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Posted: 10/13/2021 12:14:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/13/2021 12:27:27 PM EDT by Clarinath]
For the OP, I will post the background.

I was asked to expand on comments on another thread about the crash site of a C-130 in Jackson Hole WY, where a good friend of mine died.  He was the navigator.

Others asked for a look into his life and the family.

I have shared a few stories and written up a VERY LONG post.

If you are TLDR averse, just stop now.  I have broken it up into sections, sort of, but it is long.

I hope this is what you were looking for.

@thirstyswimmer
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 12:18:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/13/2021 12:24:34 PM EDT by Clarinath]
This post is long, and there will be no TLDR.  Stop now if you don’t want to read it.

The stories about Jason are true, and really happened, though one in particular is pretty wild.
At the request of a poster from another thread, this post will be about my visit to the crash site of an Air Force C-130H, call sign Havoc 58, and a recap of the life of the Navigator, Ben, who was a close friend of mine growing up, and a few things about his dad.

I first met Ben and his family when they moved to my hometown.

The reason they moved was due to Ben’s dad, Jason, who lost his job after going on a search and rescue for a missing elk hunter, who happened to be a very good friend of mine named Joe.  Jason’s boss told him that if he left work to go look for the lost hunter he wouldn’t have a job to come back to.  Jason, being a man of the mountains, knew exactly where the lost tenderfoot could be found, but it was miles away from the search area.  Jason had told someone to check it out, but no one had, since they didn’t believe a lost hunter would end up where Jason said he would be, since it was miles away from his last reported position.

Jason went into the mountains, found my friend, and brought him out.  Joe was tall, 6’5” and had a long stride.  He had gotten lost and started following a waterway, making amazingly good time.  He ended up in a sheltered bowl and had spent time there waiting out a storm.  That is where Jason had found him.

Jason was simply an amazing man.  He was a mountain hippy, with long hair, and his reception to our small Wisconsin town in the late 1970’s was not welcome, to say the least.  The family lived in a small rental house, and their only possession was a giant wood cookstove they used to heat the house and cook their food.  This stove travelled everywhere with them, and when Jason made it rich on some very good investments, they built a beautiful log home in the mountains of Colorado.  That stove was installed in the kitchen and continued its service to their family.

Jason knew more about nature, and foraging, and everything a boy should know to be a man.  He was also an Indian medicine man, well regarded by the Sioux as one of the best.  He was not a Sioux, nor an Indian at all.  In his travels he had wintered over with a Sioux medicine man and had learned all that he could.  

Jason gained the respect of the medicine man and was allowed to quarry pipestone, an honor few white men had been given.  When I went off to Desert Storm, Jason sent me a package.  In it, I found a bear claw, pipestone and elk ivory necklace he had made, along with charms of bear claws, elk ivories and pipestone that he told me to be hung on my weapons.  In the letter, he said that the charms and necklace had been blessed by a Sioux, a Crow and a really cranky Kiowa medicine man, and that the four of them would keep me safe and help me kill my enemies.  He wrote great letters.  On the main gun mantle there is a steel block with a hole in it sticking out above the main gun.  I placed an elk ivory and bear tooth on it before we went into battle.  For the three days of combat, I wore the necklace.

Jason was called late one night to help an Indian chief who was dying.  Modern medicine was not helping and his medicine man’s medicine was weak, so they called Jason.  He went to the man’s home, instructed them to gather the materials he needed and performed a ceremony at his bedside.  The man went on to live into his even older old age, gaining 11 years on the earth.
Jason treated everyone with respect, if they deserved it, and didn’t care if he received it, he was confident in his own abilities.

My dad was a gunsmith, and a stock maker.  He made a set of stocks for Jason’s Model 99 Savage.  Jason loved that gun and used it for everything.  When they lived in the mountains, he used it to get food for the family.  They lived on elk and deer.  Hunting seasons didn’t matter when his family needed to be fed.

One time, when hunting in Colorado, he came upon a couple of hunters.  Jason told the story of how they had on space age clothing (any clothing not made of wool) and all the bells and whistles of a modern hunter, including ultra magnum guns and 4 wheelers.  Jason never cared much for 4 wheelers.  He walked EVERYWHERE.  When the hunters asked him what he was hunting with, he held up his Model 99 in .308.  They told him he needed a bigger gun to hunt elk.  That gun had taken quite a few elk in its lifetime.  Jason held his rifle out and yelled at it (you’re too small!), then left the hunters to their own way of hunting.

