and toasted, R.W.'s voice being the loudest - "To Denny !"
Denny, R.W.'s brother had been killed on his motorcycle by a motorist who failed to see him stopped at the traffic light that was said to be green at the time. A fast moving Ford pickup can make a mess out of someone. At least it was quick.
We were at a loss without Denny as he was our expert on all things paranormal and supernatural. Aside from a few odd quirks Denny always proved to be a good traveling companion, a decent angler and a superb storyteller.
"He told some fine tales" Flip stated - "But I think he held back on a lot"
"He did not speak about everything he knew" I returned - "But good storytellers, or chroniclers are often misread or misheard, especially when drinking around a fire where such long-winded accounts described in such detail takes away from the wonderment and can render a tale mundane"
Denny was a good StoryTeller when the spirits had not soaked his words into drunken gibberish. I could recall many fine Stories he had started, but with each quaff, that startling clarity blurred and slurred into vague, disconnected ramblings, probably during the most important parts. Often times we had to ask Denny to finish up the next sober morning. R.W., now gazing at our banner spoke in a grim tone - "We've come across some pretty weird stuff up in the mountains and back in the lowlands as well, but Denny was for ever dipping into unknown mysteries and much of what he spoke of we could not possibly fathom. His accounts were of more cryptic worlds than the ones we know of" Taking a good slug of Wonder he continued - "Following our experience at Big Meadows up until he was killed, it appeared something was eating away at Denny"
All of us remained silent for some minutes until Bear changed the subject by asking me how life was in Williamsburg here of late.
"Ahhhh, the Colonial Capitol, life is good, I'm a single man now with 6 different drinking establishments within walking distance of my new pad. Jawbone with a drunk William and Mary Professor at one tavern, then walk across the street and hob-knob with a hotel lounge lizard. What a life" Actually I was really beginning to hate life in Williamsburg as it was fast succumbing to rapid growth and development destroying what charm that area once had.
By the time it was my turn to load up our Whoodee Pipe I had started to wonder about the lack of visible staff, but remembered it was Saturday evening and probably wouldn't see anyone until Monday, unless a Ranger drives through tonight. Just when we had decided to burn one outside, Flip issued a warning while pointing towards the flickering of headlights through shadowy Tree trunks. Before even hearing tires turning gravel, we scanned the camp for anything out of place. Bear placed a large towel over our jug of wonder. Nothing to do now but stay calm and wait.

It was not the standard issued Ranger cruiser that we expected to see which now halted in front of our camp. "It's an old Dodge truck" Bear said under his breath as we all peered into the outer darkness attempting to get a look at it's driver. Seemingly bothered by this intrusion Bear grumbled - "Now who could this be ?" Hearing the motor cut off and door open a loud but friendly voice boomed into camp - "Haaloo Campers !" At least he was courteous to call in first. For about 15 seconds we all looked at each other, then nodded in agreement. "Come on in !" Bear returned as we all rose to greet our visitor.
He was almost as tall as Bear, but lacked the Teuton's massive bulk and shaggy hair. This fellow was much more of the rangy type. His black hair, dark complexion and sky-blue eyes bespoke of the Dark Gaels from Ireland and Scotland who had settled in these mountain valleys some two hundred years ago or more. The same as my father's folk. I felt a certain kinship when ever encountering these people. During all the handshaking and flowing of introductions we learned his name was Mark. During our initial small talk, Mark told us he was a National Forest Volunteer responsible for some of the campground's upkeep. From what we gathered the last 14 years had been lean ones for the National Forest and Park Areas with funding being cut an re-cut for almost a decade and a half. With employee positions being done away with those who remained were stretched thin over large areas often depending upon good hearted volunteers such as Mark to fill in the gaps.
"Well damn !" R.W. said - "Is anybody gonna offer this man a drink ?"
Mark looked at our cups and asked what we had.
"Bear went down the beverage list - "Beer, ale, rum, vodka, whisky, Pepsi, orange juice,,,"
Mark stopped him - "I'll have a beer with y'all" Continuing on Mark told us he hailed from Botetourt County and was currently on disability, but because of his volunteer services could park a small camper trailer here hooked up to an electrical outlet near the maintenance shed.
"So that's your rig I saw earlier ?" Bear asked.
"Yes Sir it is. I only been up here a few days"
Mitch inquired -"Gets kinda lonely up here, huh ?"
"So far, but I got kin, friends and a girlfriend who's suppose to come up and visit"
Admiring such an existence, I said - "Seems like you're living the life"
"Oh they're gonna make me work for my keep, picking up trash, cleaning the restrooms and shower house, coming around and checking to see if everything is alright. As much as I can do on a bum knee"
"What about the Rangers ?" Bear asked - "Did their department get cut too ?"
"You may see one once a night or every other day at that"
Mark stayed long enough to finish his beer and talk a little fishing before thanking us for being good campers and bidding a Good Night to all before heading out..
"Damn man" Flip said - "We should of asked him about if he had seen any sign of Bigfoot"
"Bigfoot ?" Mitch chuckled.
"Yeah, he may of been able to tell us something"
"Tell us we're all nuts" Bear added.
"But we saw it,, right here !"
"Better to not speak of such, Flip" I reminded him and went on to say - "Besides, we want to appear as regular campers and not whack-jobs drawing attention to themselves"
Mitch wanted to know - "Regular as in bowel movements ?"
"I suppose that's a big part of it Mitch, but just because that volunteer, had a beer with us, it doesn't mean he's down with the Whoodee, and we don't need somebody telling the regular authorities about a camp full of long-hairs and bikers talking about seeing a giant hairy creature roaming around. The next thing you know we'll have someone watching us"
"Best not speak of that hairy devil, least we call it in" Bear advised thus ending such scary talk. Although a Pagan of sorts, the Great Bear did not bother a lot with protective charms or fetishes and other such trappings, but had a strong belief in the supernatural. He relied more upon a club, poolstick, ax, knifes, pistol or shotgun.
The further we got up into these dark brooding wooded mountains the more we became aware of our own wild nature and everything else connected with The Mysterious Circle of Life. Too bad for those who never considered lounging and lodging atop a lofty dark wooded hill, instead choosing to vacation at some overcrowded human-enhanced resort. Perhaps they felt more secure in such surroundings while turning their backs to the nature which sparked them into life. At least there were some of us left who could feel the wild spirits of a place like Morris Hill.
Everything here and near about represented a higher, more natural, all embracing sense of reality than the urban uncertainty we had left back east for awhile. Here atop Morris Hill one could experience much more clarity in perceiving all aspects of the cosmos as being interconnected.
Spring here in the highland wilds were alive with energies and vibrations.

Although I couldn't speak for Mitch the rest of us were watchful, especially in the wilds. More than once I gazed out into the shadows between dark boles expecting to catch glimpse of baleful yellow eyes.
Night's cool highland air prompted Flip to place a few more chunks of Oak on the fire thus putting me in a mood to twist one up. Entering the tent I not only twisted one up, but also another out of Flip's stash. This one I sparked-up first. My stash could easily get one up there, but Flip's was of a higher quality. Since the Birdman had put no money in for live bait he would be using tomorrow there was little guilt in filching a bone's worth of his Whoodee to share with those who did buy worms, crickets and lures. Smoking it down to a small burnt brown nub, I held off on sparking up # 2 as once again we caught sight of headlights flickering through the dark woods and heard tires turning gravel. Making sure nothing not allowed was laying about as this time a Ranger cruiser stopping in front of our camp. In the dark distance I could see a shadowy occupant.
"Good evening" A strange voice greeted us. It was cold, emotionless, but definitely female. Mitch was the first to return this greeting as we all rose and slowly made way to the cruiser. Hopefully after giving brief audience while exchanging a few friendly words, this Ranger would continue on her rounds.
Ahead of us all Bear approached in a careful manner with hands in plain view only to suddenly halt just short of the cruiser's open window. "Hey it's you !" he stammered in surprise as the Ranger giggled loudly. The rest of us were surprised as well as this Ranger was none other than that same tall buxom young woman we saw sink arrows into a Bear target back at The Bait Place.
Amused by our slack-jaw gawking she asked in a much more soft and sweeter tone - "What's wrong fellows ?" to which Bear leaned in and returned - "How ya doing ?" I'm sure she caught a whiff of booze off him. "Not as good as you guys" She replied. By the tone of her voice she was not likely going to bust us for drinking. We attempted to keep everything low key, but could do nothing about Bear's drunken flirtations. To my relief she did not seem put off by this. Bear noticing this as well started to lay it on thick - "I really admire your archery skills" With all his snockered smoozing, the rest of us could hardly get in a word to Ranger Madeleine O'Bier. Finally above Bear's drunken prattle I heard her say - "Well it's been a pleasure meeting you guys, but I have to get back to work"
While pulling slowly away, I caught Ranger O'Bier flashing her eyes and smiling at me.
Bear invited her to drop by anytime and to our surprise she replied - "Maybe, after my shift, that is if you're still up"
"I will, you can count on it !" The Bear slurred. Rubbing his paws together he said - "Did you y'all here that ? She may be coming back for a visit !"
Feeling like it had to be stated, I voiced abit of concern - "Look man, I hate to piss on your drunken longings during this Spring Parade, but highland flower or not, she's still a law enforcement official"
Bear roared with laughter and said - "You worry too damned much" then went on to pour himself another slug while beaming at the prospect of a little fair company. Flip snickered then told Bear - "If ye keep that up, you're never gonna make it to her shift's end"
"Ye of little faith" Bear returned before turning up his cup and pouring it's entire contents down his gullet.
Mitch patted him on the shoulder and cheered on - "He'll make it ! He can hang ! We've barely started !"
I raised my cup, all the while hoping all of us would be in bed by midnight so as to wake early for some fishing.


As the excitement of Ranger O'Bier's visit faded so did our decent radio station. Attempting to locate another, Flip found nothing but cheezy top 40 crap and elevator music. I suggested he try AM in hopes of raising that Bluegrass we had listen to a few times while up in these mountains
Slowly turning the dial, Flip first came across a Gospel broadcast where we goofed on some blathering blowhard basket case tell his listeners - "Gawd don't want y'all swinging around through the Trees on a Saturday Night like a Go-Reller ! Gawd want's y'all going to bed so y'all can make it to church Sunday Moring !" Jeeezuz ain't got no love fer drunken Monkeys or atheeist eeevoluutionists ! So what's it gonna be, y'all gonna act like drunken gawdless, foul mouthed, fornicating Apes, or y'all gonna be walking on two legs into the light of Back Creek Baptist Church tomorrow morning ?" Having about enough of this insane zealot's yammerings, The Great Bear demanded - "Turn that shit off before that radio goes into the burning pit !"
Continuing his search Flip passed a 1950s oldies station, a couple of sports broadcasts and talk-show that caught my attention. Going on to a Latino station that Mitch seemed to like, I told Flip to turn it back.
"Turn it back ?"
"Yeah to that talk-show"
"Why ?"
"Cause I heard something interesting"
"What ?"
"Strange Creature"
Dialing back, Flip found the talk-show just as it was going into a 'word from our sponsors'
I can't remember the name of this particular program, but do seem to recall it was out of Arizona or New Mexico. Returning from 'station identification' the host welcomed back both listeners and the next caller to this night's topic -Bigfoot and Skunk Apes.
Bear, Flip and I threw down a good slug as we all listened on. The show's host got down to business after requesting his caller's name and location.
"Vernon Hogge, Moyock North Carolina and I saw one of them there Bigfeet" We all looked at each other as Moyock was not all that far from our homes.
"Can you describe to our listeners exactly what you saw ?"
"Yes sir, but first I wanna say hi to my mama in Elizabeth City and my sister Brenda and brother Danny in Waynesboro Virginia " Mitch and Bear's jaws dropped while a jet of whisky came from R.W nose, but we remained all ears as this call-in talk show continued.
"That's very nice of you Vernon are your mother and sister regular listeners ?"
"No sir"
"Ok Vernon, lets get back to what you encountered"
"Yes sir, but I almost forgot to say hi to my cousin Lori who is a listener, but ain't listening tonight cause she's working"
"Alright Vernon, but what about your encounter with Bigfoot ?"
"Well sir, we was camping ?"
"And where were you camping Vernon ?"
"Well sir, I was camping with my other brother Cecil and his boy Dale"
"Where ?"
Up in the Blue Ridge on the French Broad River"
"Go on Vernon"
"Go on where ?"
"What happened on the French Broad River ?"
"Well sir we were about to turn in fer the night, when I remembered something I forgot"
"Remembered what Vernon ?"
"Remembered I had to lock up my truck"
"Go on Vernon " the host prodded
"Well sir I locked up my truck and then heard something off to my left"
"What did you hear Vernon ?"
"It"
"What was It Vernon ??" The host sounded if he was losing patience with this bumpkin
"Well sir I heard it breathing and snorting like a wild hog, but it won't no pig"
"What was it Vernon, what did you see?"
"Well sir, it was enormous"
"How enormous was it Vernon ?" The host now sounded a bit pissed.
"Well sir, I rekkin it was anywhere from 7 to 8 feet tall"
"Describe to our listeners what it looked like"
"Well sir, it was night and I couldn't see all that good"
"And just what did you see Vernon ?!?"
"It was dark hairy and had a pointed head like my uncle Harvey"
"What else Vernon ?"
"It sure did stink like,,,,,,," The station faded out into a strange humming static.

Flip's dark beady eyes scanned the surrounding growth, but Bear slammed his purple mug down and growled - That was too close for comfort !"
"Just apiece South, down the Blue Ridge" Mitch said and then added - "And he has a sister named Brenda in Waynesboro"
That was enough to strike me as weird.
"Just like what we saw!" Flip stated with a bit of excitement.
Bear took another deep quaff, looked out into the outer darkness and with a grim voice told Flip - "Don't speak of the devil who is speaking of you "

We spoke no more of it, but placed hafts and handles near at hand.

