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magicalaurie
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On 2010-12-07 11:37, Payne wrote:
I doubt even Mr.Proenneke could have survivied very long without his tools and his air dropped supplies of food and clothing he ordered from Sears.


Payne, Mr. Proenneke wouldn't have disputed that. And being that he is the topic here, what is all this other stuff you've been talking about? Who are you arguing with? Smile
critter
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On 2010-12-07 13:56, magicalaurie wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-12-07 11:37, Payne wrote:
I doubt even Mr.Proenneke could have survivied very long without his tools and his air dropped supplies of food and clothing he ordered from Sears.


Payne, Mr. Proenneke wouldn't have disputed that. And being that he is the topic here, what is all this other stuff you've been talking about? Who are you arguing with? Smile


Sorry, my fault.
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magicalaurie
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No apology required. From a brief review of the thread, I don't think his protests started with you. Smile Appreciate your insight. Smile

Payne conceded one could survive, but not likely "live".

Payne wrote:
Quote:
Sure, you can survive. But you really can't live that way for very long.
Payne
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On 2010-12-07 14:22, magicalaurie wrote:
No apology required. From a brief review of the thread, I don't think his protests started with you. Smile Appreciate your insight. Smile

Payne conceded one could survive, but not likely "live".

Payne wrote:
Quote:
Sure, you can survive. But you really can't live that way for very long.



I also wrote that I was glad he was able to spend the last half of his life living as he really wished. Few of us are so fortunate to see their dreams and desired realized. He was clearly a man who knew what he wanted and worked hard to acheive those goals.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Woland
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Magicalaurie,

Mr. Proenneke's life was not for everyone; after all, he was a hermit. I have not read his books, and I am not going to speculate on the richness of his inner life. But from the way he made and handled his tools, and from the way he built his cabin, it is evident that he was a craftsman with a fine artistic sensibility. I think that he probably lived a very full life, and that surmounting the challenges that he chose to face provided satisfaction as well as spiritual development. He did not wish to sever contact with the world entirely, and he did order and pay for (out of his savings) items he wished to have from the wider world. At one time, of course, most people who lived in the world could have done what he did. Nowadays, perhaps not so many.

And think how much easier it would be to live that life in a more hospitable climate.

Woland
magicalaurie
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Woland,

I haven't said his life was for everyone. I said, as he did, it was his retirement. And he was a rather social hermit from what I've seen of him so far. Only hermit I've heard of who received and answered fanmail, and had a guestbook for his visitors to sign.
That's where I took issue with Payne: his defensive tone has seemed to imply the thread recommended from the start we drag him screaming from his 5 star hotel room and dropkick him to the center of Alaska without so much as a box of matches. Smile "All us outdoor types" never suggested such a thing.

Critter's sidenotes on survival skills are interesting and may in fact have interested Mr. Proenneke, as well. He may even have found them useful when he found himself in dangerous situations.

I will most definitely be picking up his books, as I find the story interesting. Smile
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My comment was meant to be in agreement with what you posted. But I would still characterize his cabin as an hermitage. Even if one were not inclined to withdraw from daily human interaction, there is still something fiercely inspiring about Mr. Proenneke's life in the wild. For he truly lived in the wild. He lived as a civilized man, embodying many of the best elements of our civilization, but he was alone in the wild. Imagine getting through an Alaskan winter all by yourself in the midst of a vast wilderness. Awfully impressive. A lone man, with hand tools, no source of energy other than fire, no one else upon whom to rely . . . for anything. But he could do it. You can do it. The human being can do it. Truly a master of all he surveyed. Not a master over it. But a master nonetheless.

I'm reminded of something that I think Emmett Grogan wrote, and Paul Krassner published in 1968:
Quote:
I always admired Arthur Koestler, and always was enraged by him. I knew him to be smart, well read, and almost pathologically honest. Also, he cared a lot about the things I wanted to know. None of this changed the fact that I knew Koestler was wrong. "Wrong" is a very good word. Very few educated people still know how to use it.

Just 2 weeks ago I found Koestler giving himself away to my sense of his wrongness. He says, in Yogi and the Commisar, that we are a "vulnerable animal, living on a hostile planet."

Clearly this man has never looked at his own two hands. Has never known the miracle of his human eyes. Does not know that he is the only animal that can out-climb a mountain goat (as the north-west Indians do, chinning themselves on quarter-inch ledges in the rock, till they drive the goat to where the goat must fall). Can do that, and also swim. Can run with the halter in his hand until the horse drops dead. Can curl up into a ball, as the fox does, let the snow cover him, for warmth, and make it through a blizzard on Mt. Shasta. As John Muir did.