Another favorite story is one of a friend of mine (Mark) and Jason driving through a raging snowstorm on back roads around Bayfield, CO.  Mark looked out into the storm and said he knew he could never survive a night in the mountains in a storm like that.  Jason looked at him, and buried his truck in the ditch.  Jason then told him that he knew he’d be fine, and they set about finding shelter and getting ready to survive the night.  Jason underestimated the storm and they spent three nights near the truck, but Mark said it was a hell of a vacation.  By the time the storm let up they had a nice warm and weathertight shelter and were playing card to pass the time.  Mark did get a little upset when he found out they were only a half mile from the house, but there is no other person on this planet I would feel as comfortable with in a survival situation than Jason.

When Jason met his wife, they were both drifters in the 60’s.  She was working on a movie set and he was doing odd jobs in the town nearby.  After the movie wrapped, they were a couple, and headed into the mountains on horseback.  They would come out of the mountains when they needed money, or a grubstake as they would call it, and head back up when they were set.

A few years later, his wife was pregnant, so they came into town to have the baby.  The day after he was born, my friend Ben was strapped to a cradleboard Jason had made out of leather and rabbit fur, hung onto the saddle horn of his mom’s horse, and they went back into the mountains.

Ben spent the next two years getting bigger and exploring the mountains with is mom and dad as they travelled wherever they felt like in the Rocky Mountains.  Jason made a bassinette out of an aspen log he found that could be easily attached to a pack saddle, and this is where Ben rode after he got too big for his cradleboard.

Once again, pregnancy brought them out of the mountains, and they both got work at a ranch in the Montana mountains.  When they found out they were having twins, they knew they needed another bassinette.  Together with the “oldest cowboy he had ever met”, Jason made a bassinette out of an old nail keg.  He and the cowboy sanded everything smooth and got it ready for the birth of the twins.

Once the twins were born, they decided to stay out of the mountains and make a life at the ranch.  A few years later, they left the ranch after Jason left it to look for the missing hunter and lost his job.

Ben was a smart kid, and we got into quite a bit of trouble.  He was small, I was big and the first time we met I had come upon him being teased by an older kid because he carried a leather book bag his mom had made for him.  I punched the kid after he grabbed my shirt and ended up getting beaten by him and his friends for my trouble.  Ben told his dad what had happened, and Jason came to thank me for what I had done.  I was just a kid and here was an adult, treating me like an adult, and thanking me for helping his son.  It was strange.  That didn’t happen in the 70’s.  Adults tolerated kids, they didn’t respect or talk to them!  

We made it through High School, and really had a lot of fun in Model United Nations.  We were both nerds, so we had that in common.  I never realized Ben was as young as he was, having advanced pretty rapidly.  He graduated High School at 16.  He had already been taking college courses, and got into Embry Riddle right after his graduation.  He was in ROTC and planned to enter the Air Force upon graduation.  

He took his time to graduate and became a navigator in the Air Force.  The mission that he died on was his first mission as a solo navigator.

Jason moved the family to SW Colorado, and had 40 acres backed up to public land.  He had made good investments and they paid off.

He and his wife had a dream home in mind and contacted a log home building company.  Due to the size of the house, the logs were special order from Canada.  They arrived in the fall, expecting to have the house built by winter.  They set up two GP Large army surplus tents, and moved in until their house was built.  But the logs didn’t come in.  Luckily they had electricity to the site, and a two holer outhouse, and of course the giant wood fired cookstove, so they were happy.
Meat was easy to come by, and Jason was not averse to subsistence hunting.  He once sent me a letter and pictures explaining how he had obtained an elk.  It was in his hay field, and he explaining that right after he took the picture the poor elk keeled over and died.  He felt duty bound to rush out and remove it from the field, since the school bus was going to be coming through soon, and city kids didn’t need to see things like that.
At the tent site, they had mounted a telephone in a box about 6 feet off the ground.  They had to dig down to the phone on a few occasions to make phone calls after a storm.  During the first winter, the Colorado DNR visited him to determine why they had been driving snowmobiles into the public land, which was not allowed.  The DNR agent had seen the tracks from an airplane and had come to investigate.  Jason didn’t have a snowmobile, but they all had snowshoes.  This was before snowshoeing went all hipster.  He showed the DNR agent the snowshoe trails the family used to go back into the forest to gather wood for their tent stoves.  The guy was impressed.  Jason told me he was glad he could steer him away from the elk ribcages the dogs kept dragging back from the gully on the side of the property.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 12:19:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/13/2021 12:22:48 PM EDT by Clarinath]
The crash of Havoc 58

