November 25, 2018

"I’m a mountain boy, I’ve got everything I need. I understand (the police) are worried, but I’ve been here my whole life.... I’m not a survivalist. I’m a survivor."

Said Brad Weldon, quoted in "Generators, Coors and canned food. How these ‘mountain boys’ are surviving in Paradise" (Sacramento Bee).
“I can’t see myself sitting in a shelter, day after day, with sick people and screaming kids all around me,” said Lyndon McAfee, another of those toughing it out behind the lines.... “This is my home, Paradise, man,” he said. “I love this place.”...

“I woke up and said to myself, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’” [said
Stewart Nugent, who then] snuck back into Paradise on foot, covering more than eight miles of rocky and steep terrain to get to his house. He’s been surviving on canned food. A friend of a neighbor dropped off a case of Coors Light beer and utility workers have provided him pizza and lunches.... "If my cat starts talking to me,” he said, “I’ll leave.”

27 comments:

rcocean said...

Our Cat talks to us, all the time. She's figured out verbal communication works with humans.

She has different kinds of "meows" for different things. One means "food", One means "Play" and the other means "Outside" and when we're near the food dish the pitch goes lower and says "Don't fuck with me, open the can".

But its good the man's cat survived, or maybe he took it with him during the evac.

rcocean said...

Shades of Harry Truman - From Mt. St. Helens.

EDH said...

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea has said his deputies won’t arrest people who are legitimately in town — but as long as evacuation orders are in place, authorities won’t let anyone back inside the town if they cross official police check points to go out.

As long as it's not an international border, I guess.

AllenS said...

Someone who didn't vote for Crooked Hillary.

Leland said...

Doesn't California owe him Due Process before taking away access to his home? Wasn't this the concept recently reaffirmed by a federal judge?

Birkel said...

Property right to a government pension? You betcha!

Property right to real property? We'll let you know when you're allowed back.

Californians are not free people.

Hagar said...

It is noticeable in the "after" pictures from Paradise show the trees (tall pines?) still standing, and most even seem to have their crowns more or less intact. It apparently was the brush and ground litter that burned; not the "forest".

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The rebuilding of Paradise. To come back or not to come back?

I think that depends on how young/old you are. It takes time to even get the money to rebuild, to find contractors. Time for the landscaping to recover. Trees and shrubs to grow back. At a certain age, a person might decide that they don't want to or CAN'T wait for time to pass. Take the insurance money, IF there was fire insurance, and move on for the remaining 10 years of their life.

Younger people have time and more energy. Economically, it might also be better for the young to stay.

The trees, as Hagar noted, are not totally burned in some areas. The pines might be able to return. The pecker poles, which should have been thinned out years ago....no one is going to miss them.

Oaks and some deciduous trees will have no problem. I suspect that in about 5 to 10 years or so, looking at the vegetation, you might not even know that there was such a disastrous fire.

In fact, the area might be much improved by the "thinning" of the dense forest and undergrowth.

For those who assume that California is all liberals....Paradise is a retirement community and a redneck logging/mining area. Mostly conservatives. Northern California, with the exception of the coastal areas above the Sacramento area is decidedly a Red/Conservative area. Trump country, if you will :-)

Fernandistein said...

It apparently was the brush and ground litter that burned; not the "forest".

They shoulda raked-up that stuff, huh?

I noticed "They" tightly cropped the picture of the guy at his house so you can't see the lack of fire damage in his area - which apparently is Magalia, not Paradise.

Sorry, "mountain boys", but foothills < 2,000 ft elevation are not mountains.

Big Mike said...

Some people insist on assessing risk for themselves, and have no desire to be dictated to by people much less aware of the situation on the ground than themselves. This sort of attitude drives left-of-center folks like Althouse nuts.

R.J. Chatt said...

I looked at the Google map street view for Paradise -- before the fire. So many houses were on very little lanes overgrown with vegetation. The most expensive houses however were on hill tops with a lot of clearance from the vegetation. I'm pretty sure they weren't affected by the fire.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Variation on
Leave No Trace https://g.co/kgs/HNDSXL

BJM said...

