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He Made His Living With a Gold Pan–Do You Know Him?


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Years ago, when I was young and living the life of a full-time sniper, I ran into a character camped in California's Plumas National Forest. His name was Clair (he said). For many seasons he had been living in his van and making his living sniping for gold with a gold pan. In ways, he was an odd dude—highly independent, fiercely opinionated, and disdainful of frills, opulence and the entanglements of society. Yet, never a steamroller, he was quiet and reserved by nature and kept his passions contained.

I only visited his camp a few times that season. He'd be an old-timer by now (like me). I wonder whatever happened to him. How's he doing? Is he still sniping? Is he even still alive? If anyone here knows, I'd appreciate hearing from you. I published a post  about him and how he lived–on my new blog—here.

 

The purpose of life is to find plenty of gold and live forever–or die trying! 

 

Edited by Pocketman
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Not my brother, but he could have been...even your drawing resembles him.

He camped in a purple van on the Quincy/la Porte rd.

oddly his first name was Clair. Everyone not related called him Mace...short for our last name. A brilliant mind and a wasted life...I hope your friend fared better.

fred

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Fred,

Wow! that's quite a coincidence with your brother. I guess most  folks would consider that the Clair in my post wasted his life too. But he didn't feel that way. He was happiest, I think, out and away from people and civilization; to my mind, happiness is the very best measure of success. Money and material things didn't matter to him, beyond the necessities. 

 I don't believe Clair was built to handle the asphalt, chatter, and close quarters of urban living, couldn't cope–too much stress for him. He didn't say so in so many words, but I kinda got the impression his childhood wasn't easy. I think he had a lot of ugly scars–invisible ones. It's been a lot of years. I hope he went on to live, or is still living, his best rendition of the good life! Your brother too. Sometimes a Man Must Run Against the Tide If He Means to Be His Own Captain.

Sorry it took me so long to reply. I didn't get notified by email that you'd left a comment. I don't know, maybe it doesn't work that way in the forums. I'll check.

Cheers. May your pan fill with nuggets!
Jason

Edited by Pocketman
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