P apa   J oe's     T.S.S   presents:

( Papa   Joe's   Travelling   Storytelling   Show)

Our Library of Electronic Texts

Papa Joe  ~  Travel Notes

PJ's Travel Notes


Date: Monday, July 13, 1998 12:06 PM

Subject: Weeks & of Papa Joe's Tour Notes - Summer '98


Monday, June 8 through Wednesday, June 10

Driving to Moscow Mountain, Idaho...

Heading West out of Bartlesville, OK, I ran into some nasty weather. It was green storm clouds and high winds. I didn't see any tornadoes, but I was glad to turn North and made the rest of the days60.7 miles uneventfully. I camped under clear skies near the Nebraska/Wyoming line.

Soon after I started out this (Tuesday) morning, I picked up a hitchhiker by the name of Mark. He was a cowboy cook. He worked on ranches from Texas to Montana. His pickup truck was stolen in Texas last week and he'd just had too much of the South, so he was heading for a ranch not far from Billings, Montana.

We had a great time sharing stories. He was quite a teller, though he had never thought of himself as one. LOL! Here's one of the tales he shared. It sure helped pass the time as I drove the99.6 miles to Deer Lodge, MT.

Gentle Warning - - - - - A Little Risque - - - - - - - - -

A cowboy had taken the train to Nevada to try his luck in the casinos. He didn't have any luck, but bad and by the end of the day, all he had left was a five dollar bill and his train ticket home. He figured he'd better get out while he still had something so he went out to the cab stand and found a cab waiting there.

"How much for a ride to the train station?"

The cabby said, "$7.50"

The cowboy pulled out his last five bucks. "This is all I have. I wasn't very lucky this trip. Will you take it and bring me to the station?"

That cabdriver got all mad and said, "You good for nothing loser! You think I'm gonna waste my time on you, when I can stay here and drive a winner, who'll give me a big tip. Hike to the train station, you worthless desert rat."

Well, the cowboy walked to the train station and made his way back to his ranch, but come next payday, he went back to the same casino. This time he won $25,000. He figured he'd better get out while he still had it so he went out to the cab stand and saw that same cabby, just three taxis down the line.

The cowboy walked up to the first cab and asked the driver for the fare to the train station.


The cowboy said, "I'll give you 50 bucks, if you give me the ride and have sex with me."

The cabdriver said, "No way and stay away from my cab."

The cowboy walked up to the second cab and asked the driver for the fare to the train station.


The cowboy said, "I'll give you 50 bucks, if you give me the ride and have sex with me."

This cabdriver also said, "No way and stay away from my cab."

So the cowboy walked up to that third cab and said, "Take me to the train station and step on it."

As the cab pulled out of the line, the cowboy leaned out his window, smiling and waving to the other two cabbies. When they looked up at him, the cowboy winked real slyly and gave 'em both the thumbs up sign.


After that tale, I told Mark he was a storyteller. He said he didn't think so, but wanted to know why I though he was. I told him one reason was because he told the whole tale and didn't cut the part of the second cabdriver down to a "and he did the same at the second cab."

Mark had a story for every occasion. We were talking about how important it was to work for a living instead of living off of someone else's labor


One day a rancher was out on the range and saw the mangiest half starved mutt of a hound dog, he ever saw. He watch the dog scent out a rabbit and chase it near and far. That rabbit ran for its life, zigzagging back and forth. Poor dog didn't look like it would ever catch it. But the dog kept it up and after awhile managed to bring the rabbit down.

The rancher was impressed. He thought the dog was a fine worker and that it could guard the vegetable patch back at the ranch. Yup, that rancher had had a lot of trouble with rabbits eating up his garden.

So he brought the dog home and gave it all it wanted to eat, twice a day. Soon the dog was looking fine, fed, and happy. You know, that dog never did another lick of work the rest of it's life. Just sat the whole day long, fat and happy on the rancher's front porch. And the rancher still had a lot of trouble with rabbits eating up his garden.

I'll bet you can guess the moral of this tale.


Only had to drive 349.3 miles to get to Moscow Mountain on Thursday. So nice to be back in Batsy's woodshed. There were some Nut Brown Ales waiting for me and it felt like coming home.

Batsy's Wood shed looks more like a wooden covered bridge than anything else. It's open on both ends and there is a raised wooden floor on one side. That's where they put their wood for the Winter. There's not much wood there now and that's all way in the back. They had a desk and a chair sitting out there and a telephone too. A perfect place for me to use as an office. (for a photo , just ask)

The shows all went off with no problems, but the Vardo didn't do as well. When I went to empty the black water tank (that's the tank under the toilet), the valve handle came off in my hand, but the valve stayed closed. Batsy's husband Cope told me where to find the RV repair shop, but when I told them my problem they said, "Sorry! We don't do that job anymore. It's too nasty." LOL! They did tell me how to do it and sold me a new valve. I fixed it and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

After the Orofino show, while Batsy and I were doing the 60+ miles back to Moscow Mountain, the engine started overheating. I used every trick I know to keep the Vardo cool, but that engine just kept getting hotter. It was getting late on this Saturday night and I knew all the garages would be closed. What to do? What to do?

