Pancho Villa’s Motorcycle: Wild West Sentiment & Outlaw Wisdom
Announcing a New Book by Jesse Wolf Hardin:
Pancho Villa’s Motorcycle: Wild West Sentiment, Backwoods Humor, & Outlaw Wisdom For a World Gone Astray
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Order from the new website:
You readers of this Anima blog are a diverse lot! Some of you have recently taken an interest in Anima Wilderness Sanctuary and projects like river restoration or Plant Healer Magazine, a few hundred others of you have been around since the beginning. Somewhere around half of you tend to be liberal, alternative types, pantheists, anarchists or pacifists, activists and conservationists whom Jesse Wolf has written most of his books for in the last few years, including 3 titles for those into herbalism, natural healing, and nature’s enchantments. The other half of you readers, however, are a more of a mix of rural libertarians, politically incorrect homesteaders and back-to-the-landers, primitivists, traditionalists, survivalists, old-timey folk, kitchen sink medicine makers, cowboys, mountain men, and wild women.
It is for you latter folks that Pancho Villa’s Motorcycle was written.
Warning: You shouldn’t even think about reading this book if you are 1. PC or easily offended, 2. uncomfortable with strong or unconventional opinions, 3. disinterested in history, 3. turned off by sentimentality, or 4. can’t take a joke.
When Wolf first came to remote and conservative Catron County, New Mexico 35 years ago, he was a biker/philosopher/artist seeking the “real world”, wildness and roots. He arrived in a hippie looking school bus with a mean Harley Davidson, promptly selling both the bike and the engine out of the bus for the down payment on what became the Anima Sanctuary. To introduce himself and his ideas to the community, he wrote 107 articles/essays for a number of regional newspapers, a number of which have also appeared on this blog, and all of which have been compiled for you now in this unique new book.
Nearly 300 pages long, Pancho Villa’s Motorcycle provides a healthy balance of unusual insight & Old West history, natural history & controversy, sassy commentary & sweet sentimentality, good humor & bad attitude, packed with ideas meant to awaken you to the depths & the dance of life. Wolf’s tales not only tell us about the way things used to be, but how they can be… a clarion call for us to live more awakened and meaningful, responsible and purposeful, adventurous and satisfying lives.
You can read a review by our friend Becca below, and order your own copy now at:
(thank you for re-posting and sharing)
Review of Pancho Villa’s Motorcycle
by Becca McTrauchle
Pancho Villa’s Motorcycle is a unique collection of 107 thoughtful, humorous, colorful, inspiring, and attitude-filled essays describing the more fascinating experiences and perspectives of the rural West, leading to insights for even the most urban reader about our difficult modern times and the “fullest living of life.” Author Hardin draws from over 35 years of astute observation and reflection, rooted as he is in the backcountry of the incomparable American Southwest.
From the Introduction: “Deep in the mountains of southern New Mexico lies the self proclaimed “sovereign county” of Catron, one of the largest and least developed counties in the entire country, and a place with far more elk than people. It seems to exist in its own time zone, at the frontier edge between a moseying past and rushing future, present reality and infinite imagination – a community in open resistance to both the dictates of the federal government and the boring normalcy and conformity of our times.”
Hardin moved back to his home state of New Mexico as a young man in the 70s, searching for the Wild West of his childhood movies and books, a place that would be as authentic and interesting as the suburbs seemed artificial and generic. And he needed look no further than the opinionated, strong willed, old-time community of Catron nestled in the Gila wildlands, and his riverside homesite seven river crossings from the nearest pavement.
In Pancho Villa’s Motorcycle he brings to life for you “the fast disappearing world of small towns and uncluttered vistas, of knowing humor and countryfied wisdom, and a more authentic and enjoyable way of living. Herein you’ll find a world of wild animals in the kitchen and wild-foods gathering, unbroken spirits and unbroken horses, lives vigorously lived and promises kept, cowboy hats and ‘thank you ma’ms,’ a backwoods view of politics and a non-typical, backwards glance at authentic Western history.” Chapters cover “the problem with authority and the absurdity of airline safety manuals, the ramifications of Pancho Villa’s Indian brand motorcycle, and the importance of really paying attention whenever tasting your biscuit and jam. The value of authenticity and resistance, country dialects and the honoring of tradition, the real meaning of the word“wild”… and taking time to look at the world through the eyes of a child. Curious true stories about eating packrats, pondering the significance of bear poo, how to alienate vegan pacifist guests, and many other eruptions and realizations of a backwoods life.”
For the residents of the rural West, reading Pancho Villa’s Motorcycle must feel like a homecoming, or pulling up a chair in the general store to hear a well told tale. But for city folk like me, it feels like being transported to a strange and wonderful place, timeless, stunningly primal, filled with curious sights and a chance for real adventures for anyone with the spunk and follow-through. In the course of learning about the history and ways of this unique place and its residents, I learned a lot about myself and what I really want out of my life, developing some of that strong will that that seems to sustain those people insistent on living a free, exciting, genuinely Wild West existence in these trying futuristic times.
Categories: Anima's History