Monday, November 16, 2009

Wolf Creek, Boys, Guns and Growing Up

The Infamously Famous Wolf Creek Tavern
Now let me get this straight from the get-go.....there is nothing unseemly today about the WCT. But gallop a century or so in the past and this was the wild....really wild west. Indians, stagecoaches, homesteaders, land grabbers and bums. All of them were here.
For an honest look at the history of the area grab a copy of First there was Twogood (Mclane) at Oregon Books in Grants Pass. You will see that quite a few of the Steward Clan's more unkindly recalled characters like Pappy Newman who ran the stage from Frisco to Portland, or my grandfather Mac, who lied his way into the Navy at 14 are in its pages.
Today we took a cruise back into our family history and revisited our kin in Wolf Creek. Stopping first at the little cemetery (where my plot has already been paid and laid) to visit a dear uncle who passed away during our time on the road. As a little boy Stanley would lay on Uncle Phil's comfy stomach and watch TV and then fall asleep....Phil loved Stanley and at 5 years old, gave him an old family Crack Shot 22, and a pocket full of rounds and said...walk east and shoot east till you can't climb anymore. For months, Stanley took off almost everyday with 50-100 rounds and shot the daylights out of Sin Bu Peak and its imaginary cowboys and indians.
My Great Grandfather

For most of a year we lived on the property with Uncle Phil and Uncle Phyllis (as Elle named her). Our kids learned to be gun and wilderness savvy during our stay in Wolf Creek. Today, we cleaned off Uncle Phil's headstone and thanked him. Elle thanked him for making her a crack shot by lining up rotting pears on our propane tank and picking them off one by one, scared to death that she was going to hit the tank and blow us all up. Stanley thanked him for the love and confidence in the woods Uncle Phil had given him.
Then Ann and I thanked him for allowing us to live and see the roots of the quickly vanishing Oregonian Steward. People who were loving, but tough and durable, and not too abashed to do whatever it took to get something done. Nuff said.

Wolf Creek's Cemetery

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Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World

Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World