As always a Puma hunting knife hung on Flip's belt, but I slipped the little Schrade, Old Timer Sharpfinger off and replaced it with my Khyber knife. With over a foot long blade the big Afghan knife could dismember most man-sized critters. Hanging from a dead branch nub, Bear's broad ax looked more like an executioner's tool instead of regular camping gear. Like Flip, Bear had gotten something else from under the SUV's seat and stored it with his bedroll. Maybe they were packing heat, but I couldn't be sure. I had already strung my vintage Browning Nomad Bow and with a quiver full of broad heads, stored it in the tent. Along with the camp hatchets and tomahawk, we were armed to the teeth as to be helpless miles from home, up in these mountains was not our way. Bristling with blades, cleavers, shafts and lord knows what else, 5 substance addled men stood a better chance of chasing away, or hacking some dangerous, blood-mad critter into chunks. I guess ol Vernon's account prickled a nerve or maybe raised a few hackles as we were gazing into the outer darkness half expecting something to come lumbering in. Sometimes a scared person is the most dangerous creature in the woods.
In these mountains there were other critter concerns as more and more hill-folks had been reporting Panther or Puma sightings especially right across the West Virginia state line, only a short several miles away. There had also been reports of transplanted Red Wolf, Coyote and strange hybrids. With a number of wild meat-eaters, including Black Bears roaming these dark wooded mountains, we were ever on watch for dangerous two-legged critters as well. For that reason alone we always planned these outings during the off season as not to be troubled by others. Some years back, at a privately owned campground near New Market, a neighboring group of snooty Northern Virginian office-lackeys turned tent campers complained about us to the management. We learned later, these twerps demanded that our party be told to leave or relocate to another campsite a good distance away. Although we were there first and upholding to Campground Rules, these short-cropped mousse-haired jerkwads did not like our appearance or care to look upon their neighbor's trappings. Management informed them they could relocate if need be and relocate they did, all the way across the campground. But that was not the last we saw of them. Later that night after 10:00PM quiet time, we caught 2 of them attempting to wedge nails under our tires while returning from a walk. Caught in the act and quickly surrounded, Bear informed them he wasn't going to contact Campground management - "But if y'all come around here again, I'm gonna pound these here nails into your greasy heads"
Needless to say, we saw not a hide or hair of these rude little boogers.

Into our blazing fire I sprinkled some Tobacco then my silent request drifted upwards with Oak and Grandfather's Smoke. I always did such at some point during the first fire in hopes of keeping our camp protected. Reflecting upon past experiences campers such as ourselves could never be sure of what unknown Spirits moved about these wild areas. By now a few of us full well knew that some of these entities could assume different forms appearing as humans or animals. Some are monstrous, human-like in shape, yet compounded with other creatures both known and unknown.
Having a long tradition of such mountain camping trips, miles away from city lights and trendy overpriced young adult hot-spots, we had encountered our fair share of haunts, spooks, supernatural woodland entities, specters and will'-o-the-wisps. I guess we held some weird attraction to them, or them to us. Not to say these 'things' did not interact with other campers, but as Pagans and Animists we were more aware of them in what ever guise they took. Mitch, being an Atheist, dismissed all of this as the pink Elephants of buzzed-out moon calf. Perhaps sometimes, but not always.
But upon waking up sober at Sunrise and finding a devil laying close beside you tends to instill lasting impressions along with a hard biting sense of extraordinary reality.

"What time is it ?" The Great Bear wanted to know.
"Five til ten" Flip replied.
Five minutes later he wanted the time again, but from me. "I don't wear a fucking watch while on vacation, but you should. Why all this concern about the time ?"
"10:00, Bear" Flip chimed in - "He's waiting on that Lady Ranger" Mitch told Bear he would wait up with Bear as did the others. Clearing my throat with a good slug of Wonder I went on to remind my companions of morning fishing then demanded the keys to Bear's rented SUV.
"Why ?"
"In case your lady friend drops in and you two stay up all f#cking night thus rendering you into a worthless piece of shit come morning. I'm getting down to the river even if I have to hotwire that SUV. We are surrounded by prime fishing waters and I didn't come here just to lay in this drunken wallow all damn day while you sleep it off"
With bloodshot blazing grey eyes and a curse under his breath, Bear handed me the keys.
"Be careful, it's a rental"
"F#ck no, I'll drive it off the first high drop I see and burn cigarette holes in the seat before it crashes !" I then threatened to dump ice water on Bear's head if he couldn't get up tomorrow morning.
Sticking the keys in my pocket I gulped down the Wonder then bade my four companions a good night. Soon I was drifting into a deep sleep.

It was Bear's snoring that woke me at the first dim light of dawn. Good thing my ear protection were not inserted or I would of slept till noon. Raising up into a sitting position I was a bit ticked at the lack of commotion in this camp which meant no coffee or breakfast had been started. Flip, issuing a strange tittering noise was still asleep. Pulling myself together I exited the tent. No f#cking coffee ! Something had to be done about this. I opened the Coleman propane stove and got everything together for a pot of coffee not taking a whole lot of notice to the huge figure sleeping in a folding camping chair. In the same place as I left him last night Bear's bearded chin rested upon his chest and his feet propped up on a cooler. I saw no sign of Ranger O'Bier about our camp.
Not stopping with coffee I got breakfast started as well. We had in our stores eggs, bacon and ready for the skillet, pre-packaged hash brown potatoes. It was a rare occasion for me to think about making breakfast, let alone actually make it, but this Sunday morning I had an appetite. Following coffee, I got to burning and was happy to see enough hot coals left in the pit for toasting bread.
"Well I don't believe my eyes !" It was Flip emerging from his tent, truly a frightening sight so early in the morning.
"If I had eyes like yours I wouldn't believe them either" Turning over a gob of hash browns I asked him to make toast. Still looking at me in a odd manner he hissed - "Cold day in hell when you cook" Grabbing a mug and shooing an ant out, the Birdman went for the pot. I requested he go and wake up 'Gentle Ben' to which he said - "Shit man, let me at least have my coffee first, no telling what kind of mood that critter's gonna be in"
"Why ya say that ?"
"I don't think his Amazon Princess showed up last night ?"
"She didn't ? Damn ! Stood up by the law !"
Flip went on to tell me that before Bear, he was the last to fall out after Mitch and R.W. some time around 1:00AM leaving the big Teuton drunk, waiting, and still drinking at our table. Thinking better of it, I advised Flip to have some coffee first in case he had to take sudden flight after waking The Bear.
"Maybe waking up to a hearty breakfast will improve his morning outlook" I said having experienced his foul hung-over morning moods, but felt comfort in having cast iron skillets close at hand.
With toast along with the rest of breakfast ready, Flip sat his second cup down and stood up - "May as well get this over with, before I get too full to run" He walked over and shook the Bear's broad shoulders, leaped back then looked about for a clear path of escape. With a bit of grumbling and a few foul words, Bear stumbled back into the waking world. Addressing neither Flip or me, he lumbered off into the woods. With that out of the way we woke our other two companions, both quite pleased to see breakfast already on the table. Upon his return Bear seemed in better spirits and even thanked Flip for making breakfast.
"I didn't make it "
"Well who the hell did ? Don't tell me,,"
I extended a kind morning greeting and told him to enjoy.
"Holy fucking shit ! You get hit on the head or something ? "
"That's why I don't ever cook, because you slope-headed f#ckers make such a big deal about. Now EAT and shut the f#ck up !"

A paper plate of eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast later we sat under a leaf obscured morning sky sipping coffee, none of us daring to ask about Ranger O'Bier, until Mitch spoke up
"How did your visit with that Ranger chick go ? Too bad I missed her"
Moving near an empty skillet I awaited whatever emotional response that was sure to follow, be it a violent outburst, harsh words, or otherwise. Mitch had no idea what he had invoked, but Bear surprised me, by displaying little emotion, now sober he probably did not have such longing feelings for Ranger O'Bier on this Highland Spring morning.
"She didn't show. Screw her."
Failing to catch the cold glint in Bear's stormy grey eyes, Mitch pushed the issue - "Damn, that's too bad Bear. Maybe she got jammed-up somewhere"
"Jammed-up !" R.W. laughed slipping his middle right finger into a cupped left hand.
"F#ck you Poodle !" Bear growled.
"Alright, let's leave it be" I said - "Can't be mad at her Bear, after all she said maybe after her shift ends. These Rangers are stretched pretty thin right now,, she probably got caught up with something"
"Or caught on something" R.W. added pushing his luck. I was halfway expecting Bear to backhand R.W. off the bench, but he just grumbled - "I don't want to talk about it anymore. Ya got that Poodle ?" It went against the big man's sober sense of pride having drooled over the young lady last night, then like some love-struck 15 year old waiting up on her into the wee hours of morning. Risking a black eye, fat lip, or worse, a broken jaw, it was best not to rub this in any deeper.

Cleaning up our cookware, we were set upon by biting flies and stinging wasps along with other Insect life teaming about the water spicket's soggy surroundings. As Flip applied a scrubby-pad and dishwashing liquid to a frying pan, a rather large green-eyed Fly bit off a small chunk of meat from his elbow. You never feel it until after they make off with a bit of flesh and blood. Tabanus Americanus, the American Horsefly. Growing well over an inch, this carnivorous insect with it's razor-sharp mouth parts can usually be found near lakes, marshes, rivers, creeks and swimming pools, but this morning she hunted here at the spicket. This tiny meat-eater's saliva contains a strong anti-coagulant as Flip's gore dripping elbow did bear evidence.
"Sh!t man, you're bleeding, better wash that out" I advised while watching the Horsefly come in for another bite. Just as it landed on Flip's other elbow for a second helping, Bear swatted the tiny terror with a dirty spatula leaving a gob of greasy hash browns and bug guts all over the Birdman's arm. "Glad there ain't a swarm of these fuckers here abouts" Bear stated while dodging a Yellowjacket Wasp.
Suffering no stings and one fly bite we hurried away from the spicket with our clean cookware.

Now we could go fishing, that is after everyone had another cup of coffee and a good crap.

What else can be said about a river that has been described and praised many times over by more enthusiastic Virginia anglers than the likes of us ? A broad meandering stream flowing Southward through these Allegheny Mountains the pristine Jackson was cherished by many fishermen. Here at out favorite spot some 300 yards below Moomaw's Gathright Dam, we had a very decent half-day of fishing. No sooner than he cast out, Bear hooked, fought and reeled in a Rainbow that had to be about 20" long, followed by another just a little bit smaller. Not being the hardcore Orvis equipped type of anglers, we mostly used ultra-light spin casters as they were allowed in this stretch of the river. We were not going only after Trout, but anything willing to put up a good fight. There were also Smallmouths in this stream. For now only Flip and I cast flies and were catching some little Brookies. These we released back into the cold swift running waters. Mitch and R.W. using live bait were landing some good-sized Brown Trout for the skillet. This prompted us to put away the fly rods and take up our spin casters. On worms we began to hook into larger Trout like the 20" Brown I hooked into. Hopping over river rocks Flip and I found a good hole where we pulled in some more Browns and decent Rainbows.
"I got something really big !" Bear roared. Reeling in, I watched the battle and at one point thought his rod was going to break. After a bit of struggling, his fish gave up the fight and Bear swiftly landed it. But it was no trophy Trout that lay gasping at Bear's feet.
"A damned Sucker !" Bear growled, somewhat pissed it wasn't a Rainbow or Brown Trout. It had to of been the biggest White Sucker I had ever seen, more than 2' long, Bear had brought it in on 6 lb test line, no small feat of angling, even though this catch was considered a 'trash fish'.
I felt compelled to shout at him over the rapids - "Hey at least it put up a good fight ! You've caught the biggest one of the day !" Suckers are strong swimmers and usually battle hard on the line. Bottom feeders they, Catfish and Chub help keep the river clean.

As suddenly as it had started, the Trout stopped biting, but we had 11 good fish for the skillet. The rest of our catch we revived and released to fight another day. R.W. swiftly gutted and cleaned our catch then put them on ice while the rest of us moved up river several more yards to a deep horseshoe bend were Red-eyed Rock Bass and Smallmouths were abundant. We caught a good few, but these we tossed back. Wanting to get in a little lake fishing before dinner, we piled into the SUV and headed for Moomaw.

Upon reaching the lake there was no point in fishing as a strong wind blew against us on Moomaw's shore. Instead we stood for awhile staring at the mountainous backdrop where lofty green wooded ridges met the colbalt sky. Acting upon some primitive urge, Bear lifted his shaggy head and issued a long howling call which I half expected to be answered from Oliver Mountain looming across the lake. Packing it up once again we headed out to explore a few more streams. Having no more success at fishing, R.W. suggested - "We better get these Trout in the skillet, our ice has almost melted"

With that we made way for more ice before heading back to camp..

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LongHunter
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LongHunter

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Age : 64
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Order of the Rainbow Finch Empty
PostSubject: Re: Order of the Rainbow Finch   Order of the Rainbow Finch Icon_minitimeSat Mar 12, 2011 8:57 am


Dark hills at evening in the West,
where sunset hovers like a sound
of golden horns that sang to rest
old bones of the warriors underground.

Far now from all the bannered ways
where flash the legions of the Sun,
you fade - as if the last of days
were fading, and all wars were done.

~ Edwin Arlington Robinson - The Dark Hills


After swinging by The Bait Place for more ice and other necessary provisions our party arrived back at Morris hill around 5:00PM. Passing through a less wooded area of the campground we were somewhat surprised to see an encampment of three tents had sprung up during our absence. Driving slowly by we saw no movement, but did notice other things.
"Speak of the smelly devils and they show up" The Bear growled as we all looked upon this camp. Hanging from a makeshift clothes line were tie-dyed shirts and other such brightly colored garments. From the tent tops and young trees hung rainbow hued streamers of sorts. We saw no vehicles which told us these campers were out and about.
"Oh good grits and gravy" Mitch chuckled - "It's the f#cking Head Deads !"
"Probably just some kids" I said, but there was no mistaking those trappings, we had all seen them before.

