Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A True Living Legend

Since I was about six years old, I've been familiar with the name Bob Gimlin. This traces back to my voracious reading on the subject matter of Bigfoot. Beginning with Marian T. Place's "On the Track of Bigfoot," I've become fairly well versed in the story and controversy surrounding the "Patterson/Gimlin" film, which shows an apparently female sasquatch walking briskly along Bluff Creek, away from Roger Patterson's documentary camera. Most books tended to focus on Patterson, since he's the one who obtained the footage. For a time, Bob Gimlin was in the background, acknowledged by all as having been there, but assigned a more peripheral role. In recent years that has changed, due in part to the death of Patterson, as well as the Bigfoot community reaching out to Gimlin, especially in the wake of defamatory books and articles.

 All of which is to say that recently we were in the same location as Bob Gimlin, and had the chance to hear him speak about his experience, and shake the man's hand. At age 83, Mr. Gimlin is very friendly, kind, and by his own admission, hard of hearing. But most of all, he strikes me as sincere. It's hard to find the words to describe what it was like to meet someone who, at least in my conception of things, is part of history, or at the very least is part of my history; part of my thought-world and imagination, having read and daydreamed about his experience for almost thirty-five years. The best part? Having listened to his perspective and having looked him in the eye, I think he's telling the truth.

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