THE GREAT MOHICAN GATHERING OF 1998
A Group Photo Of The '98 Gathering! - From left to right - STANDING: Dar, Emily, Natasha, Lynn, Glenn, Elaine, Jeanette (barely visible), Rich, Joyce, Susan, Carol, Marcia, Steve, John E., Patty, Doug, Kelli, Donna, Jay, Chris, Sherry SITTING (or crouched): Ros, Eric, Sharon, Emine, Kamil, Myrrh, Caitlin, Ilse, Wendy, Jo MISSING: Kevin, John H., Linda, and Jo's 3 sisters, Mary, Kathie & Karen (Who somehow managed to mostly evade my camera. Probably because I was laughing too hard whenever I was near them!)
A DEDICATION ...
We came from Indiana & Illinois. We came from Florida, Texas, California and Oregon. We came from North Carolina and the Alaskan frontier. We came from across the Atlantic. Some came only in Spirit. It didn't matter, for WE came, and we could almost FEEL the presence of those who had wanted to. We came together without anyone making a profit. We came without really knowing WHO it was we were coming to meet. We came to the unknown. Why? Why would virtual strangers, most of whom knew each other ONLY through that intangible realm known as Cyberspace, send their money to who-knows-where for T-Shirts, CRP Packages & movie tickets, pack their bags, and drive, or FLY, to some non-existent place called MohicanLand? This is a question to ponder, much like "The meaning of life," but we'll save that for another time. We imagined a dream. We trusted one another. We put a plan together. We MADE it happen! The lure, the one common thread we knew we all shared, was "The Last of the Mohicans", in its broadest sense. The mystique of that film, of that cast, of those mountains, of even the novel, and certainly, the history was strong enough to make us put aside any fears and turn an unruly mob of merry Posters into an Event we will long remember. So many, though, who helped to foster that dream, and many others who will stumble upon it after the fact, were not able to attend. And so, as the ever-diligent Program Guide Editors pointed out in the GREAT Program Guide (and, it WAS!), we remember you, and dedicate this page to you (along with, of course, those who actually attended). It probably would never have happened without you! A mighty thanks to Rebecca, Victoria, Lynne, Joy, Neuromancer, Bill, Petra, Heather, Joe, She-Who-Tracks ..., Norm, Carmen, Katja, Major Bray, Mike, Gretchen, Kathy, Georgette, Kiki, Juanita, Morwenna, and, of course, the illustrious Dr. Mary! (Did I forget anyone?) This Gathering is behind us now ... It was a glorious time, but bittersweet, for it was SAD to have to say good-bye. You know?
THOSE WHO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER:
(Yeah, Elaine and I did some stuff, too ... we're excellent coffee runners, but MUCH too modest to mention that here!)
From left to right - ABOVE: Marcia (CRP Packages & general coordination), Myrrh (T-Shirt design), & Eric (the spark that ignited the flame & ALL kinds of other stuff) Anybody know what they've been drinking? BELOW: The Three Little Piggies, sometimes referred to as the Program Guide Editors - Chris, Carol, & Jo
OK, on with the show, briefly (for me!) ... As planned, we congregated in the afternoon & evening of June 19, 1998 in the little mountain village of Chimney Rock, NC. Except, of course, for those who arrived the next morning. Afternoon thunderstorms passed, and the weather was mostly clear for the remainder of The Gathering. Many stayed, dormitory style, at the Bunkhouse (We'll leave THAT story to our "Inside The Bunkhouse" reporters, Ilse & Eric), while the rest lodged at nearby motels. Dawn, on the 20th, brought a clear, warm morning.
We began to assemble at the Pavilion, in the Meadows, about halfway up the mountain in Chimney Rock Park, at 8:30AM. It was a time of meeting - mental images of who we were ... shattered! - of examining photos and memorabilia many brought to share, making plans, and taking pictures. Some came dressed in period clothing. It appeared that there were no psychos (Well, maybe except for Carol) there to spoil our fun (Remember, Elaine was HEAVILY medicated!). All the while, the soundtrack to LOTM blared there under the shadow of the giant Chimney (though, there were those who thought it looked more like a ???) that gives the Park its name. Below those Great cliffs, we bonded. And the bugs stayed away, too, except for near that one bush! There was no Great SYMT/GGGG war, and as far as anyone could tell, no one was a cannibal. There was no offering of an innocent victim for a BBQ!
