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August 2005


The opinions and attitudes expressed in this column are exclusively that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ISHILA, its fans, or this website.
Dear Stonecutter,
Thanks for the reply, far out about the Star, and here’s a followup, the next night the old lady and me are on the same trail, a little earlier, sun’s just down, and we look up at the dead pine pole where I thought I’d seen a big bird shadow the night before, and the top is just a skinny point, so I’m pretty sure that was a raptor the other night, and my old lady says I wish a bird would land there now, and 2 seconds later the biggest owl I’ve ever seen lands, he’s making high chirping sounds, not hooting, looking down on us with his big cat head, then he splits, and about 20 minutes down the trail there he is waiting for us on a rock ledge a few yards over our head, and we stop and he takes off real low over our heads, makes a beeline for the next ridge, far out, then when we’re back in the neighborhood, almost home, there’s a juvenile coyote hanging out on the sidewalk, we study each other for a while and then split, my old lady thinks he was being lookout while his pals dug in garbage cans, it was garbage night, but what I’m thinking is, ever since I heard about this guardian of Griffith Park we’re seeing major animal action, is this some kind of shape shifter thing?
thanks, you rock,
Onyx Man
Dear Stonecutter:
Hey, man, just an update here, Griffith Park hike #3 this week, me and the old lady, and this time we’re at the tree of the owl, and we’re looking up, it’s end of twilight, and a big raptor flies past over the ridge, we both see it in the corners of our eyes, and we keep walking, and ten minutes later we come upon a baby snake in the trail, and we do a little dance around it, like we’ve been instructed, and after a minute it starts rattling, a little high pitched rattle, and slithers off, yup, it’s a baby rattlesnake, and now we’re pumped, dancing around a snake does indeed boost your energy, and right around the next bend we see a coyote chugging down the trail, and we speed up, and coyote’s just out of sight when we clear the bend, and he’s gone, and there’s only a rock wall, so coyote’s either a prodigious leaper or he vanished into rock, the wild creatures thing is really ramping up right now.
Keep the faith,
Onyx Man

Dear Onyx Man,
Your friend, “the guardian of Griffith Park,” sounds like another typical California Spoonbender to me. My advice is simple, don’t loan him money. There’s nothing unusual about your experience in the park. If you go into nature with open eyes you will experience magical wonder. All it takes is paying attention which you and your old lady appear to do very well. Your friend may know some of the secrets of this particular habitat and he may not but his knowledge has nothing to do with your owls and raptors. I’m guessing here, but it seems that your friend is trying to take credit for what I call “usual magic”. Hucksters of all kinds have done this for a very, very long time. Don’t fall for it. Keep enjoying your hikes, the park’s wonder, and your own deep spirit. All the best,

Have a question? Email Stonecutter at: stonecutter@iseehawks.com

iTunes R Us

It’s a moment to reflect upon. Paul’s L’s sister-in-law Dori called him to say that she downloaded the entire Hawks CD “Grapevine” from iTunes. We’re fully digital now, the audio/internet peers of Badly Drawn Boy and The Black Eyed Peas. The horizon is wide and red with the sun of a new day.


Our first L.A. show after our West Coast and Montana tourettes was a memorable one. We opened for Texas songman Ray Wylie Hubbard at McCabes on Friday July 22. Ray is touring the West Coast with his lovely wife Judy and prodigy guitarist young son Lucas, and they are nice as can be. The Hawks had a powerfully received acoustic set, with a stomping encore request, and then Ray took the stage and took over the room. The guy has a huge voice, plays expert blues bottleneck on his National Steel, and has stunning songs, from poignant to actually funny (check out “Snake Farm,” a monster hit if radio was suddenly released from the grip of darkness and became hip and infused with taste). And effortless story telling that starts in the middle of a song and continues into the next. The audience would have jumped off the Santa Monica pier if Ray had so requested. Ray pummeled an obligatory rendition of his hit “Redneck Mother” into submission, warned the Hawks of the dangers of writing a novelty song that takes off. Then he brought son Lucas up, who casually sat down and played guitar like an old blues guy, which is no accident, as Ray and Judy, in a monstrous Texas Outlaw clinical behavior modification experiment, only let baby Lucas listen to black music until he achieved the age of guitar. The result is a young kid who phrases behind the beat and builds licks and solos like he’s 40 years old. The audience freaked even more. For his encore Ray invited the Hawks up for the Mississippi Fred McDowell song “You Got To Move.” Such a night. If you missed Ray W, you’d better not next time.