Jason called me in the middle of the night on August 18th, telling me his son was dead.  I was a bit confused, since he had three sons.  Ben was definitely their favorite, and they really showed it, sometimes to the detriment of the twins, and to the point that others would take notice.  The twins were great boys, but they were overshadowed by Ben.  I never understood why they did that, but it is what it is.  Ben was dead, crashed into a mountain in Wyoming.  My wife was awake and I told her what had happened, and we were on the road to Colorado within the hour.

When we arrived in Colorado, Jason and his wife were gone.  Friends and family were gathering but they had gone to, I believe Dyess AFB, where Ben’s remains were.  Jason and his wife were adamant that they see his remains.  The Air Force told them there was no way they were going to show them the remains of their son.  Jason was insistent, and after speaking to quite a few officers, they let them see Ben.  Jason said they finally relented because he had told them they would be releasing his body for burial, and he would dig the grave up if he had to to see his son one last time.  After being told the body was in rough shape, they showed them the remains or their oldest son.

Jason was always a blunt, straightforward and forthright man, his stories and explanations of the most trivial things could go on for quite some time.  It was fascinating to hear him tell stories of the things he had seen on a daily walk around his property, or his hunts, as he would make you feel like you had been there with him.  Unfortunately, he had the same effect when he told me what condition Ben was in.  And I heard it a few times.

Ben had been ejected from the aircraft, so he was the only crew member who hadn’t burned completely.  He was burned, but it was mostly the lower half of his body.  His upper half had sustained massive traumatic injury, but Jason said he still recognized his boy.   I still remember the details of what he said had happened to Ben, but I am not going to share them here.  Since the casket was supposed to be closed, they hadn’t done much repair or cleaning of the body.

Ben had met a girl in Texas and asked her to marry him.  She was a pretty girl, and Jason and his wife spent time with her, getting ready for the memorial service that was going to be held at Dyess for the crew.  The night of the memorial service, disaster was averted when another pretty girl showed up, claiming she was Ben’s fianceé.  Apparently, Ben had been seeing both women, but he had broken it off with her when he had asked the first pretty girl to marry him.  Crisis averted.

Jason drove Ben’s Air Force blue pick up home to Colorado while we were busy getting things ready at the house.  The house was not completely built, and it needed the front porch finished.  I was a carpenter, and there were many helping hands, so we finished the deck before Jason and his wife got home.  The main steps to the deck were 14 feet wide, made out of red stone the family had been collecting over the years.  The main fireplace in the living room was also 14 feet wide and made of the same stone.  Jason had built the front steps, and all 5 fireplaces in the house.  Each had fans to pull air from the bottom of the fireplace, around the heatbox and out the top.  All of the fan outlets were as wide as the firebox and flat stones were placed in sockets so they could be moved to direct the air flow, like a louvered vent.

We prepared Ben’s grave site on top of the small mountain behind the house.  It was on a small point that stuck out over the valley, the view was amazing.  We dug the grave by hand, and prepared the small family cemetery.  Since Ben would be the first occupant, we built a road going up to it.  We hoped the rains would hold off so the road would be passable, since the casket would need to be carried up to the grave site in a vehicle.

In the week I was at the house, we shared many memories, had lots of good times remembering, and completely drowned our sorrows in copious amounts of bourbon.  

Ben’s mom took was in shock, and, as an artist, carried a sketchpad with her almost everywhere.  She doodled constantly, and the images she put on paper were extremely disturbing.  Crashed airplanes, broken bodies, her sketches were something out of hell.  They both began referring to Ben as “Dead Ben”, and none of us said anything about it.  Both were rather cold to the twins, and we tried to take up the slack.  It was almost as if the twins didn’t exist.  It was a sad time for them, and for us who witnessed it.
We had to leave before the body was released for burial, so I missed the service.  

