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Bear Board Report Part Iii

This article first appeared in issue 11, and was written by Ed Waggener.

Letters to Bear Board from exotic places prove the BRBB is international in scope

Dear Ed,

Some folks here in Holmes County are getting into the concerns of the Adair County Bear Board. I'm taking a few minutes from my sermon preparation for our Christmas Eve services to apprise you of developments here.

Bill Hlavin, a former Ohio game warden, tells me that indeed black bears do exist in our county. A student of bear communication, Bill has determined that bears living in close proximity to human populatons pick their distinctive accents. Due to the Amish influence in our area, the common black bear has acquired a Pennsylvania Dutch gutteral accent in its grunt.

Hlavin was surprised to overhear two bears discussing territorial rights in different accents. One was gutteral , while the other had a distinctive central Kentucky character to it. One of Adair County's bruins must have come north to visit.

As the chaplain, I have busied myself with concerns over proper demeanor and matters of ethics and morals. While one may find solace, peace and safety in church, one should not enter a place of worship with a bear behind.

Have a joyous Christmas and a good New year. Tell Linda that I enjoyed her article "Reject of plant leaving is painful." The Oshkosh closing is an all too common occurrence in our society.

s/Eldon Trubee, Millersburg, OH


Some of the Bear Board Members think I don't know a bear from a armadillo. However, today we will not concern ourselves with zoological questions, but communications and theology. And to those issues, I do know how to pick Bear Board Chaplains. No one can argue with that after we received your letter. It has made my day, my First Wife Linda's day, and, I am sure, the day of all who believe in the Bearhood of man.

Mr. Hlavin, I believe, is right about the speech patterns of bears. In fact, some of us have exactly the same idea. Some claim that they can hear one squeal from a cub and tell the county in North Carolina that cub's grandpa came from. There is a distinct gutterality to bears in the Mennonite Country up around Casey County, as well as the Amish Country are Gradyville, we are convinced it is not because the bears are from Pennsylvania, but because they live among people from there.

Still, I do not think dialect and linguistics should be the major issue of the Bear Board. Perhaps the nuances of garbage raider bear argot may be a subject in the future. For now, with the doubting Thomases, the Blue Ribbon Bear Board is bent on establishing the existence of bears here.

There probably a simple explanation concerning Mr. Hlavin hearing the Adair County accent: The bear hitched a ride back with you on one of your trips here.

I do wish to correct one misconception under which you are laboring. Apparently, you have fallen prey to the common errancy about the Blue Ribbon Bear Board. Many assume, because we are at present concentrating solely on the determination of the presence of ursus adairicanus, hat we are limited to Adair County. That is a fallacy. It is the Blue Ribbon Bear Board, not the Adair County Bear Board. In other words, while we are concerned primarily with the world order of Bears in Adair County, we are universalist in nature.

Sometimes, it seems, in looking for the Adair County Bear, we are looking not for just our bear, but for our piece of the Great Bear.

Too often, we Bear Board members are scoffed at. But Eldon, it don't matter none. Because we know that wherever earnest people are searching for bears, we'll be around in the dark. Wherever there's smirking, ridiculing sceptics, we'll be there. Wherever there are Fish & Wildlife Officers poking fun at eye witnesses who have seen bears, anywhere, we'll be there. Why, we'll be there in the way folks get up in the morning to get a sight of the elusive creature at daybreak. We'll be there in the way kids laugh when they're bored and then see a pair of cubs a-frolicking. And when folks all over this great land of ours accept that there are bears in Adair County, and sit in their houses and marvel at the miracle of bears playing outside of their windows, we'll be there.

We'll be there for bears in Adair County, Kentucky, and by dang, we'll be there with the believers in Holmes County, Ohio, too.

And Bro. Trubee, while we yield to you in all matters theological, and we would never take a bear to church with us as a prank. Still, you should consider this: Just suppose that Gary Coomer, the Bear Board Dean, were to actually find a cub and he were to actually be able to gentle that cub down and make a pet of him, and if he were to want to take that bear cub and his natural parents to church to present a candle to St. Francis of Assissi, why don't you think that would be okay?

Finally, I must tell you that there were sceptics about having a chaplain in such a romantically distant, mysterious land as Holmes County, Ohio. In Dan'l's day, it may have been a reasonable concern. But in this great age of up-and-down links, cellular technology, the New Whiggery, and Fed Ex, we are all next-door neighbors.



Ed Waggener,

Bear Board Factotum

PS: I know I need not admonish you about this, but one can never be too careful. Please be extremely discreet with your Bear Board credentials. So far, there has not been the least hint of scandal in the Bear Board. We hope there never will be. But we have to remember the disrepute the FBI and CIA which has besmirched those two clandestine organizations in recently years, and when we do, we realize what could happen to ours if we become careless.

This story was posted on 1997-01-15 12:01:01
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Archive Photo

1997-01-15 - Photo Staff. JOE BEARS have shown up around Columbia. This one was spotted in some daffodils. The bears, two-inch tall cub cutouts, were crafted from 1 inch planks by Allen Moore, and were expropriated by Joe Moore, given 7 coats of black lacquer and white eyes, and were presented by Joe Moore to the Bear Board and other friends.This item first appeared in Issue 11 of the print edition of Columbia! Magazine.
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