Monday, August 29, 2016
John Craighead is 100
Sportsmans Library. (A new one, not limited to books with hunting and fishing but including nature and wild travel, is in the works!)
They kept detailed notes. One of my prized possessions is a spiral- bound xerox copy of those notes, given to me by the "kids".
It also produced the best nature film you have never seen, the only film version of the field sports of the Raj ever produced, in color that looks modern even today. But apparently flying Sakers at kites, pretending to be a mendicant vegetarian Brahmin to trap crows, coursing blackbuck with cheetahs (they rode hooded like falcons in bullock carts, and were fed the blood of the quarry in long-handled ladles), and shooting a Gir forest lion as a wedding present, were too un- pc for Nat Geo even in the immediate postwar years.
They were to go on to fame and even noteriety as wildlife biologists, particularly when they told the truth about the garbage eating bears in Yellowstone. Their work is carried on by their children and the Craighead Wildlife- Wildlands Institute. When I met Frank at 80 I told him he had been a great influence on my life. He said wryly "I hope I didn't ruin it entirely!" On the contrary, both brothers enhanced my life enormously.
Happy birthday, John.