Doncha love the media's one dimensional focus on the hicks in the hills...the good old boys in Paradise also include the erudite Gerard Van der Leun, a writer and editor of books and magazines. Here's an interview from 2005 that provides a flavor of the man and his intellect. His blog, American Digest, is inspirational and his poetry sublime, especially after dying in Seattle.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Sorry, "mountain boys", but foothills < 2,000 ft elevation are not mountains

"Mountain Boys" is a state of mind, not necessarily an elevation. You don't have to have a literal red neck, to be a Redneck.

:-)

FullMoon said...

Had six people from the area stop by on Thanksgiving.
Four have un damaged homes. One car stolen from one home, other homes still unaccessible. Two burned out but were renting.

Homes have to be checked for 'hazardous conditions".

All have friends or relatives who lost everything. So, some relief but no happiness.

Silver lining, if any, is that there may be many construction jobs available. Maybe some of the younger people up there unemployed and involved in drugs get a job and learn something that may change their lives.

The young visitors seemed more enthusiastic about moving out of the area and the older visitors seem un decided until things settle down.

The area was very pleasant to visit before the fire.



Big Mike said...

Maybe some of the younger people up there unemployed and involved in drugs get a job and learn something that may change their lives.

Unless they immediately learn that showing up at 7:00 AM means showing up at 7:00 AM versus showing up when you feel like getting out of bed, they will learn nothing at all because they'll be fired.

Prediction: those construction jobs that might go to young, unemployed or under-employed Americans will instead go to illegal, oops, I mean undocumented immigrants.

Freeman Hunt said...

What is strange about this? If I didn't have children, I would certainly prefer camping at my burned out house to staying in a shelter.

BJM said...

@R J Chaff...have a look at the drone footage at the Sacramento Bee. A few houses were spared, but commercial areas encircled with parking lots, did not. Wildfire is capricious. During the 1991 Oakland Hills firestorm a few homes stood alone amid blocks and blocks of ashes. It was very eerie.

Firebreaks are no guarantee when wildfire is generating Hurricane force 3 wind speed, but they worked for The Orchard at the End of Paradise.

FullMoon said...


Unless they immediately learn that showing up at 7:00 AM means showing up at 7:00 AM versus showing up when you feel like getting out of bed, they will learn nothing at all because they'll be fired.

Yep.The losers will remain losers. The borderline may come out better.
I also feel the addicts in San Francisco should be locked up for a month or six weeks. Enough time to recover from physical addiction. Then, some may stay clean and get a life. Many will go back to the old ways. As it is now, they are ignored, or get a ticket and notice to appear.

wild chicken said...

They need to pass a piss test don't they?

FullMoon said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The rebuilding of Paradise. To come back or not to come back?

I think that depends on how young/old you are. It takes time to even get the money to rebuild, to find contractors. Time for the landscaping to recover. Trees and shrubs to grow back. At a certain age, a person might decide that they don't want to or CAN'T wait for time to pass. Take the insurance money, IF there was fire insurance, and move on for the remaining 10 years of their life.


A kinda wealthy retiree from the area, whose home survived, told me that after the shock of assuming everything was lost came a period of guilty relief. Fresh start, easy to move now with no stuff to pack, no deciding which stuff to keep, which to give to the kids, which kids to give it to, etc.
That does sound almost good if you are financially secure enough to do it.

Howard said...

Well I got me a fine wife I got me an ole fiddle
When the sun's comin' up I got cakes on the griddle
Life ain't nothin' but a funny funny riddle
Thank God I'm a country boy

robother said...

Depending on a cat for "when it's time to leave"? Sounds like a losing evolutionary strategy. Ask the mice.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

FullMoon said...

A kinda wealthy retiree from the area, whose home survived, told me that after the shock of assuming everything was lost came a period of guilty relief. Fresh start, easy to move now with no stuff to pack, no deciding which stuff to keep, which to give to the kids, which kids to give it to, etc.

So, basically it's a form of forced Swedish Death Cleaning. No?

Henry said...

All day long I'm sitting singing songs to everyone.

mockturtle said...

Shades of Harry Truman - From Mt. St. Helens.

Nope. Harry was not a survivor.

BJM said...

@Fernandistein...so you've never been to Calaveras County, heh? The Sierra foothills is the last redoubt of the West itself.