No sooner than we piled out of the SUV, Bear popped open an ale and drained it in a single guzzle. Jerking his thumb in the direction of our new neighbors he sourly complained - "Damned party people ! What in the blue blazes are they doing up here ?" Watching him snatch-up another bottle I replied - "Can't have party people disturbing the solitude here atop Morris Hill, now can we ?"
"Hell no !" Mitch returned, popping open a beer himself. Flip on his way to the Whoodee stash agreed - "There's no room for a bunch of doped-up drunks at this campground. Damned Hippies !" Taking a good look at the Birdman's bandana and vintage wide collar, short sleeve paisley shirt, I flashed him a peace sign as he entered the tent. Although most of us had turned-on before 1970 and enjoyed Rock-n-Roll Music, we were never Hippies in the cultural sense. Despite our long hair and strange trappings we were naught but grit-like Southern Heathens. That's not to say we looked for trouble, but would rarely back down from it. However over the years we had mellowed.
Still I wondered for what reason such folk as our new neighbors were camping here, atop Morris Hill a few miles shy of the West Virginia border and far away from any large cities. Hopefully there would be little to no interaction between them and our party, especially having Mitch here with us.
"They should be no bother to us being on the other side of Morris Hill" I stated as Flip emerged with a rolled Whoodee in one hand and a purple flyswatter in the other.
"That boy sure loves some purple !" Mitch laughed, to which the Birdman boasted how he got the purple mug, this flyswatter and purple rain poncho from K-Mart, all for five bucks. Noticing Bear glaring at him with stormy grey eyes, Flip realized he had slipped-up.
"All for 5 bucks, eh ? Must of been a sale" Bear said with a snarl.
Not a word passed through Flip's mouth.
R.W. cackled with mirth and said "Oh Shit !"
With a big shit-eating grin Bear demanded Flip hand over the flyswatter - "But you can keep your damned poncho, Flippy"
"What ?"
"You heard me correctly, you short changing bastard, give me that flyswatter !"
"But,,"
"But nothing, you damned con-artist,, hand it over !"
With dark beady eyes darting about, Flip passed his purple plastic flyswatter to Bear.
"Handle first, if you please"
"Shit Bear, it's brand new, there's no fly guts on it"
Bear informed the Birdman it was a matter of principle. Knowing The Great Bear was dead in his rights, Flip obliged. Soon as he received Flip's treasured purple swatter, Bear popped the Birdman atop his head with it.
"What the hell was that for ?"
"Next time you try to cheat me. I'll use an ax" Bear was not one to be trifled with, especially by a blatant attempt of someone trying to get over. Matters such as this were handled in such a manner and no one else even thought about speaking on Flip's behalf.

"Alright then !" I proclaimed - "Business is settled and flowing downstream, so shake hands and put it at that"
With that out of the way we settled in for the evening, enjoying a smoke, cool libations and thought about getting supper going.

This early evening atop Morris Hill was still and strangely quiet, not even a chirping Bird could be heard as we sat around the table waiting for Bear's charcoal to burn down a bit. There were bone-in ham steaks out as neither Bear or Flip liked fish all that much. 'More Trout for me' I mused knowing that R.W. could skillet those river gems to perfection. A little salt, pepper, butter, lemon and onion, if only we had some ramps. With a full mug of cold ale and supper on it's way I gazed out into the vivid green Spring colors while thinking - 'Life is good for now' The beautiful scenery and calming quiet seemed to tinge well with everyone's souls.
Our bit of esoteric lounging however would not go long undisturbed. With ears like a Bat, Flip cocked his head to one side as if intensely listening. With the passing of several seconds I heard it too, but could not be sure of what. Mitch wanted to know -"What is it Flipper ?"
"Music"
"Music ?"
"Country Music to be exact" Flip replied and by that time I could hear the twangy vocals of either some drunken love ballad or a broken heart dirge. Coming towards us it grew louder. From the way it sounded it was two different songs playing at once.
With all eyes turned to the campground loop road, we waited and then watched them slowly roll by. There were two vehicles full of passengers and gear. One a large red 4wheel drive truck atop giant tires, the other an older model black Monte Carlo. In the red monster a guy with a trucker's cap gave us a pistol-like index finger salute, honked his horn, then issued a loud, long - "Yeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaw !" as his party passed. Although I couldn't make out all of the occupants, there appeared to be 5 or 6 of them. R.W. brought to our attention that these vehicles were sporting West Virginian plates. To our relief they moved on and from the noise had picked a site some distance down, around the bend from us. Mitch quaffed down a beer and stated - "Well there goes the neighborhood"
"Modern day camping Clampetts" R.W. added. We have had tense moments with these types before and with the Head Deads already here, were in no mood to have this Spring Celebration compromised by any dumb shit other than our own. The Coals had burned down and there were three ham steaks on the grill. These the Bear brushed honey onto. R.W. already had Trout in the skillet while Flip fussed over his camp beans and taters.

No sooner than we had sat down to eat, Flip had brought up Bigfoot again and Mitch suggested again we explore Oliver Mountain tomorrow.
"Count me out, boys" Bear said - "Don't need no more weirdness"
"I'll say" I returned while looking at three figures walking past our camp. Tilting my head towards the road I motioned for the others to have a gander. Turning from his meal, Bear said with a mouth full of food - "Great Day Monty! What in the hell ?"
We didn't expect them to halt, but they did, two females and one male. By their attire I knew they were not from the Redneck Camp. Both females were clad in similar fashion, long brightly colored tie-dyed Tshirts and shorts, but that's where the similarity ended. One, waif-like with pale skin and stringy blonde hair while the other one was dark with dark brown hair twisted-up into coarse looking dreadlocks. Of middle height and somewhat slender, with a sparse beard and sandy hair twisted into locks as well, he was garbed in a long off-white robe-like pull-over garment of a holy man or some kind of Druid. It's not often here in the South one sees such a outfit without a pointy hooded mask to go with it.
Following Flip's lead we all slowly raised our hands in peaceful greeting. Both women looked to the robed one who returned our greeting with a surly nod before prodding the females away. They were barely out of earshot when Mitch laughed and asked - "What in the world was that ?"
I took them to be some sort of spiritual gathering, but Mitch referred to them as - "Freaks on one side of the hill and Rednecks on the other with us stuck in between"
Hopefully cultures would not clash, but after five minutes or so we heard loud jeering and cat-calls and knew 'The Freaks' had just made first contact with our hill folk neighbors. We couldn't help but laugh as the three Freaks double-stepped it back past our camp the way they had come.
"Wonder if that's all of them ?" Bear asked
"Three tents, with three people, kinda unlikely" I returned.
"Well what the hell are they doing up here ?"
"Probably the same thing we are, kicking back and enjoying Nature"
Mitch laughed - "And what Nature it is !"

We couldn't finish all the Trout, but put them on ice as to be part of breakfast.

Following our feast and a cool brew we decided to clean up. Bear took care of the grill while Flip put away left-overs. Mitch, R.W. and I volunteered to wash cookware down at Morris Hill's spicket. It was there in the fading light of mid evening we encountered two of our fellow campers. Standing back with our dirty cookware, the three of us waited as they filled plastic gallon jugs with water. One, a young man in his twenties shouted out a howdee to us then said they'd be finished shortly. He was tall, lanky, clad in camo pants and Tshirt with carrot red hair spilling out from his military surplus foraging cap. It wasn't until the other one completed filling jugs and stood to his full height did we take close and frightful notice. Taller and more massive than Bear, this was the biggest mutant I had ever laid eyes on. His long arms were like knotted Oak limbs ending into huge, gnarled Gorilla-like hands, each one hefting two 1 gallon jugs. A very close-cropped, sloping apish head sat squarely between his massive shoulders. Looking at his turned-up flaring nostril nose, protruding brow and small, close-set red-rimmed eyes, a chill went down my spine. His single garment consisted of a pair of old denim bib-overalls. Although he gazed at us, we avoided eye contact with this brute. 'Holy Shit !' I cursed to myself - 'They should stop all that inbreeding'
"Come on Delmer, let's get this water back to camp so these here folks can clean up" 'Red' said. The mutant replied with a couple of gurgling grunts. As Red moved off with his Neanderthal-like companion lumbering ahead as if a beast of burden, he shot us a strange and unsettling look over his shoulder.
"What in the f#ck was that ?" Mitch asked for the second time this evening.
"Maybe the circus is in town" R.W. returned watching Red prod Delmer on around the bend. Mitch lit a cigarette and commented about what that radio preacher last night was talking about - "Go-rellas and sh!t, man"
As we cleaned our cookware I expressed concern over possible interactions between these other groups and ourselves.
"All of us getting together ? That would be great !" Mitch laughed - "I would very much like to see interaction between those Hippy Freaks and West Virginians"
"Imagine a conversation between Delmer and that Hippy-Guru" R.W. said.
I was compelled to ask - "Was that thing even human ?" We had to remember that this is Hill Country and there were cases of inbreeding in these isolated mountain communities. Figuring Delmer was an extreme case, we spoke no more of it while at our task. With our cookware clean enough and stored away we settled down for a relaxing evening of quaffing. As Dusk fell swift and heavy, Flip made our second fire.

Having a good blaze in the pit, we figured it was a good time to pass our pipe, but this would be done in the tent and out of sight with Bear keeping watch. Inside with the lamp turned low, Flip and I prepared a mixture from both stashes. I raised our pipe to the winds, then passed it into R.W. hands for the first draw. As the pipe went around Mitch told Flip in chilling detail of our encounter with the West Virginians. Loaded for a second time we passed the pipe around some more then sat back and enjoyed our lofty altitude. The Whoodee brushed aside concerns of Ape-like mutants and hill-camping holy men.
"This ain't half bad " Mitch stated.
"What the smoke ?" Flip thought he was talking about the Whoodee
"That and everything else" Mitch replied - "We're gonna have to do this again"
"We usually do" Flip said - "Every year, sometimes twice"
So far, much to my surprise Mitch had behaved in a somewhat civil manner, but it was only around 8:00 PM.

We talked of today's fishing, praised R.W.'s cooking skills and engaged in substance addled conversation until Bear's voice brought us all around - "People coming in !"
Making sure our smoking gear was put away the four of us exited the tent just as three oddly clad figures entered camp.

"What can we do for y'all ?" The Great Bear asked in no friendly tone. It was the robed one and dreadlock woman we had saw earlier along with a lanky tow-headed lad that couldn't of been no more than 19 clad in tie-dye hippy attire. The woman had changed into a colorful woolen hooded garment which fell about 7" above her bare knees and a brightly hued silk scarf knotted about her dreads in gypsy fashion. Her eyes looked rather blank behind the dark rimmed glasses she wore. Having another glance at the man, I noticed it wasn't a robe he wore, but a long Middle Eastern or Indian shirt.
"We were hoping you good people could loan us a little rope or cord" Longshirt replied without so much as a greeting or introduction.
Having about enough of this rudeness the Great Bear bluntly demanded - "Who are you?”
"Y'all got names ?" R.W. added.
With both of his companions/followers looking to him, Longshirt returned in a haughty manner - "I might ask the same of you"
"Then again, you might not " Mitch chuckled. Somewhat irritated by Longshirt's particular reply, Bear informed this hippy hetman and his two acolytes that they were the ones who entered his camp without a call-in or invitation. Looking straight at the leader Bear suggested - "Y'all need to back it on out and start all over again"
"Do what ?"
"You heard the man" I said - "Don't know where you're from, but walking unannounced and uninvited into somebody's camp is not something folk do hear or near abouts"
Mitch threw in - "Get yer ass killed with that dumb shit"
Longshirt’s eyes flashed an instant of outrage, but he swiftly regained his composure. Getting a better look at this character in the camp light I could see he was not white in the same Anglo-Teutonic way as Bear, Mitch or R.W.. Longshirt's skin was of a slight saffron hue and his strange almond-shaped blues eyes were slightly slanted. I had seen pictures of Lapps from Finland who looked like this, but he could of been what the old time bigots in this area would call 'high yellow'. Maybe he had Asian blood. Whatever Longshirt was, he would no doubt stand out in a crowd. Extending his hand to The Great Bear he sincerly said - "How terribly rude of me, I am Jubmel" Caught off gaurd, Bear shook hands with this fellow afterwards looking at his own hand for any transferred gunk. Grasping Longshirt's hand, I could tell he was not a hard working individual. Flip and R.W. shook hands with him as well, but Mitch declined.
Turning to the woman this Jubmel gave a nod as if giving her permission to speak. Although no raving beauty, she extruded a certain amount of sensuality. Perhaps it was those big doe-like dark eyes which had a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean look about them or maybe it was the fact she had nothing else on underneath her colorful pullover. We couldn't help but notice when she bent down to scratch her ankle. Mitch issued a - "Hmmmmmmmm" after copping a half-ass view. Rising, she extended her hand - "Hi, my name is Ma" Although he didn't shake with Longshirt, Mitch accepted her hand, kissed it and said - "Hi darling, my name is Mitch" Looking down at her legs Mitch informed her she had a mosquito buzzing around her ankles, but I thought he was lying as she bent down again and swatted. Mitch winked at me as a good portion of Ma's bare azz was exposed and illuminated by our blazing fire.
Mitch told her - "Gotta get those fast little suckers before they bite" Flip offered to get her some bug repellent.
The lad, who had now been given an ok to speak stepped forward - "I'm Chance" Shaking his hand I found it to be kind of cold and clammy prompting me to wipe mine on my pants afterwards. Jubmel, Ma and Chance, I doubted if these were their real names.

