Wednesday, January 29, 2014


In Mekkar’s culture even young kids bet on almost anything, sort of like their own version of Las Vegas. They traded stuff all of the time after becoming bored with those items. Constant trading and bartering of goods between them was normal. Very similar to how kids used to swap baseball cards once upon a time. The kids had created their own little item swap meet. Yet, very little money exchanged hands. This was one reflection of a culture that avoids unnecessary waste if possible. It is better than throwing it away when someone else can use it for awhile longer, Mekkar reasoned.

One amusement involving Mekkar that he liked to participate in was referred to as the flash item memorization game. It was definitely another contest for money. Plus, he engaged in it with only his closest friends and on occasion his younger brother, Alf. Involvement included only individuals that he could trust. Only those he knew that would not cheat him or try to rip him off could participate. It consisted of one person who would flash a card, sticker, box, or another object for a specific amount of time. Sometimes, witnessing the article for as long as thirty seconds. The goal was to memorize as much as possible about the temporary flashed item.

After the object was taken away, the idea was to correctly recall the most information about that item. Identifying features were audibly spoken back toward the group. Even words, marks, scratches, and other detailed information would be described. Usually it was one individual against one other. Once in a while they might add a second or a few more to make it more interesting and compete for a larger prize amount. The others there not guessing acted as the judges. Some of the individuals there had photographic memory capabilities, so it was not as easy as it sounds. Competition became fierce because Mekkar always had the desire to conquer and win in every endeavor he partook in. The winner was determined by relaying the most details about the targeted item toward all that were there. The format was always winner take all in regards to the victor’s spoils, as many of these small contests were. The game was simple but challenging. Mekkar was pretty good at it when he was younger. But as he got older and received a few head blows from sports, he was less adept at it and never won that contest again.

Another time when the boys were figuring out a new activity to begin, they came up with this one, a race. Mekkar put on his skis, harnessed up his chosen reindeer, and took the reins. Next, he headed out to meet a few of his friends at their rough version of a race track set into the snow. Basically, it was just a fairly large open, flat area set in a small valley between the hills. The boys raced for money. At the same time, it was a dare and a challenge. Mekkar knew that rejecting a challenge was socially unwise among his peers. Activities like this are just what boys do. In this instance he was pitted against his older best friend Lasse. This time they all decided on the large, sort of oval shaped, open course about five kilometers (3.1 miles) in size. The group began clearing away as many small potential obstructions as they could from the track

The race began and the animal was soon pulling the racers behind them up to 48.28 Kilometers per hour (30 miles per hour). The speed could have been faster in Mekkar’s estimation. At top speeds, it was a matter of just holding on and hoping not to crash or wipe out. Mekkar was ahead in the two lap race and as he was on the last lap in sight of the finish line, he looked back at Lasse. Outwardly when he peered at Lasse, it was a glance of I am kicking your butt. In reality, Mekkar was just holding on for dear life and didn’t feel that he was in complete control of the situation. Of course, he wasn’t going to let everyone there know that.

Trouble was his glance caused a shift where he slightly leaned too much to his right and forced him to lose control. All of a sudden, Mekkar flipped, then rolled and rolled finally coming to a stop. He landed with a thud in the bushes and small trees off to the side of race course. During his tumble, Mekkar had heard the sounds of branches breaking off as he furled past. One of the twigs had penetrated and partially broke off in his wrist. Mekkar felt that he also did more damage to his wrist as it might be broken too. He felt the physical pain. However, he was more embarrassed because he had bit the dust in front of his friends. He was also ticked off over losing a race when he was in the lead and felt the win was in the bag. Plus, no cash prize for him further irritated Mekkar. All competitors contributed their share toward the grand prize. Especially, when there were multiple people racing or a series of races consisting of one-on-one. The award for finishing first was winner take all and the losers go back home empty handed with less pride.

At that point, Mekkar wasn’t thinking straight. He wished there was more than two people in that last race and thought it would be best having a different payout system. Comparable to a horse or dog race have Win, Place, and Show payouts with everyone contributing. Contrary to his desire, it was always winner takes all and the losers go home with no cash and no pride. Mekkar knew this, but he just didn’t want to accept it at that point. Plus, the injury pain started to get worse and wake him up to the reality of his situation.

Friday, January 24, 2014


The trek that day toward the west had deeper snow than normal on the ground. It appeared, for now, that the weather was going to stay the same in the direction they were heading. The herd would soon need a fresh plentiful food supply and it was the job of all of the herders to reach that location. This was their quest, for now. For this journey, it was decided that the hooved creatures would benefit by being fattened up at various stages on the trek. The idea was to make them look healthy and increase their survival ability rate as the pilgrimage still had a long way to go. The anticipated added bonus would be a higher value of each animal, when they arrived back home.

After some time along the way the group passed a single, well used cabin. Some of the older, more experienced reindeer trekkers just laughed at the dwelling. Jokes were exchanged between them. Comments such as, “Ha, Ha, Ha. Those are for the tourists and people who really can’t handle it out here. They just think they can, but instead are pretenders trying to imitate us.” A few other herders joined in with additional amusement and further quips. This experienced crew did not need to stay at a place like that nor desire to use such a poor immobile structure. Plus, it was very inadequate and unsuitable in their eyes Ah! It was sort of an old shelter. Mekkar had not seen one of those small quarters for quite awhile and had been exposed to very few throughout the area. Thankfully, this was the only well-used cabin that they would pass along the way.

It was said that the national government, at one time, built quite a few of these out of the way hovels to serve the travelers that visit this area. The reasoning was it is all in the name of progress. Locals saw them as another item to disturb the land at the expense of the native inhabitants. The usual official rote answer was the project would add money to the official coffers of the various regions. The complete opposite was the reality. Unmentioned was the intentional official lie that this undertaking would help the native areas supplement themselves with badly needed extra revenue. Some have suggested that the whole enterprise stinks of pure exploitation, where only a handful profit from the deal. Mekkar has heard on occasion that there is substantial graft and wasteful taxpayer funds spent by the government which only helps a few individuals. While at the same time, the result is the locals who live in the area are neglected. Many are kept in the dark as to the true purposes. Many are convinced the world over that where there is a government project, a high probability of corruption and foolish spending is involved. Adults have expressed concerns about outright theft, misappropriated funds, and kick-backs for favors while advantageous for a select few.