Our long caravan started up to the parking lot. From there, some hiked up, but most rode the elevator, if only to enter the cool tunnel that led to it. There, at the elevator, we were greeted by the sign below. Through 26 stories of rock we rode.
Fan club? Never thought of it that way. Interesting! By clicking on the sign, you can see a photo gallery of some in attendance.
We exited into the Sky Lounge, where we were greeted by the glass-enclosed case of authentic LOTM props, including Magua's knife, Chingachgook's war club, Hawkeye's buckskins, Killdeer, Cora's hat, and a canoe paddle. Picking up our trail lunches at the counter, we broke off into groups to hike the trails. We had entered MohicanLand! We saw where Hawkeye & Cora embraced at Inspiration Point. We saw the jumble of boulders where Magua & Uncas tussle at Nature's Showerbath. The tree Uncas touches as he nears the top of the Groundhog Slide was reverently hugged, kissed and fondled by some in our group. There was the place where Uncas whacks the first Huron. And, Alice's leaping point. We saw where the bodies fell through the air from. Re-enactments were performed. At the Top of the Falls we saw Magua's resting place. We were treated to beautiful views of Hickory Nut Gorge & Falls. In the cool of the shade & the pools formed by cascading falls near the Magua/Chingachgook brawl, we ate lunch and refreshed. Then the hike back along the Skyline Trail, where we watched hawks circling over the gorge below. We spent hours up there on those trails.
One group on the trail at CRP. From left to right - Caitlin, Sharon, Steve, Eric, John H., Myrrh, Jo, Marcia, Elaine, & Rich
Arriving back at the Sky Lounge, we guzzled drinks. Soon, it was time for dinner down at the Pavilion where we re-assembled. The personnel at CRP did an excellent job; the lunches were hearty, and dinner consisted of BBQ'd chicken, hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans, drinks, & dessert ... all cooked up for us right there as we lounged and chatted. We milked the moment and stayed till after closing, but then, the event that many had come for beckoned ...
It was time to drive the hour or so up to Marion where The Last of the Mohicans was being shown specially for US. Assembling in the parking lot, we were joined by maybe 10 or 15 others. The theater was filled with the strains of the soundtrack playing as we settled in. One of Jo's sisters, did an impromptu interview, amidst howls of laughter, of some of the poor locals. They surely thought we were crazed. Maybe we were. Some of us had NEVER seen the film on the big screen. For the others, it had been years. The excitement built. The "interviews" were just what we needed. Then, the lights dimmed, and after the previews, the sound of the drums erupted. This was it! The screen was huge. We found ourselves searching every corner for all the details that suddenly popped out at us. It was like the difference in hearing a song everyday on some little transistor radio and then finally hearing it on a fine stereo system! The tattoos, the expressions, the props, the background action ... it all was there right in front of us. Stuff we hadn't noticed in the countless video watchings that were the predecessor to this grand viewing. We were drawn into the forest during The Elk Hunt. We were invited right into the cabin for dinner during the night scene at Cameron's Cabin. We went to Albany, marched through the woods during The Escort, and followed the trail with Hawkeye during Tracking The War Party. There was a Great cheer the first time Soldier # 2 appeared on screen at Webb's HQ's. Sighs, purrs, and guttural sounds of lust could be heard, from the female contingent, whenever the camera settled on Hawkeye, Uncas, and even, Magua. What a blast! We anxiously anticipated the upcoming battle sequences, the close-ups in the Fort, and seeing where we had earlier in the day trekked. The color was glorious. It couldn't be finer. Then ... it happened. Perhaps the biggest Mohican blooper of all time. Instead of the George Road Ambush, suddenly, Uncas was upside down as he was approaching the Fort. The second reel was spliced in BACKWARDS. We traveled backward in time to The Burial Ground. "A temporary glitch!" we all silently prayed! Not to be, upside down and backwards, we watched in horror as Cora & Hawkeye spoke to each other in tongues. There was stunned silence. The film ground to a halt. The lights came back on. WOW! Surely, no one had EVER seen Mohicans like this. Even with all the remotes many of us have wiped out, rewinding, slo-mo ... Nothing was ever quite like this! It would take three hours to reconstruct the seven reels properly. Once we regained our consciousness, we were able to vote on what to do. How to handle this near mortal blow to our Great Gathering. It was handled with grace & style. No one went crazy! A very good group, these Gatherers! So, the theater people promised a showing the next night. They would give refunds to those who couldn't return, and popcorn and soda would be on the house. It ended up being a long, titillating, sneak preview. We could now look forward to it all over again!