Ben was laid to rest on his own mountain on his fiancee’s birthday.

The weather had turned rainy, and they had tried to move Ben’s casket up to the grave site in his truck, but it couldn’t make it.  Jason had planned for this, and drove a team of rented horses up the will with Ben’s coffin on a wagon.
For a few years after Ben died, a C-130 would come roaring down the valley, flying over his grave.  His parents and brothers appreciated that to no end, but in time, the flights stopped.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 12:26:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/13/2021 1:47:44 PM EDT by Clarinath]
Visiting the crash site
Jason contacted me and let us know there was a memorial being erected by the citizens of Jackson Hole, in memory of the crash and the victims.  When the plane impacted the mountain, the massive fireball was visible to the entire Jackson valley.  Many people saw it and remembered it.  The fire burned for most of the night, but stayed on the mountain.  There are no trees at the crash site, so there wasn’t much to burn.

My wife and I travelled to Minot, ND, where Ben’s best friend and college room mate, and fellow Air Force officer, was stationed.
He rented a small plane and we flew from Minot to Jackson Hole.  We flew over the crash site a few times on approach and it was quite visible.  The burn marks were still there, and the ground looked like it was covered in diamonds.  I found out why when I visited the crash site on the ground.

In Jackson Hole airport, there were signs all around the runway and apron, telling flight crews to ascend to 10,000 or 14,000 feet before making any turns to the east or west.  I can’t remember the exact altitude.  These are also published in the NOTAMs and departure instructions.  The crew missed them.

We went to a kid's summer camp that was in between camping sessions, and everything was free of charge.  The town of Jackson Hole was so accommodating and helpful.  We heard stories of that night from people who had seen the crash, and some who had gone to the site to assist.  The families that wanted to go to the crash site were being provided horses and guides for the two hour trek.  Plans were made to take our group up a different path than the rest of the families, since we had gotten our horses through a separate guide service.  At the dinner that evening, someone informed us that there may be a limit to the number of people who could go, since it was a wilderness area.  Jason stood up and informed the speaker we would be going on our own, and turned to the families and said he hoped that they would ignore any government restrictions for that day.  In the end, everyone who wanted to go to the site forked a leg over a horse and went up the mountain.

Sleeping Indian Mountain is an interesting shape.  When you look at it, you can see a sleeping Indian, on his back.  If I remember correctly, the plane impacted 3300-500 feet below the crest of the top of the indian’s head.  Our path up the mountain brought us in on the lower right side of the crash site.  We crossed a massive park to get to the site, but we could see it for quite a ways.  It was a nice Wyoming day, the wind was at a calm 15mph or so.  We rode up toward the site and Jason and I were taking pictures.  Jason rode west, to where the mountain broke sharply, got off his horse and stood looking out over Jackson valley.  We were directly across from Grand Teton mountain.  I was a few hundred yards away and maneuvered my horse for a shot.  I put on my telephoto lens and shot about half a roll of Jason, standing on the edge of the world, his horse broadside to me and standing to his right, with Grand Teton in the background, soaring high above the tiny man in the photo.  It was the best picture I have ever taken.  I call it The Insignificance of Man.

