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Home > Magazine > Sea > Quite a Bunch of Dudes

Quite a Bunch of Dudes
December 08, 2011

Thanks, Chris B, for putting me onto this!

It's an article about a new TV series.

"Garden&Gun" --ha! What a mag/site title!

Well, this here's a story about a great group of dudes. Dang, I like great gangs. Of course, they're rich folks who party together, but I won't begrudge 'em. Good groups come in all flavors. Color isn't only determined by cash.

This particular group is comprised of some neighbors and their pals. Tom Brokaw, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, novelist Thomas McGuane, actor Michael Keaton, and fly-fishing legend Lefty Kreh.

Kreh was a hero of mine when I was in middle school! He's of the Howard Hill, Ted Williams set. A WW2 vet of combat, in fact. And he's a hero of the dudes assembled.

Keaton's story of the plane trip chat with Chouinard is astounding.

They kind of remind me of the weekly Hollywood poker game with Johnny Carson, Chevy Chase, Barry Diller, Steve Martin, Carl Reiner and Neil Simon. Or the Brit Rat Pack of Burton, Harris, Reed and O'Toole that could party a wee bit harder. The Vegas Rat Pack was pretty good, too. Those gangs set the bar pretty high! Any others? Do they make 'em like that anymore?

Well, I know some pretty good gangs, too! : )

PS: Here's something that bugs me. I just noticed that the photographer is R. Valentine Atkinson. My sense is he's a Montana cowboy sort who's a great photographer. He has to be pals with those dudes, too. He's in their league as an artist "doer." I'm sure he was included in on the fun and the cause of the trip as much as anyone. Yet he's not a "name." But he actually is a world famous photographer. And certainly a character in his own right. I dealt with him a bit years ago and he stood out as one of the standup Good Guys. OK, he's just not a celebrity so he's not listed. Well, it kinda bugs me when the cameraman or even the soundman aren't included in things like documentaries or big trip movies when they're there the whole time, doing everything the Star does and more. Like climbing movies: the hero is doing the route but the cameraman and soundguy are, too! With 100 lbs more gear! And they have to think of 2 things at once. Which, to me, is deadly.

Making art (or doing any kind of work) while also doing an adventure is REALLY HARD. I find that it adds 25% at least to my workload and timeframe. Dudes who self-report on adventure races they're in are amazing. They backtrack for good photos. They do writeups and uploads after a hard day of action. I think of Paul Howard in this regard, who did both the Tour Divide race and a "done-alongside" Tour de France (with the help of his mom, as I recall) and who took enough notes and pics to write books afterward. Whew!

PPS: This fishing-trip stuff is cool, but the fun often seems so strained -- so much overhead goes into it. Maybe it's the pot calling the kettle black, but I've never been able to relate much to flying around the world to vex a fish. All that infrastructure and, in fact, waste, is beyond me. It seems that both going local and/or actually living from what you do and from where you are -- eat the fish, don't tease it, then stop when you have enough for dinner -- are keys to reality. But then I'm only barely able to grasp the reasonableness of even hiring a guide. I mostly see the guide as a teacher that one learns from to move beyond. I suppose I'd fly to Norway a couple times for ski events and wouldn't turn down lodging. Our family might fly to Europe someday -- where we'd probably bike around and camp in bushes a la hero George Christensen. I recently met folks who were heading out for their 20th 2-week safari with a bunch of friends and an army of servants and boats, coolers, generators, a chef, to go farther up a jungle river than even the locals -- their host among them -- had gone before. Yes, it's beyond me, but it does make for some great stories. For another thing: does this kind of extravagance contribute toward oppressing the impoverished? Duh! "Let them eat cake!" ...Save the fish, while the trailerparks wallow in meth. But nothing's perfect and even the rich can contribute to the overall culture.

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