Coyote stood on the side of the road as I struggled to climb a hill. As I began the descent, the needle on my Temperature gage began to show the engine was cooling. Then it was heating up. Then it was cooling. Up and down the temperature went, all the way to Moscow Mountain. Then as we pulled up to Batsy's driveway, the leaky hose blew and the stream came pouring out from under the hood. Batsy walked up the mountain and I stayed below for the night. Seemed to hear Coyote laughing in my dreams. 'Course it was easy enough to replace the hose in the morning. I give Coyote his due. He had his jokes, but got me home.

Moose was on the mountain the whole time I was there. I never saw him, but I heard him plenty. Tasha did too, but didn't want to meet him. Turkey left me a beautiful flight feather. So many gifts from the Mountain. And then there is the Grandmother and Grandfather Trees.

Batsy lives on Gnat Creek, part of the drainage between the Twin Sisters (those are the West and middle peaks, Moscow is the largest and Eastern peak of the mountain). On the top of the East Twin stand two huge old Ponderosa Pines. They look to be well over two hundred years old. These gnarly, knotted, wind twisted Pines stand like an ancient couple. Grandfather Tree has one arm reaching down and intertwined with Grandmother Tree. His other arm is wrapped around some smaller trees, his grandchildren. You can see these two giants from any point where you can see the south face of the mountain.

Batsy and Cope led a group up to the Trees for a picnic dinner. We sat on rock ledges, climbed into Grandfather's arms, and enjoyed Raven's calls. As I was saying my farewells to Grandfather, I found a very interesting shaped stick at his base. It's about a foot long with a large knot on one end and a little knot, just about a hand grasp from the bottom. It seemed to be formed for my hand. One of the interesting features was a hollow in the top knot. The shape looked as if it were cut into the wood. When I came to say good-bye to Grandmother, there at her base, was a small pink stone. It was exactly the same shape as the hollow on the stick and it looked as if it was cut to fit. It did fit, like a jigsaw puzzle piece. And using a little bit of Grandmother's sap, I set the stone into the knot. It's a coup stick, from the Native tradition of counting coup.

In the old days, when the tribes were at peace, a warrior would prove his prowess by sneaking into his old enemy's camp and tap him with a coup stick, then flea away safely. No one was hurt (except the pride of the one who had been tapped) and the warriors could still test their skills. What will this Storyteller do with a coup stick? I don't know, but I'm sure I'll find out.

Earlier in the day, I found an old porcupine, dead on the side of the road. It is a habit of mine, when it is possible, to remove road kill from the highways and in the case of porcupines, to remove some undamaged quills for friends who do bead work. The quills are dyed and stitched into regalia (Native American clothing). While removing the quills, I noticed that this (female) was one of the oldest porcupines, I had ever seen. She had been a mother many times and her hair was longer than any other porcupine's hair. After I had placed her where Coyote and Vulture could safely do their duty, I cut a fist full of her hair. The pony tail will decorate my coup stick. It's an interesting combination. Porcupine totem is Innocence, childlike trust.

One of the main reasons for going to Northern Idaho this year was to help the newly established story circles. I did two workshops, one for Coeur D'Alene (the city, not the tribe) and another for Moscow. Both were very well attended. Batsy, please keep us informed of the effects. Providing workshops and es to the public has worked well in many areas for increasing membership of story circles.

Every year, I seem to find a common theme while facilitating workshops. This year the theme seems to be individuality or helping folks understand that the path to telling must be found within each of us. There is no road map, only guide posts. There is no standard, only models, many models. Each of us need to pick and choose such pieces of the models as go together to create our own special style of telling. The trick is finding the pieces that touch our hearts and souls and putting the pieces together in a way that will reach out to others in story, so to touch their hearts and souls.

One last story from Northern Idaho. At one of the Latah County Libraries, I was greeted by some children who had attended a show two years before. They were so excited about the show that they had begged their Uncle to put off the end of his visit so their cousins could come and enjoy the stories with them. I looked at one of the cousins and recognized the stamp of her face. She could have been any one of a dozen of my Acadian cousins. I asked her name and she said Cyr.

<Big Smile> I said, "My Eight Times Great Grandfather was Pierre Cyr Sire, the original Acadian pioneer of the Cyr family in North America. We are probablyth cousins in that line." The whole family was so excited. Imagine being Papa Joe's cousin and not even knowing it. Joy is where we find it.

Pax & Amicitia,

Papa Joe

In the Vardo, On the road.

Papa Joe  ~  Travel Notes

PJ's Travel Notes

Papa  Joe  ~  Telling  Tales

Our  Library  ~  P.J.T.S.S®

Copyright © 1996-2014 All rights reserved.


Email: PapaJoeGaudet@live.com


Story Submissions