I pretty much loathe shows like 60 minutes (at least, the aussie version).
But tonight, I flipped channels and saw bears. Big Black and Grizzly Bears.
The story was of a man named Charlie Vandergaw.
This is what the man who made his home as a hunter of bears, and then was transformed into a friend of bears, said (paraphrase).
You call working in an office till your 70 a life? If I can have enjoyment from building my home out here, if I can do this .. This is living. The other is merely existing.
It was a pretty awesome segment. At least, the guy and the bears were. Didn’t think much of the reporter (Liam Bartlett). At times he seemed disdainful of Charlie, but his demeanor could have been explained because he also seemed to be packing his dacks constantly. I understand bears can rip you apart .. ahhh, but anyway. I digress.
Charlie the Bear Man made another very clear point. A few years back, a man who was the defender of bears, who went and camped out in the wild, doing Steve Irwin stuff, was killed. Eaten alive by bears.
Charlie, the old (not so much) man who is alive today, said that what he does (from within sight of his house, and has done for many many years) is as different as night and day to the bear naturalist.
The bear naturalist went into the wild, he invaded the territory of the bears. What Charlie does, has done, is establish his own territory. He was a hunter. And one day, at his (the very same) house, a bear approached, crawling on it’s belly. From there, this amazing story of relationships between man and beast took off.
After a big weekend, I found this man, Charlie, and his story very refreshing. Thought I’d share it.