Koestler doesn't know the skin he stands in, the meat he is, and he doesn't know the ground he's standing on. What, possibly, can he tell us about anything else?


Please report on Mr. Proenneke's books, when you read them.

Woland
magicalaurie
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On 2010-12-07 19:38, Woland wrote:
My comment was meant to be in agreement with what you posted...


Well in that case, my apologies for getting my back up there a little. Smile


Quote:
On 2010-12-07 19:38, Woland wrote:
Imagine getting through an Alaskan winter all by yourself in the midst of a vast wilderness. Awfully impressive. A lone man, with hand tools, no source of energy other than fire, no one else upon whom to rely . . . for anything...


Something I caught when watching on PBS the other day: he said something about a person being much more careful when he's alone than when there's someone else along. From what I gather, he didn't overturn his canoe on the water once during the many years he was in Alaska. I imagine he acquired much such wisdom and skill... a master of, as you say. Wise. Wise enough to know a man is not necessarily meant nor nearly so qualified as some might dare imagine, to master over.

I will report on the books.
magicalaurie
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"that we are a 'vulnerable animal, living on a hostile planet.' "

I would agree that was inaccurate. I would suggest there are many hostile people living on a vulnerable planet. But the hostile people are susceptible to arrogance, and that is where Nature sometimes gains advantage and inspires humility.
critter
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Ain't that the truth.
"Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage."
-Theodore Roosevelt

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magicalaurie
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magicalaurie
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Got my copy of Dick's first book today! Smile
Woland
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Excellent! Be sure to tell us what you think.

Bear in mind that this first book was extensively edited, and Mr. Proenneke was not thrilled about that.

Woland
magicalaurie
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Thankyou, Woland. Yes, I'm aware of the editing. Something about writers needing to have their own way... Smile

http://magicalaurie.blogspot.com/2010/12/dick-proenneke.html
magicalaurie
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Finally finished this book a few weeks ago and I miss reading it now that I have. I have a theory about the editing- some gaps in time in there, though Mr. Proenneke may very well have been quite busy during the days unaccounted for. Smile I've got the second book, which covers 1974-1980, I believe. I don't think this one's supposed to have been edited the way the first was, so will likely get more insight into the editing controversy of the first from reading the next. Will be starting it ASAP but it's waiting in line behind several others. May have to pick it up simultaneously. I'm very glad to have discovered these. Proenneke's common sense and practical get things done effort has encouraged and inspired me and I've been pleased to realize I may share some of his qualities. Highly recommend studying him further to anyone who might be interested in the first place, and also to anyone who hasn't heard his story previously.

Laurie
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"I want to add something to the reference to Dick "hunting" porcupines, because I think that's misleading and though he killed a number of them, the major underlying reason was they were chewing on his cabin, and he suspected it would be dangerous to his survival to allow them to make a habit of it. He wondered why they chose his cabin to rasp. It seems he wasn't aware they were most likely seeking salt. He attempted relocating the "offenders" but they returned with barely a blink. I won't argue he developed a bit of a taste for porcupine but it was something I think he certainly would have handled differently if he'd known the reason the porcupines targeted his cabin and others. He fed mice in a safe area to keep them from harmful food seeking and I'm confident he would have done the same with the porcupines. I'll post more details on this later, here:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......start=30"


I had posted the above on another thread awhile back but decided against following up at the time. I just came across my notes on this again today, and thought I'd post about it afterall, as some may find it as interesting as I did at the time. I finished "More Readings from One Man's Wilderness" awhile back and still would like to get hold of "The Early Years" and any other publishing of Dick's work that may since have been released. I'd really like to see his photography and film work, but I'm not sure if it is currently accessible or if there are plans for its release. Anyway...

From The North American Porcupine. Uldis Roze. 1989:

p.70 "In herbivores, muscles and nervous tissues must maintain a 1:1 ratio of potassium to sodium ions. (Whole-body ratios tend to be closer to 2:1 because intracellular volume is larger than extracellular volume.) *But herbivore diets, consisting only of plant tissues, diverge widely from that ratio. Plants contain no nerve or muscle and need only maintain the saline environment inside the cells. The result is that plant tissues contain potassium-to-sodium ratios as high as 500:1 (Weeks and Kirkpatrick 1978, 1976). Herbivores feeding on plant tissues are therefore flooded with unwanted potassium, which must be excreted to maintain internal balance. Because sodium and potassium are closely related chemically, the kidneys may not be able to excrete that volume of potassium without loss of essential sodium as well."

