Wednesday, December 10, 2014


[This story is an improved version from mini cassette recordings of Mekkar’s actual voice in 1990 while hiking and walking as a University student; then, it was converted to a Windows Media Audio File and transcribed in 2011. Mekkar’s spoken English skills are nowhere near as polished as Saavo’s are. Continued from PART 1 (C) in November, 2014.]

The arctic boy overheard several of the trek leaders agree among themselves regarding where the tribe currently was and the course they wished to continue on. Juhani, Ansetti, Antti, and many of the others such as Aslak all had their individual input in the discussion. Aslak later revealed some details of the conversation to Mekkar as a small part of their interaction together. Yet, the youngster did not fully grasp the full meaning behind much of the spiritual leader’s explanations to him. Mekkar was experiencing an overload of details, information, and ideas as many of the concepts were new to the boy. However, Aslak sensed this and stopped briefly to let a portion set in. He was wise to proceed on in a slower fashion and reconfigure the important points of his message to Mekkar. Still, the hope was some of the shared knowledge would sink in to expand the boy’s brainpower. Long term retention would be a bonus.

Remember, there has always been a connection of the boy with the shaman. One part of Mekkar’s name comes from the wizard who helped deliver him from his mother’s womb. During that time, Aslak played the role of a delivery doctor. Also, both of them are also related by blood within the tribe itself. Since, Aslak is an extended family member, so he had a stake in Mekkar’s fate from the very start. It is well to note, that a high percentage of children usually do not initially survive when faced with such an early birth as Mekkar. If the newborn surprisingly endures, life expectancy is normally very short. Other mitigating circumstances of the event included an outdoor arctic setting and a sizeable trip to the hospital. The odds were stacked against the Arctic Warrior. Some have a suspicion that otherworldly forces protected the newborn. Only one person truly knew the exact sources involved regarding the preservation of Mekkar’s life during that dramatic time, but he was very mum with any specifics.

Aslak took time out and gave his best efforts to teach Mekkar many things and insights. This trek provided many opportunities and sources for the boy to accelerate his learning curve. Mekkar’s comprehension abilities to intake and process information were also high for individuals his age. Nevertheless, the medicine man also realized there are limits with regard to the mind capacity of a child. There was a risk of too much mental strain upon Mekkar could damage the boy. Outright frustration was potentially high and a possibility as a result. Aslak knew Mekkar got frustrated easily and this deficiency is still evident in Mekkar to this day. Alf would say it has increased in proportionate level to obstacles his older brother has encountered. Mekkar now even quips at times, “Life can be a frustrating experience when an individual has a genius level high IQ as compared to most people.” It has never been explained if Mekkar was referring to himself or not. Many assumed that Mekkar was expressing his own belief regarding himself.

Due to his impatience, he wanted answers to his questions like any child his age does, in order develop themselves mentally and plot their way in life. If Mekkar didn’t get satisfactory feedback, he would seek out another source. Even more so, the native from the north was extremely diligent than most kids his age. Some would say he was like a pest at times.

Anyway, the trek was constantly moving with time. No one was keeping track and in Mekkar’s it seemed to pass by quickly. Later, after a long discussion with Ansetti, Aslak pointed out to Mekkar that this trek was coming to a conclusion real soon. The group had travelled many miles (kilometers) and they were pointed in the direction of home. The reindeer had their needs met and got exercise as well by this movement. When they get home the tribe can fatten the animals up again for the next season’s activities. The whole purpose of the trek is so the animal’s food supply in one place, their home area, was not all used up. This is a key factor because the ground regenerates new supplies so slowly due to the harsh climate. Mekkar learned this concept from the adults and would later refer to it by his own terminology. That is, a part of the cycle of environments much like three-tier faming and rotation of crops, etc. Sirga noticed that her oldest son, Mekkar, developed a habit of creating his words and phrases. Since he was also learning other languages during this period, she thought it was part of his process and didn’t see it as irregular. The habit is still in force to this day. 

During this time of year, it was more common for this particular trekking path to have a steady stream of tribes passing by. However, Mekkar’s tribe was the only wandering group within sight distance of the closest village. The folks living here didn’t seem as uptight to him as some inhabitants of other districts the herders encountered earlier on this journey. Probably because Mekkar saw an increase in the number of helicopters and jet aircraft flying overhead. Some of them he could identify and others he was unfamiliar with. Mekkar thought for a time that his sense of direction was off kilter as he felt they were not in the right area and still further to the east. Yet, Mekkar was a boy on his first long trek away from home without either of his parents, so what did he know? He was attempting to match the flyers in the sky to where he saw them before. Too bad, the anxiety returned and confused the youngster regarding any sense of direction. In his mind, Mekkar tried to match his assumptions with the flight location origins of these flying machines, but he failed miserably. Mekkar inquired a couple of the adults to clarify where the group’s whereabouts. Aslak took Mekkar aside and showed him a couple of methods of how to determine where they were. The lesson included instruction of how to draw a bearing on the metal birds in the skies in relation to the sun. Aslak commented to the young herder, “Those aircraft only fly when the weather is good, so they can see where they are going.” The shaman even let Mekkar don his special cap for a short time. The boy thought it was so cool and liked it much better than his own hat despite the obvious well-worn material of Aslak’s headpiece. Mekkar saw it as a privilege. He next expected some special powers to overtake him while he covered his head with the spiritual leader’s cap. Unfortunately, he was disappointed as the expected surge never occurred.

Sometimes during stopovers along the trek, the spiritual leader of the tribe would sometimes play games with Mekkar. Other times, teach him through various means to keep him from getting bored and also develop his mental faculties. Mekkar figured out that Aslak was the person he could learn quickest from, so he spent more time with the seer than anyone else during the trip.

It felt strange to Mekkar as the moving objects in the sky seemed to fly at lower and lower altitudes. Despite the planes flying closer to the ground, the people appeared to continue on with their daily lives and ignored them. Maybe they couldn’t do anything about the aircraft anyway so why worry it as it will pass eventually. The youngster gathered some of a conversation when he was with Ansetti as the trek chief spoke to one of the locals about the activity overhead. Mekkar asked if the air forces were friendly or enemy. He received no response. It appeared as though the inhabitants were, in a way, sort of immune or desensitized to the planned patterns above them. Mekkar was told that there was only one way a response would be undertaken or local attitude changed. In other words, if the aircraft went on the attack, the inhabitants would counter attack in kind.

Normally the native population in this region of the world are very much, unlike some other people around the globe, a fairly peace loving people. It is quite a contrast to the frequent warlike mentality that encompasses various regions of the planet. The inhabitants here usually just go about minding their own business. They don’t want to be bothered, but to live in freedom. Furthermore, to be left alone to conduct their daily affairs as daily life in the arctic is hard enough. However, anyone is able go into defense mode, if prepared and when they feel threatened by another. Ansetti and the other adult spoke about all the concerns Mekkar had regarding the situation. There was also much more information the boy listened to but didn’t anticipate or understand. The man and Ansetti said his piece and the speech went back and forth. Though, Mekkar could gather only some the meaning because the conversation between the two was not in his native dialect.

Mekkar was also present during interactions involving Ansetti and other locals. It seemed the primary purpose was gathering of intelligence. The trouble was Mekkar could understand only bit and pieces of what was being said or none at all. The child definitely didn’t gather the gist of the wording of what he could interpret either. He thought to himself those people and we are dressed in comparable ways but not identical due to region and the speech ... Internally, he pondered other ideas such as who are these people? They sort of look like me and kind of sound like me. The people here also carry out functions that we do, but they are not exactly like me. I have encountered this before on this trek. He summed it up with, they are odd in comparison.

With the tools Aslak demonstrated to him, the native runt figured out fairly well regarding where he was now in regard to the herd’s location and home. Deceptively, he continued to convey an exterior image of being lost. No matter what he told himself, Mekkar was still worried by the persistent military flurry around him. The boy needed clarification to calm his internal turmoil and sought out the medicine man. Aslak mentioned that this is a regular occurrence because the area is much nearer to a fairly unfriendly national border than Mekkar’s village. Although there are more direct line to reach that national dividing line, if one wanted to. It was pointed out to the youngster why the locals appeared unfazed as they must be used to this activity and therefore see this movement all of the time.