Under watchful eyes we invited them to sit and by pulling over a couple of big coolers there was a place for everyone to perch. Longshirt began the talks by stating - "We would of dropped by earlier, but you guys were eating meat"
"And what's wrong with that ?" Bear demanded. Longshirt went on to inform us of their vegetarian diet and how it was wrong to eat anything with eyes. Bear cut him a disgusting glare, then took a long quaff from his mug
"Nothing with eyes ?" Mitch asked - "Not even a potato ? What about lettuce ? It's got a head but no eyes to see with" Jubmel feigned a little laughter at Mitch's mirthful ribbing, but otherwise looked un-amused. Nodding at his companions they laughed as well. Always a good host Flip inquired if our guest wanting something to drink. Jubmel requested tea. "Sorry, we're fresh out" Flip informed him then ran down our list of beverages ending with lemonade and soda. "We don't drink soda" Jubmel said - "But since it's such a lovely night, I see no harm in having libations with our most hospitable hosts and fellow outdoor enthusiasts"
Mitch gave him a slack jaw stare and then turned to me with head tilted - "Say what ?"
"He said he'll have a drink with us" Then I asked Longshirt - "What's your poison ?" Addressing the Birdman, Longshirt said - "You mentioned rum ?"
"Why yes I did and lemonade too" Jubmel and Ma accepted some rum, while the boy, obviously under age gladly took some lemonade, all served in clear plastic cups purloined from a housekeeper's cart at The Colony House. Remembering my teenage years, I felt kind of bad pouring the kid lemonade, but these days one could never be sure what new lows Virginia's Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) had hit in carrying out sophisticated anti-under age drinking stings. I noticed both Ma and Chance did not drink until Longshirt did so. Ever so thoughtful Flip holding our rum offered Bear, Mitch, R.W. and I a pour. "Why f#(k no, but thanks for asking" Mitch returned - "I'll stick to that Shenandoah Wonder, it goes down rather smooth"
"Go easy on that, you damned sot" I warned him - "It goes down smooth, but has horns like a bull and besides, I would have me a slug or three of that myself before it's swilled all down to naught" R.W. requested a Rum-n-Coke, but Flip told him - "I don't mix em, I just pour em, get yer own damned Coke and swizzle stick"
The two older Hippies seemed very fond of our rum as they had accepted a second pour and then a third while Chance held his lemonade, as he blankly stared into the fire. Mitch the silver tongue diplomat he was took a jab at engaging our guests into conversation - "So what the hell are y'all, some hippy Head Deads ?"
Jubmel's sip of rum went down his wrong pipe as he coughed and sputtered out liquor onto the ground. "Head Deads ??"
"Ma who was obviously somewhat tanked-up took it upon herself to lighten the moment laughed - "He called us Hippies ! I love this man !" Mitch kissed her cheek and howled like a wild cur then informed Ma he would be available after a few more drinks. Raising his cup in cheer, Mitch shouted - "Gooroooovy Mama, here's to free love !"
'Oh shit' I thought - 'Now the madness begins'
Regaining his breath and with throat cleared, Longshirt said - "No we are not Head Dead hippies"
"You're not ?" Mitch asked with a sad look of disappointment.
"No, we are followers of an Elated Way"
"You're what ?"
"It means they're up there, Mitchy" I said while pointing at the night sky.
"We are of The Order of The Rainbow Finch"
'Great' I thought - 'A f#cking religious cult' Taking a good gander at our guests, I had encountered such types before and knew they did not usually bother with outsiders unless in need of something. I suspected they wanted more than a length of cord. Brushing aside Mitch's diplomatic efforts, I clawed into inner bark - "Order of the Rainbow Finch ? Elated Way ? So what exactly is your bag, man ? Are ye some sort of Pagan Coven ?" My questions were like un-barbed arrows, simple enough for Longshirt to pluck out and return them fletching first in reply.
Their order's name struck me as odd. For years I had watched a lot of nature programs and seemed to recall the Gouldian Finch of Australia being referred to as the Rainbow Bird. It was the Finch's brilliant colors that had stuck in my memory. Bear gave Longshirt a look of disgust while Mitch prodded him for more about his Elated Order.
Instead of replying to either Mitch or I, Longshirt nodded at Ma who in turn cleared her throat with abit of rum. "Seven years ago a celestial messenger was sent to Jubmel,,"
Mitch feigned sincere interest - "A messenger ?"
"Yes the messenger appeared as a small bird of many colors and songs,,"
"And what was it's message ?" I asked.
Ma went on to tell us that the colorful bird took Jubmel on a journey covering all of this world, the solar system and the universe. The Rainbow Finch explained to Jubmel that all life was one and until human kind accepted this message, there would be anger, sadness and great suffering. She continued along the line of veganism, love, sharing and world peace. She also went on to inform us that Longshirt here was a true voice of
the Universal Spirit.
Upon hearing that, Bear issued a low rumbling growl, but Mitch however, took a different approach - "The True voice of this Universe ! Wow ! That's pretty cool, man ! I can relate man ! Once I took a hit of orange sunshine and saw my couch melt. It sure sent me a message"
"I dig !" Flip exclaimed - "I saw my bedroom walls breathe on a hit of blotter !"
Judging from the expression on Longshirt's face, he clearly realized his hippy-dippy, mystic messianic mish-mash did little to impress or inspire us. Looking directly at me, Longshirt asked of my Spiritual Beliefs.
"That's kinda private and personal Jubmel " I then pointed at Bear and said - "But this man here is in the service of Wotan" With that Bear snarled at me. Mitch bluntly told our guests he was an Atheist, then said - "R.W. here worships himself" Flip not to be left out informed Longshirt - " I'm a Pedestrian, but only after too many drinks"
Thinking our guests were either some kind of weird Wiccan Coven or else New Agers, I had thought otherwise recalling how Ma referred to Longshirt as 'The Voice'. Over the years while living in the multicultural City of Williamsburg, I had developed a strong dislike for cults and felt contempt when it came to mind-f#(king charlatans who held sway over weak minded individuals such as the young zombie-like heel hound staring into our fire. The Woman seemed to hold more status as she was allowed to speak on her own on rare occasion. The very fact she had entered our camp without so much as underwear to cover her ass crack smacked of the odd. Then again Ma may of been one of those free spirited types. She either didn't mind or was oblivious of Mitch dropping his cigarette lighter as if by accident, more than once, just to cop a look between the woman's legs as he retrieved it from under our table. Jubmel, however seemed to be paying close attention to our habits and individual personalities. Always laughing at Mitch's crude jests, no matter how vulgar and substance addled, this Faker began to suck-up to us. Noticing this, Mitch's sense of humor plunged to new depths. Then 'The Voice' got down to business - "Did you happen to see the other group of campers ?" He pointed towards the West Virginian's camp.
"Yeah we saw them, Delmer and his party are camped down the road" Mitch replied, then added - "Let's invite them up for a shing-ding !"
"Let's not " Bear said - "Got too much going on already"
Appearing none too happy with that possibility, Longshirt told us how the rednecks had confronted his order twice, once in front of Delmer's site and again at their Hippy Encampment, each time threatening sexual assault and violence - "These scary people promised us they would come back for another visit. They made some very rude remarks"
"Rude remarks !" Mitch feigned disgust - "How dare they !"
‘The Voice’ went on to tell us, aside from himself and Chance, the rest of his following consisted of women.
"How many women are we talking ?" R.W. asked with great interest.
"Three more are either in camp or at the showers"
"And you're not with them ?" Bear growled.
'Unlike the Head Deads' I thought - 'At least these folk shower. So there were two more women other than Ma and the skinny blonde chick' Taking another quick glance at Ma, Chance and Jubmel, wild thoughts of the Manson Family came to mind, maybe this zomby staring into the fire was a ‘Tex Watson‘-like enforcer who upon command would have no trouble slitting sleeping throats. A mind controlling pseudo-hippy cult leader, his harem of servile females and a subservient young buck who seemed to stay un-plugged with a drooling slack-jaw face until ordered to do otherwise. He continued to silently stare at our fire.
"Shouldn't y'all be looking after yer other womenfolk ?" Flip asked
"What would that accomplish ?" Longhirt returned - " If anything bad were to happen, we are a non-violent order" Having about enough of this beating around the bush, Bear demanded to know - "Then why are you telling us this ? Why not get on that payphone near the shower house and call the Rangers ?"
"That payphone is out of order and we haven't seen any other staff since our arrival here. You men are the only campers here besides those hillbillies"
"Hillbillies ?" Bear growled. Like Flip and I, he was also of Hill stock. Regarding Longshirt with dangerous grey eyes, Bear asked - "How much cord did you say y'all need?”
Longshirt grinned, no doubt realizing he had pricked a nerve. He quickly finished the rum and called Chance out of his trance - "How much cord do we need ?" Jubmel nodded at the boy and repeated - "How much cord Chance ?" Beaming like any low-level underling allowed to make a call on his own, he replied cheerfully - "A few yards should do" Going to our supplies and using the 6' picnic table as a rule, Flip cut them off around 9' of nylon cord.
Signaling for Ma to finish her drink, Longshirt rose, gave thanks for everything and as he herded his two companions out of our camp, bade us all a good night with courtly grace. Before they got out of earshot Mitch invited them to drop by anytime - "Next time bring the other women !" At that Bear grunted in disgust.

"Feel free to drop by anytime " I quoted Mitch and then asked in no friendly tone - "You want those freaks to come back ?"
"Why not ?" Mitch returned - "We need something to liven this party up a little"
"I like it the way it is" Bear growled and I agreed with him not wanting to see our traditional camping spot a drunken freak fest or gregariously groovy gathering. R.W. saw fit to remind us of our long tradition of being good neighborly campers, respectful quests and excellent hosts, then added - "We should feel obligated to look after their party, after all most of them are women"
"Most of them ?" Bear laughed.
"Small wonder they would want to throw in with us instead of those hick dicks from across the state line"
Looking at 3 empty clear plastic cups that the Rainbow Finches left behind Bear said - "Small wonder"
Looking deeper into this I stated - "So we're here to be a convenient buffer and ally twixt them and the Rednecks ?"
"Mercenaries" Flip said tapping his sheathed Puma Knife.
Pouring myself another ale I informed Flip that as a rule mercenaries get paid - "What can those hippy dippies offer us ?"
Raising his cup high, Mitch shouted - "Women !"
"We will fight for women !" R.W. proclaimed, lifting his cup high as well.
"What a noble and gallant Galahad you are Sirrah !" I exclaimed while raising my cup - "We'll let you fight Delmer"
All bravado from R.W. ended right then as he swallowed hard, no doubt recalling the brute-like creature we saw down at the spicket. Mitch however showed little fear - "Oh come on, Delmer could probably be bought off with a bag of pork rinds or a Snickers Bar and an orange soda "
"What about the others ?" I inquired.
"What others ?"
"The other Rednecks back at their camp, along with a horde of inbred kin across the border"
"Shit, I didn't think of that"
"Remember Mitch, we are far from our regular stomping grounds"
"But we can't sit back and let those West Virginians hurt those peaceful Head Deads"
"Rainbow Finches" Flip corrected
"What the f#ck ever "
Taking a good look at Mitch and realizing that there were always un-avoidable situations around every corner or clump of Rhododendrons, I guzzled down my ale and said - "Alright, we'll send a delegation of two out to their camp and invite The Voice, the zombie along with the four fluffies to join us for one last night of Celebration and primitive lust. We'll guzzle, smoke, take turns with Ma, Moondust, Sparkle Nymph and Flutterfly for one last night of double dipping and side swooping before the hill people come in at dawn and make short work of us all"
At that Mitch declared - "We'll offer them protection, have our way with the women, then cut all ties with them before sunrise" R.W. cheered his plan.
"You jerkwads are a lot drunker than I thought" Bear growled - "So y'all are gonna screw those cult chicks, then double-cross them ?"
"Why not ?" Mitch returned - "A perfectly sensible and simple plan"
“Why not ?!? You're creating crazy right now. How can you be sure that those cult chicks want anything to do with our kind ?"
"Ma said she loved me" Mitch replied - "Come around here with no under drawers on !"
Flip had a good slug of rum and said - "Jubmel,, now that's a name you don't hear everyday"
"So is Adon" I informed him - "But I heard that Ma chick call him that more than once"
"What is Adon ?"
"Well Flip, that's a very old name for lord or god. Now it could be that Kat's real name, but if not, Ma was referring to Jubmel as a deity"
Bear snarled savagely and rumbled - "I hate f#cking cults !"
"They're a cult ?" R.W. asked
Looking at the fop and Mitch I banged my fist upon our table - " Yeah a cult ! Don't you dumb asses ever read or watch the news ?"
"All the more reason to take these freaks on a Snipe Hunt" Mitch laughed.
"You best leave those Wood Nymphs alone ere one of them slips something in your drinks" was my warning, but following a good slug of the Wonder I became curious about how all of this was going to play out. There was but one comforting option, drink, smoke and make the best of it all. Perhaps later this experience could be incorporated into the sagas of a vanishing people.
"What about the other two ?" Flip asked - "They couldn't so much as talk, drink or sneeze without a go-ahead from that Jubmel Kat"
"Total mind control" Bear stated.
"Pretty damned odd indeed, but it goes on all the time" I added.

Pulling out a ready-rolled from his cigarette pack, Flip fired up and as it went around we touched upon how when lodging at campgrounds in wild places one could count on meeting people from all walks of life,(except of course those who don't like to camp) but with the 20th century coming to a close such meetings were becoming more complicated and strained.

Mitch and R.W. volunteered to deliver invitation..



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Order of the Rainbow Finch Empty
PostSubject: Re: Order of the Rainbow Finch   Order of the Rainbow Finch Icon_minitimeSat Mar 12, 2011 9:25 am



Forgetting the ones who we invited back
as we raised cheer to our Heathen pack
and back rather swiftly he came,
the one with a strange name
and four others clad in colorful hues
red, yellows, all shades of and blue.
A curious madness of lustful desire
and four Wood Nymphs by our fire.

