Dispatches From the Klondike

by Mark Wynn

DISPATCHES FROM THE KLONDIKE

Here is something I found that Marietta Ohio and Skagway Alaska have in common. Skagway in native means something like "that place that's too damn windy to live" and I think I remember reading the native name for Marietta was "that place that's too damn wet to live" and yet here we are. It occurs to me with an almost certainty upon reflection that Concepcion Chile in the local Mapudungun dialect must mean "that's a damn shakey place!"

Here with the Wind as my constant companion, I wonder why there are no electric generating contrivances in town. Is it because the "esquimoos" didn't have windmills that we should not consider it? I also wonder why the wind thru the pine trees has such an OMINOUS and OPPRESSIVE sound. Like the only song heard at the Donner party, perhaps it has stunted local innovation.

Even when Leadbelly sang 'In the Pines' it foretold trouble. If you have a large pine tree close to your house I bet there's a greater chance your house has GHOSTS.

                'In the pines

                In the pines!

                Where the sun never shines!'

Compare the sound of the wind thru the pines and a babbling brook. Can a babbling brook be described as maddening? Couldn't it be said that it is from this babbling that all language sprang?

The atmosphere close to a brook is inspiring...possibly enlightening. You could be born there or as happily die. Remember these words, next time you're by a babbling brook. Close your eyes, maybe feel the sunlight on your closed lids, you're going to wish you were dead.

Its difficult to conjure positive sentiments when trapped beneath windy pines. What can I say? If Leadbelly's woman would've answered him, "...by the brook N!gg@!" He might've been like, " Well shit baby... why didn't you just say so?"

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