These activities remind some older citizens in the area about unforgotten events of how different forces during World War II invaded the region and damaged it severely. Battles raged and explosions were heard right outside their front doors in some cases. Many historical records don’t reveal many of the horrors and details involved. Added to the fact, natives are not the only inhabitants that live here, there a few different nationalities. Thus, the number of languages spoken here has not been homogeneous for quite awhile. Not to forget how the indigenous population was employed like slaves by the invaders. A number of those families and individuals were killed in the skirmishes and wars that went on into nineteen forty five and beyond. Even one of Mekkar’s own grandmama’s was murdered after she poisoned the occupying forces food supply. It was her small contribution to the area defense effort while performing duties as a cook. Territorial disputes and battles between various armed units have occurred in this area for centuries. There have been at least thirty of these unfortunate encounters between rival forces within the last few hundred years. The goal is plentiful, untapped natural resources if one desires to put in some effort to exact them.

There are a number of countries’ in the last few centuries where people can relate to this predicament. Many times assorted forces and personnel went back and forth claiming territory for the glory of their national leaders. But, at the same time, with no side being triumphant and having a decisive victory. Yet, the common folk were the real losers through the sacrifice of family members lives, property, homes, livelihoods, etc. These battles also ensued in multiple locations at the same time and on different fronts within the region. Regrettably, the historical lessons are still being neglected to this day with similarly potential ramifications. Applicable in this situation is the conventional wisdom that says those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. [Reason in Common Sense, volume 1 of The Life of Reason by George Santayana, 1905]
Miscommunication, deception, and outright cruelty were the rule of the day to coincide with political and military aims. It didn’t matter if there were blatant lies as long as the particular agenda were successfully executed. Some of false information that was spewed out at the time has now come to light. Very different outcomes could have been attained but the original course was pretty much set and the real goals were predetermined. Governments and populations then put their trust in agreements that were basically unenforceable and easily broken. One enemy came to overrun the area near the border with the premise to supposedly create a buffer for one of their large cities. That was the official line anyway. The truth was that they felt their bullying strategy against those smaller than them would add wealth to the national coffers; for a small cost to increase their domain. Surprisingly, the closest and largest foreign power got what they wanted, but the price was extremely high and probably not worth it.
Unexpectedly, the nasty winter weather along with the rugged terrain played a huge role in the favor of the outnumbered defenders. Fierce local fighting to save their homes and land as well logistical nightmares on the part of the attackers punished the overwhelming invading military. At certain points, the aggressors were stopped cold and ended up retreating. In the end, the dogged resistance was hindered by exhaustion and lack of ammunition on the part of the underdogs. Otherwise, the eventual outcome might have been quite the opposite. In pure numbers on the battlefield the encroaching forces lost big time. However, the underdogs eventually had to surrender. The leadership of the local forces made some mistakes such as awaiting other foreign powers to come help them. Lamentably, those promises were broken often and the relief never arrived. In hindsight, conflict is a dangerous proposition and predicting the future is hard to forecast. Could the whole damaging incident have been avoided? The final peace terms at the end were harsh and wounded the little populated area deeply. It took a long time for a full recovery to be achieved somewhat close to pre-great war levels. On top of that, recognition of local bravery and heroics from that period couldn’t be honored until much later. That is, when memories have faded and after the political landscape drastically changed
The powerful neighbor expected it all to be completed and dealt with in a couple of weeks due to having an overwhelming superiority in weapons, soldiers, and supplies. A combination of things helped the regional inhabitants hold much of their territory, unlike some other places. The hindrances included miscommunication and lack of coordination on the part of the invaders. All of these factors together nullified some attacks in their tracks and kept others from deep advancement and total domination of the surrounding countryside. This happened despite the overpowering numbers on the enemy side and the unfulfilled promises of help by quite a few other nations, except for one. Even then, their help arrive with extremely small numbers and many conditions attached. The isolation was repeated in a similar manner of numerous past conflicts. So, it stands to reason why the people in this area have a very guarded attitude and initial lack trust regarding most strangers and their promises. The general feeling is most people from the outside have let them down time and time again. So, why believe them now? Could anyone blame the local residents for their cautious demeanor?
Mekkar had learned a small part of the regional history by listening in at the campfire stories. Accounts told by those who were involved while helping the beleaguered and outnumbered, but game defenders. Antti described seeing and fighting alongside local troops for their homeland and virtual existence. The all white winter uniforms made sure they blended in with the scenery. He spoke about the freezing conditions and not having the correct full seasonal military attire. The individual troops on their side always carried their own portable shelter with them. Also, they were highly mobile on skis that afforded them great maneuverability advantages. Due to the considerable losses, the enemy learned some valuable lessons and later applied similar tactics, which led to victories in other combat theaters.
As the herd ventured toward the national boundary, Ansetti said it was common to see soldiers in this area. He also brought up the point regarding a training area that was located not far away. Ansetti identified, with Mekkar at rapt attention, the soldiers in the all-white clothing as Rangers or Special Forces. He described their provisions and supplies present on each person along with the required advanced tactical training. By the way, skis and sport skiing were invented by the indigenous people in the arctic. Tribes related to Mekkar. Those troops lugged packs and prepared for almost anything they might encounter. Units might be distinguished from the enemy through the use of traditional or formal greetings. Ansetti knew soldiers and said some of the leaders of this trek performed similar duties. Kin that Mekkar looked up to had served in various past military capacities. Mekkar observed that Ansetti seemed to be very friendly with everyone he interacted with in this place. It was, as if, the trek leader had been here many times before. The response to exchanges with Ansetti was positive because many appeared to know him. Later that day, Mekkar was made aware regarding all of this while relaxing in the teepee. He enjoyed the slow paced atmosphere and continued to discover many adventures his fellow herders experienced long ago.

Friday, November 28, 2014


What was weird to acquaintances of Mekkar is that he seems to grasp music sounds better than human voices. Those who are close to him know that he even catches slight changes and musical nuances in a heightened way. It is no surprise to the other band members when Mekkar removed his shoes and socks for band practice. He would usually also be barefoot on the cleaner stages for gigs. Mekkar explained it as being better able to feel the music in his feet and body. Similar to a deaf Beethoven, who still used his hands and fingers to master the piano. Mekkar needed to be in the spirit of the resonance because he is a rhythmatic person by nature anyway. Not to forget, Mekkar is related to and partially named after a shaman. He has trouble describing this sensation that he experienced and found almost no one who could relate to the particular phenomenon he described. Mekkar said that he was sensitive to vibrations, rhythms, and other things like moving vehicles under his feet. He went onto to say it was much less when he wore his footwear. Mekkar thought this anomaly became more intense after he had suffered the hearing loss. Comparable to a blind person having increased other senses, which become better over time.

The teen claimed that he had always had a little of this ability throughout his life. Thus, the reason why Mekkar could play strands of tunes through hearing and feeling despite a limited knowledge of cords and score comprehension. Mekkar also did realize that he would need to expand his horizons in those weak areas for the band’s sake. A much later demonstration revealed this ability when he jammed a bit with another teenage group. The only axe available there was a bass guitar with a couple of broken strings. They asked Mekkar to join them for their rehearsal until that regular band member showed up. Later on, they all complimented Mekkar on his savvy saying he did a good job filling in with such a messed up guitar. Alf, on the other hand, has responded to his older brothers’ explanations and told him to his face repeatedly with, “That interpretation is so untrue!” That is, regarding Mekkar and his sensing of music through his feet and up. It would make Mekkar hot tempered and he wanted to brawl with Alf when he said stuff like that. For the good of their band the scuffle between the two brothers never came to fruition.

Now, Timo was a most interesting character. According to Mekkar, Timo was the most fanatical person in the group. Especially, when related to make believe icons and comic book character themes. Timo was extremely into Batman and many things which had a Caped Crusader flavor to it. His guitar, the Axe, was in the shape of a gadget that Batman would have used. Everything, it seemed, in Timo’s existence revolved around Superheroes and the 1960’s American television series Batman mystique in particular. Mekkar thought the whole theme was truly ridiculous. Timo even modified his classic vehicle to resemble like the Batmobile pictured in the comic books he collected. There was even had a mostly black colored with yellow trim refrigerator. Mekkar’s bandmate referred to it as the Batfrig and it was always stocked full of alcohol. It was a good thing the Batfrig had a small amount of yellow coloring. Sometimes, it was hard to find, when the lights were off and one is so hammered. That is, when Timo and the guys would have a case of the beer goggles and feeling like booze hounds. In that condition they still were able to locate the chilled alcohol box. There were a great number of items collected that decorated Timo’s apartment which matched the superhero motif. Timo also followed Wonder Woman only because he was attracted to her in real life. At least, the actresses who embodied the super heroine in full costume.

