A journalist observes life in the far north.
I watch charcoal clouds across the valley lay down rain. It’s one of those days where it’s warmer outside than inside. Lucky is on the deck, dancing to Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” and moving around furniture. Every so often, a four-wheeler hums by.
I am restless after reading a story in the New Yorker about a man in Texas who was wrongly executed. It’s the type of journalism I most admire.
Alec went duck hunting although his heart lies with getting a moose. He’d better come home with good stories. I like hunting stories. The moose hunt last weekend produced no episodes of note, just spectacular scenic pictures.
The dark cloud across the valley joined with the dark cloud that was hovering over our house, and the winds just kicked up.
Some chicken drama: First, we joined two flocks. You could cut the tension in the chicken pen with a knife. There was some loud-squawking and some wing slaps but thankfully no blood shed.
Then a dog came around. It circled the chain link fence and then began chewing through it. Alec tried catching it. He planned to draw a bulls eye on its side. But the dog ran off. We had to move the chickens back to the old, poop-filled pen behind the house because it’s on a platform.
Alec just called. He has stories. He said he was two hours late to the boat landing Friday so he had to hitch-hike out to the hunting cabin.
The old man driving the boat said, why should I take you anywhere? I don’t know you.
Alec asked his name. Bob Smith (not his real name), he said.
Alec said, “Well, I know your son,” to which Smith replied, “One of my sons is dead. The other is a piece of shit.”
The man went on cursing his son for about 10 minutes until finally his grandsons asked him to put a lid on it.
“Well, you’d feel the same way if your son sued you for $1 million. Everything I had,” he said. “If I saw him on the street, I’d run him over.”
Alec said he had to sleep outside because one of the guys on the trip snored too loudly. He described the trip as more a partying than hunting trip. They collectively shot more than 250 rounds and have a half dozen ducks to show for it.
It’s beginning to rain now.