When I was young I watched a program on tv about Sasquatch. Scared the hell out of me. Of course, this program talked about the Canadian hairy guy, so I didn’t think that he could cross the border and head south to find me in West Virginia. But, I had questions for my mom, nontheless. She was, afterall, from Sasquatch country. She was born and raised in Spokane, Washington. Sasquatch was right across the border.
“Vickie, Sasquatch is in Washington and Oregon too……….people out in Northern California have been calling him Bigfoot………Well, they have a name for him all over the world…….”
Say what? Bigfoot could be in my backyard? This was not good.
It was bad enough that I watched that tv program, but the next year, 1967 I believe, a guy by the name of Patteson had evidence. I sat with my eyes glued to the tv set as a home movie camera recorded Sasquatch walking in the woods. Dear God, he is real! And he crossed the freaking border. I was eleven years old and impressionable.
This was not good, especially when a neighborhood cat suddenly disappeared one night. I immediately blamed it on Sasquatch. He supposedly smelled like rotten eggs and had a howl that could put chills down your spine. So, of course I heard the blood curdling scream the very next night. I rushed into my parent’s bedroom.
“…….Vickie, what are you doing up? It’s past midnight……………………You did not hear Sasquatch………Vickie, I am not getting up……………….Vickie, no I do not smell rotten eggs………..He couldn’t make it to West Virginia that fast…………He is probably in Montana……besides, he can’t cross bridges………………….because he is afraid of bridges.”
I went back to bed but heard Sasquatch seven more times. I cracked my bedroom window so I would be sure to hear him if he was in the neighborhood.
“Vickie, I don’t want to see your window opened at night again. Do I make myself clear?”
Well, hell, I won’t be able to hear him coming then. “Can Sasquatch disappear like the Indians believe?” Hey, I asked my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Garrity. She told me a few Indian beliefs.
My mom nodded her head, lighting up a cigarette, amused by something. She laughed, “Vickie, your eyes are darting back and forth so fast. Stop it.”
My mom had neglected to mention that my Uncle Don, her brother, had seen a Sasquatch when they were little and he was fishing with some friends out in the wilds of Washington state. That meant Sasquatch was an old Sasquatch then. I felt relaxed.
“The Indians believe that Sasquatch appears and disappears and that’s why no one can catch one of them.”
Ok, shit, my mom just said, “them,” like there is more than one of them. This can not be good.
Well, since we only had three television stations and the internet wasn’t invented yet, I didn’t have a way to keep tabs on the big guy. I was obsessed for maybe a week and then I moved on to something else. But, Sasquatch was kept on file in my head.
So, when I had children and Al Gore finally invented the internet, one of the first thing I searched for was “Sasquatch.” Well, the very first thing I searched for was wooly worms. I know, I’m a strange bird. But, the internet put me in touch with a data base that included sightings of the hairy ape man. There were thousands of sightings. If the internet was around when I was ten or eleven, I would have had a child ulcer. I was worried about one old Sasquatch in the Pacific Northwest when there was a sighting in Pocahontas County in West Virginia when I was six. Thank God I didn’t know about it.
So, when my daughter had to make a Social Studies project for school and she really didn’t want to do it, I gave her a suggestion; “How about Bigfoot?” She didn’t care so I started finding information for her. I emailed a Bigfoot expert in Montana by the name of Dr. Jeff Meldrum and he responded to her. I chuckle when I see him being interviewed on almost every Bigfoot documentary ever made since that time.
Alex won the school’s Social Studies fair and went on to the county fair and won first place. We then drove down to Charleston, our state capitol for the state competition. That was fun….for me. I was like a Social Studies stage mom. Alex did not care at all. But, I did. I put a lot of time and energy into her project. She even had a large map with pins indicated where there were Bigfoot sightings. She had a tape recorder to let the judges hear a Bigfoot scream. We made a model cast of a Bigfoot’s footprint. She was ready and I won Honorable Mention. I mean, she won Honorable Mention. Big foot scored.
I am still a fan of the hairy creature. Do I believe in Bigfoot? Absolutely. I saw one in the McDonald’s parking lot one night, so I know he is real. I took this picture of him. Or I could be lying.