As the herd was going by, Mekkar was near the rear of the column. He was one of the trekkers attempting to keep the animals together in an organized way. Against the advice of another, the boy did go up to the cabin and opened the door to get a quick peek. Mekkar heard the creaking noise of door as it swung open. He thought to himself that the place had been isolated for some time. As he looked inside there were a couple of amenities, but on a small scale. Some items were older versions were like home or in other village residences he had previously visited. Of course, he was aware that this spot had not been accessed in a while. There was a little amount of dirt on the floor, small portions of rust on metal objects and that type of thing. The place showed a sense of character, even more so without activity as of late. So, he closed the door and left to catch back up with his group that was still on the move.

Now this trekking party didn’t need more restrictions and permanent dwellings, they had that back home in the village. It was better to have transferable, functional pack animals, loaded up with goods, for this journey. Portable tents that could be setup fairly quickly were among the items also. The group had all they needed at the time and still be flexible and mobile too. There is no use for clutter. At this point the day was vanishing fast. Darkness was descending earlier than usual for this time of the year. Thus, the band unpacked to rest for the evening. Only essential and a minimal number of items that was required. At this particular stop, not all the regular materials for a normal full camp were used. This is a key concept, to only get what you need, when you need it. It is a very different mindset from modern consumerist driven societal ideas. There is an overriding consideration as part of the cycle. You don’t take more than you require for existence so there will still be provisions for you when you come back at a later time. This way of thinking is fed by the culture itself and dominates the native belief system. This trekking party has bought into that system. They are following patterns used continuously and successfully for generations. All were regional natives from the Arctic, with no contrary foreigners in the group, and thus were in agreement.

The herders followed their animals on the trail to the west for quite a few miles as the time passed. These were ancient migratory routes travelled for many years and well known to the leaders like Ansetti. Not long afterward a horrendous blizzard came upon the group, which changed their direction, before they were supposed to turn northward. It was easy to tell the source of the bad weather. It was coming toward them from a westerly direction off of the sea nearby and over the small mountain range. The Arctic blast built up as it reached over the peaks and the wind gusts swooped down into the valley. They were stuck in the middle of it and were committed to stay on the move to find better shelter. The aggregation of man, equipment, and animals were in an area just north of a designated national forest that they already had bypassed. That particular stretch of tree-filled expanse would have been ideal to stop at. The area was set aside as protected land by the government. Naturally, Juhani asked the question, “But for how long? Only until it can be maximized for exploitation like everywhere else by those who use money to bribe officials to change their minds?”

In this region are some deep valleys and fairly wilderness plains side by side. Yet, going to the north there are another set of height obstacles. There are a handful of the highest points in the territory where the band is headed. However, it is too much to expect this herd will reach any high mountain tops. Natives to this region have seen visitors attempt to climb those cliffs fairly often. The reason these are chosen is they are not too tall like a Mount Everest. Still the elevations are challenging enough in certain places to tease those willing to attempt their ascent. For instance, on the one face of a few of the mountains it is easy just to walk up a path, near the top. Well, if you have experience as a climber. It is not advisable for the average person who might not be in great shape and would have difficulty catching their breath.

On the opposite side might be a whole different story altogether. On the higher fells portions are made up of shoal rock as a friend of Mekkar’s described it. That is, after he made the ascent later on. Mekkar’s friend climbed some of the more difficult parts here by himself and he said it frightened him at times. It was expressed that shoal rock can disappear underneath you and crumble away when you step on it. He recounted in the beginning, he misinterpreted what was happening on the cliff. An illustration was made to show any hold could fragment in an instant. The enjoyment increased after adjustments were made to combat the hazards encountered and as the approach upward to the peak commenced. A dangerous place indeed, with other risks as well, such as avalanches, etc.

Mekkar, himself, at least tried to stay away from those mountains, and in particular the formidable faces along the range. Since, the arctic boy had no desire to climb hills; those stories slightly freaked Mekkar out. He was not interested in that type of recreational activity. The majority of the herders were not attracted to mountain climbing either. Mekkar liked to keep his feet firmly planted on solid soil, if he could help it.

The problem was the trekking band was in vicinity of the range and had to stop the trek. It was time once again to brace themselves against the onslaught of more nasty weather. Nobody was going anywhere. A couple of reindeer tried to desert them and were brought back. Some others wandered off again to be retrieved once more by their guides.

One positive is the native inhabitants of this area have are some inherited abilities and traits that have adapted over time to help them survive in this environment. The recent settlers and other non-natives do not possess these facets nor come close without specific training. The eyesight is normally better than the average person and in bad weather appear to be closer in regard to birds than people. It is amazing how objects can be spotted in snow areas at great distances. However, not quite like Arctic reindeer that has the ability to see in ultraviolet light. [Wikipedia] The native wisdom says that it is part of adaptation to one’s surroundings. Mekkar says it is more individual modifications exercised for use in a unique environment.

For example, some say that moths are a species that have revolutionized their body light and make it able to change colors and blend in. So, no matter where they land or where they hide in the scenery the effect comes from within and displays outwardly on their outer layers. Just one necessity employed for survival and developed through an evolutional process over time. A pattern of genetic alternation through DNA change to aid that continued natural selection on an individual basis. So, the moths do not become extinct and are still here to both people. Many other insects and animals utilize these techniques. [Wikipedia]

Similar to people that live in special climates around the globe, many individuals enjoy specific adaptations to the environment around them. Good sense is also considered necessary. For example, it is better to cover the top of the head where a lot of body heat loss occurs. Thus, the use of head wear in the form of various hats and caps are prevalent during the cooler weather. On the other hand, one can cool off against heat at a faster rate by applying cold items there. Peculiar assets and traits are inherent and learned to give native and isolated peoples a better chance to survive in the remotest regions on the planet. There are assumptions that other Arctic races sport these distinctive features as compared to new arrivals or settlers that now shared the area with them. Some of them are correct and several are inaccurate. A few advantages are quite obvious to all. Trouble is, people usually take them for granted and do not miss them until they are gone.

