The Old Story Teller: Seattle
GK ......coming up later on many of these stations, "Back When Things Were Different," with Uncle Jeb the Old Storyteller and another thrilling tale of life in the Old West.
(OLD WEST THEME, UNDER)
TR (GABBY): Yessir, young uns, this is your Uncle Jeb settin' down on the front porch with another story for you. Excuse me, young whippersnappers.
(HE HOCKS AND SPITS A WAD,...pause...pause.. DING OF THE SPITTOON)
TR: I sure did lob that one. Some of you have asked me about this here coonskin cap I wear. 'coursin' back in the old days, we had to make our clothes out of what was available. So we'd go down to the college, find us a couple of college boys wearing raccoon coats, catch 'em, skin 'em and make hats. That's just the way it was back then.
The Great Northwest. This here is Lewis and Clark country. The explorers passed thru this region on their way to the Pacific, then Jerry Lewis and Dean Clark headed to Hollywood to make comedies and host the Colgate Comedy Hour. Those were exciting times.
This here town, Seattle, was founded in 1852. It was named after the historical Indian chief who was the head man of the Duwamish tribe out there on the shores of Puget Sound.
Now there was a lot of back and forth between the settlers and the Indians, there. Some friendly. Some not so friendly. But those Indians, they saw the writing on the tepee wall. And it's said that in 1855 Chief Seattle wrote a letter to President Franklin Pierce that today is used as the rallying cry of environmentalists:
"The Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. . . . But we will consider your offer, for we know if we do not . . . the white man may come with guns and take our lands. . . . How can you buy or sell the sky-the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. Yet we do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle of the water. Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. . . . When the buffaloes are all slaughtered, the wild horses all tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men, and the views of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires, where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone."
TR: Yup, that's what everyone thinks the letter said. But for years, nobody could ever find the original letter. Turns out, I had it! That's right. It was in the pocket of one of my old deerskin jackets, and I ain't worn that jacket for a dog's age. So I found it and read it and it turns out they mis-translated the letter! That chief wasn't talking about the protecting the land or the animals. No. He was talking about the weather. Pages of it. On and on about the rain. And baseball expansion teams. He was heavily in favor of them. And he asked for instructions on how to work the expresso machine the army gave him as part of the treaty.
Yup, yup. Seattle. The bluest skies you ever seen, in Seattle. And the trees the greenest green, in Seattle. Yup. That's what I told Perry Como, God rest his soul. Dang if he didn't rip me off and turn it into a song. And a TV theme show. Enjoyed it, though. I was a big fan of Bobby Sherman. So, don't go bad-mouthing him around me, that's all I have to say.
That was back in the early days, young timers. Back when things were different. Sasquatch tastes like chicken. I bet you didn't know that!
(HE HOCKS AND SPITS AND COUGHS A HACKING COUGH).....
GK: ....Uncle Jeb, the Old Storyteller, coming up later on many of these stations on Back When Things Were Different.