Bear Doctors

Peer Reviewed

Essay Excerpt

This story began as an intrusive remembered fragment of the happenings of one day long ago.[1] Over the next few days, other fragments of that day came back. Some of the bits of remembrance were simply that. How they related to the other bits I did not understand. Since then I have been putting the remembrances together with fragments from other sources. Some things are clearer now, other pieces remain elusive. It does not seem likely that the mosaic of fragments will ever be complete.

It all began with a sudden vision of a place. It may be that I never really knew why we went to the houses in the canyon. A man who was called Soledad lived there. He had to be seen and talked to about something that I probably didn't know then and do not know now. I may have been about ten years old at that time. I remember Soledad as a quiet man who listened and smiled at the joking and storytelling of the usual gathering of men. The place was a rancheria at the end of a dirt road that turned off the paved road. The paved road was a Fresno County road that wound around through the Sierra Nevada foothills. I have a memory of traveling in our blue Ford through a landscape of oak trees, manzanita, California buckeye trees, and digger pines. The road branched off the Toll House road at the corner by the school, down below Cressman's store, to go to Auberry and North Fork (116).

Willard, W. "Bear Doctors." Cultural Anthropology 10.1(1995): 116–124.

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