The Company I keep. Part I

It is a Motley Crew, this company I keep. A rag-tale expose of story and dirt. Blood and experience.  Romance and bullshit. All swimming in their own distinct universe. A crew of the utmost integrity and filth. The outer edges stained in tobacco smoke and smelling of Busch Light. Yes, this company I keep. I never dreamt this to be my life, always wrapped in my own esthetic pre-reg’s and identity façades. The circle is complete now.

Chris and Alan

Chris and Alan

The land of my up bringing is no longer my physical home, but a sinister shadow of spirit has followed me here. Not the Spirit of gloom I made it out to be.. no, a new Spirit. I find myself among the family I grew up with and around.  A family camouflaged in hunter safety orange  and tales of Hercules, heroes of a quiet journey and Brothers in arms.

Oh damn, the Stories that are told by the company I keep.

“I grew up in a storytelling culture, a tribal culture, but also in an American storytelling culture.”  

Sherman Alexie


One light town.

It is this Americana that follows me like a bad habit, this company I keep reek of it, like a musty cologne. I found a new bond here in the woods of the Willapa Hills as if glued by an old memory. The single flashing light. The general store and the gas station that makes no apologies for it’s price gouge as hunters stop to re-fuel big Americana Diesel. I forgot how the rivers of stories flowed in those check out lines, sometimes with evidence of the kill, other times.. just story. But a good story none the less. I listen and nod and smile. Sometimes I find myself in the check out line with nothing but a desire to hear a good story.


Hunting Stories told here. Truth not required.

As a child I remember all the wonderful stories my uncles would tell. All the tall tales that made them seem larger than life itself. The stories of bravery and stupidity and depravity and being scared. The way the men searched for Ceremony in the code of the myth. It was always and has always been on our lips, these stories. I am no longer lost in the deeper veils of it’s meanings. This is my family. This is the company I keep.

The Hunt Part I

I grew up with hunting. It seems to be in my blood, although I have been disconnected from the Ritual for sometime now. As a child, I remember cruising around in my Grandpa Bob’s Cadillac with my Uncle Les. The smell of coffee, cigarettes and bullshit hunting stories would fill the air as the guns sat next to them in silence urning for their chance to be fired. Their eyes would dart from left to right like an Owl in search of prey. Chain smoking filterless cigarettes, shapeshifting talking sticks sharing stories. Oh, the stories they would tell.

As I got older, hunting became less of a ritual until it was absent from my life all together. When I was 15, I became a self righteous vegetarian and proclaimed the evils of hunting to the world, which my family would laugh at and tell me I would be back. Well, I am 39 and here I am.

CameraZOOM-20131022190357478I have welcomed the ritual back with open arms and loaded guns. I dream about the hunt and wake up each morning before the sun peeks it’s head from behind the fog lined mountains I call home. I awake and journey out onto this beautiful place to hunt and be reminded of a primordial ceremony. As I sit in the cold damp and wait for the elusive Deer to offer it’s self to me, I am reminded how sacred this ceremony is and has been for my family since time immortal. I offer up Offerings to the Hunt and to the animals for which we are surrounded. The Ceremony has changed, that is inevitable, but the core value of taking care of one’s family will never change.

This season, I will be hunting with guns and soon diving into archery. I have been archiving and collecting stories with different people while hunting as of late and will be posting those with other installments. Stay tuned.