Axeman, as Mekkar like to call him, Timo would go off every so often on his guitar solos in the middle of a gig. This was customary in songs of that decade, but not punk music. The rub was Timo would run outside in front of the joint while still continuing to jam on his axe. The rest of the band continued on, in tune, with the music as well. During those escapades, the Axeman would approach people outside the venue. It was especially certain if there any hot women that might be passing by or about to enter in. Mekkar quipped that Timo did this just to show off and impress the females. Trouble was, it seemed to work well and the business owner’s usually approved because of its success as a marketing ploy to bring in more people. Similar to an on-site media promotion. It was easy for their group to book shows, but the main reason wasn’t because of great overall musical skill. However, they knew a lot of people who showed up, on a regular basis, to see them play at a club. Teammates and fans of their two different local teams frequently arrived on the scene. A few opposing players would drop by, if the club was right and close enough. Other friends in the music scene might turn up. The small venue owners loved the band for their attraction ability. It was almost a guaranteed packed house to increase profits for the proprietor, on those nights the band performed. 

The really cool thing about the Axeman’s guitar was its rarity and technology wise slightly ahead of its time. A relative of Timo’s personally fashioned all of his stringed instruments to be wireless up to a specific distance away from the source. His devices could be used without the need to be connected to an amplifier via a cord or cable. The amps were adapted as well, with little distortion, to handle this special capability. Mekkar never could recall an instance where the sounds, played by Timo, cut out. What was special is that these alterations wouldn’t become more commonplace for awhile. The problem was there were only a limited number of doctored equipment pieces at his disposal. So, he was extremely careful and gentle with his gear and avoided even scratching them. Any thought of damaging the equipment was totally out of the question. There was no imitation of famous rock n’ roll musicians like Pete Townshend smashing his guitar into pieces on stage. Also, there never would be any lighting of the axe on fire like Jimi Hendrix either. None of them could afford the continual replacement of instruments, along with the many accessories, as a result of those displays of raw emotion.

Timo was so protective and guarded regarding all of his musical items too. He didn’t want anyone else near it or touch it. Also, it was forbidden, for anyone besides Timo, to move his instruments in any way. That also applied to the setup process before and the subsequent takedown after gigs. Timo took care of his stuff himself and preferred it in that manner. He was like a hockey netminder in that sense. Mekkar thought it based on Timo’s athlete and musician superstitions. No one else understood the reasoning, thus no one else ever brought up the subject. The rest of the group and everyone that hung around them, in time, got used to it and accepted this as normal behavior. In the vein as the sports world, many athletes have their own irrational behavior and rituals that they believe help them perform better. Mekkar wanted his papa to do the same for his instruments too. Henrik was an electronics master and could have easily completed the conversions. However, his papa didn’t have the time and this request made by Mekkar was low on Henrik’s project priority list.

The group never recorded any original songs or covered anyone else’s songs in the studio. No pressings or vinyl records were produced by the band. Mekkar also doubts that anyone made any bootleg records from their gigs, however it is possible. They weren’t originally in this band to develop and grow into a future monstrosity to go on tours or make big cash with this project. This was just for fun, not another job, as they already had employment outside of sports. Frankly, only Timo was the only one of the four who excelled with enough musical talent to eventually make money in the scene after his hockey playing days ended.   

Their contracted pay was based on the number of paying patrons brought into the venue. A bonus was given when the crowd exceeded the expected certain minimum level. Well, the group was at least simply good enough to get gigs and run an alcohol tab at the clubs and dives they performed at. Mekkar remembered the funny thing was this usually was in exchange for actual cash. To explain it further the compensation was arranged in a certain way and rarely, if ever, covered them and their closest buddies’ drink tab. If the four local team hockey players in the band didn’t bring a lot of people, the band would have owed much more out of pocket. Fortunately, it takes only a few friends who then bring along their buddies that can rapidly add to the numbers and the tab is surpassed easily. Even acquaintances of the crew were encouraged to bring a high ratio of females along with them. Combine the massive consumption of booze, the motley crew of the band members’ buddies, and the added amount of women along for the ride. The result usually surpassed the prearranged reimbursement for services rendered. In other words, the band and their entourage always seemed to far exceed the tab limits and then some. They were required to make up the difference at the end of the night with cash. So, it was good they all had jobs to pay for the difference.

The whole experience was viewed by all of them in the group as just a fun hobby for a limited amount of time. Mekkar felt it was just a needed break and distraction from the rigors of sports. Well, just until they had to cease the crew to continue each one of their potential sporting careers going forward. Mekkar said it best, “It was fun the short time it lasted. Now, it is time to move up to higher levels because we know others are watching.”


Mekkar had already seen quite a few concerts of many varieties in his young life. Plus, he was a lover of music also. He had visited a large number of venues, both big and small, in many different countries. Some of these occurred when he would accompany with his mama to her modeling assignments or with travelling hockey teams.

Sirga would appear to work for modeling photo sessions, runway fashion shows, and what have you. When Mekkar was younger, being around that type of environment was exciting. On a few occasions, Sirga even got criticism from others related to the set and it almost result in a fistfight. Everyone there Sirga would have won those encounters easily since she was six foot two inches tall and adept at brawling. Sirga quipped at times that she could some things really well – drink, fight, ____, and do a little modeling. Yet, there were many times other models would go out of the way to be nice to the young boy as it was not a common thing in those days. Some of the well known models even brought Mekkar treats. The youngster didn’t know who they were or anything regarding if the ladies were famous or not. Mekkar was focused on the goodies that he was receiving. As the developing Mekkar got older, the photo and stage sets were not interesting anymore. He became more independent and would leave his mama’s side to journey and explore whatever place they had arrived in. Mekkar, at this time, often would go to watch live music to get away from what he considered as the madhouse fashion industry his mama was part of.

The native from the north had joined the legions of teens with the advent of punk rock in the 1970’s by attending counter culture alternative punk rock band shows. Outfits like the Clash, The Damned, Dead Kennedy’s, Iggy Pop & the Stooges, The Ramones, The Saints, Sex Pistols, The Stranglers, Stiff Little Fingers, The Voidoids, The Vibrators, the Buzzcocks, U.K. Subs, Generation X, Dead Kennedys,  Ebba Grön, the Rude Kids, Eppu Normaali, and many more countless diverse punk groups. Even a couple of bands from Hungary that he doesn’t remember the names of anymore. Mekkar was able view some of the bands live when they were still obscure. The Arctic Warrior even colored a part of his hair with a canary yellow streak on the left side of his head over the ear. It happened after going to a Sham 69 large outdoor gig near London and identifying himself as part of the Sham Army fan base.

This was a time where the teenage Mekkar began to develop an attitude that distrusted the overwhelming, all inclusive establishment as many his age do. He partially broke away and became a punk rebel in many ways. This posture was displayed in many areas especially in his expansion of chosen music genres listened to. Alf, his younger brother, and older best friend Lasse also followed Mekkar’s nonconformist path. The advantage was Mekkar had been exposed to the type first; otherwise, he would have followed one of them. The adolescent also checked out other groups during this period such as ACDC, Aerosmith, The Angels (Angel City), Black Sabbath, Blondie, the Commodores, David Bowie, Jefferson Starship, Kansas, The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, Rod Stewart, Rolling Stones, The Who, Hanoi Rocks, Raga Rockers, and hundreds of others at home and overseas. He was exposed to a host of styles and languages as well. The sound to Mekkar was always more important than the lyrics.