Jason mounted his horse, and he headed to the crash site, visible to our right and above us a few hundred feet.  We were almost there and I saw the diamonds sparkling in the sun.  All of a sudden, Jason wheeled his horse and kicked it into a run, heading toward a bowl downslope to the left.  I looked and saw a line of horses and riders coming from the trees.  I kicked my horse to catch up and it was an amazing feeling.  Racing across the mountain, not knowing why, but backing Jason up, I looked over and saw that he had the reins in his teeth, leaning forward in his saddle, changing lenses on his camera.  We shot the group of horses coming up and joined them as they approached the bottom edge of the crash site.
I realized what the diamond sparkles were.  Thousands, maybe millions of tiny, shiny bits of melted aluminum were spread like a fan up the mountain.  About 50 yards into the crash site there were bits of glass mixed in.  When that plane it, it exploded almost instantly and there was 14,350 pounds of fuel onboard.  The tail had broken off and was spared, but the rest of the plane was burned.  Large steel parts were recovered, but not much else.  Everything else melted.  Amazingly, there were small bits that had survived the fire.  I found a few fishing flies and a charred fly tying booklet.  These belonged to the Secret Service agent that was on board with the cargo.  He had gone out to Jackson Hole with a commo truck a week earlier and had gotten some fly fishing in, his life’s passion.  I gave the flies to his son, also a Secret Service agent.  Everyone was looking for the copilot’s wedding ring.  It was never recovered and her husband was trying desperately to find it.  The pilot and copilot had stayed with the cockpit and there was nothing left of it, or the contents, it took the brunt of the fire damage.  Ben had been ejected, and his mom, who always claimed to have a strong spiritual connection, was looking for the spot he had ended up in.  She wandered around in a random way, but finally centered on a spot and said that was where her son had come to rest.

The rest of the time on the mountain was just looking at all the bits and pieces and hoping to find something that would help the families heal.  We departed late in the day.

The next day, there was a memorial service and unveiling of a plaque at a trailhead, with a view of Sleeping Indian Mountain.  There is also a plaque on the mountain at the crash site.  Everything was going fine until they played that fucking song.  I can’t even listen to “Go Rest High on That Mountain” without tearing up a little.  They played it for my grandpa’s funeral when he was laid to rest on a small mountain in Alabama.  They are quite smaller than the ones in Colorado and Wyoming…  😊

Afterward
The marriage of Jason and his wife didn’t make it through the years after the crash, it seemed like they both died a little with Ben’s passing.  They divorced a few years after the crash.
Over the years, Jason and I stayed in touch, and the last time I saw him was at the funeral of one of the twins.  Life was too hard, and he took his own life.  Jason was angry, and bitter, that he had built all of what he had, for his sons to have a place, but  his sons were all dying.  It was a rough few days as we buried another of his sons on the mountain.

A week later, Jason died from a heart attack, and we put him beside his sons.  Only one remains.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 12:26:47 PM EDT
very sorry for your loss

Link Posted: 10/13/2021 12:49:34 PM EDT
Thank you for taking the time to share such a beautiful and touching write-up. Ben, Jason and the entire family should be honored to have you share this in such fashion.


Link Posted: 10/13/2021 12:51:56 PM EDT
I have two Airmen. It is a hard read
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 1:03:39 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tabraha:
Thank you for taking the time to share such a beautiful and touching write-up. Ben, Jason and the entire family should be honored to have you share this in such fashion.


View Quote

All of this. I got nothing to add.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 2:51:56 PM EDT
What a beautiful read.  Very dusty in here.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 3:13:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/13/2021 3:16:14 PM EDT by BTccw]
Wow...  got real dusty in here.

Live in peace OP. You are a good man.

Worth every minute of the read.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 3:15:17 PM EDT
What a wonderful tribute story.   Thank you for sharing it.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 3:25:47 PM EDT
That was an amazing write-up, OP. I'm of the opinion that you're a pretty gifted writer - that flowed well
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 3:29:55 PM EDT
This story touches Me deeply.
74-1662 was one of My more beloved Girls.

The most fun I ever had was standing behind the AC as we flew up mountain canyons in California.
Best TDY of My life.

I have always wanted to visit the sight, but always feared dying on the sight from a heart attack. I'm 66, but your amazing story might get me to climb one more mountain before I pass.

Both Crew Chiefs were on-board, so it hurts even further.

Bless all who serve by leaving the ground for a life of duty.

Link Posted: 10/13/2021 3:37:46 PM EDT
Damn
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 3:49:37 PM EDT
prayers for all inbound
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 4:04:19 PM EDT
I have flown around that valley a bunch while supporting Cheney D. Have flown over the site. UH-60 Crewchief.

Flight crew messed up.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 4:11:38 PM EDT
Appreciate your taking the time to share that.

Nicely done.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 4:22:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/13/2021 4:22:26 PM EDT by redfish86]
I’m sorry for your loss OP.

