Characters from Rendezvous

When I wrote my second post about the walk through at rendezvous I said I would write about some of the characters we met.  There were a number of them and I liked them all without fail.  First and foremost was Big Jack who I mentioned the first time around.  Jack was like a younger brother to me, he was 17 when we first met.  I was 20 and had just started my first job after my stint in the Marines.  Jack was a lonely kid, with out much interaction with his foster parents who were old enough to be his grand parents.  At the time he lived with a great uncle in his 80’s, who was a character himself.  He used to entertain us with stories of his youth and adventures.  One in particular was when his father used to stand him on a bar and have him sing for drinks for his dad.  Jack developed a hero worship of me that was somewhat embarrassing at times.  Anything I did he was sure to copy.  I introduced him to his first experience with strong drink at my apartment.  I can still remember him worshiping at the porcelain throne and saying the litinay NEVER AGAIN, over and over.  To his credit I never saw him reach that state again in all the years I knew him.  I talked him into joining the Marine Corps before he reached 19.  I received a letter from him while he was in boot camp promising me all kinds of physical pain upon his release.  Through his corps movement and my changing addresses we lost touch.  Finally three or four years later I found his name in the phone book.  He had married and had a two year old daughter by that time.  He still had some time to serve, after his release his family and I spent a bit of time together.  Moving to Big Bear with his family caused us to lose contact again.  After my marriage and the birth of my daughter, once again I found his phone number in San Bernadino.  Our families meshed again and my daughter came to love him as a big cuddly bear.  It was Jack who introduced us to Rendezvous.  As I said he was our beacon at these family functions.  Jack died young at the age of  forty five.  A bad heart and grief over the loss of his first born grandson at the tender age of three months was more than his big heart could take.  Jack’s wife had him cremated and members of his club, he had been studying Indian Medecine Man lore, had a Indian burial service for him.  A scafold was built in the back yard of a friend whose property backed up to the mountains.  All of his Indian and Mountain Man memorabilia was hung from it with his basket of ashes centered on the top.  All in attendance were bathed in Sage smoke entering the area.  A tom-tom was played in the back ground as prayers and chants were offered up in his Honor.  The family true to tradition passed out small handmade trinkets as gifts in Indian fashion.  Over head against the mountain two Red Wing Hawks circled the whole ceremony.  I knew Jack would have loved the service, it was heavily attended.  To this day every time I see a hawk on wing I think of Jack.  Of course the character I loved best was my own daughter.  She attended these deals with me from the age of 9 thru 15.  The last two years we went She was a good sized girl six feet tall almost and had long black hair and dark brown eyes.  She usually dress like a Indian Maiden, first in a red flannel dress decorated with cowrie shell and trimmed with white and black ribbon.  These colors made her hair and eyes stand out with the deep tan she could develop.  We have Cherokee and more Blackfoot blood from my side of the family and Cherokee from my wifes side, and the girl showed it to good effect.  In the latter years she ruled the camp, she had grown men fetching wood and water and even washing dishes for her.  She was a looker and used it to her advantage, of course she had old dad twisted around her finger from birth.  She was shooting her own .50 cal. rifle at 9 years of age, when I had to stand gripping my gun barrel for her to brace the muzzel of that nine pound rifle across my forearm.  She never once loaded a ball without powder or fired her ramrod down range like a lot of men I knew.  Our last year she met a woman artist and poet who dressed in a blue blanket dress similar to my gal.  She as waiting for her signifant other to come up for the weekend I believe she was three days early, and slept on a blanket on the ground under a small tarp tied to a tree.  I have tucked away a set of note cards she had made and gave to my daughter.  She was a friend of Jacks as everyone else was and every one in camp kept her fed until her man showed up.  That was the kind of people who took part in this activity.  Then there was Boston Man, his grand father had been a boston whaler who went to the Rockies to trap.  Boston Man wore grey wool pants and a fringed grey buckskin shirt.  He had thig top mossicans and a beaver fur high top hat with a beaded band and a feather.  His wife always came with him they were older (I was about 48 at this time).  He had a short grey beard neatly trimmed, and wore wire frame glasses.   He had a 10″x10″ wall tent with sides a little higher than mine.  I later found he brought a double sized bed with a iron frame for his wife.  Boston set up a little table in front of his tent and several times a day would do magic tricks.  For a dollar after his show he would show whoever purchased the right how to preform a simple trick.  Obviously he wasn’t trying to get rich simply enertaining people.  Of intrest in his wide brass tack studded belt he always wore an antique flintlock pistol in prime condition, I was told it was a family heirloom.  I spent a pleasant afternoon one day discussing rendezvous history with a portly gentleman who was one of the most knowleagable men on the subject I ever met.  I later learned he was a Neurosurgeon from Santa Monica- you never knew who you wood meet there.  There were too many characters to tell of them all.  But I do have to talk about Three Feathers.  Three Feathers was a true Mountain Man.  He was a disabled Viet Nam Vet,  He walked with a lurching walk due to damage to both knees.  His source of income was a disability check sent to his sisters house in San Bernadino, but he lived in the Mountains, literally. He had two small Burrows that carried all his gear.  He lived in his buckskins year round, he had his rifle and pistol and knife.  He had an axe, his tommyhawk, and cooking gear.  He had a small six foot teepee, with collapsable poles he packed on his burrows.  He traveled the Pacific Mountain trail from Mexico to Canada.  THree Feathers lived off the land when he could, and made every Rendezvous he could reach.  It was the life he lived everyday.  One winter he spent in Jacks motor home and his Burrows stayed in Jacks big backyard.  Jack always had a zoo living with him Dogs, Cats, Guniepigs, Goats and even a damn monkey.  His Christmas cards had as many as fifteen names on it only three of them his kids.  I guess the inside of the motor home needed to be almost rebuilt after Three Featers moved out.  Our last Rendezvous the Burrows had had a baby.  It was sure a cute little thing, less than two feet tall.  The last I heard years ago Three Feathers was in prision for poaching deer in Oregon.  I personally think in his case they could have passed him by –  He was simply trying to survive.  I often wondered what happned to his burrows, they were an inseparable threesome.  There is so much more I would like to remember, but it is late and MY old eyes are getting tired.  So maybe later I’ll talk about tommyhawk throwing and how I learned.  Till later,  so long- ramblingbob