It surprised me a little that, as I recall, Dick Proenekke seemed unaware the porcupines chewing on his cabin and others, likely were seeking salt. (Though I don't think that was widely known at the time, nor do I think it's widely known now, necessarily.) I think he likely would have provided for them had he been aware, considering he did so for other seekers around his cabin.

ie.
From More Readings from One Man's Wilderness. Dick Proenekke. 1974-1980

p.65
"January 7, 1975 -35°

After supper and doing dishes when I heard a rattling on the gas can cabinet. With the flashlight I checked and there sat another red backed mouse but he wasn't welded to the can. I don't like those guys to suffer while trying to get something to eat. I took it down. Tomorrow I will pour hot water over one of the little cans of caribou grease. Take it out in cake form and put it where they can work on it."

p.66
"Last evening after writing I thought why wait till tomorrow to get the caribou grease for the red backed mice. I was sorry that one had died in such a tragic manner before I thought of it. I climbed to the cache and came back with a little ration can (2" deep 3" dia) and poured hot water over the bottom up can. Soon it slid out and I parked it at the corner of the cabin in behind a table leg. Today I noticed that the edge had been nibbled on. Enough there to last those little guys all winter. In this cold it is so hard the camp robbers don't bother. If Milo the weasel comes by it is apt to disappear. So I should run a wire through it and anchor it to the table leg."

p.76
"March 12, 1975
This morning while I worked inside I heard a spruce grouse fly and wondered if one had come for gravel. A bit later I was going outside for something and nearly stepped on one outside the door. Only one and it stayed for five minutes or more. Later I saw it perched on a spruce bow low down in the spruce near the cache. Babe saw two in front one day when he came.
'One of those would find his way into a cooking pot if I was here.' he said. Like the Nondalton Natives he would have every bird and animal killed off near his camp. To me it is nice to have wild things about that trust you. My camp robber. Spruce grouse, rabbits, and the cow and calf moose."

p.80
"March 21, 1975
...Let it stay cold- perhaps it will discourage the Kenai flying wolves from working on the caribou."

Further page references:
p.110 friends & neighbours
p.111 porcupine
p.112 " "
p.127 " "
p.155 Spruce grouse
p.204 "One Man's Wilderness"
p.206 " "
p.243 "Camera hunting"
p.249 Jan 26
p.307 Aug 15, 1978
p.327 Nov.18 grebe
p.333 Jan.7/79
p.344 Feb. 16 Monument
p.399 Sep.9 big old bulls


Smile
magicalaurie
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I spelt Proenneke wrong in my recent post, I see.

There's been another book released, in 2016- The Journals of Richard L. Proenneke A Life in Full Stride 1981-1985- and I found mention of his work being featured in documentaries and short films, but no specific titles.

https://www.nps.gov/lacl/learn/historycu......ness.htm
gallagher
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Mr. Proenneke, I find to be an interesting story,
...but kinda,
'out of touch'.

Socially un-attached.

These folks kinda scare me.

,....therefore,
I happy when they go off,
...on their own.

I don't belief one can find 'peace',
without fitting into 'the whole'.
Finding 'peace', is not,
in becoming,...a 'piece'.

His values, however, I cherish!
His vision,...somewhat.

Is anyone here, familiar with Scott and Helen Nearing?
"Living the Good Life"?

Might want to google-eye this:
https://youtu.be/evBpwQPn8QI

,...then research the man.
A fascinating story.
Educated.
Educated others.
,..went and 'lived it'.
(He actually formulated an Economical/Mathematical Theory(!) concerning it.
He was a Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.)

His 'death story' is interesting.
At 103, he could no longer chop his own fire-wood.
He said to his wife,
"I don't want anyone to carry me. It's time to die."
He slowly starved himself to death.

Scott Nearing.
Helen Nearing,...also, an inspiring Story(!).
'Friend',..Lover of Krisnamurtni,...
when he was believed to be,..
"the chosen".
The Anthroposophic Movement started out of the turmoil.
....Rudolf Steiner, ect.

Herny Thoreau never went back.....
gallagher
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magicalaurie
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I certainly disagree that Dick was "out of touch" or "socially unattached".

He was in touch with what was going on "outside" and had many friends, stayed in touch with family, received and answered letters from the public- including classes of school children, and he regularly welcomed visitors. If you'll take a look at the link provided above and follow to the "virtual tour" of his cabin, you'll see he built it with two bunks.

He was also very in tune with nature, which I think put him far more in connect with "the whole" than most of his fellows if I interpret your piecing together approach accurately enough.

I think, though, that we are all part of the whole, and life is a gift given to each of us.

I don't think any of Dick's acquaintances found him to be scary in the slightest.

Seemed like a pretty regular guy to me, too, based on what I've read that he wished to share. He wanted to be known- that's why he wrote his diaries. He wanted others to read them.
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