Observing those staying reindeer detach themselves didn’t change the fact that the animals still fled from the main herd. It was extremely difficult to track the wandering beasts through the storm. Mekkar never has understood the stupidity factor that forces something or someone to intentionally harm them through reckless action. The concept itself is very alien to him. When the trekkers found enough cover and a suitable spot they made an early stop, setup camp, and attempted to wait out blizzard. A temporary corral was hastily rigged to keep the rest of reindeer close together and in check. The animals are like the herder’s money in the bank. At that time, the animal’s worth was not the same as what they are now. That is, in money terms or on the open market. The exchange idea always considers the value of an item is only as much as another will purchase it for. Also, labeling value is seen as continually changing and in a state constant adjustment.

The adolescent Mekkar had help to place his coned tent between two trees. That way it would be better protected from being swept away by accompanying strong wind gusts. The strong weather had brought more than the normal windiness for this particular area. Mekkar was not used to these forceful blasts of air as compared to his home village, where the breezes were a refreshing contrast. Back home was a village and not referred to as a town. This was due to the lack of enough local inhabitants according to the national government standard. Mekkar remembered going outside his house and encountering very little wind as a general rule. The proximity of the high hills nearby and small forests of trees and brush as breaks near the village. The boy attempts to describe a current parallel situation of the Tahoe Lake Valley Airport setting in California. It is a comparable scene in regard to the landscape, but the wind patterns are different and more active there. [ 04.htm]

It took two days for the nastiest of the bad weather calm somewhat to get started back on the move again. Those delays put kinks in the herder’s plans. However, to stop and wait it out for completely ideal conditions was unacceptable. Staying put for longer could mean a possible alternative more reindeer lost from the herd due to various factors. It was a good thing that almost all of animals stayed where they were supposed to be. Mekkar thought that the animals probably knew they might not be any better off by running away into the teeth of the harsh circumstances. Nevertheless, he was unsure if the reindeer were mainly used to more comfortable being exposed to familiarity of their trek guides. In opposition to what was happening around them in the unsettling surroundings.

It made Mekkar, along with a few other attendants; look bad because there were a number of stragglers in the back of the herd. Certain ones took off to follow their own path away from the herd. The youngster was partially responsible like any member of the group. Fortunately, in Mekkar’s mind, it was a scattered few so the numbers still looked pretty good. This statistical outlook is a mistaken one and flawed. The positive aspect was there no wolves or other dangerous predators around the area to attack them, so far. Yet, how long would that last? Usually this is an ideal time for aggressors to strike. Right before a storm, during it, or immediately afterward. Raiders seek out situations and instances where they perceive disorganization in the animal or watcher ranks. It sounds very militaristic in a sense. In nature’s reality, it is a different type of warfare, a game of survival between man and beast. Outside assailants against the reindeer herders and their group of animals. All over the globe it is truly a balance of an on-going endurance struggle to make it to the next day, month, or season.

Working with the elements and adapt them, as well as yourself, for your advantage instead of fighting against them. Unlike modern man who is, whether they admit it or not, always trying to control all possibilities they can in all situations. The truth is, no one has total control of everything all of the time. It is basically impossible. Mekkar believes that if you oppose nature long enough, you will fail and be overcome. Mother Nature will eventually come out on top and you are kicked down and defeated. Mekkar has grasped this type of thinking by growing up in the native way.

Mekkar was the youngest trekker in this party. Yet, he had other experiences to draw from, despite his youth, due to his travelling around the world with family members. The key was how could the Arctic youngster adapt that to this endeavor and come out ahead.

The boy donned a wonderful hat with individual colored and streaming ribbons flowing from it. Most are identifiers that reveal various skill proficiencies. Mekkar could then fulfill those particular functions on the trek. It would be dangerous to assign a person who lacked competency in certain areas. Yet, businesses and governments do that often. Other symbols worn by any of the trekkers could also show associated training aspects. There was sometimes additional related markings and emblems displayed on the clothing. Those were given for undergoing distinct trials or circumstances. The event experienced did not have to be necessarily related to the trek. Ansetti had so many decorations that he became embarrassed to adorn most of them like military medals earned for valor in battle. He was of the belief that situations are always changing with different factors involved each time. Ansetti acknowledged what you did yesterday or long ago might not be the best course of action to take today. The key, in this case, was could the youthful Mekkar fulfill all of his responsibilities placed upon him? Could he perform them well under pressure situations that his group might encounter on this trek? The youngster’s overall exposure was minimal as compared to the vastly experienced reindeer herders on this trek.

Ansetti had an admirer in Mekkar because he chose not to be excessive and fully display the majority of his previously earned wares. The concept was foreign to their culture. There is not an attitude of a single person using their personal awards to show off and lord it over everyone else. A few of the herders find the insane consumer driven modern societies of today laughable. They are unable to comprehend that opposite method of contemporary thought that most people are involved in. The conceit of so called civilized individuals primarily focused to shamefully display of their wealth for all to see. Projection of a certain image toward their peers with an attitude of if you have the bling, exhibit it to have them look at you. It is beyond many of the natives like Mekkar as they cannot internalize that ideology. He says, “Why would an individual target themselves to be stolen from instead?”

People in the trekking party respected Mekkar. At the same time they also had minimum expectations of the youngster to pull his own weight also. He must fulfill his duties as required for a successful journey, otherwise he would have been left back home. There is the adage that as part of the cycle of life, contributions are required by everyone that is able. You are just one part of a team, group, band, or what have you. Yet, one cannot focus on the group only. Neglecting prudent management of their self and family is inadvisable. Taking that approach will eventually catch up to that individual and furthermore affect the whole group.

Okay, as the trek is now moving again with a turn due north. The effect of the surrounding scenery was breathtaking to Mekkar. For a person who grew up in this region and was familiar with the landscape, it painted a picture. However, visitors from elsewhere might have been overwhelmed by the expanse of the isolation.