Hey, Mekkar’s mama is the one that helped him obtain a top quality fake identification card. That ID would give him entry into music locations as some clubs had minimum age requirements. The limits applied even to non alcohol consuming patrons. He didn’t need the high price drinks from the clubs anyway. He would be already buzzed by the time he arrived after slamming booze his mama got him earlier. It was normal in their regional traditions for young teens to drink with the parents. At least, she could observe and somewhat control the amounts being consumed by Mekkar. Sirga would tell her son before they would separate and go their own way, “Go and enjoy yourself at the shows and stay out of trouble. I don’t want to have to bail you out of jail.” He knew that he could take a cab afterward back to the hotel where they were registered to rejoin his mama. On some occasions Mekkar and Sirga would set up a plan beforehand to meet at a specific location by a certain time. The place was usually close enough for Mekkar to reach by foot. Then, it was time to travel back home and do it all over again later on.

Sirga grew up and admired the tunes of Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Kinks, and a part of the first British wave of rock n’ roll in the 1960’s that soon afterward invaded North America. Her sons liked those groups but also had a disposition for heavier music such as later classic rock and so on. When Mekkar was younger his mama took him to concerts of the Beatles & Elvis (her two favorites). She wanted to take her best friend - but the person who usually watches Mekkar was also at those two same concerts. So, Mekkar's mama was not amused and dragged him along against her will. Sirga continued to give him grief about it as Mekkar grew up. The youngster now only remembers the introductions and sticking of his fingers in his ears due to all of the screaming, yelling, crying young girls during those concerts.

Both Alf & Mekkar still to this day recall words to obscure songs from records, tapes, compact discs, radio, etc. sources. The reason was their mama would have the record player operating repeatedly while she was home. Sirga would play Kinks records until they wore out and then replace them. It was part of her own process to accelerate her learning of the English language. The young Mekkar was unhappy when he had to accompany his mama on a side trip to visit Elvis’ home, Graceland. In those days, when they still conducted on-site tours. The boy was bored stiff throughout the experience and appreciates it more now for nostalgic reasons, even though many details have been forgotten. 

It made perfect sense for Mekkar to start a band since all the potential members lived in the same big city together. It didn’t matter that some of the pack were not originally from the area. Besides that, Mekkar was inspired to form the group after attending over hundreds of distinct gigs during the decade alone. All the members were influenced by a fair amount of other bands from the international outlaw scene and colorful spectacles of the time. He just fell in love with the rawness of the punk sound. Alf, Lasse, and Mekkar had practiced together a bit with their instruments in the barn on the property back home. They all moved down south at various points for sports and now were back with each other again. This was not the arctic anymore, but it was like old times. They were adventures and it was time to spread their wings. Mekkar thought there were more available options and opportunity in the large metropolis. The crew had chosen a name for their ensemble. Yet, there was a need for a lead guitarist as none of them were close to being qualified. Fortunately, Mekkar was aware of a local hockey player that he played with and against in the ranks. Timo was not only an aspiring athlete but was also an up and coming studio axe man around the city. He was good enough to be asked to perform in a slew of recording sessions with quite a few other musicians.

Mekkar had heard him jam out previously and was of the opinion that he kicked it good. Not long afterward, he ran into Timo as part of a crowd at a local concert. He invited Timo to join the fledgling crew. Timo agreed and had access to a warehouse nearby the sports house. The building was prefect for practicing their raw noise with no one around to complain and at no cost to them also. It was exciting because the newest member also had contacts related to booking gigs. The tribe of four youngsters had to manage all things related to the band, themselves. All of them understood the basic reason for forming a group was not for money. Of course, that would have been nice. The real purpose was to get more women, have fun, and have another excuse to party. It was something different from sports for a change. The Arctic Warrior was convinced that chicks love people affiliated with music and especially members of a band. Mekkar figured it must be an aspect related to sound waves or vibes. They only had a couple of their own songs that they created and performed mostly covers. Even some popular songs in their own unique style. It was similar to punk rebel rock at its phoenix and during peak period of the overall world wide movement. There was plenty of material to choose from and inspiration to be garnered by or they could make it up as they go.

Sirga hated that music genre. She thought it was too fast, had no substance, obnoxious, and just plainly sounded like garbage. Both of her son’s musical tastes definitely did not completely match hers. Mekkar’s mama didn’t hesitate in telling them either. Especially when they were back home practicing in the barn. On those occasions, the audience consisted of animals. Maybe it was a good thing that Mekkar was unable to gauge their reaction. It didn’t seem to irritate the beasts too much in his opinion. Of course, Mekkar’s cocky reasoning claimed, at the very least, the sound didn’t put the animals to sleep.

The foursome had Mekkar’s younger brother Alf as the drummer. Alf basically got stuck there in the beginning back home because he was the youngest and the age trend determined his placement. The fact is, nobody else wanted to bang the drums. Plus, he showed a knack for it, which helped. The positive was his six foot one inch height despite being about three and a half years more youthful than the rest of the band. Alf’s height at such a young age benefited him and he appeared to most outsiders as rivaling Mekkar in age. Lasse was the lead vocalist while playing the bass guitar at the same time. He was the best of the group by far to audibly carry a note. An added benefit was that Lasse at this time was physically fit and not an individual to mess with. He stood at around six foot four inches tall and a weighed a muscular two hundred and forty pounds. He always wished to take his shirt off during their gigs unlike the rest of them. Mekkar thought it was to show off his physique to impress women in the crowd. At the beginning of their set Lasse would usually fling his t-shirt toward a hot girl in the crowd. It was an intentional directional and targeted toss. Lasse hoped he could score with her later in the night.

It was characteristic during gigs of the time for foolish drunk people in the rowdy crowds, to take swings at various front men in punk bands. Adolescent fury and aggression was the order of the day. So, it was a positive to have a singer who could kick some butt, if necessary, to protect them on stage. Truth was the whole group was made up of hockey players who are known for their toughness. All of the four could brawl pretty well. Even Alf could, but didn’t prefer to scrap like the others, if he could avoid it. This happened on occasion when a few rambunctious individuals in the audience would start a commotion in their direction. If someone desired to start trouble directly with the group, they were always ready to end it right then and there. No prisoners would be taken, only a beat down. Beforehand, Mekkar like to spew out his venom as a warning, “Don’t mess with us or we whip your rear ends hard! We don’t care who you think you are.” When that sort of rabid activity materialized, usually their set commenced for the night. Mekkar’s band was normally just a warm up band that attempted to get the crowd riled up and into the mood. The whole idea was to blend into the scene and match the flowing booze with fast, sharp, high tempo minimal punk riffs.

The one who originally came up with the idea to form this group was the rhythm guitarist, Mekkar. He was self taught and at the beginning knew only the basics. He could easily handle three cord punk scores. When stayed at a friend’s home, for a short time, he improved his guitar skills from just being a hack and thrashing out like a buzz saw. Mekkar filled in during practice sessions in the basement, to keep them on beat, because the drummer was frequently late. Both Alf and Lasse always teased Mekkar and said, “Don’t ever give him a microphone on stage because he can’t sing on key for anything. He doesn’t even hit the right notes in his native music ditties or when listening to his favorite bands.” They cringed every time after often overhearing Mekkar sing along to various songs. It was all due to Mekkar’s habit of singing out loud in the shower or in his car. The Arctic native was bold enough not to care if anyone else heard him or not.

Lasse and Alf were the better singers in the bunch in Mekkar’s opinion and the other member was good enough to sing in a backup role only. If he knew most of the words to a particular song Mekkar would sometimes mouth it silently. He would do this while hammering his strings because he was aware that his audible music voice sucked. Mekkar never sang out loud during performances as he didn’t want to throw everyone else off their rhythm and ruin it for all of them. This off key and lack of tone phenomenon was blamed on an earlier sports injury where Mekkar broke his jaw. The worse part was that a portion of the bone went upward and also damaged his left eardrum. Mekkar’s hearing has never been the same as before the trauma occurred. Constant drainage and fluid buildup issues have affected that left ear ever since. A number of early concussions didn’t help matters either.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


One time while Mekkar was living in the big city, he and a couple of friends walked toward the downtown area. They wanted to visit the large weekly open air marketplace for two reasons. One was to pickup some fresh fruit and vegetables because of their nutritional value. To them, the taste is better than the store bought brands as well. After all, they were still growing young athletes. The other reason was to meet the hordes of women that appeared there.

