Julie greeted me as I walked in. “Hi” she said, “Haven’t seen you in a couple of days and was beginning to think that you had left town already”.
“No”, I replied. “Had to go into Buffalo to settle up some business and got out of there as fast as I could. I don’t like big cities very much unless I have a project there. Guess I’m just a country boy at heart”.
Jack walked over and looked down at me from his six-foot something frame and joked, “Julie must have missed you. She was asking about you every day”.
“Go on”, I responded, “she just missed the big tip I always leave her”.
Jack gave me an odd look as though he wanted to tell me something but in the end, went back to his table where he sat with his hunting buddies. I didn’t think anything more about it and turned back to watching Julie’s heavenly body as she reached high for this and low for that.
The bar was a typical mountain resort sort of place with lots of wood and natural stone everywhere. It had the usual trophies on the wall and probably any of the regulars could tell a story or two about how they bagged that bear or this buck and then gave it to the bar owners to display.
Personally, I was not much of a hunter and when I did go, was usually for the companionship of spending time at a hunting lodge with a lot of friends and associates. The actual hunting was with a borrowed rifle and the one time I did see a big buck standing not twenty yards from me, I was so taken with how majestic an animal it was that I just stood and watched it. The buck knew I was watching and at one point we locked eyes and he knew he was safe.
On the other hand, I was filled with wonderment of the moment and wasn’t about to spoil it by shooting the animal. We stood for what seemed an eternity but was probably no more than a minute and the buck snorted and moved swiftly away. For me, that was much more pleasurable than killing a living thing. I knew that this was a moment between me, the buck and Mother Nature and was one of those magic moments not to be shared with my hunting buddies. I could hear them now making fun of the fact that I didn’t shoot and at the same time complaining that their share of venison was still running around somewhere out there. It turns out that this was the only deer spotted by anyone all day long. I felt really good that I had not shot it and it was still alive and running out there in the wild woods.
I had said a silent prayer in the hope that it would survive that hunting season.
The bar business was beginning to slow down as more people were leaving for their winter homes in Florida and warmer climes and others had already moved back to the small villages in the Mohawk Valley like Fort Plain and Canajoharie where their real homes were. They were the Adirondack summer tenants and they moved out of their regular homes because there was more comfort living in the resort villages in the mountains where the air was a little cooler and much less humid. Some of their “camps” as they called them were almost as nice and in some cases nicer as their regular homes back in the Mohawk Valley so it’s not like they were roughing it. Of course the black flies were big enough to carry off a young child and had the fiercest bite imaginable but somehow, these people ignored them and just piled on more fly repellant. Go figure.
Julie came over to me slow and easy just like a big cat. “It’s good to see you back again” she said “Have you decided how much longer that you are going to stay”?
I looked at her admiring her beauty with wild thoughts in my head and nonchalantly responded, “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t have to be anywhere specific but I really don’t want to be here when the snows hit”. She shook her hair and laughed and said “That is the best time. You can’t go anywhere and nothing opens up for a couple of days. It’s like having a holiday as we don’t bother to open the bar at least until the streets are plowed and the cars can move. I imagine it could be very quiet and boring though if all you have to look at are the four walls of a Hotel room and a TV that only shows four channels and that’s if you are lucky”.