During this period of travel Mekkar wanted to do something different. He got the chance to ride on the back of a snowmobile during one of the slower movement days. The boy was a passenger as he was too small to reach the guiding mechanisms to actually attempt to drive the machine. This was the beginning that would ultimately get Mekkar hooked on the motorized snow machine. When he grew up Mekkar had no problem taking the snow sled out to play with his friends. He wanted to capture any advantages of independence that he could. Right now, at this point, he was too young and too small to accomplish that by himself.

Near the official border the trekkers passed by a bridge. Mekkar remembered particular photos of this area from back home. He recognized this exact structure. The migrating group had a choice of two different paths, if so desired. Mekkar guessed where Ansetti and the other leaders were directing them, but he wasn’t absolutely sure either. The arctic boy still could see some of the tracks left behind. Another party had taken this same route not long before his group. Snowmobiles, helicopters, left their own markings in the snow along the path ahead of them. The trained eye recognizes these indicators and those made by reindeer hooves as well as other animals. Not even a small amount of white powder dusting over the impressions could fool them.

Now, Mekkar conducted some mathematics to estimate how many animals were in the last herd to pass through. It would only be an approximate number as he had no method of finding out the true numbers. Since he was at the rear of the column, providing mop-up duty, he could see other people and animals around a hill that were in the front of his group. At first, he wasn’t sure if they were from another herd ahead of theirs or not. He had trouble determining that. Around the bend was a now slightly flowing part of the partially defrosted small river. The large stream appeared to be a crossing for reindeer. Mekkar saw them swimming to the other side. Reindeer are quite good swimmers similar to horses and other animals.  Humans as a whole don’t realized how adept reindeer are in the water until they are exposed to it and have seen it in action. That is not to say that they can swim as fast as a polar bear, but who can? Not many animals. That is a different discussion altogether due to the size difference.

The crew and herd are going northward where the land is much less disturbed as opposed to major cities …

Sunday, January 19, 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.]

Some of the animals have different colors. They have birth marks and color spots just like people. Their colors can change and vary according to the seasons too! [Wikipedia] There is a tendency to conserve all white reindeer fur a little longer so that the material can be used for more special occasions. Products such as footwear and clothing as used in specialty cultural events such as weddings, etc.

Once upon a time, in many places, the principle was once married one usually stayed together for life. Mekkar suggests that divorce would be almost non-existent on the part of both parties, if there were some type of major price to pay for all involved. A price that involved more than just financial assets. If both persons were to be put to death for this drastic action of separation, then both individuals might think twice and try to work it out. Marriage would also be held in higher esteem than it is today and more like the institution it was in the past. Now, there isn’t any place that is not infected by the new divorce trend. To him, it is very unlike the old native customs. In Mekkar’s mind, there has been a rapid progression in many areas, especially in the past few generations. He chalks it up as part of a range of negative effects that has affected many native cultures. The dark side influences brought on by modernization and modification. He feels that not all of these changes are good and positive, but instead destroy the old ways. He feels that this is only one element of a larger extensive ongoing agenda. A plan carried out on purpose. One that is predetermined to extinct native peoples by fully and forcibly assimilating them into the overwhelming cultures surrounding them.

Anyway, on the trek the key is to find a few followers among the reindeer to move right along with the leader. The idea is that the rest in the herd will follow suit. A keen herder can soon identify those traits in regard to individual animals and nudge them to the proper locations, if necessary. Those reindeer are harder to find than a number one. There are always a few animals who will battle for the top spot because it gains favor with the females of the herd. Growth and hardening of annual antlers are also used in later dominance sparring sessions around rutting time. Demonstration of individual battle readiness and prowess practice to ward off all foes will be exercised as well. Yes, they make a spectacle of themselves and show off just to impress future potential mating partners, just like people do. Of course, there will be some younger ones, stragglers, and others that are too exhausted for whatever reason to continue onward. In those cases, there are a host of actions taken to transport those animals along the journey.

The trek is an amazing thing. It could involve many reindeer clumped together from different families. To an outsider, it could look like a pure nomadic setting and total chaos, but that observation would be incorrect. There is always a plan and these methods have been used successfully for a long time. The group has chosen a strategy that would take the beasts away from the low lying areas after the long winter. They have been somewhat buffered from the harsh winter weather, now it is time to go. Biology dictates moving the herd to higher ground above the tree line in the spring and summer. All herders desire positive outcomes during the calving phrase. Replenishment is the key to not losing each person’s whole collection of animals. A protective and anti-pest rationale is also used to keep everyone on the trek away from predators and nagging insects. This ritual has been practiced for many generations.

Natives joke when giving advice to tourists and others planning to visit the region. If you are arriving here for the nice, sunny weather and the infamous twenty-four hour sun show up in May or June. That is, the sun in the middle of the summer never completely sets below the horizon, even in the middle of the night. They are also told not to come during July or August. Otherwise, the sightseers might become fresh meat and a nice blood supply for the mosquitoes to feed on. As the locals know those insects flourish in the many waters and lakes during the extra sun periods of the year. The vermin can fill the sky when migrating from bush to bush. The local inhabitants of the area then eagerly await bird arrivals, which then gorge on the pests. There is such a plentiful food supply, the fowl get too full to fly. A waiting period is needed before they fly back down south for the winter as part of their yearly migration.

Movement from place to place according to the seasons is based on an old principle. You do not want to have the animals, and for that matter people, use up all the resources that available in a specific area. If a group or individual uses everything up in that small location, there might not be any grow back in a timely manner. That includes limited food supplies also. Like it was mentioned beforehand, it is all part of the cycle of life and taking care of your environment for survival. It is the opposite of the modern concept of always attempting to dominate your surroundings and changing it to suit your needs. Mekkar is of the opinion, those prejudices will eventually come back to bite a person in the rear end, usually at the time when it is least expected.

Outsiders approaching a certain culture always see things from a different point of view. They look at aspects that those who grow up in a society take for granted and never recognize. On the other hand, insiders use metaphors and take stances that outsiders will never understand. It is always a matter of individual perspective and cultural upbringing that shapes a person. Each person is different in how they assimilate the world in their own mind and through their own belief system or bias filters, as Mekkar refers to them. True examples of these different avenues of communication occur specifically in sports locker rooms and companies that have an international flavor. Some of the people who didn’t grow up in that particular environment or with a certain language might not understand the banter and jokes among the team or business associates. It takes time to blend in as Mekkar calls it, even more than an individual anticipates.           

