Peace reigns up here in the outback. We survived a mild winter to find ourselves tied down sheltering in place. Makes me think of the time years back when a feller at a western national rendezvous got caught soaking green hides in the camp stream. It might not have been bad except he was camped at the top of the creek. We were camped in a beautiful sloping meadow at around 9000 feet up in the Montana mountains, and the creek was the center and lifeblood of camp. Everyone gathered washing and cooking water from that creek so the whole camp considered itself poisoned. The perpetrator got away with his life, but naked and driven from camp to jeers. But for days the camp went through all kind of gyrations over who was going to die first. In the middle of all that discussion I observed some flatlanders from out east of the big rivers washing their dinner dishes then throwing their dishwater back into the creek! And these guys were all amidst the heavy discussion of camp water poisoning. They are everywhere. No one died in that camp, at least not from the creek water though some got a little green at the thought of it.
It was at this camp that I got a major dose of beadology. Of course it being rendezvous there were plenty of people sporting beads. There were a few bead sellers in camp most with old beads and a couple with new, but most with old beads cuz we were reenacting old times. In fact I overheard one seller of new beads remark to a fellow buckskinner “ did you think them guys in the old times were sporting OLD beads? Heck no they had NEW beads." Every old bead was a new bead once, he said. And hearing that I went over and got to talking with him and bought a fine new chevron bead he’d made. It made sense to me. Heck there were guys with a nice new rifle they had built carefully scuffing and aging the thing to make it look like it might have a hundred fifty years of life on it. I asked one of those guys, do you think Jim Bridger got his new Hawken and started scuffing it up to make it look old?
Well anyway, my lesson in beadology came a couple of days later. I was sitting around a campfire and talking up my new bead. A grizzled old prospector looking guy asked to look at the bead and I said sure. He checked it out and pronounced it not a “ real “ chevron. I asked him what did he mean, that I’d gotten it from the guy that made it right from the glass. That is it! he roared. Real chevrons are made of venetia, not glass! And the venetia mines are all played out! Glass chevrons are fake! After several attempts to convince him that the old chevrons were glass, I gave up as it only seemed to aggravate him and he was about ready to go to blows over it.
I'm sure that old buckskinner went to his reward knowing that his old chevrons were true venecia and not fake ones made from glass. But then you might have noticed that I said washing and cooking water and not drinking water. Most buckskinners in that camp had better things to drink than water.
Well, you beadheads stay healthy and stay sheltered in place and keep that string in the middle of the hole. Up here in the outback we are keeping our distance.