We heard them approaching before their leader called in.
"At least they're announcing themselves this time" Bear stated then bellowed out a welcome. There were five of them this visit, Longshirt and four women probably ranging in age from the early 20s to the mid 30s, but with their eyes painted, facial piercings and strangely arranged hair, it was a hard call. These were not the usual party people one would fine in our neighborhood watering holes or much less, atop Morris Hill in the Spring. They were all such a bright colorful sight to me that I had trouble focusing on just one at first. Ma, ever the exhibitionist wore naught but a loose-fitting, gauzy blue, see-through blouse tucked into a Batik sarong wrapped about her wide hips. A wilting Rhododendron bloom adorned her dread lock hair. Accompanying her was was the waif-like blonde wearing a long loose tie-dyed Tshirt. Longshirt introduced her as Thyme, Chance's sister, she seemed just as drifty. Her brother had remained at their camp.
"And this is Blue Bell" Longhirt proclaimed, patting a rather petite and unusual looking woman on her head as if she was a house cat. Dark-eyed with raven colored hair streaked with electric blue. Her attire consisted of a long tie-dyed cotton garment sporting a long hood hanging down in the back. However there was one who stood out the most. What a perfect dish for a substance addled camper. It appeared her only garment was naught but a tight long-hemmed tie-dyed Tshirt that came just above the knees. I couldn't help but take notice of her massive breast which strained against the thin fabric and a mass of purple dyed dread locks falling upon well rounded shoulders. She wore an eye shadow and lipstick of the same hue. My blood heated a bit more as finally I looked into her eyes and saw they were violet as well. Not surprisingly enough Longshirt introduced this flower as Violet.
He had paraded these women into our camp with all the mannerisms of a pimp on payday. They were very appealing to the drunken eye, but there was not enough room for them all. This prompted Flip, Mitch and R.W. to drag another picnic table over from the vacant site next to us.
Although Flip and I kept our original seats, the rest were a mixed lot with Longshirt sitting on a large cooler at this long table's end, opposite of Bear who kept a careful eye on all. Truly a weird scene if there ever was one this early in the camping season. It wasn't hard not to ogle these exotically bedecked women. They in turned all looked to Longshirt with adoring and obedient eyes. Not tarrying a bit shifting this party into a higher gear, Mitch looked at and sniffed the Hippy women on either side of him, then asked - "What's everybody drinking tonight ?"
None of the women replied until Longshirt held aloft both palms and gave them all a nod. Allowed to speak, Ma, like Lonshirt requested rum while the others asked for ale.
After beverages were served, Lonshirt's female followers spoke more frequently, mostly asking a barrage of questions like - "What are your names ? What do you do ? What month were you born ?" Which we mostly responded in lies or else side-stepped completely. Violet however came right out and asked - "You dudes have any decent bud to share ?”
Not knowing these folk all that well we remained vague for sometime, pretending not to of heard her question, but she asked again - "You guys have anything for the head ?"
"Are y'all cops ?" Bear wanted to know in a blunt and direct tone.
"Not us, man" Jubmel replied - "We have a little and wanted to know if you gentlemen would match us"
Still sober enough to make a call, I said - "Maybe"
With eyes staring through Ma's transparent blouse, Mitch tapped his finger upon the protruding silver glints that were her nipple rings - "I have a question Ma, doesn't that hurt ?"
"At first, but now they only hurt when pulled"
Mitch howled with laughter and then inquired - "With a chain ?"
"Mmmmmmmmmmmm" She purred.


Not to leave Violet's question hanging in the air like campfire smoke, I extended an invitation to all willing. Bear and the one called Blue Bell declined, but everyone else piled into Flip's tent. A big Coleman domed 6 sleeper, the 8 of us managed to form a close circle. The air was thick with scented body oils. Reaching into his single pocket, Longshirt dragged out a crinkled plastic sandwich baggie and after a bit of unwrapping produced a decent size flower top - "Some, but not much"
"We can match you" Flip told him while going into his own stash. Doing likewise I put in some Whoodee as well then went on to grind it all into a blend. There was enough for 3 bowls and after loading the first one, I raised our Pipe aloft as tradition called for, then offered it to the winds. The Birdman then sparked me up. Drawing in, I handed it to Flip. As it passed from him to Thyme then to Longshirt, he hit our pipe then took a close look at it, exhaled and inquired if we were Native Americans. Flip and I lied outright - "We're Nottoway" While Mitch told Longshirt that he was from the Slapaho Tribe. As the Pipe went around both Jubmel and Ma attempted to engage us with talk of Spirit Animals, Totems, Changelings and Vision Quests. Flip laughed in their faces while pointing to the beaded buckskin pouch adorned with Fox teeth that hung from his tent's ceiling by a rawhide cord - "We are here and who we are tonight"
"What is that suppose to mean ?" Ma asked while I took a good close gander at Violet. As the Whoodee caressed my senses, her purple dreadlocks and strange face paint must of caught some elevated fancy. Curvy and full figured like something out of some Frank Frazetta painting, I couldn't help but ogle her. Checking out her pale but shapely legs, I had already considered asking Violet to take a walk with me a bit later. Making my intentions clear to fellow Heathens, I made the smelly finger sign, then nodded towards Violet. Better to make that call now than to risk any future misunderstandings amongst the band.
Flip wasn't wasting much time either as he was paying close attention to the skinny blonde who in turn stared into the glowing lantern. Set off by the battery powered light, Ma's nipple rings glimmered through the thin gauzy fabric. I could see twisting flames in Mitch's dark eyes that were locked upon the woman's breasts. Taking stock of this weird substance induced situation, I knew anything was bound to happen.
Finished having a good chuckle, Flip replied - "What does it mean ? It means we have Strong Medicine and that is enough"
I also pondered upon Longshirt's reasoning for bringing these women into the camp of wild Heathens. As a rule we never took women against their wills, but tinged with drink, Whoodee and under a wild Spring Night's sky, I could not begin to predict what would come. It was if Longshirt had presented these evening flowers as gifts, thus creeping me out, but somewhat fascinating at the same time. The more I looked at Violet, possible motive was put on a back burner. Hell, we were fair minded Heathens and probably willing to make trade, if Longshirt was managing affairs.

With the third bowl spent we emerged from Flip's tent feeling as light as Sparrow down and found Bear showing Blue Bell our collection of cassette tapes. She wanted to hear Bob Marley, but had settled upon some Jimi Hendrix's Axis as Bold as Love. All caught up with the altitude we sat and conversed over full cups.
Excusing myself with an un sincere bow to the cult leader, I made for the thicker growth. Going abit further than normal for a piss, I had time to gather my wits. It was obvious Longshirt brought his flock here for some reason or another. Had the Rednecks said something so frightening, these brightly bedecked peaceful folk sought our protection, or was this a case of having a strong thirst, but lacking hard drink ? Whatever the reason, there was a weird flakey Fakir and his four female followers sitting in our camp right now. Hopefully there would be no crude acts or overly vile behavior on our part, despite these women's lack of underwear and suggestive body piercings. With a final shake and a zip-up I started back to camp, but froze in my tracks as somebody or something was heading my way through the undergrowth.
Cursing under my breath, the only weapon I had was the little Old Timer Sharpfinger and whatever it was advancing sounded big, man-sized or larger. There was nothing for me to do but remain still. Following several tense seconds a huge shaggy silhouette came into view, lumbering forward while loudly sniffing the air. Now coming into range of my good night vision it asked in a familiar voice - "You get lost or something ?" while ducking behind a Tree. My fears swiftly quelled I informed Bear - "Just getting some fresh air"
"Fresh air ? You're f#cking camping ! How fresh do you need ?" He suggested I slack up on the Whoodee then sought my opinion concerning our guests.
"Either they're some far-out freaks here for a love-in, or that Jubmel Kat has them singing and dancing for their drinks"
"Hmmmmmmm, a trade off maybe" Bear said as he lit up a smoke.
"Well I'm heading in "
"Right behind you" Bear assured me.
I walked into camp just in time to see my companions taking a very close look at Ma's now uncovered nipple rings, oddly enough it seemed as casual as some suburban housewife showing off a new tennis bracelet at a coffee and cake get together. Bear zooming in on Ma's boobs damned near tripped over an exposed root. An omen perhaps of things to come. Needing a good drink at this point, I made for the jug, pulled it's cork and poured myself a cup of Shenandoah Wonder. Quaffing down the liquid warmth, I then had a better look at this oddly developing situation. A Way-Out Druid-like dude, half naked Wood Nymphs and several unpredictable substance addled Heathens mixing it up here at our traditional Spring camping retreat,,, yeah I decided to get snockered. Longshirt closely watching as I poured another in my cup wanted to know what was in the jug.
"Oh just some coarse mountain distilled liquor"
"Coarse ?"
"It'll take paint off"
Extending his cup - "May I ?"
"Do ya really wanna ?"
"Sure, why not ?"
"Ok there Dean Martin, it's your liver and stomach" I poured him about two shots of the Wonder. holding up the clear plastic motel cup, he said - "This is not clear like Moonshine"
"That's because of the rust" I told him.
"Rust ?"
Having about enough of me jerking Jubmel around, The Great Bear growled - "Oh just f#cking drink it ! He's just pulling yer leg man, that there is some superb sipping sauce"
Raising his cup in salute Longshirt had himself a good taste. Smacking his lips like a back alley sot, Longshirt smiled and said - "Say, that's smooth and carries quite a delightful wallop"
"As good spirits should be" Flip stated while pouring himself one. And with that everyone except Bear requested a slug of Wonder. I had no idea these rainbow hippy types were such topers, but they kept up with us cup for cup. Up until now I thought this breed was more into grass, trips, dips and flips and a little wine, but these women were swilling down booze like some Ocean View bar wenches, becoming just as slurred mouth and gabby. The conversation ranged from substance induced quips and mirthful small talk to unintelligible gibberish. Few concepts could be clearly exchanged and any chance of meaningful verbal interaction had been tossed to the winds. Two vastly different smoked-up and half drunk cultures at the same table, we struggled to make each other understood.
Aside from an occasional alcohol fueled metaphoric remark, Jubmel sat smiling, watching us all like a cat house owner during the parlor room, pick and choose preliminaries. Ma was pretty much up there and upon Mitch's requests, which now came about every ten minutes would lift her blouse and shake em around for a half minute. Flip was all ears as he listen to Thyme who had became very talkative go on about Faeries, Mermaids, Pixies and White Snake singer David Coverdale. The Birdman told her of Bigfoot and giant Salamanders. R.W. always the flirt was attempting to make time with Blue Bell. With Violet now sitting right up against me heated my blood and I thought about asking her out for a walk, but decided to hold out until after a few more cups. She inquired about my spiritual beliefs and I told her - "Why put it into words when it's all around us ?" Taking a booze boosted liberty, I softly pinched her upper thigh and stated - "Too much to talk about, besides it's mating season" The purple haired woman was not at all put off by my overly friendly gesture and wiggled up even more close to me.

Bear, the least screwed up of us all kept unusually quiet and like Longshirt, watched our table as well.

Like some ancient savage wilderness monarch, The Great Bear sat upon his folding camping throne with a purple plastic drinking mug in one hand and a flyswatter of the same color in the other held like a scepter. With these purple accessories I had began to
wonder why he wasn’t all over Violet, thus adding to his royal color ensemble. Aside from a less than cordial short reply when required and an occasional well timed belch, Bear kept pretty much to himself. Perhaps it was a steadfast resolve on his part not to foolishly moon over anymore strange women encountered while at camp like he did last night with a head full of booze. Deciding to give the Chief some help, I kept an eye on this gathering of two different cultures all the while wondering if those two condoms in my wallet were still good as my nose detected a faint, sweet musky scent, very close.
I noticed Flip, Mitch and R.W. sniffing the air as well. Knowing the drunken mindset of my blissful companions I expected the usual amount of bawdy behavior, especially from Mitch and also R.W. who out of the blue leaned over and planted a kiss full on Bluebell’s lips. Following that testing public show of affection, R.W. invited her for a ride on his motorbike around the campground loop road. After receiving a nod of approval from Longshirt she accepted with very little in the way of emotion.
“Poodle doesn’t waste much time” Mitch casually stated as Bluebell and R.W. rode off slowly into the night very much intoxicated and without helmets.
“Damned fool is gonna hit a Tree” Bear growled.
“Relax Sasquatch” Mitch laughed - “I don’t think they’re going all that far”
“Far enough for a Saturday Night” I added with a raised cup in a crude cheer. Gulping down the Wonder I then got up with a slight wobble, circled the table as to stretch my legs and test the liquor. After several ales, Whoodee and three or four five ounce cups of hard drink, I was somewhat snockered, but could still walk fairly well. Standing off a bit from the table allowed me a decent frontal view of Violet and what an image she was, sitting there with her oddly colored hair and voluptuous curves. Like some psychedelic flowery fertility mama coming into full bloom within the glow of our propane lantern and blazing fire. She met my gaze with seductive violet eyes and a slight suggestive bite to her pierced lower lip. She made sure I took notice of the silver stud that pierced her tongue as it rolled slowly over her lips.
‘Too fast, too easy’ I thought, but fully realized my inhibitions were taking a dip down at Lake Moomaw - ‘Oh what the hell’

“Jiggle-Wiggle !” Mitch shouted and at that Ma exposed her boobs and shook them around a bit. Howling with mirth, Mitch turned to me and said - “You know in the gloomy and boring uneventful days to come, nobody is gonna believe this shit.
“Here’s to surprisingly impossible nights and pleasant events” Violet cheered raising her own cup to me.

Then came the flickering of headlights through the shadowy Trees and shortly afterwards we heard the sound of tires turning gravel.

Instead of passing us by or halting in front of the camp, it pulled into the site next to ours. Cutting off the headlights then killing the engine, whoever this was walked around dividing brush and approached hardly making a sound. Bottles cans or any other unacceptable items were sitting out in plain view, but there was a general intoxication about our Heathen Camp. Now I could make out a shape moving towards us in the shadowy outer gloom and now all glassy eyes at our table were upon it.
“Don’t anybody move !” The voice sounded very familiar, but I braced myself for the worst. Then she stepped into the light and said - “Don’t anybody move on my account”
Flip, Mitch and I were quite relieved to see Ranger O’Bier standing there clad in civilian attire which consisted of a very tight thin black sweater and jeans holding a 12-pack of beer. This was a good sign.