Okay, so as the crew starts the trek, the members of the herding band have brought a plentiful supply of winter clothing since that season has not completely passed. It is heavier in construction due to an expectation of not so pleasant weather at times on this trip. It is the arctic after all and the climate can do an about-face quickly. On the tunic there are bright colors that stand out and a darker colored background. Some of the older trekkers have black as the background. The young Mekkar sported a blue top with multiple striped colors on the shoulder regions and well as the various edges. The youngster wore the hat that he received, as a gift, from the shaman. In the old days some would use the hat in conjunction with daytime reflection the sun and shadows as a type of compass. Mekkar was hoping for a bonus that included some of the special powers emanating from the shaman himself. He would be disappointed in that regard. The boy wouldn’t know how to use those special abilities anyway. Either way, the symbolism is overt and evident. Once in a while, the hat is used for storage for small items or grass can be stuffed in it. The headpiece matched the shoes for insulation. The grass helps with moisture absorption also. The clothing is water-resistant and the boots can be made fairly leak proof depending on the materials used and the amount of effort in the construction. Most outer reindeer fur overcoats are sufficient and thick enough to keep one warm in the frosty elements.

There is also the ventilation feature taken into account. A person doesn’t want to have excessive body sweat in the harshest winter cold. The risk of somebody’s pores or sweat glands freezing is real. It can result in a slow enough heart rate to possibly stop it and potentially kill you. The worst thing one can do is to fall asleep in extreme cold temperatures. The idea is to keep moving with the blood pumping throughout their body. On television or in photographs, you can see Arctic or Antarctica research explorers cover their face and extremities when outside in the harshest weather conditions. Otherwise, wind burn-marks can result from the pure dry cold. People have lost body parts from severe frostbite of exposed skin areas.

Adaptation to this type of environment, in these areas, has evolved over thousands of years. The norm is a very dry climate with low humidity, however, that depends on the season. The herding party has been fortunate and has encountered snow, on this journey, that is deep and packed down real well so far. In many Arctic societies’ native languages there are many more words for snow than let’s say, english. Some of the words describe the texture, the type of flake in its shape and size, moistness, and many other aspects of the winter white stuff. Yet, key more precise terminology to keep mere mortals alive in the midst of potentially brutal elements.

Well, as the crew is beginning the trek. Mekkar is feeling prepared and eager to get going. He feels confident in his fairly water resistant wares on his body. Even his shoes are modified to slip on the skis that across his back, if needed. Very similar to the old fashioned methods which his people have been employing for a few millennia. The function of skiing, not just for sport, was invented in the Arctic regions. Mekkar would refer to it as an area north of the Arctic Circle. In modern lingo, it is referred to as a Land of The Midnight Sun. In reality, there are quite a few large territories encompassing this region of the globe.

Past settlers and leaders from outside of the territory have placed their own claims to this land previously inhabited by native tribes. It was common for invading chiefs, kings, and warlords to resort to conquering these vast areas by force. Brutal, forced religious conversions of the local populations were used against the inhabitants already living there. The main goal was to own the area’s vast natural resources which included subjecting the native peoples to unconscionable conditions. In some instances, driving them to their death by treating them like worker drones. This was also carried out by newcomers through a method of raping, plundering, pillaging, intimidation, and other means to get what they wanted. Like all so called civilized cultures do, the foreigners’ mindset was to act in a manner that imposed their will, military strength, and lifestyle. They have a belief that their actions will automatically bless the hapless and backward natives without consideration to consequences. There is an applicable modern saying that fits the superiority attitude of the invaders, “Might makes right.” [The Melian Dialogue by Thucydides, 431 BC; Adin Ballou, 1846] The results have shown that betterment is not the case most of the time. Any benefits afforded the locals are usually negated due to that mistaken ignorance of modern man. Unfortunately, the indigenous people bear the brunt of the suffering.

During this growth period and development children in Mekkar’s area of the planet learn to ski, ice skate, and walk at relatively the same time. That is the case for many youngsters in the same age range as him. Exposure to cross country skiing is essential and used as a transportation method during the wintertime. A valuable skill when there is too much snow and one doesn’t have the desire or the time to dig out their vehicle. Don’t forget the added obstacles of the road conditions.

It is much quicker to slip on your skis and be ready to go. Of course, like anything else a person is unfamiliar with, cross country skiing is harder than it looks. The closest experience most individuals have to it would be the ski motion exercise machines. It is a good workout especially if an individual is not used to it. You work many muscle groups, upper and lower body, all at the same time. That goes for places you didn’t realize you had or have neglected for a long time. The next day soreness will definitely be felt by the inexperienced. Mekkar has conducted this activity when it is freezing cold outside. The hazard is one doesn’t want to overwork themselves and incur too much exposure to the surroundings. The Arctic boy has learned to first prepare the body for acclimation, similar to a warm up. There is a delicate balance in keeping the body temperature warm and refrain from exhaustion due to amount of effort exerted.

Still, you have all of these reindeer that have been gathered from the various families from the village, including Mekkar’s. One question never asked or mentioned would be regarding how many reindeer each family has. A similar scenario would be if a person asked the personal question of, “How much money in the bank do you have?” A real personal and private thing, indeed. On top of that it is also considered rude. The total number of animals in the herd was a fair amount considering the small size of Mekkar’s village. Not quite big enough, population-wise, to be considered a town or hamlet by the government far to the south. The number of people in the area would fluctuate during the high point of the peak tourist season. However, it shrinks back down to a certain level of minimal visitors throughout the rest of the year.

