Yesterday at the Tulare County Historical Society Annual Meeting Frank Helling, a 30-year veteran as John Muir, with his hand carved cane in his Scottish accent told the crowd “Everywhere we step is holy land.” Of course he never hiked around the world, he “san-tared” (sauntered) about because hiking is too much like work.
At one point Muir had to find employment. Although he wasn’t a shepherd, he was hired to keep tabs on Shepherd Billy, a lazy bloke. Billy
rarely never bathed so his clothes became a natural walking history museum, growing thicker by the day with new additions such as pine needles, tree sap, or whatever else he wiped on them. Another employer wanted him to run a saw mill, but Muir had vowed never to cut a living tree again, but didn’t mind taking the already fallen trees to the saw mill.
Muir recounted the many famous people his path had crossed except for Louise Jackson’s mother who was 13 when she met him. Sixty-eight year old Ralph Waldo Emerson came to see him in 1871 and remarked about the Sequoia Redwoods, “These trees have a talent for being tall.” Muir quipped back, “You’re a Sequoia yourself, get acquainted with the brethren.”
Muir, the Big Tree Advocate, upon returning to Yosemite after one of his many travels, found the trees being cut down, and cried out “Repent the Kingdom of Sequoia is at hand!” He got lost in the “artificial canyons” (hallways) of a San Francisco hotel when he met with his editor, Johnson. His friend changed his writing , and removed many repetitions of the word, glorious, telling Muir, “That’s called editing.”
Muir kept his audience humorously spell-bound for probably close to an hour. I don’t know I lost track of time.
We will soon have a new TCHS website. We meet with the designer, Louise Jackson’s daughter, Laile on Wednesday. I’ve been honored to serve on that committee for the past year, so I can’t wait to see what she has to show us. 🙂 Websites, websites, websites!!! 🙂