A Salute to a Special Rendezvouser

     I have talked about the Mountain Man Rendezvous and the people there I really did not mention My son and his family a thoroughly as I should.  My daughter and I made quite a few of the events and I have talked about her a lot.  My son Married and decided to try one out.  His wife made him a shirt and her a dress, they bought him a pair of pants and a hat and came up to the first Holcomb Valley out of Big Bear encampment.  We were camped in the tin tee-pee  area out side of the primitive area.  I had all the gear for the four of us.  My daughter and I slept in the tent and my son and his wife slept in the back of my pickup truck.  We could not build a open fire so had to cook on propane stoves and such.  We had a good time but knew the next time we had to camp in the primitive area.

    The next year we had a weird little half ass-ed  tee-pee cum-tent arrangement which was real strange looking and cramped.  But we made it into the primitive area.  The Boy and wife stayed in a small motel in Running Springs About five miles from our camp ground but visited every day of the weekend.  they got to take showers and eat well cooked foods in the restaruant morning and night..

     The next time around they stayed in the tin tee-pee  area in a small  two person dome tent.  That one day as we were sitting in our primitive  area camp a heavy wind came up through the area.  as we were shading our eyes from the wind the son said look there goes somebodies  tent.  when we looked up his wife cried out that is ours, sure enough there it went rolling sideways along at a good clip.  after catching it when it snagged in some brush we secured it with some extra spikes I had on hand.  It was at this Rendezvous  that one of the most memorable moments between me and my so occurred.  While watching the annual talent show my daughter was standing with her hands clasped on my shoulder when a older man in buckskins looked at us and  made the comment, that it made him feel good so see a father and daughter so close.  He then went on to say to her to listen to her father and she would not go wrong.  My son and his wife were stand next to us and he told the old fellow “I wish I had paid better attention to him”.  My boy had had a few problems that had caused him some real pain and trouble until he finally asked for help I was only to glad to get for him.  It really made me feel good to hear hin say that.  I must confess I have felt as lot of pride in him since he got on the right path.  We were attending a Rendezvous in May and September at that time.  The September event I had a new 8×10 foot outside frame wall tent and my son had a 10×10-to  lean-to with a fly.  We set up at right angles and had a really nice camp site with a good campfire set up that had a large group of people at each night.  It was one of the most memorable Rendezvous I remember.  It was here  that one of the guys that shared our fire and meals had a bottle sewn into a cow skin with the hoof still attached.  My daughter and her friends went into the dark with it and at each muddy place they could find left hoof prints all over the place.  The water buffalo which is what they called the water tank on wheel was located up neat the portable toilets they left a series of prints leading to the outhouses and into them.  They thought it was a lot of fun wondering what people would think.

     The next May we had a new visitor just for the day my son had had a little red headed son named Jeremy who came up for a visit at the tender age of three months.  He didn’t get to dress for the occasion except for a pair of little buck skin  shoes.  but in September he made it to Holcoum Valley for the week end.  He wore a little loin cloth and a calico shirt and bandanna on his red hair.  We have several pictures of him one his dad lay behind a log and supported his back as he sat apparently alone on a log in camp.  And another with him taking a bath in the small galvanised  tub we used for everything from doing dishes to any camp  chore needing water.  This was the last Rendezvous my daughter and I made as she started developing into her own individual and interest and working in the restaurant trade.

     My wife and I went up for a day visit the next year as the son and his wife camped on their own with the 18 month old boy.  He was in the loin cloth shirt and wearing his dad’s large hat.  Dirty as a pig because it was imposable  to keep clean in all that ground up pine bark dust and he was built closer to the ground than the rest of us.  That was the last Rendezvous  for any of us.  I still have all my stuff packed away but the poles have rotted and termite eaten away.  I suppose with my health I will never get to do anymore camping again.

    It is hard to imagine the little red headed guy is now a grown up  and is going into the Marines in July.   Once he earns the right to be called a United States Marine he will not only be my grandson but a brother in uniform.  Because once a Marine always a Marine.  He is already sworn in but is taking some classes in college before service for advancement  His entrance date is almost fifty-one years to the day of my enlistmentin 1956. 

   Yehaa to all you  Rendezvous’ers and salute to all you Leather Necking Jar-heads out there.     ramblingbob


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