The second day (or was it the third?) ... This time, we met in the parking lot at Linville Falls at 10AM. We sat there chatting a bit, and I was able to give my usual Web Site weekly update in person! Eric had been in on the filming of EVERY scene shot at this location, so we were blessed with the ultimate tour guide. We first came upon the Ambush site on The George Road. We saw where Hawkeye twirls his rifle, and where Magua disappears into the smoke. We went over to the Upper Falls, where parts of the canoe chase were filmed. Then, on through the woods where the 60th escorted the Munro sisters on the way to Fort William Henry. Again, we were treated to re-enactments. This time, even Marcia got into the act, unwittingly doing a splendid imitation of a falling British soldier as she tumbled into one of the numerous gullies. Very realistic looking, too! Then, we went to where we could view both the Upper & Lower Falls, while Eric, some distance away, crawled out onto the ledge where, in the film, it appears the cast is about to enter the cave. A Great time, but we were already late for our lunch reservations ...
Part of our group at Linville. From left to right - STANDING: Emily, Eric, Rich, Sharon, Elaine, Donna, Sherry, Jay, Dar, Carol, Marcia, Ilse, Myrrh, John H., Chris, Natasha, Kamil CROUCHING: Kevin, Emine, Jo, Caitlin
On to the FAMOUS Louise's Rock House to eat. Good food, excellent company, we sat and happily chatted for, perhaps, a little too long. Who would have known we would like each other THIS much? Plus, there was the back of the menu which discussed the tax problems caused by the building sitting on the junction of three counties. This amused Ilse & Jo to no end!
Much of the way behind us, we still had to reach the rocky ridge towards the upper right of this photo, near the Chimneys of Table Rock. Fun! ... Photo courtesy of Jo & David Tishler
We left, heading further down Linville Gorge to Table Rock Mountain. As we climbed the long, winding dirt road to near the summit, our little caravan kicked up a dust cloud you wouldn't believe. After what seemed like days and days, we reached the little parking area, relieved ourselves at the utterly delightful out houses, and set out along the ridge to find The Final Scene. We had with us our walking wounded ... Jo, who's previously sprained ankle was giving her increasing pain, Marcia, who added to her sprained wrist with soreness from her re-enactment demonstrations, and Dar, afraid of heights as it was, was wounded in the Bunkhouse, of all places, doing an Alice-type swan dive off the top bunk. Ilse promises more on THIS! Jo started out, but could go no more ... Had it only been the pain, she would have, undoubtedly, forged on, but the traction of her "moon boot" just wouldn't cut this uneven terrain. She retreated with one of her sisters. Dar made it quite a distance, but dropped out as we approached the uncertain part. We continued, undaunted, feeling our way to the scene of Chingachgook's prayer. This is an arduous climb at times, but the remaining members of our party DID make it. Tears were flowing as we reached the place. Some for joy, some for Chingachgook's pain ... What a view! What a place! Nothing but wilderness to look out upon. It became the favorite place of our trail following for many. An informal poll confirmed this.
The die-hards! Those who made it to stand with Hawkeye, Cora, & Chingachgook ... from left to right - STANDING: Kamil, Caitlin, Sharon, Eric, Myrrh, Rich, Marcia, Ilse, Mary (the Interviewer!) SITTING: Donna, Elaine, Carol, Chris, Natasha, Emine, John H.