As others have said, your story is well written.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 4:36:56 PM EDT
I read the whole thing.
Thanks for sharing those great and heartbreaking memories.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 4:38:51 PM EDT
Wow. Thanks for posting, OP
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 4:49:46 PM EDT
Very touching. Thank you.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 5:07:41 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tabraha:
Thank you for taking the time to share such a beautiful and touching write-up. Ben, Jason and the entire family should be honored to have you share this in such fashion.


View Quote

Link Posted: 10/13/2021 5:11:57 PM EDT
Very touching.

I would be interested in seeing The Insignificance of Man, if you were comfortable sharing that.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 5:18:33 PM EDT
Thank you.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 5:30:10 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 5:37:32 PM EDT
I remember that crash vividly, the questions and the why..

Lots of C-130's were bending and breaking at that time...our time was coming, we didn't know it.

Link Posted: 10/13/2021 7:35:20 PM EDT
Thanks for writing this.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 9:06:47 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By c130montana:
This story touches Me deeply.
74-1662 was one of My more beloved Girls.

The most fun I ever had was standing behind the AC as we flew up mountain canyons in California.
Best TDY of My life.

I have always wanted to visit the sight, but always feared dying on the sight from a heart attack. I'm 66, but your amazing story might get me to climb one more mountain before I pass.

Both Crew Chiefs were on-board, so it hurts even further.

Bless all who serve by leaving the ground for a life of duty.

View Quote


They have completely cleaned the site, but there is still a marker on the mountain.

At a trailhead there is another marker if you aren’t up for the walk or horse ride.

I can’t say enough good things about the residents of Jackson Hole.  We could tell they felt the loss deeply.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 9:08:41 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By distrflman:
I have flown around that valley a bunch while supporting Cheney D. Have flown over the site. UH-60 Crewchief.

Flight crew messed up.
View Quote


They really did.  

I hope it can stand as a reminder to all who fly that they can’t have too much knowledge of where they are flying into and out of.

How they missed the signs I really don’t know.

Link Posted: 10/13/2021 9:10:10 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ZW17:
How is the last son and mom doing these days.

Thanks for sharing.
View Quote


The last son now owns the house and land.  He is doing well, but has little time for the flatlanders he grew up with.

The mom is living in a very spiritual area of Arizona and seems to be doing well.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 9:22:41 PM EDT
Thanks for sharing your story with us.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 9:23:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 9:32:47 PM EDT
Thank you for sharing this.  

While tragic, it really documented some of the best traits of we as Americans.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 9:43:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/13/2021 9:47:51 PM EDT by Clarinath]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SBRChris:
Very touching.

I would be interested in seeing The Insignificance of Man, if you were comfortable sharing that.
View Quote

@SBRChris

Don’t judge it too harshly :)

That is Jason, standing next to his horse about 1/2 mile downslope from the crash site.

I haven’t looked at that picture in 20 years.  I am surprised I found the album it was in.

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 9:46:12 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Clarinath:


Don’t judge it too harshly :)

That is Jason, standing next to his horse about 1/2 mile downslope from the crash site.

I haven’t looked at that picture in 20 years.  I am surprised I found the album it was in.

https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/254555/623C9A2A-0CC1-4F07-9DB8-4EA33CEB0A6A_jpe-2129020.JPG
View Quote


The Tetons are some impressively large, and rugged, mountains.

Your choice of title is 100% accurate.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 10:01:26 PM EDT
Thank you for that, OP.  Beautifully done, and I am better for having learned of these men and their stories.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 10:06:05 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Clarinath:

@SBRChris

Don’t judge it too harshly :)

That is Jason, standing next to his horse about 1/2 mile downslope from the crash site.

I haven’t looked at that picture in 20 years.  I am surprised I found the album it was in.

https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/254555/623C9A2A-0CC1-4F07-9DB8-4EA33CEB0A6A_jpe-2129020.JPG
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Clarinath:
Originally Posted By SBRChris:
Very touching.

I would be interested in seeing The Insignificance of Man, if you were comfortable sharing that.

@SBRChris

Don’t judge it too harshly :)

That is Jason, standing next to his horse about 1/2 mile downslope from the crash site.

I haven’t looked at that picture in 20 years.  I am surprised I found the album it was in.

https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/254555/623C9A2A-0CC1-4F07-9DB8-4EA33CEB0A6A_jpe-2129020.JPG




I can't think of a better title for that picture. Beautiful.


