In this inaugural segment of Running Iron on the Road, Craig shares thoughts and music from a trip to the central highlands of Mexico.
Readers of this site generally accept the proposition that our American experiment in self-government is taking on water. I would argue that, all things considered, the ship is actually beginning to list heavily under the combined weight of a wholly unaccountable administrative state, a surreal burden of debt we will leave to our grandchildren as a kind of cynical stocking stuffer, third-world education standards, tribal strife stoked by retail journalism, a new and prevailing cultural adulation of the victim mentality, meme-think politics, and a Congress that is more or less directed by the parasitic whims of a guild economy.
In this episode of the Running Iron Podcast Craig, Jim, and Oil Can are joined in the bunkhouse by Austin, Texas, resident Rick Schwertfeger. Rick is a retired public health professional who has also become a regular contributor to both Frontier Partisans and Running Iron Report. Rick sits down to discuss internet dating, former Texas Governor Rick Perry’s shooting prowess, and his studies of frontier life during the American War for independence.
As a bonus, the Running Iron boys are also joined by Miami Firefighter, and former US Marine, Carlos Constanzo. Carlos talks about his family’s experience before, during, and after the Castro takeover of Cuba.
Nevada cowgirl, educator, philanthropist, and elite-level athlete Cris Converse joins Craig and Jim in the Bunkhouse on the historic Figure 8 Ranch. Cris leads just the sort of eclectic and informed American life that fans of Running Iron appreciate; in this terrific interview she discusses the fascinating trail of her life, and lends important perspective on making a legacy commitment to community.
I often return to the poets these days. From great translations of the Illiad and the Odyssey to Beowulf, from Shakespeare to Dylan Thomas, and more frequently to the modern giants like Charles Wright, Richard Hugo, or Galway Kinnell, I find a touchstone that gentles my nerves. That ritual works for me because fine poets fire the language with precision, and stoke the imagination with what John Keats called “Negative Capability.” Our world is sorely lacking in appreciation for the mysterious and the levitating these days, and the airwaves are so rich with insincerity, so over-cooked with political certainty and righteous declarations, that the daily and endless caterwauling amounts to a kind of relentless propaganda bullhorn.
I’m drawn to those quiet little outbursts of humanity demanding attention, that impulse to declare with some permanence: “I was here”. It is the same impulse, I suppose, that drove my wife and I to put our handprints and our names in the wet concrete when we built our barn. For good measure, we added the paw prints of our dogs, and I scratched the date in with a nail.
“By midafternoon MacKenzie’s troops had taken torches to all the teepees and burned them down. Thousands of rounds of bullets, hoarded by the Indians and abandoned during the raid, exploded. In the wreckage of the Indian camp soldiers found a pillowcase made from a Seventh Cavalry guidon flag, command memo books and guard rosters; scalps of a white girl and a Shoshone girl, a necklace made of human fingers, personal clothing and military hardware…”
Author Rick Steber stops by the bunkhouse for a revealing interview with Craig & Jim. Steber has written more than 40 books, including “Caught in the Crosshairs,” “Red White Black,” and “Buy the Chief a Cadillac.” The recipient of numerous awards for his writing, the Los Angeles Times has said: “Steber’s words remind you of Hemingway or Fitzgerald.”
The landing beaches were enfiladed with hardened machine gun positions and grazing fire on either flank, booby trapped with land mines and improvised explosives, and all the while the Marines remained under accurate fire from mortars and artillery buried and unobservable in the hills beyond. All of this remained true even after several days of naval bombardment and the US Navy’s assurances that there were no longer any targets available to their gunners on Peleliu.
In this episode of the Running Iron Podcast, Dr. Lorissa Hines from Austin, Texas, pays a housecall on Craig, Jim, and “Oil Can” Rathbun at the Figure 8 Ranch. Dr. Hines discusses a variety of issues — from the media and science kerfuffles over childhood immunizations to her humanitarian work with children from Uganda to Mongolia. Join us for a few laughs, some valuable medical opinions, and a terrific interview with a succesful doctor, mother, and worldwide humanitarian.
US Army Special Forces veteran and retired lawman Greg Walker joins the Running Iron team for a wide-ranging interview. The author of 16 books and numerous articles for Soldier of Fortune, Black Belt Magazine, and many others, Greg sits down with Craig & Jim in the historic bunkhouse on the Figure 8 Ranch to talk knives, books, martial arts, his experiences in El Salvador and Iraq, and the art of kissing camels. Finally, Greg weighs in with winner-predictions for a lightning round of no-holds-barred celebrity fistfights. A Poet-Warrior of the Old School, this is an interview that will make you laugh, make you think, and stroke the warrior impulse embedded in your DNA.
The Running Iron boys are back in the bunkhouse with another terrific guest. In this episode Craig and Jim are joined by New York City native, and Oregon renaissance legend, Mr. Jack McGowan. Jack discusses growing up in the Big Apple, living next door to Bob Dylan, the Weather Underground bombings, brushes with the Baghwan Shree Rajneesh, adventures in the deepest Amazon, and his herculean efforts to keep Oregon beautiful as the Executive Director of SOLV — Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism. Fun, funny, occasionally moving — and always informative — this is another great Running Iron Podcast you don’t want to miss.