After the small group spent some time doing their thing, they split up in pairs to make the walk back home with their produce and a few phone numbers. Mekkar and the buddy with him soon saw, on a side street, two huge guys begin to move a vehicle out of a parking spot near the curb. Mekkar and his friend could not stop observing the scene unfold in front of them. Each one stood at least six foot nine inches (2.10 meters) tall and appeared to weigh 300 pounds (136.077 kilograms) or more. Those guys had shirts on that revealed muscular frames. The men each took a corner of the front side of the medium sized vehicle and scooted it over a bit. Then, they went to the rear of the car and did the same thing. This occurred a few times until the pair of large individuals got back into their own vehicle and moved it into the parking spot along the curb. The one they just physically created with their own brawn and brute strength.

The two men began to leave the newly relocated car alongside theirs, in the road and in a double parked situation. At that moment, it dawned on Mekkar that only a few individuals, he was aware of, could and the guts to attempt and carry out such a stunt like what he had just witnessed. Back home in his village there were some people who were big and strong enough to do it including his papa, he thought. He knew his papa was overseas on a business trip, so Mekkar right then dismissed that speculation altogether.

There is a saying that “curiosity killed the cat” and in this instance Mekkar and his buddy became the panthers as they approached within hearing distance of the ensuing conversation. The Arctic Warrior instantly recognized the large men’s voices as soon he heard them. It was affirmed now that Mekkar was close enough to see and identify who the huge individuals were. Fortunately, Mekkar and his chum were still at a safe distance away from the action, in case they had to flee to avoid any trouble. Now, both were close enough to the action to see and hear everything that was happening. Still, the presence of Mekkar and his compatriot were never noticed.

Suddenly, an officer of the law arrived on the scene and Mekkar thought he also looked familiar. However, neither Mekkar nor his pal wanted to deal with the cops in any manner. The authority figure spoke to the two large individuals as if he knew who they were and discerned what had happened. He sternly told the men, “To put the other car back in its rightful place and take themselves somewhere else. Before you go, I am giving you both a ticket with a fine to be paid in court for your creative action.” Afterwards, the policeman went away laughing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


[This story is an improved version from mini cassette recordings of Mekkar’s actual voice in 1990 while hiking and walking as a University student; then, it was converted to a Windows Media Audio File and transcribed in 2011. Mekkar’s spoken English skills are nowhere near as polished as Saavo’s are. Continued from PART 1 (B) in October, 2014.]

Mekkar’s mood showed that he loved the trek experience, as he was out in the open and felt free. He thought that a lot of people from the southern cities within the country would enjoy this too, only if they knew about it. Due to his youthfulness, Mekkar didn’t recognize his own biased outlook. Yet, he still applied his assumptions to people he had come across when he went to work with his mama, down south in the big city. Mekkar deemed that all large city dwellers should experience this natural setting and its wonders at least one time in their life. A beneficial break from the humdrum routine of the average individual’s existence. The exhilarating feel of freedom and fresh air in his lungs overwhelmed him more than usual. Nothing significant was occurring when he journeyed outside the teepee. Still, a quiet peace and enjoyment hit him all at once. Even though it had been a long trek so far there was a sense of newness. The young boy, at that moment, was eager to continue back on the journey once again. Aslak inquired of the youngster for a cause for his refreshed vigor, but Mekkar was unable to give him an answer. Nevertheless, Aslak knew and was testing Mekkar for the little trekker’s interpretation to determine if it was accurate. The Seer always knew because Aslak could observe from many angles and multiple dimensions.

After packing up the party with their beasts they continued on to the east where there were more flat lands awaiting them. This area seemed more desolate than where the path had taken them beforehand. The folk here seemed to Mekkar to be more cold and distant toward their group also. An aura of distrust appeared to increase when encountering the inhabitants as the herd went further eastward. Mekkar perceived this as the locals might have been even bothered by his group’s presence. The boy thought to himself the inhabitants in this place looked even frightened and he didn’t know why. Thus, Mekkar went to Aslak and asked him questions regarding this. All of the elders know that kids, similar to the youngster, are curious and seek answers to their questions. Mekkar did not make the connection to the local people’s reactions because he blocked out of his mind what he saw earlier on this trip regarding the wreckage. After speaking with Aslak and overhearing a conversation of Ansetti, Ankki, and Juhani is when he began to get some insight that addressed the matter. The residents feared a return of the overhead flights. One comment brought up that maybe the community thought their tribe was a target of a raid of some kind?  

It was all too much information for such a young lad to connect the dots and grasp the overall situation. Mekkar listened as he heard comments regarding the locals and their recent encounters with these foreign flying machines and other military equipment. The original plan for this area was an attempt to increase development, yet those goals were never reached. A mention was made about another effort to take control of the area for a hidden purpose, but many in the circle disagreed with that theory. There had to be a reason for the unwanted attention from more powerful surrounding enemies desiring to dominate the area. Mekkar had no clue since he had never travelled to this area before. He became very bothered by the disturbing news. At least he gained a small portion of understanding related to the local’s standoffish reactions concerning his group. The deep implications were beyond the boy due to youth and immaturity. It had been ingrained in Mekkar to strive to overcome any deficiencies he had by observing, clearly listen and hear, read if possible, and endeavor through application of all exposed information. Now, The Arctic Warrior is well aware this is a key to development and advancement of the mind.

When the situation was ascertained the group decided to continue on the trek despite that fact there was no town for quite a distance away from their location. After all the dead of winter had already passed, yet spring season had not arrived either. So, the herd with its shepherds was still affected by the frequent, wild fluctuations in the climate. There is always the myth of weather streams keeping certain areas warm. In some cases, it could be true regarding much warmer than expected temperatures at these high latitudes. The perceptions usually applied to the coastal regions, if the jet stream was static in its flow and in continual motion. Further inland, regular weather patterns are the normal tendency and decisions relied upon those characteristics. Actions and labor are determined by an expectation of a much colder environment further away from major bodies of water. Anyone living around mountain ranges is aware that they can provide an effective wind block between the coast and inland areas. Namely, if you are close to them and not in the distance on the valley floor below.

The temperature stayed relatively the same ranging between 25° F (-3.88° C) and 32° F (0° C) with little variation as they travelled eastward for the next few days. At the same time, Mekkar finally started to put that earlier wolf attack out of his awareness, but it was pushed back into his subconscious mind. The party had seen a couple of other wolf groups in the binoculars since then, yet none of those packs had come too close to be a threat. Along with the others, Mekkar remained in his night guard observation duties every third or fourth evening, according to the rotation. In truth, Mekkar basically was a trainee, a minor clog, and just another set of eyes and constantly fought the urge to sleep while on watch.              

Nobody truly expected a great deal from him due to his youth and surprised some adults with his diligence by not falling asleep on duty. The young boy didn’t neglect the tasks given to him. He expected a lot from himself and always did his best in everything he did or put his mind to. Mekkar held himself up as a special person and sought to apply himself to a higher standard than most. Potentially, it was the workaholic with excellence work ethic influence that was instilled into him by his parents and immediate family members. His parents demonstrated this through their own actions and example unlike a number of modern parents in today’s civilized world. Examples of parent neglect and negative child behavior issues are reflected almost everyday in every realm of supposedly advanced society.

Sirga and Henrik never assigned, selected, or predetermined the path of their offspring’s’ future career or how each would earn a living later on as adults. The fact was they didn’t have to because Mekkar and Alf were both internally self driven in their character with the oldest being sort of a perfectionist. The parents wanted their young children to dream and develop their own tastes. Henrik and Sirga felt that there would be plenty of time later on to make life choices as it’s a part of life, but not too early. The key was to keep an open mind and not intentionally slam doors that might need to be opened in the future. The parents would not accept disrespectable attitudes and let their sons behave like irresponsible, spoiled, entitlement brats. The concept of real education to them, despite both having advanced degrees, was to question everything. While at the same time, research subjects for yourself to reach your own individual conclusions and belief systems. Henrik and Sirga expected this component to stay with Mekkar the rest of his life as they prepared him. Mekkar would learn what he liked and didn’t prefer as opportunities arose. The caveat is when one is young they assume that they have all of the answers, as well as, many years to go to soak up all sorts of knowledge. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

While they were forging ahead to the east, Mekkar could have sworn that he saw fighter jets after hearing the whoosh sounds overhead. However, he didn’t recognize whose aircraft they were. Mekkar was normally spot-on identifying different jets because his uncle used to play recognition games back home with him. The youngster would be quizzed on various local and regional planes that they could see nearby and through binoculars. The game would include automobiles driven on the closest regional highway. The Arctic youngster had another of reference, his papa Henrik who was a pilot that was able to fly any aircraft the national military and airlines had.