Waiting for Bear, but seeing his was in a grim way, Flip rose, cordially welcomed our guest and then went on to introduced everyone. To make everyone certain of her profession and to prevent any slip of tongues, Flip welcomed her as Ranger O’Bier.
“Please call me Maddy”
Not so much the woman in uniform I saw last night, Maddy’s hair and face were fixed up and by the scent drifting about our camp, she was wearing perfume. The Great Bear said nothing and looked only to his drink. Maddy made a point of personally greeting Bear, but received only a surly nod in return. Apparently he was either giving her the ‘Ice Cube’ treatment or else just playing hard to get. Turning to me Maddy asked if I could walk over and look at the tires on her Toyota truck claiming she had hit a fallen rock on the way up to Morris Hill.
“Sure I can” I replied and of course Flip had to offer his assistance as well.
Hoofing it over to her truck, we found nothing wrong with any of the tires, apparently she just wanted to grill us out of earshot about our new and colorful guests.
“Met em earlier” Flip said - “They wanted to borrow some cord for a clothesline or something”
“One of our party invited them to join us and there they sit,, the cast of the Musical Hair”
“An odd looking bunch” She laughed.
“That we are” I returned looking at Flip.
“What’s the story on the guy wearing the robe ?” Maddy asked.
Flip issued a low chuckle and informed her - “That’s their spiritual leader Jubmell or Jumello or something like that”
“They’re here to enlighten us about free love and world peace” I added.
“Oh are they now ?” Maddy returned with a delightful smirk
“Darn tooting !” Flip proclaimed to which Maddy made mention of Ma’s see-through blouse - “And what’s she enlightening you guys about ?”
“TM” I replied, holding back my laughter.
“TM ?”
“Yep TM, Transcendental Masturbation”
“You’re terrible !” She laughed - “But let me know when y’all are ready so I can watch” It seemed evident that Ranger O’Bier was in a frisky mood. Cop or not, Maddy appeared to be much more real than Longshirt’s pride of colorful tarts.
“Well come on back and have a beer with us” I offered, but Maddy declined claiming she had to drive home.
“Oh one beer ain’t gonna loop ya and if ya want, we’ve an extra sleeping bag and enough spare room for you to crash here with us under the Stars” What ever her intentions were, I couldn’t help but playing upon them.
“Well I’m off duty and off tomorrow too”
Furthering my invitation I said - “Surely no rules will be broken by you fraternizing with friendly campers”
“We’ll see”
Flip unexpectedly blurted out - “Bear really thinks you’re something”
“You mean that big biker-looking guy ?”
“Yeah but he ain’t a biker” I said, just a hard working fellow on vacation”
“What’s wrong with him ? He looks upset”
Flip informed her that Bear was mad because he thought you were coming by last night and waited up real late for you”
“He waited up for me ?”
The look on Maddy’s face told me she wanted to get back to our table. Single, overworked, probably looking for some friendly companionship aside from the local yokels and co-workers, she prodded us back to camp and The Great Bear.
Ranger O’Bier no doubt made the trip up to Morris Hill Campground expecting to get up with several friendly souls, but what she probably didn’t expect to see were our colorful and exotic guests.

And what guests they were, vivid as a botanical garden.

Upon entering camp we witnessed Ma entertaining Mitch and perhaps Bear with another show-n-shake while the rest were engaged in substance induced gibberish. Approaching our table the purple haired woman regarded me with seductive violet eyes, then pushed her bosom outwards in a bit of shameless posturing. I rather enjoyed this display of drunken affection, but at the same time felt somewhat embarrassed that a sober minded, off duty Park Ranger had to see it as well. Looking down the table I noticed Longshirt was absent. Just as Maddy seated herself beside Bear, I inquired about Jubmel’s whereabouts.
Adjusting her top, Ma replied - “Jubmel went to bed” I thought it was odd that we heard not his passing as he would have had to pass us heading back towards the Finch Camp. He must of took the long way around. I wondered why he would leave his womenfolk in our care. For all he knew my fellow revelers and I could be a band of psychotic killers, the stuff of B horror movies. Taking a good look at my companions, especially Bear who was grimacing like some pissed ancient barbarian warlord, I would not leave any peaceful and civil folk here at our Heathen Hideaway. Aside from The Great Bear’s broodings this camp was free of troubles and worries.
Taking the liberty in pouring me a drink, Mitch passed my cup, filled to the brim with Wonder. Sipping off the top before it spilled, I then raised my cup and cheered - “To night’s pleasant surprises !”
I had not really anticipated our fishing, camping and partying experience as the drunken, lustful wallow it had become. Bear, Flip, Mitch, myself and somewhere out there in the woods R.W. all in the company of just as many seemingly delightful women. I could see such a celebration somewhere along the Skyland Drive, a KOA or some other camping resort, but up here in the high and lonesome away from most tourist traps it seemed rather strange.
With enough booze and brew in our stores I had scant worry about us running out of drink until sometime tomorrow, but having Maddy as a guest there was no mention of Whoodee, I guess we would have to sneak off into the brush for a puff or three. With the exception of Bear, everyone was quite festive. He did seem more at ease with Longshirt being away and after Maddy flashed him a big smile and caressed his shoulder, The Great Bear became more sociable. In an almost pleasant voice he asked what became of her last night. Maddy informed him she was called on a disturbance up at Blowing Springs Campground and had to work over. At that Bear begin paying more interest to Ranger O’Bier. Throwing down more of the Wonder, feeling not only it’s effects, but Violet’s body next to mine, I had the drunkard’s rationality in thinking of this purple haired woman as pleasure object and less a person. Unless so addressed Violet spoke very little, but seemed to be in complete agreement to everything I said, be it obvious bullsh!t or otherwise, hanging upon my every drunken word all the while flashing her lovely bedroom eyes. Maybe I was being played, but at this point cared very little.

“Let’s take a walk” Flip suggested
“What the hell for ?” Bear demanded as Mitch openly groped Ma at our table.
“Thyme wants to find some Faeries” Flip returned.
“Don’t know about Faeries” Bear said - “But somebody may want to check on R.W. to see if he hasn’t ran off the road or anything”
Mitch stood up and grabbed Ma’s hand saying - “We’re gonna walk it over to my tent” shaking the hair from his eyes and issuing a low grunt he told her - “Come on baby” Not hesitating abit, Ma accompanied Mitch to bed.
Maddy shot me a look - “That man works fast, doesn’t he ?”
“It’s that biker mystique” I replied watching the two walk out into the outer dark, hand in hand. At that Bear raised his purple plastic drinking mug - “Live fast, die hard !”
“In Mitch’s case,,” I chuckled - “It’s more like live hard and ride fast” Maddy batted her eyes at Bear asking him - “Are you living hard ?”
“Hard enough “ He softly said while giving me the smelly finger sign..
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PostSubject: Re: Order of the Rainbow Finch   Order of the Rainbow Finch Icon_minitimeSat Mar 12, 2011 9:44 am

Scent of Spring !
Liquor, a friendly fire.
Fair company.
Noble savage men reduced to caddish curs.
Scent of Spring,
reaction, bliss, passion
and maddening Moon Magic atop this lofty rise.

Long since caught up with this altitude and deep in the cups, any attempt of decent normal reasoning on my part was useless. Pulling out my Sharpfinger knife I fished a drunk-drowned, green lacy-winged insect out of my sipping sauce.
Speaking directly to Thyme, Maddy asked - “Hey there sunshine aren’t you suppose to be taking everyone on a Pixie hunt or something ?” Snatching the hint that almost flew over my head, I said - “Come on Flip, let’s take these ladies on an evening stroll”

Leaving Miss O’Bier and Bear alone at our table we ambled out into the shadowy gloom. Flip drunkenly had became quite taken with the waif like blonde and was offering his full assistance in looking behind every Tree trunk in her quest to find the Little People. Their search for Fairy Folk put them some distance ahead of Violet and me. Intoxicated into a rude state I shifted about on the gravel loop road, walking on both sides then behind Violet lustfully inspecting her bouncing attributes. Newly single and somewhat snockered I was a branch swaying in the wind or else the Catbird perched upon it.
“You’re kinda the quiet type, eh ?
“Just enjoying the night” Violet replied with a smile that flashed in the darkness.
“Are you a Pagan ?” I asked.
“Something like that, I once belonged to a coven up in Toronto”
“Canada ?”
“Of course”
I thought her accent sounded a bit different. Violet told me she had met Jubmel and the Order at a festival in New York and have been living with them every since with her mother wiring money down to her on occasion.
“Y’all got a home base ?”
She started to reply, paused and then told me it was in Laurel Maryland. Violet asked me where my was from and stretching the truth a little, I told her - “Near Richmond” Violet’s hands clasped below her navel area as if she expected a little more information. Curious if not somewhat aroused by her pose, I asked - “So is Jubmel alright leaving his woman and you other ladies here with us tonight ?”
“His woman ?”
“Yeah, Ma, the one Itchy Mitchy is entertaining right now” Regarding me with a smile Violet informed me - “Ma is not Jubmel’s woman, we are all together and freely share our love with whomever we choose”
Symbolically scratching my ear - “Do tell”
Now with both hands clasped behind her back Violet stepped forward as if making a public announcement - “Jubmel is our teacher, our guidance, our father and we are a loving family.
Lacking in any polite response my reply was shallow - “I hear ya” She smiled, stepped in even more and whispered in my ear - “If only everyone knew our joy”

I should of shown more restraint while swiftly sizing-up any future intents, but instead took Violet’s hand and led her into a dark empty campsite. She was not at all unwilling.

We caught up with Thyme and Flip at the shower house/restrooms where they were watching Insects fluttering around an outside light. They appeared quite the happy weekend couple. Approaching out of the shadows I asked if they had encountered any Pixies as of yet. Violet joined Thyme and while they marveled at a Luna Moth, Flip and I lit up cigarettes.
“Hmmmmm, where did you two duck off to ?”
“We found a little place to enjoy nature” I replied in a low tone and inquired if they had been looking at bugs all this time.
“Naw man, Thyme had to use the restroom and before that we watched Deer move across the road”
“Any other sign of life ?”
Flip pointed over to the small camper and said - “Also saw some lady pull up and go into Mark’s place. That’s her car over there”
“He must be entertaining tonight” I said.
“Good night for entertaining” Flip added while gawking at the two ladies bent over and looking at a large black Beetle crawling upon the ground.
“Good night for being entertained, Flippy” I returned while taking in Violet’s shapely curves, contemplating another roll in the soft shed Pine needles and pondering in what other ways this Violet of the Woods could softly bend or sway. Besieged by lustful intentions, I had but one defender of the Trojan tower in my wallet. Flip, calling me over for a chat must have been thinking along the same lines as I. He wanted to know if I had an extra condom.
“Could you lend me one ?”
“Lend ?”
“Yeah if you got an extra”
“That’s something one really can’t lend, Flippy”
“Why not ?”
“Cause when somebody lends something out, it usually gets returned after use”
“Well can you give me one ?”
“Why are you without ?”
“Got one already, but I’ll pay you for another”
Slugging Flip in his shoulder I asked him - “What the hell do I look like a drugstore check-out counter ?”
“You can’t spare one ?”
“Hell no I can’t spare one, one is all I have”
“Oh well” Flip sighed - “Thyme wants to stay the night with me”
“Oh well” I laughed - “You better make that one shot count” I then inquired where Thyme would be sleeping.
“In my tent of course”
“And what do you expect Bear and I to do while you two are getting friendly all night ?”
Flip rubbed his chin and said - “Bear’s probably gonna hook up with that Ranger Lady and ain’t you going to be staying with Violet tonight ?”
“Oh so we’re gonna have some groovy, far-out flower child love-in or something ?”
“Wow that would be far-out” Flip chuckled.
“Yeah real f#cking far-out ! And who’s gonna clean up that mess come morning ?”
“Bigfoot “ Flip returned with a twisted smirk.
“Yeah right. Look Flip, I ain’t too sure I wanna be in the same tent with all that going on. I’ll probably drag my sleeping bag over to that empty campsite over by that big Pine Tree.


Drunk by the Fire’s light

Having little regard we get our thrills -
Inhibitions lost and no sense of what’s just.
Here in these dark wooded hills
deep in our cups and wanton lust.
Let us celebrate in a shadowy glade,
high above a flooded vale.
Beside the good fire we made,
where liquor flows and morals fail.
Revel under the starry sky !
Raised cups in cheer to the Night.
With the wink of a seductive eye -
fiery passion invites delight !



Not thinking as clearly as we should, Flip and I walked our guests right by the camp of Delmer and company.

We were halted in a somewhat sudden, but non-threatening manner. Three of them had shot to their feet and greeted us on the loop road.
“Hey y’all !” This looked to be the one driving that monster truck we saw earlier. He was somewhat rotund, wearing a John Deere cap and a light NASCAR logo jacket. By his staggering approach I could tell this West Virginian was near slammed-drunk. With can of beer in his hand he circled us as if performing an inspection of sorts.
“Howdee there” I greeted while attempting to keep an eye on him and his party. ‘Red’ whom I saw earlier down at the spicket stood there silently in his surplus military garb and now wore a large wicked Bowie Knife sheathed on his belt. Beside him was a rather short but curvy woman probably in her late 20s with big poofy gooked-up dirty blonde hair. Her country kitty attire consisted of a black fringed leather coat with a large number of silver concho-like adornments, ultra-tight designer jeans and western boots.
“Dale quit”
“Quit what Debbie ?”
“Quit gawking at them folk, they gonna think yer crazy”
Not taking his eyes off Thyme, Dale backed it on up, rejoining the others. Addressing us with a twangy accent the Hill Woman apologized - “Sorry y’all, we’ve had a few beers and didn’t figure on seeing anybody out-n-about, I’m Debbie and these here are mah husband Dale and mah little sister’s boyfriend Alvin. Looking beyond Debbie, Dale and Alvin, I noticed two more getting up from the picnic table leaving the man-brute Delmer with his crayons and coloring book. As these two ambled up I saw one could of passed for ’Red’s twin brother, only more bulky and mouthy, hatless with a mullet. Walking past Flip and I He looked straight at Violet - “Couldn’t stay away, could you ? Come here to see me did ya ?”
Putting my arm around Violet I asked her - “Did you tell this young fellow, you’d come visiting him ?”
“No” She replied moving closer to me.
“Well then you have it” I said and inquired boldly - “I’m sorry sirrah, I didn’t catch your name” Enraged he snorted loudly but had sense enough to ponder away any immediate miscalculations and aggressive moves on his part. “What, y’all together or something ?” He asked before spitting a stream of tobacco juice on the gravel.
“Together for something” I replied
“You speak pretty good Amurakin”
“Does that surprise you ?”
“Does for a Messikin”
“Well I don’t rekkin thar be any Mexicans up here atop Morris Hill tonight, ‘Rusty’”
“Mah name ain’t Rusty, It’s Calvin”
“You must be Alvin’s brother !” I exclaimed.
“You got it, Bubba”
“Hey, how did you know my name is Bubba ?” I laughed.
“Calvin ! Don’t be rude” Debbie ordered - “This here is Alvin’s big brother Calvin”
“Well Howdee !” I greeted again - “I’m Bubba and this here is Skeeter and our lady friends Purple Hazel and Moon Blossom” Looking over at the other West Virginian woman I asked - “And who’s this other lovely young lady ?” As she waddled up to be introduced. And what a mountain hollow horror she was, all 5’ feet of her, not counting the big hair and the high heels she wore camping which added another about another foot or so to her height. Below a chinless jaw, where a neck should have been was a thick ring of fat. Despite the cool air, she wore a tight sleeveless white lacy top tucked into her elastic wait band jeans. Her upper arms were bigger than my thighs with tiny forearms ending in pudgy little hands. Frog-like eyes bugged out from a heavily made-up face as she stared at us. This we learned was Alvin’s sweetheart Kristy.