Tears accompany our arrival at The Final Scene.
We probably would have lingered on longer, but the call of THE much anticipated, now more than ever, showing of LOTM had beckoned us a second time. We HAD to go. We were going to be late. We merrily kicked up more dust on the way down, bypassed Lake James, skipped dinner, and arrived at the theater 15 minutes late! Luckily, those who hadn't gone to Table Rock were already there and had held the film. We plopped down, physically exhausted from two VERY busy days, but exhilarated nonetheless at the prospect of FINALLY seeing our film. We suppered on free popcorn & soda. It began again. Everything was SO large. As the film approached, and then passed, the point of last night's disaster, a sigh of relief could be heard. This time, things were much quieter as we relished the showing all the more. Uncas died again. It's the same as on video. Alice again jumps off the cliff. No one could save her. We saw where we had just a couple of hours earlier stood, close to the heavens on Table Rock. Then, it was over. The credits rolled. We saw the now familiar names of Curtis Gaston, Mark A. Baker, and Connie Boyer roll by. Oh, did I forget someone? A loud cheer for Eric A. Hurley who truly gave of himself this fabulous weekend. Two hours never had gone by so quickly.
We filed out into the parking lot and mingled till about midnight. We bade our farewells. The Bunkhousers returned there for one more night. A few lingered on the next day to see some more locations. It was over. We had pulled it off! The Great Mohican Gathering of 1998 was now a memory. But WHAT a memory. We have scattered once again, to resurface, time & again, on the Board. But what a difference! We are REAL now, and, I suspect that the Board will not always be enough. There will come again the need to be together as one ... to share that common thread ... to re-enter MohicanLand ... till then, Happy Trails! It was ALOT of fun! ...
SOME COMMENTS FROM THOSE WHO WERE THERE:
Remember me? I'm the young guy that didn't say anything. Anyway it's monday morn. I was late for work. Long night. I'm still in a state of euphoria. This weekend was a dream come true. Thanks to all. I'm sorry I didn't learn eveyone's name. I am sure we will get to know each other here on the board. Got to go ... Jay
... just wanted to add that I have never met a group of more wonderful caring people - I felt so at home - we were like a family for 3 days - again, I can't say enough about it being a fabulous time ... Dar
Just wanted to let you know, I had a great time this weekend. I really hope we get to do this again next year. It was real interesting to meet all of the people who came; sorry I didn't learn everyone's name. I hope everyone has a safe trip back home, and I hope to see you again next year. Thanks for such a great retreat Marcia and everyone who helped to put this together, you did a great job! ... See you next year fellow Mohicanites ... Sherry
...I will say that I have never met such a great group of people!! Once merely words on a webpage...faceless, voiceless. But no more. Friendly, open, helpful, sharing and humorous LOTMers, from coast to coast and beyond. (Ann Landers, are you listening?) Eric, my dear, you went way beyond the call of duty!! I do appreciate everything you did, said, brought -- down to the smallest little detail. Your efforts made a good gathering a SPECIAL & WONDERFUL GATHERING!! Thank you so very, very much! Susan, Marcia, Myrrh, the three little piggies -- thanks for all your work! As ya'll know the Cliff Trail had this GGGG hurting! Next year I'll take the tamer Linville Falls trail first! ... Lynn
Jo and her sisters (who are not a figment of Elaine's imagination, to say the least!) were given a wide berth as we made our "march to the sea" but in the opposite direction; and we arrived home safetly in SFO to 52 degree no humidity weather. (Almost safely, as my sister Mary of the great interviews is added to the list of the wounded walking back to Albany as her foot and ankle swelled up enormously due to some hurt/reproach/bug bite/hike....) My sisters and I all had a GREAT TIME and already miss the interesting state of North Carolina ("Be Alert" "Drive Safely" "Bridge Ices Before Road" and of course the "Dead End" pointed out to one so that no one misses where one can no longer drive; not to mention the exit signs);but what we really miss is the GREAT people we met who made our trip so worthwhile! Thank you! Cheers to us for a great weekend (even if we got no sleep!) ... Jo, A member of the mile high top bunk club (along with Dar- purple heart award -, Wendy, Carol, my sister Karen and who else?)