Well, this journey began in the late winter and will continue on into springtime. A reindeer round-up area had been previously setup to the north. The goal was to gather the initial herd together for overland travel. This environment is not for the timid and weak. There is a ruggedness of the people that live here and even more so that go on these treks. The problem is there are scarce resources which replenish themselves very slowly or not at all during the winter season. Plus, they get used up quickly by all surrounding them, even by others, who take no precautions toward the delicate environment. It is a necessary concept to trek by moving the animals around from place to place, just as it has been for many years. At least not become stagnant and continue to rotate to higher ground and back down every year. Trekkers benefit as it keeps them regularly in touch with nature. The journey also forces them to learn and remind them of what they need to do to survive. As he got older, Mekkar pondered further on these concepts.

That is the whole key to the Arctic native existence lifestyle. Survival in an area that almost nobody else wants to live in. For the longest time, the regions in the far north were left alone and were basically avoided. Until later, when it was realized that the polar circle territories could be exploited and provide benefits for those far to the south. Vastly outnumbered natives have been pushed further north throughout history. Encroaching populations have advanced up to the point where there is no where else for the natives to go.

Mekkar, in a playful manner, blows air out of his mouth to estimate a guess of the temperature and moisture in the air. He also originally over estimates the number of persons from the village that would be involved on this particular trek. It turns out there would be a little less than fifteen that would accompany the herd. The youngster is raring to go and already had his gear packed along with skis.

Initially, he proceeds to trod through the deep snow among the trees around his house. Mekkar picks up his knees as high as he can in practiced anticipation. The thought runs through his mind that he hasn’t done this for awhile. The remembrance reservoir of Mekkar is still so small due to his young age. Not only that, his sense of time is very inaccurate as compared with a grown-up. He regards a week as a long period of time. Oh! The impatience of youth.

The Arctic youth feels like he is ready to get going. However, this will not be a short journey. In addition, this travel route is going to a different place, not their group’s usual location at this time of the year. Mekkar has begun to convince himself that this will be a good trip and a positive experience. Mekkar overheard the trek leadership speaking about it and thus assimilated the information into his feelings, his inner being. The boy listened as Ansetti and others were discussing the state of the whole reindeer herd.

The exchange included the last fall selection for edible uses, rutting time, and surviving through the winter season. It was determined by the group that the remaining reindeer will be starting out on this trek as a healthy group. It is important the beasts not resort to laziness either. They also need exercise to increase their strength to fatten up later on in the year. Mekkar listened to the conversations about the parallels of movement increasing stamina. The notion is to fend off exhaustion and disease for the benefit of the upcoming birthing process. Mekkar was being selfish as he heard the dialog by only thinking about himself at this point. He gave no consideration of the trekking hardships and their effects upon the animals.

A small number are included on the journey and traded for other goods or sacrificed for food. Many other parts of the animals’ anatomy is consumed in some manner, nothing is wasted. Mekkar has worked out a plan where some of the bones and antlers are grounded up and sold to tourists as an aphrodisiac. It is popular with the Asian visitors, especially the Japanese, because they treated those items as an exotic product. Mekkar was aware that some would pay good money to purchase a small bag of the stuff. He wanted to capitalize on that. Various natives are always searching for ways to supplement their income. German marks, United States dollars, and British pound sterling were the common foreign currencies used in the transactions. Money from the United Kingdom was considered the best, during that time, because it offered the best exchange rate for locals.

Back to the trek, the adolescent Mekkar realized this was the first trek after his family had been fully domesticated with ownership of a permanent home. They were not labeled as semi-nomadic anymore. He knew the conditions outdoors were harsher than normal, but that did not temper his enthusiasm toward the trek that was soon to begin.

Ah! The weather outside was bearable, as they left the comforts of the village, on the first day of the trek. One of the elders made a statement, in a joking tone, that it was a pretty warm day for this time of year. It still was minus 15° Fahrenheit below zero (-26.1° Celsius). There was not too much wind, just pure bitter cold that burned the lungs as it was inhaled. The body clothing was fine and well suited for this. It was made for much chillier maximum conditions than this, even without other additional garments underneath. The outer layer fur coat made it downright toasty for Mekkar’s core area and easily kept in his body heat. The boy had his hat too stuffed with the insulation, so he was fine. He was used to being pelted in the face by the cold when frequently playing outdoors. Only in instances when the temperature dropped a lot further than this would he put on protective gear to cover the face. Otherwise, it is too much trouble. Mekkar refused to put on all of his extreme cold season gear for overland travel mobility reasons. Just in case, he kept some of it packed nearby and accessible. Off they went.

The whole crew followed the animals and went about, I don’t know, fifteen hours non-stop that day. A few of the straying reindeer and loafers were brought back to the fold by the mixed breed wolf-dogs that assisted the herders. These dogs were kept and trained by Mekkar’s family specifically for use on the trek. Their job would be to keep the drifters and slow members of the herd from running off through the action of snipping at their heels.

Those helper dogs were raised from the time they were pups. They were a mix of approximately seven-eighths wolf and one-eighth regional husky dog. Those animals were powerful and feisty too. An inexperienced boy was no match for them. There was a lack of desire to have purebred dogs to accompany the trek. In many cases unmixed pedigrees have certain diseases that have more of a chance to negatively affect them. There is a belief that it considered better to have mixed breeds to better resist potential diseases and they have a stronger immune system. These canines were purchased from a guy down south that Mekkar’s papa knew. The hybrid animals were extremely loyal and served the family well. They were still fairly young and had been in service for only a short time before this trek. Yet, they were tough and the reindeer knew it too. The individual members of the herd didn’t want the mongrels snapping at their heels. Thus, the reindeer pretty much stayed together as a group.

A few of the hooved animals had encountered live wolves before, so it wasn’t unheard of. Those reindeer knew exactly how to react by getting themselves back to the main group. Wild packs do roam the territory and the four legged beasts are acutely aware they could be in for a fight for their lives, if attacked. Mekkar felt the semi-tamed herd animals have some perceptive abilities. To him, the reindeer understood there was no real danger from the dogs keeping the crew together. It seemed that some reindeer also recognized which owners were connected to certain canines. Maybe, the young boy was just dreaming and not being realistic.

Some of the herd that had Mekkar’s own ear markings were somewhat comfortable around the youngster. It appeared as though they recognized him and there would be no harm done to them. Mainly because he had a habit of regularly going outside near his house and talk to the animals as they were being fed. On other occasions, Mekkar would give them treats.