All in all they were not bad people and acted much less rude than say, a drunken Mitch.

We had a nice little roadside chat, but politely decline their invitation to come in as I did not like the way Delmer colored in his book. Grunting while going way out of line and ripping the thin pages in his brutal attempt at coloring. Frankly I didn’t want to get near that fellow.
All the way back to camp Violet stayed glued to me. “What’s wrong baby ?”
“Those people are scary. What are they ?”
“Maybe of Dutch, English or Scottish heritage and probably related to a good many of the same across the state line.

Rounding the bend we saw the welcoming light of our fire and from the loud merriment could tell this party was as lively as ever.

As we came into camp, I saw that Bluebell and R.W. had returned from their ride. Sitting by the low fire they listened to Mitch who had now seated himself in Bear’s folding throne, giving account of a bar room brawl which took place at the Greenwood Restaurant in Hampton some twenty years ago. Known as the Big Ass Misunderstanding it involved 20 or so patrons. Although it was said to be started by Mitch, being there that night I can honestly say he did not. We were sitting in a booth where I was showing him a picture my father took of me holding an 8 and ½ pound Largemouth out of the Pit Lake when Sue Gooch, hotheaded wife of Wayne the Whomper of Greenwood Farms walked by where Mitch, Joe the Skid, Woo Esposito and I sat in the bar’s billiards area along with Lowell Mann and his younger brother Jaybird. All leading men of our old neighborhood Lynnhaven they loved a good fight and were some pretty tough customers, Especially Lowell. Taking a close look at the photo Mitch told me loudly over the jukebox -’Nice Bass, damn that’s a big one’
In a burst of fury ‘ Excuse me, you piece of Lynnhaven shit, what the f#ck did you say ?’ came out her mouth like a wounded wildcat as she wheeled around and headed back to the bar where Wayne and his Greenwood Farms bravos sat.
Outnumbered we fared well and swiftly fought our way out and away once it was learned the bartender had called the cops. Truly a narrow escape.

Mitch greatly enhanced his role at this brawl while Ma stood behind him braiding up his long brown hair. Seating myself by this storyteller I jokingly thanked Mitch for saving my life that night and inquired about The Great Bear’s whereabouts. So requested by Mitch, Ma paused her hair dressing endeavor and performed another Jiggle Wiggle.
“He went with Maddy to her apartment down in Covington” R.W. replied with a mouthful of Fritos, washing the corn chips down with vodka and orange juice he added - “She said she would have him before noon tomorrow”
“That cad” I feigned disgust - “And to think I was looking to him as a model of good morals”
Flip chuckled and said - “That’s an up over the ridge and far down look-see” To which R.W. started to add - “You wouldn’t think him having a woman at,,”
“Oh don’t you go black kettle calling, Poodle” I interrupted.
“No snoring tonight !” Flip happily exclaimed - “I hope he has a good time and she has ear protection”
Mitch laughed, tossing me the keys of Bear’s rented SUV -“He’s in the long arms of the law ! Jiggle Wiggle Mama !” With breasts still exposed, Ma paused her jiggling to pour herself some more of our precious Shenandoah Wonder. Mitch was having a blast and I worried if he was going to go sideways on us, but as long as the knockers shook and liquor flowed in our fire’s warm glow, he remained a happy camper. Itchy Mitchy inquired if Ma went around like that amongst the general public.
Given them a slight shake, she seductively smiled and replied - “Unfortunately we can’t, but one should never be ashamed of one’s body, especially when high up in such beautiful forested places at night”
I couldn’t help but take notice of the devilish expression Mitch’s sun browned face had twisted into as he leered at each female present.
“Beautiful hills and delightful valleys” Mitch mused aloud, scratching his chin and no doubt pondering upon the next drunken request he would send slithering around our table liken to a Pit Viper.
“Fortunately this is not the general public, hope you other gals feel the same. Are we all up for a Jiggle Wiggle ?”
Bluebell and Violet looked at each other while Thyme took the initiative of lifting her tie-dyed shirt up over her bare breasts. I more or less knew what was coming next as Mitch turned his attention to Bluebell.
“Well lets have a look while you jiggle”
“Excuse me ?” She returned rather sharply.
“Jiggle Wiggle Mama”
“What ?”
“It’s ok” R.W. assured her - “Mitch knows what he’s doing”
“And what’s that ?” Bluebell asked.
“He’s practicing an ancient ritual” R.W. answered sounding somewhat serious.
“A what ?”
“Come on !” Mitch barked - “This all hinges on perfect timing !” More or less forcing myself to sink down closer to Mitch’s level which at this point was such one couldn’t hear a stone hit bottom, I threw down a good measure of Wonder and was compelled to add better substance to the drunken biker’s B.S - “It’s a Spring ritual of ours, that is practiced whenever there are an equal number of females and males sitting by camp’s second Night’s fire” Seeing that my own line of crap had captured their attention, I continued - “What Mitch suggests is completely harmless, but extremely symbolic and no doubt will appease the Mountain Spirits , thus bringing about more love and happiness throughout the Night” Unknowingly I may of pissed off some god of drunks and fools.
“Jiggle Wiggle” Mitch whispered.
“Here !” Bluebell said as she pulled her long garment off displaying her nude, heavily tattooed body - “More love, happiness and a better understanding of people and what’s to come” Flip issued a rare howl, lifted his cup and cheered -
“And what’s to come !”
“Or who “ Mitch clanked cups with the drunken Birdman. Like him we others of Lynnhaven had drank ourselves into a common cur-like state in the company of four comely Hippy cult members who were all too happy to comply with our lewd intoxicated requests. Off completely came Thyme’s colorful shirt and Mitch, now sounding more crudely weird than I can recall, mumbled - “Oh look how her pale skin reflects the fire light” Gulping down the contents of his cup, Mitch looked now to Violet - “Alright Purple Passion, your turn”
Having no extreme binding feelings for the purple haired woman, I shrugged my shoulders and said - “Shake em, baby”
Mitch along with all the booze consumed by all had transformed our most Magikal Annual Spring Celebration into a drunken outdoor strip club. Violet flashed a strange smile, stood up, stepped behind me, lifted her shirt then proceeded to bounce boobs atop my head. It must of knocked a bit of sense into me as I suggested everyone get their clothes back on as our neighbors could be heard raising some hell down the road. - “I hate to close the curtains on this wonderful segment of our Sunday Night here at Morris Hill, but it wouldn’t go well if those mutant West Virginians walked up on all of this in a drunken state. Pounding heads bespeaks not of all that love and happiness we have brought forth this Night.
“Not yet !” Mitch barked - “Not until they all Jiggle Wiggle at once !”
“Do what ?” Bluebell asked while picking her garment off the table.
“In unison” Mitch demanded - “To finish the ritual. Right Jim ?”
“That’s right Mitchy” I drunkenly agreed and to my surprise Bluebell, Ma, Thyme and Violet obliged, all jiggling at the same time. Following a full minute of such sensuous shaking Mitch howled in delight and raised his cup with a loud cheer - “To Camping !”


I don’t recall exactly when all the Whoodee , drink and Night’s other activities snuck up and dropped kicked me in the head, but it had to be well after 10:00 Quiet Time, maybe by hours. On wobbly legs I rose, then bade everyone a goodnight, which was returned with jeers from Flip, Mitch and R.W.. they hissed like buzzards calling me a lightweight. Shooting Flip a blurry-eyed glare I growled - “Pretty damned sad when one lightweight calls another the same”
“I’m still standing” Flip laughed before turning to plant one on Thyme lips. Without saying a word Violet rose to following me into the tent. Striking Flip’s battery powered lamp, I pulled off my shoes while Violet stripped down to naught. I caught a glint in her beautiful eyes as she flashed yet another seductive smile.
Stretching out on my sleeping bag - “Ha ! Looook I’m falling asleep”
“But it’s early”
“And that is when we will rise”
“We ?”
“All three of us” I laughed while attempting to keep my eyes open.
“Why not stay up and sleep tomorrow ?”
“Because I’ve drank too much to keep it up”
“Oh”
“Hey I don’t mind if you put your clothes back on and rejoin the party”
“No, I’ll stay here with you”
As I took a last blurry gander at her shapely form.- “Better get your duds back on, it’s gonna get real cool before dawn”
“I always sleep without clothes” She replied snuggling up to me.
“Alright, but be forewarned that I’m rather affectionate in the morning, especially with a hangover”

With that Violet kissed me on my forehead right before I turned off the light and swiftly fell into a sodden slumber..
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LongHunter
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LongHunter

Number of posts : 562
Age : 64
Location : Beaverdam Creek
Humor : If necessary
Registration date : 2009-02-22

Order of the Rainbow Finch Empty
PostSubject: Re: Order of the Rainbow Finch   Order of the Rainbow Finch Icon_minitimeSat Mar 12, 2011 10:10 am


Despite all of last night’s reveling, I awoke feeling very little self induced discomfort. As morning’s cool air and dim sunlight stirred me into even more wakefulness, I managed to pull myself up into a sitting position and had a look around. I was alone. Wondering where Thyme and Flip were along with at what time Violet crept out without waking me, I struck a light and quickly discovered traveled bags open and personal items laying about the tent. It was obvious someone had rifled through not only my bags, but Flip’s as well. A sinking feeling overtook me. Taking a quick and tense inventory, I saw that both stash pouches along with our Pipe bag was missing. Immediately I checked my wallet, it was still there. I guess by sleeping belly-up, whoever robbed us, couldn’t get to my back pocket. Pulling on my shoes, I went outside to spread the alarm. Bear and Maddy no doubt were still in Covington, while Flip was nowhere in sight so my next swift move took me to Mitch and R.W.’s tent. Seeing that the door flap was open, I peered inside seeing that only my two comrades were inside and passed-out. Following a few kicks to their legs, Mitch and R.W. began to stir. “Wake up you sots, we’ve been robbed !” After a couple of more savage kicks I had both of them up in their birthday suits, cursing and swearing like Muleskinners.
“What ? What the f#ck ?” Mitch demanded slipping on his jeans.
“Check yer shit man, Flip and I got robbed !”
“What ?”
“Took all the Whoodee and our smoking gear”
Before R.W. even put his pants on, he checked the pockets. “Sh!t ! my wallet is gone !”
Patting his back pocket, Mitch shouted - “Mine too, chain and all ! F#cking treacherous hose-bags ! F#cking sneak thieves !”
“And we were passed out cold !” R.W. snarled.
Lighting up a cigarette, I issued my primal scream atop a smoky exhale, then laughed - “Boys, we’ve been played like some corn-fed suckers !”
R.W. issued a short bark of laughter and added - “Like that whopper Bear snagged yesterday,, hooked, played, landed and thrown back into the river”
“I’ll say we have” Mitch said - “Guess we paid a high price for all those jiggle wiggles” Attempting to get over this initial shock and pluck a little reason from the chilly air, I inquired about Flip.
“Grabbed a sleeping bag out of the tent and took off with that skinny blonde about an hour after you crashed” R.W. replied as he finished getting dressed. Both somewhat fully clad hopped on their motorbikes and tore off towards the Finch’s camp leaving me alone in my rage. “So much for f#cking peace and free love !” I cursed noticing our store of brew and booze that was stored in Bear’s unlocked SUV was missing as well - “Those thieving cult wenches !” Then I went to find the Birdman.

The Sun was rising fast, cutting through morning mist as I found Flip curled up in his sleeping bag alone, under the same big Pine Violet had made a happy camper out of me last night. That happiness had burned off quicker than the mist. Giving him a swift kick to the backside, I soon had the Birdman up and about..
“Check yer Wallet, Flip”
“Oh f#ck, don’t tell me !” He swiftly realized what I was getting at, but at the same time relieved his wallet had not been filched. He swore and spat as I told him of the thefts.
“Let’s go up to their camp and get our stuff back”
“Mitch and R.W. have already rode out there”
“And ?”
“They ain’t come back yet, but I expect those varlets to be long gone by now”
Back on the loop road we ran into our comrades where they confirmed our fears. “Those scumbags have left without so much as a trace !” R.W. shouted above the motor - “Good thing they didn’t slit our throats while we slept”
R.W. was all for finding a working payphone and calling the cops, but with Whoodee involved, I didn’t think it would be a wise choice for right now.
“How much money did they clip from you guys ?” Flip asked.
Mitch chuckled - “Not f#cking much, man” Then told us that him and R.W. probably had about 125 bucks between them. Both of them however where very troubled by losing their wallets and personal information.

Money, wallets, drivers licenses and Whoodee could be replaced, but our Sacred Pipe was another matter.

As we all sipped coffee and no doubt were thinking how it doesn’t get much shittier than this, our sour ponderings were disturbed by the sound of cheerful voices and shuffling footfalls. It was Debbie, Kristy, Alvin and Dale taking a morning stroll.
“Morning !” They greeted.
R.W. scornfully returned with - “It is isn’t it ?”
“So yer fruit loop friends packed it up and left early this morning, huh ?”
Hearing that bit of old news I replied - “Yeah they got out of here pretty quick”
“So what y’all do to run em off ?” Dale laughed.
Finding nothing at all humorous about this sorry-ass situation, I replied - “They kinda took off without a goodbye”
Dale spat out a stream of chaw juice and said - “Rekkin them thar hippies wanted to get an early start up yonder to Todd Lake”
“Where did you say ?” Mitch asked, his gold tooth reflecting a ray of morning sun that had found it’s way through the leafy canopy.
“Todd Lake, up thar west of Harrisonburg” Dale then went on to tell us how his wife Debbie was on the toilet inside a closed stall when - “Two of them thar Hippy girls came in to wash up at the sinks,,”
Breaking in Debbie recounted how she heard the cult women talk about visiting Natural Chimneys and camp at Todd Lake - “Another Hippy girl came in and told them to hurry up”
Speaking not of the thefts, I thanked the West Virginians for the information and sent them on their way with a full pint bottle of Crown Royal from my hidden personal stash which the thieves had overlooked.