Sitting and relaxing around the evening campfire the adolescent heard more stories about old legends and myths while the leaders were gulping down their coffee. Some of the tales and sagas seemed to Mekkar as being a very real part of history. Verbal communication was a normal practice, instead of writing it down, for stories to be passed down from one generation to the next. Long term oral traditions have been a common method of cultural transference for millennia as recorded throughout human history. There are a much smaller number of stories that have been conveyed in written form in comparison. By listening to these conversations in the tent, Mekkar gained an increased understanding of how old his people, native tribe, culture, etc. really was. His people were different from outward perceptions about them. The boy began to understand that many outsiders saw them automatically as lower class because of who they were. Natives were viewed with suspicion and they were considered a people that had lower intelligence.   

Mekkar heard one of the leaders in the discussion speak about how scientists were incorrect regarding where his people originally came from and were indecisive concerning their beginnings also. Many of the current accept theories have been debunked in recent years. There are many physical features each individual has and are conducive to the tribes’ people in this region that are shared with his own, but no one is exactly alike. A couple of adults there mentioned special attributes and advantages the natives are equipped with naturally in comparison with non-native settlers in the area. Later during the conversation, the subject matter prompted Mekkar to ask many why questions. Inquiries which are similar to those that all parents are familiar with. Why is that? What for? ... Smartly, the boy continually sought wise sources to find answers. Confusingly, the more replies he received, the more inquiries popped into his immature noggin.

As Mekkar’s parents taught him to be open to learning new things, this gave him a false sense that he believed that he was smarter than he actually was. Already, at this young age, signs of cockiness in his personality were bubbling to the surface. Mekkar based his intelligence at the time on having a lot of varied experiences for such a young kid. Also, he already read quite often because it was frequently pointed out to him that reading makes a person smarter.

The native boy heard the reasons related to the differences in the clothing his trek group wore in contrast to the locals in this place. The discourse mentioned the variety in designs, schemes, and color combinations as well as patterns in the tunics and hats. Their teepees were slightly different as well. The adolescent was also unaware of the underlying symbolism and array of emblems until he asked about it. There is a belief that has been instilled into Mekkar’s being that states that the only dumb question is one that is never asked. [Albert Einstein] Functions are also alluded to if one is perceptive enough to decipher the codes. Careful detection can identify a tribe’s village or clan affiliations. For instance, the shaman’s hat could be used as a type of ancient position based directional finder. In other words, a compass based on shadows caused by the sun, the moon, and reflection of light from the snow. Similar to today’s GPS navigational tools for land use without the high latitude inference issues that plague many systems in operation now. Of course, use of the antiquated system resulted in some miscalculations as well.   

Mekkar never understood why the group rarely strayed far the route even when the herd was forced to deviate from their initial course due to changing conditions. Circumstances such as too much soft ground to trek on and extra stops for food and supplies. Luckily, the trekkers were able to return back on the chosen path. Some of the trekking routes have been used for many years. Long before non-native settlers began moving into the area and claiming some the land as their own. Those deeds permanently changed age-old routes that affected the indigenous people and herds. Mekkar’s people have a few concepts that are different from modern society. In Mekkar’s culture the land is seen as being for everyone to use and is sort of on loan, in that no one can really own it. Not even the regional chieftains or rulers, the state, nor the governments who control national borders. Thus, none of those parties have any right to take it away or even give the land to someone else like a particular individual, group, company, etc.

Another key point is that in many aboriginal people, like Mekkar’s tribe, there is a mindset that all inanimate objects have their own individual life or soul. One must work in cooperation and harmony with those items to benefit. The Native from the North still expresses this habit of speaking to inanimate objects which confounds others to this day. Most people just write it off as craziness, lack of sanity, or senility on his part. A few others think he is just nuts when Mekkar audibly acts in this manner.

Monday, October 27, 2014


[This story is an improved version from mini cassette recordings of Mekkar’s actual voice in 1990 while hiking and walking as a University student; then, it was converted to a Windows Media Audio File and transcribed in 2011. Mekkar’s spoken English skills are nowhere near as polished as Saavo’s are. Continued from PART 1 (A) in September, 2014.]

This is in a huge contrast to really big population centers and cities like Las Vegas. These arctic locales would not make a close comparison to even a smaller city like Eugene, Oregon for instance. We are referring to very small places, tiny compared to cities with only twenty five thousand inhabitants. These are modest in size while still currently flooded with all the reindeer herders on trek search to replenish themselves. The old standard normal consideration for a town was one with a population of five thousand of more within its limits.

Regardless, Mekkar calls them towns because they might have special features about them as opposed to vast scarcely populated open spaces. Many of those small communities in this area also know about efficient use of available resources and not use them all up too quickly. Similar to regional natives and nomads who live off the land in a very contrasting manner to modern society. Mekkar has been taught that much of civilized life in many cases just takes over and destroys everything in its path in the name of progress. Other elders have given the boy an image that reveals modern society has its underlying basis built on greed and exploitation of almost everything. This includes all resources, such as people, with very little long term consideration of the surrounding impact.

The curiosity regarding the natives and their past history was the issue of fairly complete homogeneous complexity of the people before the liberal mass immigration of later times. In some of the areas, so far north, a number of communities get to employ a portion of their own local customs as legislation. Some native customs have been in place for a long time, much longer than the national cultures all around them. Those customs are fairly effective in most places and reduce crime on a grand scale. The high crime rates are almost nil and mostly minor offenses such as theft are perpetrated by outsiders. Among the natives most disputes are handled in a quick judicious manner. Very unlike rates in today’s large cities where the per capita high crime rates are beyond measure; that is in comparison to these remote areas. In Mekkar’s tribe the view is some of the community laws are very harsh, but an effective deterrent factor.

A person cannot function without others in this Arctic environment because sometimes, by working together, is the only thing that keeps you all alive. The harsh environment is the overall main factor that can determine your fate. One individual’s selfish ambition and desires, plus rash decision making can bring difficulties for all residing there. One has to be able to trust your neighbor and even more so when you are together on the trek with your fellow tribesmen.

For example, witness the last attack of the wolf pack. If Mekkar neglected to do his job as a watchman or if Juhani did not drive his knife through the mouth and throat of the wolf, a member of the trek might have been lost. Everyone is a key member in this team and dysfunction would have resulted in a lot more lost reindeer too. It was determined the cost of the animals was already too high as it was.

Those reindeer are beings that sustain and provide for needs of the herders also. Some are set out and used for eating, while others to strengthen the herd through organization. This is planned for and set aside by the committee leaders of the trek before it begins. Those particular overseers of the group are chosen by vast past experience and their skill from many odysseys.

As the collection of men and beasts approach the hamlet they load up on supplies. There is a long winded discussion between Mekkar and Aslak. “Aslak,” Mekkar asks, “Why are these city people like this? They are so different from us. Have they ever gone on a trek?” Aslak knew that some of the townspeople had not. However, was convinced that many back in their own home village area had not been ever on a long journey similar to this. It saddened Aslak, as an increasing number of natives are losing their in-touchness with nature. Those are developing in the same manner as those in this town. The opinion was that uniqueness is being lost or being forced away by contemporary forces inside and out. Less and less of the natives are herders or work directly with reindeer anymore. Some of these relied on tourism alone instead or have other different occupations as their main sources of income. This can result in ignoring the old native customs of the region and modify their behavior to fit in with progressive societies. Try to blend in and not stand out too much. Aslak reminded Mekkar frequently to not forget where he came from and who he is. The advice always warned the boy that he could lose his personal identity, if he started to forget, whether it was intentional or not. That situation creates another set of issues and problems as a result.

