Silas HucklebackFriday, May 26, 2006
When I went to his funeral in 1980 they were playing Red River Valley at his request. After I photographed Silas Huckleback (aka Melvin Read Burritt) in 1978 I used to visit him (he lived near Mountain Highway in North Vancouver) with my two daughters who loved to see him dressed in his buckskins. While he looked like a genuine buffalo hunter, Silas was always up front in saying that he was born two years later that 1887 when the last bison were seen in Alberta. Silas survived Passchendale's trenches but was evacuated to England when a farmer caught him stealing a chicken and shot him in the rear with a shotgun. Silas always offered me (and I could not decline) his black raspberry wine. On his wall he had a little epithet that read
When the legends die, the dreams end.
When the dreams cease, there is no more greatness.