Well I thought I’d give you an update as to where I’m at and what I’m doing in that the Tracker rumor mill is no doubt buzzing with speculation. Actually I’m sort of on a working vacation with Celeste in North and South Carolina. Part of the focus of this adventure is to video record landscapes, wild edible and medicinal plants, and gather up assorted “B” roll video for upcoming online classes but it has embraced so much more than just that. With the passing of my long time and dear friend Sandy, I got a real wake up call. In a heart beat a cherished loved one can be taken from us and along with that most of the history, wanderings, thoughts, and personality of what drove them in life. At that moment I realized how much of my life and the life of others that Grandfather encountered in his wanderings were laying in some dusty journal entry in storage units flung from Florida to New Jersey and how a journal entry can never do ones’ life history justice.
With this in mind I realized that many of the old folks, the old Pineys that the locals called themselves when I was growing up had vanished. These were the people that Grandfather and I encountered frequently and lived lives on the edge of civilization, mostly gleaning an income from the very piney landscapes and bogs that surrounded them. During the late sixties and early seventies many of these local Pineys moved away as New Jersey Pinelands became more regulated and began to squeeze out their way of life. To many of these local folks that knew and loved the Pine environment they had no choice but to move and that place to move became obvious. Most, not all, moved into the Pine Lands of North and South Carolina because the topography and lifestyle was more to what they lived. Many of the old timers that Grandfather treated with his medicinal wild herbs and swapped stories with are now located in these two states along with some very close childhood friends of mine.
That’s why I am here right now. This has turned into a personal mission of mine. Over the past few years I’ve located many of these old timers and they have agreed to be interviewed on video especially focusing on their friendship and the healing touch of Grandfather. I have been very fortunate that my brother Jim has been doing the same for friends I grew up with that are still located in and around our area as he interviews and preserves the comments and insights of the early years, including of course the many adventures. To date and over the past six years he has interviewed 26 folks and on this excursion I hope to interview at least 8, most of who are well into their eighties. When this all comes together it is my intent, hopes, and dreams to be able to put it all together into one program that shows the intensity and far reaching touch of Grandfather and all those he helped and healed through the years.
This has now become a mission, a Vision, and a passion, added to all the rest it truly becomes overwhelming in scope and intensity to say the least. Of course I’m always assessing routes to safety through all of this. My typical multitasking vacation.
In Medicine, In Silence,