Link Posted: 10/13/2021 10:13:03 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Sand_Pirate:
Thank you for that, OP.  Beautifully done, and I am better for having learned of these men and their stories.
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Well said.  Thanks for the picture OP.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 10:16:44 PM EDT
Here’s Ben!

We were on our way to a model United Nations seminar.

He is the kid sitting in the aisle with the letter jacket on.

The guy a few rows back on the aisle is a Navy captain, soon to retire if he doesn’t get flag rank.

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 10:21:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/13/2021 10:25:34 PM EDT by Clarinath]
Here is the necklace Jason made for me.

It is resting on a letter he sent 25 years ago.

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 10:52:57 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 11:47:28 PM EDT
Thank you for the story.  Read every word.

They were wonderful friends.  People I would have liked to have known.  And now I do, a little bit.
Link Posted: 10/13/2021 11:57:26 PM EDT
Amazing story OP. Thank you for sharing.

Stories like that are good for a bit of perspective.
Link Posted: 10/14/2021 2:22:40 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Clarinath:

@SBRChris

Don’t judge it too harshly :)

That is Jason, standing next to his horse about 1/2 mile downslope from the crash site.

I haven’t looked at that picture in 20 years.  I am surprised I found the album it was in.

https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/254555/623C9A2A-0CC1-4F07-9DB8-4EA33CEB0A6A_jpe-2129020.JPG
View Quote

That is a badass picture.

And thank you for telling us the story.
Link Posted: 10/14/2021 3:40:45 AM EDT
That is a well told story, thank you for sharing it.  I remember when that plane went down, it made the local news, even though I'm 300 miles away and I was only 16 when it happened.  

I knew a man like Jason.  They're rare in this modern world, and we're lucky to know them.  He would be proud that you shared his story.  
Link Posted: 10/14/2021 5:37:46 PM EDT
Thank you for sharing Clarinath. That was a damn good story. Have you ever considered turning it into a book? I would read it.
That picture would make a great book cover.
Link Posted: 10/14/2021 8:34:24 PM EDT
Thank you for the kind words, I am glad to share stories.

The pictures and the words brought back a ton of memories.  A simpler time, a transition.  

Jason told me about the nail keg that he and the old cowboy sanded down.  It would have been in 1975 or so.  He said the old guy had knurled hands, like tree roots, and his face was lined with so many wrinkles he looked like a Sharpie.  That’s what he called Shar Pei dogs.  Jason was positive the man had been close to 100 years old, because the stories he told were too real and too detailed to be second hand.  In the 1970’s, you could still find people that were alive in the last century.

Today, you would be hard pressed to find a quiet man of character, who did all of the things Jason did, not out a sense of need or desire to be famous, but because they just did things naturally.

Who would winter over with a medicine man, simply because he seemed smart and had stories to tell?  Life is too complicated, too fast paced to slow down and find interesting things that don’t require batteries or power.

Some of the feelings I felt while writing were hard to face.  I never wrote back to Jason as often as he would write me.  I never kept in touch with a person who thought so highly of me that he made charms and a necklace, then hand carried the necklace across the west to medicine men he knew and respected, to bless it to keep me safe.

It all boils down to simply slow down, cherish those you know and never lose touch.  Talk to the oldsters, learn from them.  And in the end, understand that there are things greater than us, more powerful and grand.

When I need to find humility, I will look at the picture of a tiny man, next to a tiny horse, absolutely dwarfed by a mountain 3 or 4 miles away.  Standing over a valley, hundreds of feet below, contemplating life and death, standing a short distance away from where his oldest and most cherished son had died violently.

Jason was bigger than that mountain.
Link Posted: 10/14/2021 10:16:12 PM EDT
I am honored to have been able to read this tale.

Thank you.
Link Posted: 10/14/2021 10:59:30 PM EDT
So moving, Thank you for sharing!
Link Posted: 10/14/2021 11:41:31 PM EDT
Thanks for sharing that.
Link Posted: 10/15/2021 9:56:29 AM EDT
Not trying to take a dump in this thread but I’ve been wondering since I read this what kind of investments were made by two mountain hippies that allowed them to buy acreage and build that kind of house.
Google, amazon?
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