Writing is an interesting art. At times I struggle for the proper words but other times the words flow and the writing occasionally surprises me. I’ve written most of the nonfiction portion of the story that covers from 2012 to the present. Every year will be followed by a fictional account of the principal players who were active in the story before, during and after the gold robbery.
The research options available today are great for uncovering facts and details that add so much to the story. Newspapers alone have greatly benefited me, especially from small towns. Being starved for news in a remote area meant gossip, or unsubstantiated facts, made it to print as well. Some papers even reported who arrived or departed on the stagecoach or train and who stayed at which hotel. The facts I’ve learned have allowed me to build a better, more accurate story and bring the characters alive for the reader. With luck, the talents of a few great librarians might add more.
After years of writing a manuscript detailing my adventure, I chose a competent editor in Vancouver to read my work. Her thoughtful and intelligent guidance surprised and pleased me. The encouragement offered has further ignited my writing passion and I have returned to the original style I wrote some years ago.
Mathew Roderick and I have much in common. My last partner, a wonderful woman, has much in common with Mary Roderick. And with a little imagination, my daughter Haley could have much in common with Roderick’s daughter Trophy Leona.
Now, to clear up a few program glitches and get on with it. Let the winter rains fall…
My new working title. Recently I learned that a lifetime of unusual experiences has me categorized as a highly sensitive person (HSP). Others refer to us as Empaths. Something between eight and twenty percent of the population fall into this category. It’s a gratifying experience to have your traits or characteristics understood and even embraced. For me, this is similar to when I learned about my social anxiety, a mental illness only recognized around 1980. While its certainly mental, I never thought of it as an illness but more of a condition. No matter. I’ve dealt with it and am a better person for it, depending on who you ask. When I started to realize my difficulties with social anxiety, I revealed my concerns to a doctor. His response was simply for me to not worry about it. Thanks. I get a sudden onset of brain fog and that’s not the advice I needed. Perhaps more importantly, how does one with social anxiety not worry about it? After decades of worry, I developed a huge hiatel hernia in my stomach. The painful experience was eventually dealt with by a talented surgeon. These experiences have been apart of the quest for stolen gold bars.
Discovering that I am an Empath has allowed for another round of education but the modern age has made it much easier than in the 1980’s. Except now I find there are over-lapping traits with both those considered to be Healers and Pagans or Wicca’s. This interesting situation also carries a variety of experiences involved in my story. Suddenly I realize how my mental and spiritual experiences need to be a bigger part of the story. If the search for stolen gold doesn’t interest you, perhaps my journey into the realm of mental health and spirituality will attract the reader, an agent, or a publisher.
My attempt to run a MeetUp group for Empaths didn’t fare well although I did meet some interesting people. But after four meetings and paying over one hundred and twenty dollars, I gave up. Seemed to me that many people liked to join groups but few attended. And distractions are not what I need when a sharp writing focus is more important.
Vinegar, when used properly, can be a great cleaner for the long term effects of a wet forest-canyon floor on metal. Decades ago, I learned a hard lesson when using vinegar to clean a set of rare, vintage motorcycle spokes. In the hectic pace of my agricultural and fatherly pursuits, I forgot about them for a month. I had set them aside where young children couldn’t get into a serious situation so when I finally remembered, they were no more. Spoke mush. Ever the lucky fool, I had a second set to fall back on.
The cleaning of my precious treasure trove revealed that Mathew Roderick’s enameled tin cup had a trace of blue on the finger loop. The wheel barrow frame had a coat of black paint much of which still looks good for the age and conditions. The small hatchet has a dark colour along the edge that I’m thinking might have been from a tempering process. And the two handles for the felling saw cleaned up appreciably well releasing accumulated rust, rocks and sand. One piece still held the hardwood handle – how’s that for a test on the quality of hardwood for a handle? With the debris removed I could also see how the handles were held in place. A small pin had been driven through the metal frame into the wood.
While the mining shovel had little enough rust covering the stamped lettering, the mining pick fared worse over the years and initially no stamped lettering could be found. But with the rust cleaned off, the name OLIVER was revealed. I’m guessing there was a foundry somewhere with that name.
In places where there had been no paint, the metal began to rust quickly after the cleaning. I developed a method of saturating the pieces with WD-40, that wonderful protective product familiar to many. Most of the pieces absorbed a lot of the protective coating over several days. Rubbing away the excess showed the method worked well. They are all in better condition than they were after being buried for 123 years.