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Mule Polly and I go to the Dentist

Mule Polly and I both went to the dentist this week. Separately.
We took different approaches to visiting the tooth doc. I brushed and flossed my teeth bleed ’til they damn near bled. Polly just got on the horse trailer.
We drove her over to Dr Hay at Tryon Equine Associates in Tryon.

I’ve been going to the dentist since the tooth fairy shook down my parents for a dollar. This was Polly’s first visit.
That’s the equivalent of a… Continue reading

Ursula Daniel Obituary (1935 – 2018)

Ursula Daniel
(1935 – 2019)

Ursula Daniel, ursula blatter

Ursula Daniel in 2015 when she returned to Switzerland, home of her birth (Elfenau Park photo, Bern Switzerland)

Ursula Daniel died December 9, 2018 in Bern, Switzerland.
Ursula was born in Bern, Switzerland in 1935 to Fritz and Heidi (née Egger) Blatter. She studied and worked as an actress until she left Switzerland for an acting job in Vienna in 1956.

Ursula Daniel, ursula blatter

Ursula: stage actress

Soon after arriving in Austria, the Hungarian Revolution erupted in neighboring… Continue reading

The Drover's Slides

January 5 was my birthday and it got me looking back through my old slides. Funny how life changes. Thirteen years ago I was living in New Zealand chasing cows with Allan Crawford. These days I live on my farm in western North Carolina. I chase mules instead of cows. When I run to town, it’s for diesel, memory cards and wifi, not shark oil, scones and slide film.

allan crawford new zealand

Allan Crawford: Kiwi stockman, drover and, for a spell, my boss… Continue reading

Finally a Mailbox

The past fifteen years I’ve gotten mail everywhere but in my own mailbox. Much of it has to do with my traveling ways. It’s hard to blame the post man for not filling your letter box if you’re never around – and don’t own a mailbox.

It’s something I finally got around to correcting.

descriptor of shot

Home, sweet, barely visible home. It’s a fifteen minute round trip walk from my house to the new mail box. Look closely and you can see… Continue reading

Art Harberts 1926 to 2014

Sad news. My dad, Arthur Stanley Harberts, died this week. He was 87. The obituary I wrote for my best friend, Dust Bowler, husband and dad reads as such:

My dad Art Harberts on his 87th birthday. He never was much of a cake man so I just put the candles on a bottle of his favorite whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Black Label. He died at home surrounded by his family.

Art Harberts, son of William and Lydia (nee Schmidt) Harberts,… Continue reading

Watch "Mule Rider" on UNC-TV

Fancy life in a mule wagon? Last winter, mule Polly and I hit the road with a film crew from UNC-TV. We spent the better part of a week traveling the back roads of eastern North Carolina – from Oriental to Aurora. Through the dormant potato fields, past the moored shrimp boats and giant rusting anchors. We visited with net maker Virgil Potter and guitar picker John Carawan.

What the film crew captured that blustery week recently aired as… Continue reading

UNC-TV and Our State "Mule Rider" Program

Note: the following article is about the making of “Mule Rider”, the UNC-TV program that ran the “Our State” program on October 3.
Post Scrip: You can watch the program below

Bayboro, North Carolina. That winter night I parked the wagon by the shrimp boat fleet. Their nets hung like green mist. Mule Polly was grazing next to that giant anchor and I thought of how all day long, she’d marched through the wind and highway trucks and now… Continue reading

Ronald's Borrowed Vomit Saddle Bags

It started pouring with rain and in minutes I was soaked. As was Buddy, the mule I was sitting on. And coming from Polly, my pack mule, a noxious, air sick smell. Damn, maybe Ronald was right. Maybe someone really had puked in to those duffel bags he’d loaned me.

Buddy the saddle mule carries me across the Low Water Bridge. Carrying the pack saddle – and a load of mysterious smelling cargo – is my mule Polly. Look closely… Continue reading

It's Not's What's Over the Door

This week I went rambling in the Uwharrie Forest with Polly and Buddy, my mule companions. Just the three of us, 100 miles of road and a bit of gear: hammock, sleeping bag and string. No great mission. Just two mules and a man out clearing his head.

Days, we traveled the back roads. Nights we camped with friends new and old. The second night I slept in a hammock tied to Wayne Hussey’s corn crib.

My ramble mates Buddy… Continue reading

How to Stow Away on a Sailboat

So you want to stow away on a sailboat, eh? Blend in somewhere on something like that salty sailboat I built 20 years ago. See where it takes you.

Damn. Unless you could shape shift into a seat cushion, brass lantern or bronze port, I’d rate the odds of remaining undetected on a 18 1/2 footer as slim to delusional. If you still insist, though, I would suggest seeking shelter in a cockpit locker. Don’t try to hide under the… Continue reading

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