Saturday, July 01, 2017

Still Trying to Catch Up with Me

"Life is either a great adventure, or nothing."
Helen Keller

It has been a dead run since I got back from Africa Monday night…I'm still waking up at 3AM trying to figure out where I am. I so love jet lag!

Spent today in conference calls and putting the acoustic tile up on the ceiling of the studio…still not acoustically sound, but boy, it's getting better. A lot of what I'm going to be doing for the next year is Internet-based, and I do really need the studio (which is why I took the chance on building my own studio). I'm moving toward doing live Internet events from the studio and my range…my Internet supplier gave me a breath-taking quote on jacking up my upload speed. At the point we start looking at live event, I'll suck it up and pay the price.

I have to say that I do indeed love Africa. I get that it's not the place Robert Ruark or Ernest Hemingway wrote about…hell, it's not even the place Thomas McIntyre and Craig Boddington wrote about. It is Africa in twilight, but it is the Africa I have, and a part of me counts down the days until I can go back.

I suppose much of it boils down to the shared mythology that so many of us of a certain culture and a certain age share. At least on my part, it's a restlessness, and impossible-to-resist urge to see over one more hill. Merle Haggard called it White Line Fever…"the years keep flyin' by like the highline poles…"

This was a special trip because I shared it with so many old and new friends. Richard Mann is a genius for putting this together; his son, Bat, is an incredible young man. The goal of the Wayland family, who have owned the land Ft. Richmond Safaris sits on since the 1860s, is to make their clients feel like a part of their family, and in this they succeeded spectacularly. Thanks, guys.

I hope we're able to deliver a show that captures the things we were feeling. This will be a 2-episode special for SHOOTING GALLERY in 2018, and we have a tentative approval for a 90-minute Internet/MOTV special. I've looked at the footage John Carter and Brook Aiken captured (note the "drones over Africa" above), and it is nothing less than amazing. Can't wait for you guys to see!

The plans for the next trip are percolating just below the surface. In the meanwhile, I've got to take my rifle apart and get the rest dust of Africa out of every nook and cranny. I'll leave you with one more thought, this one from Robert Ruark...

"If a man does away with his traditional way of living and throws away his good customs, he had better first make certain that he has something of value to replace them."


John said...

Thank you for that sir, but color me envious of the Africa trip. I am glad you enjoyed it. I think I'll reread
"Something of value"

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pigpen51 said...

Welcome back to the land of the free? I kid, this is still the greatest nation on earth. I am glad you were able to enjoy your time in Africa, and look forward to seeing some of your footage of your trip. While I mostly enjoy such things vicariously, it is just as I explained to several of my kids. Can't means won't. It isn't that I CAN'T go to Africa, it is that I WON'T. I could do the things necessary to make such a trip happen, I just am not willing to put in the effort to do so. I say this because there are often those who are jealous of people who are able to do the kind of things that you are able to do. I always think, yea, but if they had gone through the kind of things that Michael has, through out his life, to get where he is today, then you would be in a position to do the things he is doing today. I stress these things to my kids starting out in life, figure out where you want to be in 30 years, and then do what it takes to get there, whether you need to learn a new language, or meet new people, or live in a different place. Anyway, glad you are back, and safe. Hope your summer is fantastic.

Unknown said...

Truly enjoy experiencing Africa vicariously through your outlets. It will never be the Africa of old, but nothing ever remains unchanged. Great looking hog. I would love to see one in the wild.

Michael Bane said...

Pigpen…all of life, I think, is just doing the work. One step in front of the other. Listen politely to people who explain that there is no way in heaven or hell to do the things you're planning on doing, then ignore them. Never turn down an adventure.


NJ Larry said...

MB welcome back ! I mean no disrespect, but can I add my thought....

While it comes from the heart no doubt, that you think Africa is not the Africa of RR or EH, actually it NEVER WAS the Africa of RR and EH or TR. Poetic writings of white men with nearly unlimited funds who dropped in for a visit or a hunt with 200 porters and served the finest wines on "Safari", weren't detailing or living the daily misery and struggle of a disease infested, colonial driven, tribal warring hell hole. We don't see many 1st world folks "going native" do we. Whether in the Africa of the 19th century or America of the same time frame. If folks want the Africa of old, try out Astan for a while. Closest we have today. Just no big game animals to hunt. I'll pass.

I find a ton of wisdom in the classic movies. Like "The Magnificent Seven". The lecture that the character Bernardo gives to the kids at the end is wonderful and insightful. The responsibility of raising a family, of bone crushing daily labor, of the uncertainties of life are carried by the poorest of the "natives". That is courage. Their dreams aren't our dreams. Humans are afflicted with the machinery of imagination. We invent worlds that never were. See "Life Is Beautiful".

Many moons ago I was talking to a PH who had spent the last 20 years in Africa. When I was gushing about JA Hunter to him, his response was "hey kid, its a job". That busted my bubble 40 years ago.

I try my best to survive day to day in the present.

Anonymous said...

It is great having you back! So many things to cover; so little time to cover them all.

Life Member

Anonymous said...

Jetlagged, eh? We have lost the art of travel. It's been half a century, but when I went to Europe, it was a week's sailing across the North Atlantic. Then a couple of days of train ride to my destination. No jet lag at all!

Jason said...

Bat Mann?

Jerry The Geek said...

RR and "Something of Value"; if you haven't read it, do so.
If you HAVE read it, read "Honey Badger".

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