i spent my life bare foot and i miss that a lot. the condition of my leg prevents that.
i miss running. briefly,
i had a motorcycle accident when i was in “gabs”
trips to the Okavango swamps, breaking my leg badly in a motorcycle accident in which my friend was killed when I was 18,,,,,,,,,,
by the time i was 21 i had broken it twice more. details,,,,,,,,,,,
results, right leg short by 2 1/2 ” years on crutches.
moved to south africa, hippie days, wandering playing guitar and singing in clubs bars and such, surfboard making,
wandered into swaziland, met the mother of my son to be. this was the fulfillment of a vision i had been given in the drakensburg Mts, peyote weeks.
she was surviving doing beautiful leather work.
she taught me, we made me my first pair of “those shoes”
i took over her business, made it mine.
moved to zululand, taught my brother to do the work, well he just absorbed it.
one day the local cop came to him with a warrant for his arrest, his non existent visa had been discovered.
the cop, our friend said he could not “see” pat, my brother around anymore.
pat took off on a motorcycle, a constant thing in our lives, with some leather tools and stuff.
called me about 6 months later and said. “get your arse up here with … ” big list,
he had worked out a production method for making “those shoes”
taught me how to do it right.
got separated from my wife, sold the business to the manager of a rehab center for paraplegic zulus out in the bush.
loved it out there, back in the bush.
one day, pat shows up and tells me we gotta go to swaziland and make this thing work.
had a business going with 26 employees. making the shoes and a line of clothing.
pat went to bristol in england. started a store and i shipped him stuff from africa, besides what we made.
all was well for awhile.
then, i had another big action with my leg, and karma.
had a head on collision with a police land rover. bad,,,,,,,long story,,,,,,,,,,,
almost fatal, emergency flight in a charted plane to jhb, 4 days in intensive care.
pat came back from england. everything gone.
4 months later when i could move on crutches again i went to london.
long story,,,,, living on the work bench in a small lock up in west hampstead, selling the shoes at all the summer festivals
covent garden, camden lock.
i think that i was the most photographed tourist attraction for a few years there.
came to the states with two suitcases of shoes.
many scams to stay here, green card wife, been across the whole country many times,
pat died of malignant melanoma in glastonbury, looking at the tor set me free, he had been my motivating force for so long. he was the boss, my young brother.
found west “by god” virginia, or it found me.
17 years later, i’m still here.
living a good life still with the momentum of those shoes.
oh, i broke my leg, the same one all this time. the right one. twice more since i’ve been here.
kindda strange huh?
i’m bad on dates, don’t quote me. numbers just don’t stay in my head.
i never even got a school leaving certificate, just made it through standard 8 i think
it’s a long story, many adventures.
enough details to make a good book. many people have asked me to write my story,
this is the first time i laid the whole thing out like this.
it’s sleeting and cold today and i have to go to our friends place 60 miles away to fetch two goats and a sheep to butcher.
tomorrow my wife barb and i will butcher two deer that we have had hanging for four days.
we grow our own food and only eat the meat that we kill or raise ourselves.
our fiends do the sheep and goats.
wow what flash backs this has brought on.
i know there is a lot but the more i wrote, the more came back to me.
i hope that there is some of this stuff that may be of some use to you.
i’m not sure if i answered your basic question. how did this experience affect the person and life as i live it now?
i’m not to sure.
i still look for and enjoy the wilderness. live almost as a hermit. hate what has become of the wonderful wild places. i think I pretend that i still live in africa. most folks who come to my home call it little africa. we say that we are going to america when we have to go to town.
i have no trust of government, no faith in owning land.