The Adventure of the Flying Deer took place, as I recall, in the woods behind Graceland Cemetery, not far from Bowley’s [sp?] Hill, (another child-famous place, then soon to be under the Thruway), site of the Snow Crust Incident and the Gold Ring Mystery, among others hopefully to be chronicled here.
Eddie and Joey Olander and I had been tramping around in the woods that morning searching for bear tracks and beating the woods, hopefully driving the bear toward you while you guarded against any escape. (We older guys always got the good jobs.) We drove out the buck instead, which you let get away, for crying out loud.
I can still feel the edgeless awe with which you shared the flying deer experience. A lot more awe than we’d ever felt in church. From our very early days indian lore and the magic of the wild had been a complete way of being for us, a way influenced around then by the Straight Arrow ‘Injun-uity’ cards we used to collect from Nabisco Shredded Wheat cereal boxes. We used to do indian stuff every chance we got: sneak silently through the woods, run long distances breathing just through the nose, making hatchets and bows and arrows, chipping flint etc. Survival stuff. And we did manage to survive.
It wasn’t till about 50 years later that Aunt Madeleine [my mother’s older sister] finally confided to me that our grandmother’s mother had been a “squaw,” as she put it. When I asked her why in the world, given Mick’s and my passion for things indian all those years (a lot of our escapades were headquartered at her house), she had never told me this. “It was always an embarrassing family secret,” she said.