Our coffee tasting much more sweeter with that information, we would wait for Bear’s return and track these vermin down and perhaps administer some backwoods justice.
“Todd Lake, that’s a far bit of distance from here” I said, ears strained and eyes peeled for Bear’s return.
“About 60 miles or so” Flip added - “Longer if we take Interstate 64 to North 81”
“Which way then ?”
“220 North up the Jackson Valley but the speed limit varies”

It was quite obvious that all 4 of us were ready to remedy this matter up in a most frightful manner and although none of us had plans of physically assaulting women, Longshirt would surely experience some discomfort.
After coffee I suggested we break down camp and get everything loaded in the SUV so as to be ready when Bear returns. It was during this task I took notice that Bear’s prized folding camping chair was also missing.
“Oh that’s gonna piss him off for sure” Flip stated while picking up a trampled Rhododendron bloom one of Longshirt’s Finches wore in her hair. He crumpled the flower in his hand and tossed it into the cold gray ashes of last night’s fire.
No sooner than we finished Maddy and a very smug looking Bear pulled up. His look was soon one of surprise when he saw we had broke down and packed up camp. Maddy dropped him off saying she was going to hit the restroom and come back.
“What the hell goes on here ?” Bear demanded while looking about the empty campsite.
“We’re heading North” I returned.
“Where, why and what the f#ck for ?”
It was then I asked Bear to have a seat at the picnic table and gave account of what transpired.
“So f#cking what, why should we go all the way up there for some Whoodee ?” He growled, none too happy about his camp being tore down and packed up. It was then I told him that his prized camping chair had been purloined as well and at that, angry fires played in his stormy grey eyes. “Now I’m pretty pissed, not only at those cult crooks, but at you stupid f#cks too. Should of just tagged them gals, then sent em back to their camp”
“Maybe we wanted some all night and good morning company, just like you, f#cking oaf!”
“Well at least Maddy’s on the right side of the law, I can’t say that much for those damned grifters and you Whoodee smoking jerkwads” Walking over to the spot where his chair had been he rumbled - “I’ll hound those varmints all the way up to the Canadian border if need be

When Maddy returned Bear relayed a half-truthful account of what happen and what had been stolen, then requested she not report this crime until we caught up with the culprits tonight.
“Why so late ?” The Ranger wanted to know
“That’s how we do things” I answered - “Let them get cozy, comfortable and carefree, then come in unexpectedly”
Regarding us all, Ranger O’Bier said - “On one condition”
“What’s that ?” Mitch asked
“You guys don’t hurt anybody real bad, then call me at the number I gave Bear immediately after you retrieve your belongings”
“Why ?”
Maddy then revealed more about the people we had invited into our camp last night. “I strongly suspect this bunch are the same people we got a report on”
Very curious I inquired - “What else have they done ?”
“Well the real reason I couldn’t make it Saturday Night was a last minute call I responded to. A camper’s truck was broken into and his wallet was stolen over at Douthat State Park while he showered”
“Seems like that would be a state or county issue “ Bear said.
Maddy laughed - “Yeah right, I go where ever they send me within the National Forest. With all the drinking on a Saturday Night over in Clifton Forge, I’m sure the local deputies had their hands full” Gently brushing hair from Bear’s eyes, Ranger O’Bier continued - “I also strongly suspect these are the same bunch who made off with a fisherman’s tent and camping equipment while he was away. There have also been reports from as far away as Mathews Arm Campground on the Skyline Drive of lewd behavior from a group of hippies who the other campers took it upon themselves to run off. They claimed there was crazy naked hippy women running around“. At that a faint smile played on Mitch’s lips - “Couldn’t get all of that back home for a 125 bucks, R.W.”

Maddy advised us not to make camp or hang around Todd Lake Recreation Area, but if we did decide to make a base camp, do it at North River Recreation Area, only about two miles or so away.
Flip lit up a cigarette and asked - “Why there ?”
“Because after you retrieve your stuff, there will be no chance of illegal backlash concerning some of your stolen recreational items after the Rangers come in and round these crooks up”
“Then you knew” I said.
“Of course I did silly “ Maddy replied while mussing up my hair with her fingers - “After all, I am a Ranger”
“Then you’re not going to bust us ?”
“I didn’t see anything except for red eyes and goofiness, besides it ain’t you fellows going around The National Forest and Parks stealing from good campers like yourselves”
“So that’s why that Jubmel character booked it on off to his camp shortly after you arrived last night” Flip stated - “Probably didn’t like the idea of having a Ranger so near”
“And probably why he called it a night so him and that zombie Chance could be fresh and rested up for the grab and getaway” Mitch added.
After heaping Maddy with our gratitude and pledges of friendship along with a long slobbery goodbye from Bear, we took to the road in pursuit of the sneak thieves who made off with our goods. Our plan was simple - Make camp at North River, scout Todd Lake for their location, then creep back in the darkness of night, surround their camp and come in from all directions..

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LongHunter
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PostSubject: Re: Order of the Rainbow Finch   Order of the Rainbow Finch Icon_minitimeSat Mar 12, 2011 10:39 am


From Morris Hill we made our way
for many miles north then east.
At North River in wait we’d lay,
until these rascals held their evening feast.

The last unpaved stretch of access road
proved bumpy and slow going.
Beside a stream we dropped our load
and prepared for an uninvited showing.

From mist shrouded shadows we stepped
like ghosts out of the gloom.
In these wild hills oaths are kept
and so shall come your doom.


We picked a decent campsite between two streams of the North River. Earlier our band had stopped in the town of Monterey for provisions. Usually for us, the making of camp is a happy occasion, but this Monday afternoon was not one of them. Even Mitch was strangely quiet, mumbling from time to time - “Pay back time, head-dead whackadoos”
Not showering that morning, Flip, Mitch, R.W. and I wanted to keep the scent of our quarry. Bear however having showered at Maddy’s place still smelled of perfumed soap and shampoo that attracted a swarm of small flying insects which hovered about his shaggy hair.
After camp was made Flip and I had Bear drop us off near the entrance to Todd Lake Recreation Area where we melted into the woods. We proceeded to quietly skirt the all but vacant campground. Concealed by thick foliage, we had scant trouble locating our objective camped upon a thinly wooded rise. Halting up on a neighboring hillock, we spied upon them from our well shadowed thickly grown position. Jubmel and his pack of thieves were having a grand old time, swilling our booze. Well within loud word shot, we heard Longshirt who was sitting in Bear’s prized camping chair laugh while making a remark about our Medicine not being strong enough. Ma, completely nude, aside from the blooms in her hair, lifted my drinking cup in cheering praise to the cult leader.
Holding the Birdman back from charging down in a black rage, I whispered - “Let them have their fun now, it’s all for the better”
Looking at his watch the Birdman said - “Guess yer right, come on Jim, we’ve got to meet Bear back at where he dropped us off”

Back at our North River camp, we ate a light meal then prepared for our raid and smoked the singled rolled Whoodee Flip had in his cigarette pack from last night. The Birdman and I even applied black soot markings on our faces as raiding paint
Bear would drop Flip, Mitch , R.W. and I, off by Todd Lake’s entrance, give us time to gain the Finches camp, then come in as backup along with reclaiming our belongings.

Nature was on our side as fog had settled in. In the gloom there was no need to cut through the brush as last time, upon the fog-damp ground we moved as quietly as stalking Panthers. Nearing the Finch Camp we divided, Flip and I moving above them on the rise while our other two comrades would come up from below them. The sweet smell of high quality Whoodee drifted upwards to my hidden location. Peering down both through the growth and swirling mist, I caught a glimpse of them passing our sacred Pipe. Waiting until they were engaged in mirthful gibberish, I issued a Barred Owl call as our signal to move in.
It took only seconds for us to be among them. As their eyes widened with both fear and astonishment they froze like baby Cottontails beneath hovering Hawks. For a tense half minute a terrifying silence hung over the Finch Camp as we regarded our former guests with savage-eyed smiles. Perhaps smelling their fear like a wild animal, Mitch ripped the night air with a mirthful howl, then approached Ma, tweaked her silver ring adorned nipple and said - “Well Howdee neighbors, we just come here to retrieve our nylon cord”
“And a few other things” Flip grimly added just as The Great Bear pulled up. Strange slanted eyes darting about, Longshirt no doubt was formulating a line of bullsh!t. his finger pointing at the purloined goods upon their picnic table - “I want to thank you for all these fine gifts” Bear lumbering into their camp growled - “Gifts ?? What the f#ck are you talking about ?”
“Why these gifts here. This morning I was told of your kindness”
“Not jerking a knot in your hide last night was the extent of my kindness, you damned charlatan grifter !” Bear snarled, lightning playing in his stormy grey eyes.
Casting a serious look at Violet, Longshirt asked as if he were questioning a child - “Didn’t you say these fine gentlemen made gifts of all of this ?” Not waiting for the purple haired woman to reply, Bear snatched Jubmel up by his dreadlocks from the stolen camping chair - “Don’t play us for fools, you f#cking faker !” Then swung him by his long shirt into a patch of damp soil and old fire ash. “I should spit you over your own fire on a sharpened stick, but your sizzling hide would foul this good mountain air !”
For some reason or another Chance, who was also tanked up on our liquor started to move, but R.W. waved a fist in the young man’s face and told him to keep still. For awhile we terrorized them by discussing among ourselves, the fate these Finches would face.
“Too bad there ain’t enough nylon cord there to tie all these varmints to big rocks and sink em in Todd Lake” Bear said.
“Enough to hang em, one by one” Flip hissed.
“Not until we have our way with the women while they‘re still alive” Mitch laughed and to our former guests horror, added - “And after they’re dead as well”
“No f#cking more ! I’ve had it !” Something had snapped inside of Bluebell
“I’ve had enough too !” Violet added in no friendly tone, which was not at all like the sweet soft spoken flower who frolicked with me just last night.
“What are you talking about ?” Longshirt asked in a jittery voice. It was then Bluebell let him have it with both barrels blasting - “Get a clue Timmy ! I’m sick of your sh!t and sick of living this way, you damned control freak,,,, making us lie, steal and f#ck scuzzballs like these crude Heathens. With tears of anger streaming out of her eyes and no doubt swiftly recalling her life before Jubmel, she shouted - “By the Goddess, I can’t believe you talked me into screwing a biker !”
With feelings somewhat hurt R.W. sneered -“Nothing but a nut for me baby “
Violet however gave me a seemingly sincere look offered an apology - “He told us once all of you men fell soundly asleep to take what we could. I am really sorry” I could return nothing in the way of forgiveness. Meanwhile Bluebell had worked herself up into another frenzy - “I’m through whoring and stealing for you, Timmy ! I’m taking my van and what’s left of my dignity back up to Frederick ! Maybe Moon Raven will take me back”
With that Bluebell and Violet quickly gathered their personal belongings then took off into the foggy night. Our unexpected visit and the loss of two of his cult pleasure girls had left Longshirt in a shaken state. He did not attempt anymore of his cloying words no doubt fearing Bear was going to cook him over the fire. Mitch however being his usual self plopped down beside Ma in all of her nudeness and demanded to be serviced for all of his troubles.
“Do what ?” She asked.
“I think you should get down on your knees and take care of something” He returned with a sinister smile.
“Mitch !” Bear growled.
Mitch continued - “I think you should take care of all of us for the shit we’ve went through”
Bear growling again said - “F#ck all that shit, Mitch, we’ve gotta go!”
“Go ?”
“That’s right Mitchy, time to leave this freak show behind”
No further words to spare, we collected our goods which included both Mitch and R.W.’s wallets and stored the rest in Bear’s rented SUV. Purposely I left them with almost a full bottle of our vodka.

Howling in triumph we departed what was left of The Rainbow Finch Order and Bear drove down to Todd Lake’s payphone thus making that call.

Some two miles away camped beside the cascading North River, We neither knew or cared all that much what happen to Timmy and company following Bear’s call to Ranger O’Bier . For awhile I felt a little glad that Violet had got away, but after a good swig of rum, figured she was just as guilty as the others. I guess these sneak thieves finally getting caught, especially by frightful Heathens such as ourselves, broke any binding spells that Longshirt held both Bluebell and Violet . By the appearance of this flimflamming mesmerist when we departed, it looked as if his powers were swiftly failing him. We probably could of made off with his last two women without much of a fuss, but thought better of it.
“Too bad those two kids have to go down with that knave” Flip said, then openly reflected upon how sweet and innocent Thyme was.
The Great Bear downed a slug of Rum and said -“Don’t feel bad Flippy, all of those varmints were stealing from campers and fishermen like ourselves. They were all old enough not to be hoodwinked into stealing and whoring for a puke like that”
“Take a man’s tent while he’s out fishing” I said while removing the last bit of raiding paint from my face with a stream water soaked washcloth.
With his face still swirled and dotted with black soot Flip added “Take a man’s Whoodee while he sleeps”
Mitch belched and said - “Take a man’s wallet, after screwing him! Hell I would of gave her 20 bucks if she had asked beforehand”
“You probably got more than 20 bucks worth, you old dog” Bear chuckled.
R.W. having to put in his 3 cents in for good measure, looked at Bear - “Steal a man’s camping chair while he’s off getting a little strange” To which Bear returned with a flicked, still burning cigarette butt to R.W.’s midsection.

Deciding on staying another day and night here at North River, we had much luck pulling in some decent Rainbow Trout for the skillet. As for the guile of Longshirt and his Rainbow Finches, our Medicine prevailed.


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