Saturday, March 12, 2005

The First Canoe!

In Search of Truths: A Compelling Story of Creativity
by Gary Worob

Many years ago, when most of you were only distant thoughts in your parent’s minds, I set out to find what lay beyond the next mountain. I was young, full of piss and vinegar and anxious to conquer the world. It had only been a short while, while most of my tribe had settled in the East (yes I am a transplanted Yankee), I was bound by great genes to explore what the bountiful had to offer.

I set out on foot and passed many villages and learned of many new things. I learned how to make my own bow and arrow, and how to read the many wild prints of great numbers of wild beasts, that would soon provide me food and clothing and much sport. I never took anything I could not eat and often shared with those I met along the way. I soon learned great skills and found I lacked any desire for civilization, I saw as totally unnecessary. I believed whole heartedly that Adam and Eve were blessed, and I was equally, even though I had not found Eve, as of yet.

I soon came to a great river, that afforded me no means of sallying forth. Though I spent many days and nights looking for a means of reaching the great beyond that eagerly awaited my coming, I could not afford passage over these great waters. I later, in my recount, named this water “the Mighty Miss-ing-it-what a pity,” and in slurred translation, it became what is now known as the Mississippi. The translation, as you can see, being easily deduced.

What I did find in those haggard days, was a great abundance of the white shredding tree. My first encounter with that sweet smelling (spring and the juices were flowing) strange-barked tree, was one that had been struck by lightning in front of my eyes. As the sweet fluids poured forth and splashed my face, I automatically drank and reveled in the awesome wonder of that nectar. While leaning against the tree, I happened to lean against a swatch of torn bark. It rolled right off the tree, revealing a smooth-barked wonder, I had never encountered before. In awe, I played with the bark, soon discovering I could peel it into many layers and each would produce a unique quality. One of my many new discoveries was an inner layer could be peeled, shredded and boiled in the juices. I covered it with a unique sauce, discovered among one of the East Coast tribes, called the “Italian.” I was soon quaffing heaping portions of this wondrous feast, which I immediately called “spaghetti”, on account of it's nature to spiral into a ball and expand into a delightful morsel. I originally called it spiraling ghetto, because of its nature to congeal into one big mess; but later I abbreviated it to spaghetti (you can see the logic).

Another great thing I learned, was the boilings or residue quickly fermented and I, shortly thereafter, being very thirsty, quaffed an enormous amount with astounding results. Anyone who saw me would have thought I was totally possessed by demons, as I remember vaguely doing some strange contortions and screaming into the night. I called this product by-your-ear, because everything I was proclaiming would have gone right by your ear with no glitter of comprehension possible. This later was shortened into what we now call “beer”, which still causes many strange convulsions and hallucinations, among those who partake in its properties.

Well, as I lay exhausted and still unable to come up with a solution, I noticed the sheet of birch bark I had inadvertantly removed from the tree, lay beside me now, in a curled up form that resembled a small craft. Immediately, I jumped for joy and began crafting a means to make that vision, or hallucination, possible.

I gathered torn up roots and stripped them into long strands that became the weavings. I boiled different products of the woods until I came up with a very strong and pliable product, which I called “god awful fooled with enough goo”. This later was reduced to what we now call glue.

For days, I ate my wonderful Italian pasta and sewed and glued. Then I stood back and realized the fruition of my dreams; a vessel so light and strong, I was instantly convinced, it would be able to transport me safely, not only across these great waters, but any waters I would happen upon.

What was apparent after my first trial run, was my arms, as strong as I was, were not sufficient to move this worthy craft. At the same time, I saw a beaver making off with my leavings from the birch, and saw the amazing agility it had, to maneuver easily through the waters. I thought, “How could I use this knowledge to my advantage?” I quickly discovered, I could make a rudimentary instrument, which I called “pass deftly through the waters”. It later became known as the “paddle.”

I was soon crossing the great waters on my journeys, and found great expanses of country, not previously seen by white man or woman. I named this area the “wild, wild west;” and it is now known by a less powerful name and much less wild.

So, there you have some more about my life, and how I created the “canoe.” It is still the reason I paddle a canoe versus a kayak. But, there is more to that story, as later on, I travelled to the far reaches of the north. This is where I showed the people, the miracle of water transportation, which they modified into something similar, but necessarily more confining and covered.

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