Taking a throng of reindeer on a trip is not an easy task. Mekkar relates it to an overseas vacation. There is foresight and logistical coordination involved. Both the breeding and branding processes are a chore too. Most people would be clueless of what to do and the chaos might overwhelm them. In this band of trekkers, there are a small number that previously remembered the last long very difficult trek. It is a numbers game when everyone’s animals start off together from the home village with a limited number of human guides to accompany them. The burden is on the individual herder, even little Mekkar. You had to know what you were doing. Competency and skill can not be faked. The risks of a screw up could place everyone on the crew, as well as animals, in great danger. Death is a possibility as a result of a mistake or errors in judgment. Minimum consequences would be a price paid through suffering for all connected with the trek.

It is more beneficial in the native thought process to take your time, do things the right way, and avoid a series of little mistakes that can add up to large ones. Carrying out duties in an inconsiderate, unsafe manner could unsettle and rapidly ruin the expedition. Oh! The pressure. Later on in his life, conflicting cultural differences and similar courses of action would create inner conflicts within Mekkar.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Mekkar was getting older, but was still young enough to hang out together with his mama on one of her modeling trips. During a break from a modeling photo shoot they went walking together outside. They needed to get some fresh air because it gets stuffy in those studios. The suffocating tension among the crew and models continued to accelerate also. Plus, Sirga wanted to get away for a bit from the constant motion and craziness, which is normally inherent on many assignments in the industry. She definitely needed to lower her stress level as much as she was able. The question was would she would be able to accomplish that with Mekkar around. Usually her oldest son caused her stress levels to rise instead of decrease. Mekkar had that knack and affect on her.

They had only journeyed, for a few blocks away from the building that housed the photo studio, along the streets of New York. As they passed by a number of small businesses, Sirga and her son heard a noise above them blearing through a speaker. This little record shop there grabbed their attention, especially Mekkar’s. The boutique seemed out of place in this stretch of blocks. A short distance further away had a good number of small music shops located together in their own section.

Instantly, the boy heard a totally different sound was from anything else he had listened to before. Mekkar looked up and determined it was undeniably coming from the electronic systems. With his curiosity peaked, he had to check it out. He begged his mama to enter the store with him. Mekkar boldly went directly to the person at the counter and inquired as to who were the featured sounds he heard outside. “It is Cheech and Chong, a different kind of comedy duo”, was the response.

The native youngster normally carried his own cash with him when travelling with either of his parents. The audible interplay was so different and sounded so cool to him. The lad was frequently drawn to many things that were considered different from the usual. He thought that his friends at home would like it too! His peers in the village welcomed Mekkar’s visits to the four corners of the earth. They always anticipated Mekkar would bring back home odd stuff from other parts of the world. More so, it was even expected that he would share his new prizes with his buddies. He just had to buy it. So, it was good planning that both he and his mama had gone out earlier to convert their money into the local currency. That way purchases could be conducted with no major problems.

Mekkar knew there were no issues with his mama regarding this purchase. Especially, since he paid for the item with his own money gained from working. Sirga was glad that she was not on the hook to buy it. Added to the fact, that Sirga would have refused any purchase by her son if she thought it was harmful. Mekkar couldn’t wait to bring these records back home. On the recommendation of the shop counter person, he purchased multiple albums put out by those guys. “Wait until my friends hear this, it will blow their mind!” Mekkar quipped. Altogether it would be another new experience to enjoy with his friends. It was a bonus that he knew that no one around him had heard anything like this before in its entirety.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


After Mekkar had got back from his first long worldwide hockey tour around the globe, he acted like a typical teenager and hung out with his closest buddies. Their little posse had their usual drinking session and then took off. The idea was to look for some fun of any kind. In this area, a person’s options to fight against boredom are limited and creativity is needed. The small group were joking and laughing together. They were just glad to be out of the house with no adults around. The gang strolled alongside the road with the intent to make their way over to another friend’s place. In short order the four of them would witness something they had not seen before and probably never will again.

Their small clique saw this shiny candy apple red Ferrari, none of them could ascertain the exact model but they knew it was a Ferrari by the car’s body type. Mekkar recognized the vehicle as similar in type to the one that his relative Gunna had. He wanted so badly to take Gunna’s car for a fast spin. Mekkar next began to convince the rest of the pack that he was right. Mekkar always wanted to be right about everything, even when he is wrong.  Henrik’s oldest boy was of the opinion that cars were more distinctive in those days and had more character, both on the inside and out. Most vehicles today appear to him to be very similar at first glance and harder to distinguish.

They were close enough to admire the cool chick magnet red Ferrari. Yet, as they did it seemed to pull out a little too much into the regional highway, with one lane going each way. Suddenly all four of them felt a swoosh. A great rush of wind blew past them as a screaming fast car went racing by. It appeared to be another fancy expensive sports car.  Mekkar stated to the others that it looked like a yellow Lamborghini. It was an estimated guess on his part based on the shape and other factors. None of them could really identify the swift auto due to it was going by so fast. It was like a blur.  

It was moving so rapidly, it sliced the front part of the red Ferrari off all the way to firewall in front of the driver. Just like cutting through butter. Mekkar and his buddies continued to approach the red sports car now dead in its tracks. They heard the driver in the red vehicle yell with a loud voice, “What the hell?” There was also a look of disbelief as that individual sat there in his formerly pricy car now without a front end. At the same time the yellow sport machine just kept going and it was instantly out of sight.

The guys knew that the yellow car that zoomed by had to have sustained severe damage. They were sure that it got messed up, but no one there saw the debasement of that expensive car because it was soon gone. Mekkar frowned and quipped, “What a waste of a prime piece of machinery.” He wished he could afford one. Only small pieces of breakage remained and most of them were from the red ride. Lasse asked the other boys in their group with a surprised look, “Did you see that?” None of them could answer back eight then because they were paralyzed with a myriad of emotions at that point. They just stood there with their mouths open. Shock, awe, amazement, along with speechlessness was the response. No one said a word again until they reached the other friend’s place. Then, they couldn’t stop talking about they had witnessed. That episode continued to be the topic of conversation for quite awhile between them. Well, until something else comes along.

