Well, it looks
like time to introduce myself as your new Smoke
Signals editor. I always like to make a
long story short (shut up Bill, Glen, Bob and
Jack). I have been interested in history my
entire life. Maybe this is just genetic as I
claim to be a direct descendent of the
Hatfield clan made famous by the Hatfield/McCoy
feud. I was born in Missouri, that makes me
stubborn, and raised in various cities and small
towns in the midwest. After six years in the
U.S. Navy I ended up in California and crashed
smack dab in the middle of the local history.
distracted by working in the computer industry for
15 years (I guess that makes me qualified to
attempt this adventure), I was directed
to the local state park in San Juan Bautista to
investigate becoming a "docent" in the
state park system in 1991. And thus the
adventure really began. I discovered
several things about myself immediately; I truly
enjoyed learning about American history, and
I loved teaching what I learned to other
people. It was the small details about how
our ancestors lived that drew my passion.
"Seasoning" cast iron the way the
pioneers did, making fire with flint and steel and
other skills brought great joy to my life. I
wanted to feel independent and free! But the
ultimate enjoyment I got was learning survival
skills and applying them directly to present
situations. The ability to survive dangerous
circumstances builds confidence and pride in
individuals. In my case it also motivates me
to share these abilities with others who are
interested in them.
I hear Bob
reminding me to "make a long story
short". Recently, Bob and I traveled to
Paisley, Oregon to attend the Pacific Primitive
Rendezvous. What a great time, a full week
of nothing but learning, practicing skills and
(best of all) shopping for tools of this
trade. Shopping was best because I stumbled
upon an original (1980's) Hatfield rifle made
by Tom Hatfield from the original design created
by Moses Hatfield or "Devil Anse"
Hatfield in the 1850's. I am in the process
of studying this rifle so I can educate others
about black powder shooting in the old way.
A short history
of my adventures buckskinning. Started in
1991 when I got involved with the state park
system. At San Juan Baptista State Historic
Park I met the greatest bunch of guys anyone would
want for friends. Bill Martinie, Glen Koehl,
Jack Swallow and Bob Larsen. I want to thank
them at this time for helping me get involved in
this adventure. Eventually through their
help I got involved in buckskinning for the Boy
Scouts also. And then in 2008 I was
introduced to the North American Frontiersmen.
Now I can get serious with this activity!! This
just keeps getting better all the time! And
now I have an opportunity to learn more about this
great organization and can contribute more of
myself to this great effort. I am honored!
I know how much faith and trust this requires from
the leadership. I would like all
members to see this as an opportunity to have an
impact on the Smoke Signals as it moves forward
into the future. I will ask at this time
that all members communicate to me openly about
the things they like about the way I am doing this
job and the things they do not like about it.
I cannot improve the way I do this if you are
not honest with me about what you want the Smoke
Signals to become. I welcome all input from
the leadership and all members.
I am looking
forward to hearing from you all and will pledge to respond
to your input as quickly as possible and make all
appropriate changes you request.
individual is greater than the state.
"Rolling Thunder" Hatfield