What a Great weekend! I got to meet all the Wild, Wacky and "WONDERFUL" women and men of LOTM. I really enjoyed it, and I am looking forward to many more. Eric, is the TRUE form of that beautiful Rock etched in everyone's minds ... Glenn
Argh, the weekend flew by so quickly! I finally made it back home in one piece. Stopped off at the Biltmore Estate yesterday. That was something! Did get a shot of the carriage house and the bridge - beautiful, beautiful.... Guess we had a heck of a storm here that pulled trees down all over. I encountered one hellacious electrical storm in Tennessee (Rich - thought of you and your tale on top of Table Rock : - ) Finished reading the posts. (yes, I am guilty of running to my computer as soon as I walked through the door) Susan, thank you for the pictures. My film won't be ready for a couple of days so it was nice to get a tease! I honestly can not fully express how much fun I had this weekend. Hiking and seeing the film sites, finally getting to see LOTM on the big screen... I mean, seeing Eric Schweig in those chaps and three-times normal size! WOW! I couldn't have asked for a better bunch of LOTM fanatics to spend three days with. ; - D It was a great pleasure to meet and get to know you all. Thank you for your kindness. Rich, Elaine, Eric, and Marcia : a sincere thank you for all your hard work and patience - It was TRULY appreciated! count me in for next year! ... caitlin
... It was the most wonderful weekend!! All the people I met are such friendly and wonderful people, I am so glad to call them my friends ... Sharon
After this unforgetable weekend, don't we all feel like family. On behalf of the remaining sisters four, I would like to THANK ALL OF YOU for being the wonderful people you are. I am so glad I had the opportunity to meet all of you. I think we became bonded in a special way and you will all remain in my heart forever ... Kathie
I have never had a better time than I had this past weekend. Everyone was so great and very nice. A really great bunch of people. Thanks to all and a special thank to Marcia, Rich, Eric and all who made it happen. We had a little blooper on Saturday but made up for it on Sunday which made it all worth while. You bet I will be there next year ... Thanks again for the opportunity to join the fun ... John H.
... Loved the scenery........... I'm totally amazed with all the information and pictures from the Gathering so soon! I had a great time ... Thanks for a wonderful time! :') ... Donna
... suffice it to say we had a wonderful, life-altering time at this Gathering! Everyone was just as friendly and interesting as I knew they would be, and I cannot WAIT to begin working on next year's event ... Marcia
... it was a long and sad trip home ... we had such a great time this past weekend. met some very wonderful people who we hope to keep in contact with ... even though we weren't able to spend much time around him, Eric was in our conversation quite often. i've never seen anyone so enthusiastic and always there to help in any way he could. he really put something special into this gathering. well, after hiking for 3 days straight ... neither one of us can hardly walk for all our sore muscles but we think it was all worth it. we had a wonderful time and can't wait till next year! ... patty
... I miss all of you already! I feel like I need to see your faces and say good morning to you! Eric, you up yet?! Hey, Sharon, how be ye? Susan - gettin' jiggy wid it? Well, stop long enough to eat breakfast, will ya, and don't forget to feed that adorable (if perpetually drooling) Agnes, and the dancing budgies! Hi, Emily and Kevin...how was your trek up Table Rock? Yo, Ros! Keep packing, babe...you'll be on the res soon! (Has the tatoo worn off yet?) Darlene, my dear! Still thinking about what a wonderful time we had watching LOM till 3a.m. at the bunkhouse, the two of us hunkered down quietly in the living room....ah, comparing notes! Jo, how's your ankle/leg/foot? Better, I hope. Jo's sisters...how be ye this fine morning?! Miss you! Chris...your husband would go wild on the Blue Ridge Parkway!! Many big rocks! Wendy...hope your trip rounded out nicely and Mom and son had fun! Natasha, Emine, Kamil...hope you're all up and doing well today! You too, Carol, Lynn, Glenn, the Johns, Caitlin and, well, EVERYBODY!!! Top O' the morning to y'uns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ready for some grits and liver mush?! Remember, bridge ices before road ... Myrrh