Unbeknownst to Mekkar, his tribesmen have carried out a variety of tasks and functions to provide an income for their families. He thought they only participated in reindeer herding. The different seasons provided different opportunities. In the past, it was due to meeting heavy tax obligations to more than one source. At times obligations were imposed by multiple rulers, governments, and magistrates all at the same time. An emerging boy such as Mekkar still only had a small grasp of the matter. He was not totally informed and thought this could be harmful to his people. Trouble was Mekkar didn’t understand why, so he flat out rejected the concept of the whole society for the time being. In time, a few answers would be forthcoming as he listened to the adults discuss matters during stops along the journey. 

Aslak mentioned during a conversation that maybe the influxes of modernists into the region were forcing the adaptation of all inhabitants there. The loss of individual indigenous thinking, traditions, and overall cultural identity was too rapid. The danger is that there is no rewind button to take one back to the past like on a video recorder. Once you lose it, those aspects are almost impossible to get back. Antti agreed with Aslak on these points that individual want was a major internal driving force. It normally trended toward thinking on a more selfish and greedily level. The negative end result with that type of attitude would be to use up all of the resources in that spot without time for restoration. That would be disastrous.

Well, Mekkar started to have thoughts on a self-conscious level by seeking further answers to his inquiries, “Why am I so different from these other children that seem to be around my age? They are doing things and seem to be having more fun by playing and having more possessions than me.” Aslak was brief, but blunt in his answer he told the young boy, “This experience will stay with you the rest of your life. You will need this because you will need to be hardened against the environment and your circumstances. You will have to work with it, within it, and not be overcome by it. This is the lesson you are learning now because you will be required to call on this experience later on in some other form and in another way.”

Mekkar was totally confused by these comments and did not comprehend the meaning of them. He could not grasp their meaning, they sounded like riddles to him. In hindsight, it was seen as a future prediction of a catastrophic calamity that would occur in Mekkar’s life. After all, Aslak was a seer. The shaman was to the point, but did not give specific details regarding Mekkar’s future even as he saw it unfold. The spiritual leader thought that it might be harmful and told Mekkar so. Aslak said, “I can see that you need this and I know of where and when. Yet, I can’t tell you anymore about it. I cannot tell you anymore about it!” he emphasized to Mekkar.

The medicine man continued on, “Trust me, I see this and you do not want to know more about the event later on. However, you need this training for later on. You will draw out the lessons you are learning from this venture a few times in your life because it will be hard.” Mekkar, when he heard the phrase that he would have a hard life, his spirits dropped a bit even as he didn’t fully digest the meaning. He thought that he already had it much harder than the children he was comparing himself to.

He thought they had more fun, but Mekkar admitted he was enjoying himself too. Actually, he was having a blast and conducting himself like a man as he called it in his time. In the boy’s mind he felt that he was doing an adult’s work. I’m helping to herd reindeer. How many people can say that! Mekkar knew that this type of job was uncommon. In reality, it is very rare, yet he was unaware of that. He didn’t always expect the responses he would receive later as an adult when he mentioned that he herded reindeer. Unfortunately, a lot of stupid quips were directed at him. Even after speaking about working on the boats out at sea. Other reindeer herders know the true article by their speech and how they are dressed. Current day poseurs and charlatans can be exposed very quickly by those who know.

Some of the persons in this area knew his fellow tribesmen and even his papa. His parents took Mekkar to other areas of the globe where it could a different situation altogether. He consistently received a different reaction to his questions from others than he expected. Sometimes it would make him upset as those individuals might be as accommodating as his tribesmen. On the other hand, he thought that none of those kids in this place could have had this much fun doing what he was doing. Despite the fact Mekkar had to work also. This was the crux of the youngster’s interaction with Aslak. Still, Mekkar went on with his queries, “Why do I have to work so much? When these other kids do not? Look, they get to play without working.” The reality was that Mekkar was part of a village that had a very different standard of the term “play”. Nonetheless, the rewards would be so much more beneficial for him in the long run.

Now that the group was restocked with necessities Ansetti and Antagar led the others in preparing the reindeer to continue the trip. All of the herders on the trek had eaten very well, much better than some past adventures. Rich reindeer meat, cheese, milk, lingonberries, and cloudberries were only a part of their diet. At this point, the tribe took a short break to eat. Aslak told Mekkar not to consume too much. Of course, the little rebel did anyway. Since Mekkar now was full, he sought rest.

The blood was rushing to his stomach from his head to aid digestion left Mekkar tired and ineffective to perform his duties. Regardless, the crew dragged him away and departed. Mekkar was put on a sled so they could travel while he slept. It was not too cold for him to drift into his dreamlike state. It was only about -10° F (-23.3° C) outside and his winter clothing warmed him up just nicely. Mekkar’s face was covered somewhat and the exposed parts got slightly flush in color. Fortunately, the native clothing he normally wore could keep a person still operational in much chillier climates. In far below zero degree weather a person definitely does not want to sweat too much. Otherwise the glands can freeze and get clogged. That would create another set of problems toward an individual’s health, especially a young boy’s. Normally back home in extreme conditions, Mekkar liked to take a cup of water and toss its contents upwards into the air. His favorite part is watching the former liquid quickly turn into powder on its path downward. However, it wasn’t cold enough to do that and he was conked out.

Natives long ago adapted themselves in many ways to survive in their unique environments, some of which also includes the clothes they wear. Mekkar’s tribesmen modified some of their wares to incorporate ventilation features to prevent great accumulations of perspiration no matter how strenuous the tasks being carried out. This layered winter clothing in theory was designed to keep most of a person’s body heat close to the body in environments far below minus 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.77° C). However, no one including Mekkar wanted to test those claims and maximum limits. In normal settings, an individual usually didn’t wear matching multicolored tunic, pants, and coverings everyday. Unless, it was for special occasions such as a wedding then a coordinated appearance would be important. Plus, there was the aspect of taking time to specially clean them without ruining the handmade material. Even the youngest member of the group knew that many options, not to mention fresh apparel, are limited while on the trek.

A heavy reindeer fur overcoat was only applicable for wintertime use as one would overheat, if worn during the summer. The outfit was toughly constructed with very water resistant skins as the base and the garments were all encompassing. Yet, there was some stretchableness or flexibility to fit the person. In addition to the comfortable boots or shoes without need for socks, unless the individual preferred them. There are also high boots which are used for travelling in deep snow and even whole leg/hip wading boots for fishing in lakes as well as rivers. Mekkar didn’t care; he figured he would put prepared dried grass in his regular use boots to keep his feet warm, and cushioned. He next tied them tight so no snow got into his shoes. The grass helped to soak up the foot sweat as well. There is a preparation process as the grass first must be matted, teased carefully, and dried. Not to forget replaced every so often. The process takes time not available on the journey. In previous times this was necessary to preserve footwear. Modernization has changed this somewhat. The boy felt by the time this trek was over his pair of boots would be broken in nicely like well worn hockey skates. By good fortune Mekkar’s footwear was used previously and not tattered before this journey began, otherwise he would have some aching feet and possibly blisters.

It had been quite a few miles since they left the town and Mekkar was still conked out on the sled. He slept about five hours on this occasion. For a kid such as him that is a long time. It was concluded he must have eaten way too much. Well, the weather stayed the same and Mekkar finally woke up from his slumber. He looked around and recognized some of these surroundings even though to most it was still another place that was quite unpopulated. This is the arctic, after all.

Much of what grows outside in the wild there is during the spring and fall and buried during the wintertime. Basically you have five main staples while most of the rest is imported from somewhere else outside the region. Mostly from down south and beyond. There are a few types of berries. The natives learn early when they are ripe enough to eat or not by the change of the coloring. Otherwise, there is the high potential to acquire food poisoning or to a lesser extent become really ill. In season, the various favors of budding fruits can tempt a person by their tartness, sweetness, or both.

Potatoes can be creatively grown and harvested with patches of grass or mulch to meet trekkers’ needs. Various forms of onions to provide flavor and texture too. Moss and lichen even manifest itself to feed reindeer if they dig deep enough in the winter snows. Oh, my! Reindeer meat is delicious. Fish are available in the clean water streams that are not frozen over. If you are not in hurry, there is the activity of ice fishing. Mekkar would spear fish, during lunchtime, at the river back home but not during the middle of the blizzard season. The point is there are not a lot of options for grub so protecting the delicate balance of nature is tricky at best and can be brutal at worst.

