Sunsets To Always Remember

By Keith Gibson

White Pine has always been the recipient of many glorious and beautiful sunsets.  Most of us can recall many of then and especially certain ones.

One that I remember was many years ago in Duck Creek Valley.  A lifetime close friend and I were finishing up a pine nut hunting trip.  Bonnie Mesic had driven us up a long bare ridge road on the east side of the valley.  The pine nuts were big, dark and plentiful. It was before the gubbermint started messing things up and so it was a successful trip.   We were facing the sun setting over Axehandle pass, which created a picture perfect sunset.

I had just opened us a cold beer and Bonnie was playing a recording he and McIntosh had made.  The perfect conditions to end the day.  All of a sudden Bonnie stopped and started to get out.  He called back at me and asked if I was ashamed.  I got out and asked what about.  We stood in front of the truck and he asked again.  Finally I demanded to know what I was supposed to be ashamed of.  He just grinned and pointed at the sunset.  “That”, he said.  “aren’t you ashamed of yourself standing here with a cold beer and good music playing and looking at that sunset, WHEN there are 12 million people in New York City that can’t see it”?

I told him, not a damn bit.  We both laughed and continued watching the sunset until it turned form orange to purple, savoring every minute even more than usual, because  he got us to thinking about how lucky we were.

Bonnie was one of those unforgettable characters that lived around this area.  He was a very good artist and a great guitar player.  He had a voice that was a duplicate of Johnny Cash.  He and his brother Joe learned their playing skill by teaching themselves.  They both could invent stories out of thin air about anything.  I wish I could remember some of them.

Bonnie spent a lot of summers in a cabin in Duck Creek, with his wife Lucille.  They had many turkey or lamb BBQ’s.  He had a homemade spit to roast the meat over an open mahogany fire.  He had made a large water wheel out of coffee cans that slowly turned in the current of the little stream nearby.  Many a person came away from there thinking that the wheel generated power to the BBQ motor and lights at the cabin.  It was quite a talent he had in that respect.

I spent many days at the cabin taking videos of Bonnie doing crazy thing, like flying a kite with his fishing pole.

Another time it was in the cabin with some of the pet ground squirrels that would come in thru the open door and hop up on his knee.  One in particular was after some pine nuts and Bonnie started giving it some.  The squirrel kept filling it’s cheek pouches until they were bulging.  Bonnie kept asking if he wanted some more and the squirrel sat there until more came.  Finally he couldn’t hold another one and he hopped down and ran out the door.  The total was 29.  Couldn’t quite get the 30th one to stay. Bonnie marked the record on the wall.

He had an imagination that had no bounds.  I could start the camcorder and he would launch into a discussion of UFOs, large boa constrictors and so many odd things.  We would laugh until our sides hurt.  It usually took 2 beers and some vin rose to calm us down.  A big regret I have is not taking more videos   Thankfully I have a clear memory of those times that will always be with me.