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Talk about going primal ...

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  • Talk about going primal ...

    I just came across a book on the mountain man upon whom the Robert Redford film Jeremiah Johnson was supposedly based. So I bought it, being interested in life in remote places.

    His name was actually John not Jeremiah and Johnston not Johnson. (AFAIK, Johnston with a "t" is a Scottish borders name, but that's by the by.)

    Anyway, legends seem to have accreted around this man, John Johnston. However, one informant who knew the man was known as truthful, and was conscientious about giving exact information to a historian who interviewed him, even taking a train to follow and catch up with the historian to tell him he realized he'd misremembered some details. Details about tribes and terrain were also checked with the Bureau of American Ethnology. So presumably the story is not all tall tales.

    It turns out that Johnston was not as cuddly as the character played by Redford, being pretty much "mad, bad, and dangerous to know". The informant mentioned above was actually nervous about speaking of him to the historian even though he'd been dead for many years!

    Here's how the book starts:

    One May morning in 1847, Crow Indians killed and scalped John Johnston's pregnant wife; for many years thereafter, he killed and scalped Crow Indians. Then he ate their livers, raw.
    Talk about getting primal on someone's ass -- or rather liver! Crow Killer: The Saga of Liver-Eating Johnson (Midland Book) (9780253203120): Raymond W. Thorp Jr., Robert Bunker: Books

  • #2
    Lol, at least Hannibal cooked the liver with wine.
    Primal/Paleo is not for everyone, it's for those who have committed to understand.
    READ THE BOOK! Robb Wolf says: "Trying to convince people to save their own ass will burn you out."

    Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for -- the pure enjoyment of food. Anthony Bourdain

    and yes, calories DO count my little piggies


    • #3
      I remember this story! How nuts was the guy?! How nuts would YOU be if someone killed your wife? I mean, the bodies would pile up pretty quick, I'd think.
      Crohn's, doing SCD


      • #4
        Now I have to go out and buy another book. Sounds fascinating!


        • #5
          Originally posted by Moochy View Post
          Lol, at least Hannibal cooked the liver with wine.
          And fava beans. Very not primal.
          F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

          **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

          **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**


          • #6
            Excellent book. Great movie also but read the book first.
            AKA: Texas Grok

            Originally posted by texas.grok
            Facebook is to intelligence what a black hole is to light


            • #7
              i like that movie only b/c i like looking at the scenery. Robert Redford annoys me to the nth degree. I do remember now googling Jeremiah Johnson & finding that liver eating thing. Thanks for posting, Lewis! Sounds like another good book to put on my list...


              • #8
                Originally posted by texas.grok View Post
                Excellent book. Great movie also but read the book first.
                Yeah, it's interesting. I'm sure one has to discount a large portion as tall tales, but doubtless there are some remarkable true incidents in there.

                Albeit it the edition I bought comes from an academic source -- the University of Nebraska Press -- I don't think the authors/editors have been excessively careful with sources. It's amusing to find George Bird Grinnell given dialog appropriate to a semi-literate backwoodsman when he actually had a Ph.D. from Yale.

                My guess would be that Johnston really did eat human livers -- though how many ...

                My title was intended as something of a joke, but I think that perhaps something quite atavistic can happen with people. There have been accounts of terrorists lapping human blood from their victims in our own day.


                • #9
                  ya want to purch taht kind of book also!!
                  call Sounds fascinating