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18 Responses to “Characters from Rendezvous”

  1. Raven Says:

    I sure do miss uncle Jack and all the fun times from the Rendezvous. I still have the heart they handed out at his ceremony. Good times and fond memories🙂

  2. shelly Says:

    i love those dressers!

  3. bryan ellison Says:

    as far as three feathers goes, i saw him this past may at the cache vallet rendezvouz just outside logan utah!!!! and no he dont bring the burros with him no more, but he does have a realy bad ass camoflage colored ford pickup truck, that has a custom built camper type shell on the back!!! he still lives off the land mostly, and has even got a lil bit modernized! he now has a cell phone, and a lap top computer he uses to get on the internet with, and he has a small solar pannel to charge them with! he is a good ole boy of the highest caliber, and anyone can learn a hell of alot by sittin gdown, and just listening to his stories, and pearls of wisdom!!!!!! right about now hes prolly somewhere in arizona, or on the so cal coast!!!!

    • ramblingbob Says:

      Thanks so much for the update. He has to be climbing up there in years, as I know I am. Hope his health is holding up, and he has many good years left. Thanks again

  4. Karrie Says:

    An update on Three Feathers. We were out camping by Lake Havasu in Arizona and ran into him. He was very friendly and told my friend and I about his life. He said about 7 years ago he got hit by a car and ended up in the hospital. That was the end of his walking with the mules. He spends the winters in the warm climate of Arizona in his camouflauged truck with a wolf dog. He stays there until it gets too hot and heads to Utah, Wyoming or where ever it’s cooler. He told us his name used to be Three
    Feathers he goes by the name of Rusty now.

  5. Glass Fringe Says:

    Seems great! Quite opportune to find something like this.

  6. susan shultz Says:

    I KNEW THREE FEATHER WELL,I LIVED IN GREEN VALLEY LAKE CALIFORNIA AND HAVE NOT SEEN 3 IN 6 YEARS, JUST READ ON YOUR SITE THAT HE IS IN ARIZONA.HE IS ONE PERSON THAT I HAVE TOTAL RESPECT FOR.I SURE MISS HIM ALOT.HE WOULD COME OVER AND EAT SUPPER WITH ME AND MY FAMILY,WOULD DRIVE HIM TO SEARS TO BUY HIS POSSIBLES.FIRST TIME I SAW HIM WAS DOWN AT CRAB FLATS IN1985,KNEW HIM SINCE THEN.WISH I COULD FIND HIM.HIS NAME WAS RUSTY REED.WILLWRITE MORE LATER

  7. susan shultz Says:

    I KNEW THREE FEATHERS WELL,I LIVED IN GREEN VALLEY LAKE CALIFORNIA AND HAVE NOT SEEN 3 IN 6 YEARS, JUST READ ON YOUR SITE THAT HE IS IN ARIZONA.HE IS ONE PERSON THAT I HAVE TOTAL RESPECT FOR.I SURE MISS HIM ALOT.HE WOULD COME OVER AND EAT SUPPER WITH ME AND MY FAMILY,WOULD DRIVE HIM TO SEARS TO BUY HIS POSSIBLES.FIRST TIME I SAW HIM WAS DOWN AT CRAB FLATS IN1985,KNEW HIM SINCE THEN.WISH I COULD FIND HIM.HIS NAME WAS RUSTY REED.WILLWRITE MORE LATER.THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS

    • ramblingbob Says:

      Susan, you knew him about the same time I did. It was at Crab Flatts I first saw him . Do you remember the year he showed up with the pair of burrows and the baby? every body was going nuts over the little critter.

  8. linda abdo Says:

    You know Three Feathers is living in AZ and living out of a truck now. Go to http://rvsueandcrew.com/2012/04/15/two-feathers/ I’m sure this is the same guy you met. also read her late aug 2012 to sept posts about the same man

  9. linda abdo Says:

    He spends his winters in Lake Havasu. I believe Sue might have a general deliery address for him

  10. fuckoff1 Says:

    i met three feathers this past spring with two donkey’s coming off of the pacific crest trail, down the acorn trail in wrightwood ca, im the second house of the trail, we talked a little bit and fed his donkeys water for about an hour, gave him a cold beer, he stayed in wrightwood for almost a month, said he was possibly headed to a friends in acton ca, real nice guy, tattoos under his eyes, dreads,

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