... What a treat to be able to put faces with the posts now. Rich, I can't believe you told Elaine she had to behave herself at the gathering ... especially when it became obvious none of the rest of us were! Shame on you!! Isn't it amazing to think that 38 (or thereabouts) of us could get together and get along so well, even though none of us had ever met before (excluding Jo and her sisters). Not a nut case in the bunch (at least not out of the norm for the group). Rich, Elaine, Marcia, Myrrh, Eric, Susan all did a wonderful job in putting the weekend together for us. Thank you so much. It was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had. For those of you who missed this year's celebration, start saving money and making your plans now. It was well worth any trouble any of us took to make it there ... Chris
Now that it's over ...... I really want to thank all who were able to make the Gathering for being here. It was a lot of fun meeting each and every one of you. What a nice group of people!!! If anything could have provided inspiration to continue working on our web site, this was it ... thank you. For those who were unable to make it, know that you were missed. (Thanks for keeping the fires burning, Rebecca and Petra!) ... Elaine
Musings from Mary (the Interviewer/also known as Sister #3): ... The weekend was one that I'll never forget, not only because I had the pleasure of being with Kathie, Jo (as we now call her), and Karen but because of the friendly, CARING people we met. I will never forget Marcia's Significant Emotional Event after that LONG final climb, nor will I ever forget Eric's help and concern, not only for Marcia but for all of us. Thanks Eric! And Sharon, you can still be sister #5 anytime you want! Rich and Elaine, thank you for all your hard work in helping make the weekend happen. Most of all, thanks to everyone who "gathered". It truly took all of us to make this weekend one we will never forget! ... Mary
Dear LOTMeres!! ... What a lovely time I had, meeting you all in the sacred grounds!! You are the nicest bunch!! I really enjoyed our time together ... Eric + Sharon you were adorable!!! ... Eric dear what an inspiration of self discipline you were- all that heat and you in that wool garment!! ... Marcia, what a spirit!! what determination!! you just have stolen my admiration!!! And off course thanks for all your effort in putting this event together and since we are in the thank you neighborhood, a BIG thanks to Eric for connecting us with the then and some of the how�s as they have occurred, to Rich and Elaine for been the matrix that brought all of us together, for the book, the board the movie showing, the.....the...... Thanks too, Jo, Chris and Carol for the lovely program of events, thanks Susan for sharing so generously the pictures and tapes and your memories!! Ros thanks for sharing the trail and the ceremonial moment! I feel honored having been there and thirsty to know more! Thanks to both Johns E and H (we did make it to Atlanta in about 4 hours..) for all the exhibits. To Jo, Mary, Karen and Kathie, I owe a few smiles from the heart for it was so soul-warming to see your closeness and diversity and for providing that sweatshirt for.. just in case. Ilse dear, hope you are having a blast in touring the rest of the country and a safe trip home. Mike thanks for all the photographs -no rest for the wicked as they say in the midwest, and Emily for sharing the trail. Myrrh for making the bunkhouse a house with a heart. Glen and Lynn, thanks for loving comfort! I did enjoy your space in the bunkhouse. Donna for the lovely chats and teases and Emine and Kamil for been my friends!! who else? who else? .... in time, I know I will recall your names, as I recall your faces.... you know that I thank you for been part of this experience!! An experience that I still feel stirring to my blood!! I had the most wonderful of times I can not wait for next year!! ... Natasha
"WHAT AN ADVENTURE!"
The back cover of the 1998 Program Guide.
On The Trail Of The Last Of The Mohicans ... Photo courtesy of Jo & David Tishler
Be Sure To Visit The GATHERERS' PHOTO GALLERY - Includes "INSIDE THE BUNKHOUSE!"
MORE SITES ON THE GATHERING:
Visit The MOHICAN MUSINGS INDEX
Last Update: 06/28/2010