Reindeer is so important to Mekkar’s tribe and this area because they can supply milk, as well as make cheese using the ingredients. In theory, a human can use every part of the animal for some edible or functional application. However, one must know the resources that are available and how to make the best use of them. There is no haphazard waste. During the appropriate growing season there are a few farms that grow grains to help make appetizing homemade bread. Supplementary items can be gathered from the various towns and villages they pass on the path. These are the basics of the group’s diet at home and especially on the trek. Vegetarians do not thrive well in this environment. Similar to all the children in his village, Mekkar learned these aspects as it was ingrained into him since he could talk and walk.

For the next four or five days the weather stayed consistent and the group covered between thirty and fifty miles (48.28 & 80.467 Kilometers) a day depending on various factors. The texture of the snow, how deep or how hard it was, the hilliness of the terrain, and transport reliability. There were no breakdowns of any equipment, so far. Basically, the expanse of this place is void of people in some areas. Still, the scenery is majestic, if one appreciates it.

Anyway, as the crew approached northward they kept up their pace and chose a certain familiar spot to set up the teepees before the crisp night air swiftly arrived upon them. The group of course set up a sauna tent first because it requires the most work. Almost everyone in the tribe will visit the hot one. Mekkar would go in there himself, yet some adults made it so hot until he could take no more. Anyway, the boy came out refreshed and relaxed from the experience. It is very different from the regular heat generated from the sun. Mekkar has trouble with hot desert-like temperatures outdoors, but the sauna helps him adapt to a certain level. There is a difference between sun driven warmth and hot room heat. If a person went outdoors in 180° F (82.22° C) heat, they might fry like an egg. That definitely goes for the natives from this region as they are not used to a roasting hot outdoor climate. For instance, Southern California during the summer. 200° F (93.33° C) is not uncommon in a real sauna and 212° F (100° C) is the boiling point for water. Mekkar doesn’t know how to describe the hot room effect any better for those who are unacquainted with it.

The same setup plan and formalized routine is used to ready the camp in a rapid manner. Mekkar says, “Since it has been effective for hundreds of years why change it?” The little Arctic trekker dozed off as he listened to tales and stories in the tent about locations unknown to him. The adults continued to drink their favorite coffee which Mekkar didn’t like anyway. The adults always seemed to follow their normal custom of giving their favorite drink an added spice and zip to it with alcohol. Not long after Mekkar snooze began he was awoken by sounds of howling wolves and reindeer shuffling. At any rate, it was just a false alarm and he went back to sleep.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Beginning with new school year this particular dorm, along with a few others on campus, had been converted into single mini-apartment residences. Mekkar could have gone many other places, originally followed a few of his close friends from back home to this university a couple of years prior. Now, the four of them moved into this place to be together because it was closer and less expensive than the house they rented the year before.

Most of the students in this nine story building were from overseas and older like Mekkar and his buddies. In the native from the north’s case, it was due to his shortened post-high school professional hockey career, healing process, and the fulfillment of his compulsory military service commitment back home. As a result, Mekkar got a later start to his higher education pursuit as many from his homeland do.

Mekkar was unable to attend the big universities nearest his home village because of his extra time spent in the San Diego, California area as a high school exchange student. Plus, he would have desired to attend college from away from home anyway since his parents were no longer alive. The Arctic native felt that the pressure to perform would be lessened and he was used to intense environments.

There was a big Irish guy named Colin who stood about six feet six inches tall and weighed around 280 pounds. He was a much younger college student than Mekkar and moved onto the same second story floor of the residence hall. Not long after the original introduction between Colin and Mekkar, the large Irishman began to use derogatory terms and names toward the Arctic Warrior when he saw him. For a while Mekkar disregarded these slurs by his neighbor.

However, one time the big Irishman began his verbal assault toward Mekkar after the Arctic native had a very bad day and was in a particularly testy mood. Colin was told by one of Mekkar’s buddies who were alongside him, “Don’t do this today. This is the wrong time for this type of banter.” Colin ignored the advice and continued on. Mekkar looked like his face was on fire and was having none of it on this day. The Arctic Warrior instantly fired back with a quip, “I have had enough! Say one more and you will be picking yourself off of the floor!” The Irishman heartily bellowed and seemed to think as if his large size advantage over Mekkar would quell any possible confrontation.

This was huge miscalculation on Colin’s part. The Irishman responded with another nasty phrase. Mekkar was at his limit on this day and had enough. The Arctic Warrior sprung into action and drove a right uppercut that Colin appearently didn't see coming. It squarely struck under the jaw and slightly to the left. What the Irishman didn’t know was that Mekkar already had extensive fighting, boxing, and martial arts training. Added to that was a great deal of experience in some of those areas, plus many battles on the ice.

Many of those encounters were one-on-one; right in front of each other grabbing sweaters or anything else they could get a hold of for balance. Balance is key in any fight on ice. While at the same time, rapid firing away with a free arm trying to connect your fist with the opponent’s head and body. The idea was to knock the other person down first. Next, landing on top and many times still pounding away, hoping to bloody them and make them quit before they did it to you. Once in a great while, resulting in a knockout or one the combatants’ head hit the ice first because the ice surface is at least as hard as cement.

Even if you do not get knocked out, the non-padded and exposed parts of the body can get bruised or injured with the resulting pain to follow. Some of the damage is visible to the average fan and some is not. Some is short-term and there are long-term residual effects as well. Mind you, all of this on thin blades and skates. The whole thing is that the Arctic Warrior was very adept on how to execute his past instruction into present action with authority. He was also familiar with the ultimate manual published in 1950 Championship Fighting: Explosive Punching and Aggressive Defense by Jack Dempsey. This book is available online and has been used by many top boxers, fighters, martial artists – mixed and otherwise, such as Bruce Lee.

The big Irishman never knew what hit him and absorbed the heavy blow by Mekkar. He landed with a great thud on his butt, right in the middle of the hallway floor which shook the nearby rooms and brought a few onlookers to the scene. Colin had a surprised, but dazed look on his face. It was as if he could not believe what had happened. He seemed in a state of shock that the smaller Mekkar was able to do what he did to someone his size and stature.

Colin didn’t know that the native from the Arctic grew up around wild animals and had to deal with them, at times, with his bare hands. Mekkar had even stupidly slugged a bear, near his back porch back home, in the face. Fortunately, instead of responding with aggression in return, the beast retreated into the distance. This was just how Mekkar was. The Arctic Warrior has really never stayed intimidated by anyone’s size, man or animal, including a polar bear – but, that is another story already on this site.

Now, the larger neighbor received the message, loud and clear. After this episode, Colin never uttered a negative comment at Mekkar again. They both eventually became good friends in time. The consensus of those around the situation was that Mekkar took the risk to gain respect, despite the fact that it was in a physical manner. But the question is how could the warning given beforehand by Mekkar been misinterpreted?

Monday, October 13, 2014


For events where Lord Stanley’s Cup is the main attraction, even among famous people, Mekkar says that he has no desire to be near the Cup. People around Mekkar notice that he avoids the Cup like the plague. Even when other people go right up to it to take photographs alongside or kiss the Cup like players do. He has mentioned in the past that because he competed for the Stanley Cup as a player, not a coach, he is unable to ever touch it or be photographed with it since he didn’t win it himself.

During the time of Mekkar’s playing career, there were minimum standards such as number or percentage of games played during the regular season and playoffs. Those were factors determined, along with being part of the Championship squad, which individual names were etched on the Cup. He is not sure if those standards still apply.

Mekkar was also a coach for one year, but that team was not in a league to compete for the Stanley Cup, far below it. The native from the Arctic for the most part didn’t like coaching because execution of the plan doesn’t always match the game preparation. Plus, his younger players, their parents, and the league administration grew to resent him. Even though the squad won the Championship; all felt that Mekkar was too intense for coaching and he employed a very hard-driven style. He never returned to coaching after that one season. This especially showed in the training regimen he oversaw regarding his players. Mekkar’s ideas were seen as too strict and tough.

The Arctic Warrior considered what he put his players though was a watered-down version of what he endured as a player. Years later, Mekkar commented that there was a reason why one of his star players rarely seemed to get tired in the third period. It was the case even as that player was later involved at the highest levels of the sport. The former coach credited it to his previous installed work ethics and team training methods. The player was not so sure. Still, almost all on that particular team refuses to speak to coach Mekkar to this day.