Monday, January 6, 2014


Mekkar had almost the exact character and disposition as his mama and other females in his direct family lineage. The traits passed on down to him is what has formed him into the person he is today.

Below are just a few of the many quotes and quips by, as well as a background of, Sirga that helped shape Mekkar. He has heard some of the following statements multiple times. They are in no particular order of importance but show the effect that Sirga had on her oldest child. Her quotes are translated from the main languages that she primarily used.

 “If he survives this, he is going to be a fighter and feisty as hell.” Sirga referred to her three months premature son, Mekkar, just after his birth at the hospital facility. She turned out to be very prophetic in her prediction regarding his feisty personality. Soon afterward, Henrik’s young wife was asked to do some modeling when seen working part-time at the airport after losing the post-birth weight.

Sirga's best friend Janna said that she could have gone much further and done much more in the modeling industry if she would have kissed more butt. Not having such an abrasive, sharp-tongued personality on her part would have entailed many more opportunities in the field for her. Janna also stated that Sirga didn't care and refused to compromise herself and what she stood for. It wasn't her focus nor her full-time career anyway as she many avenues to choose from. She only paraded himself in that manner as an option to keep from getting bored. Plus, Sirga could travel around the world by working in the airline industry anyway. Thus, she didn't modeling for that. Sirga stated as a matter of fact, that modeling was just another distraction for her. She could take it or leave it, no big deal. Remember, the time period was still the pre-supermodel era that arrived later on.

Janna, who was also a sometime model herself, said that Sirga didn’t understand what the fuss was all about regarding her looks. Even though, Mekkar’s mama felt that she was attractive, it was not extremely so. Sirga said that she could see all of her own physical flaws. Still, modeling wasn’t a priority to her. Mekkar’s mama didn’t really care all that much and hated spending a lot of time in front of the mirror to put makeup on. She also thought that most women used too much makeup anyway.

“The thicker and bigger the eyelashes, the more the tramp (or bigger the slut). The only exception is if it is required for work such as during a photo shoot," says Sirga. Another time she commented, "True outward beauty is when you are still beautiful with no makeup on! ... Because makeup works wonders if done correctly." 

The native woman stated distinctly, "Sophia Loren was the only woman I have seen without any makeup on and still so beautiful." Sirga was a part of some movie promo shoot in Milan, Italy starring Loren.  They needed two taller models than Sophia for the background and only had one over six-foot tall on the set. She was mentioned by someone else in the industry and they knew someone who was aware of her work. Since, Sirga was already in Milan for another show, they inserted her into the ad campaign. Mekkar’s mama ultimately was chosen because she could speak & understand Italian fluently. Her height was probably the biggest factor though.

"I hated many in that industry because of the two-facedness, double talk, false promises, speaking about you behind your back, and back-stabbing that was rampant. That is some reasons why I didn't work in modeling or runway shows on a full time basis. There is a dark side to that industry (of modeling) with unlimited access to many items that could be detrimental to your health," voiced Sirga.

The first real women to be called Supermodels were referred as to by that terminology in the mid to late nineteen seventies. That is when Sirga's part-time career bookings were in the process of winding down. Sirga considered many models in the industry to be not the brightest, especially some of the younger ones. Sometimes she wanted to smack some sense into some of them. Though Sirga was considered to be extremely brilliant and altogether had a good business-sense, she had trouble dealing with extremely dumb individuals.

She had heard of and encountered a few of the more famous models of her day, but Sirga tried as much as she could to avoid people like that. Sirga described them as snooty, extremely self-centered, spoiled, rich-girl, pampered children. She did not consider herself to be like that in her own opinion. She also didn’t want to be affected by those influences, if she could help it.

The tall native woman was well aware of the potential environment she could be swallowed up by. She just wanted to make some extra cash, travel a bit, and most of all break the monotony. Sirga decided that she wouldn’t influenced by the negative background aspects, if she did not participate in modeling on a full time basis. She understood the superficiality, substance abuse, and disease part of the dark-side behind the scenes and the shallow, cut-throat business of fashion modeling. There was a realization of that it is a jungle out there and you are truly a piece of meat until no one wants you anymore. [Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia by Stephen Fried, 1993] Sirga had a family and there are other people who depend on her and thus refused to be engulfed by that scene’s negative impacts. The native woman knew that all fields can have unfavorable aspects if one searches hard enough for them.

Sirga quipped, “You (Mekkar) do not know how to dress yourself to look good, so I or someone I trust will help you buy decent clothes, since your fashion sense sucks. Also, this is a reflection on me.” The keen sense of fashion in Sirga also resulted in her labeling and arranging all the clothes in Henrik’s closet. Her husband Henrik was completely color-blind. She could have messed with him or played pranks on him in this area. But, she never did because of her respect for him and the impact regarding financial support of the family.

Sirga would sometimes bring Mekkar, especially when he was younger, on modeling trips with her. Some of the models would give him goodies. A few of those women became famous later on, but the little Mekkar didn’t realize it at the time. All he cared about was the free treats. A number of the ladies would tell him what a good boy he was during the interaction time. Several of the other models hated that Sirga would bring her son to the studio and proceeded to tell her so. This response almost resulted in some confrontations; a few almost became physical clashes. Tensions rise and egos clash when a lot of time is spent setting up the sets, foremost the lighting arrangements, for different sessions and shoots.

As Mekkar got older, he began to get bored by the on-set environment. The response by Sirga was finding other arrangements for him to be occupied. She had a hand in to getting her son a fake identification card. During a schedule shoot in London, she got counterfeit credentials for him that indentified him as a certain age. Since, there were minimum limits to get into certain clubs like the counter-culture hangouts on King’s Road and other places around the British capital. It helped that Mekkar looked older than his true age. He had not grown in height since he was eleven years old. Mekkar just wanted to have fun and enjoy his type of music unhindered. Then, after the show he and his mama would meet up together to either go back to the local locale they were staying at or fly back home. Otherwise, if she finished early she would arrive, quickly find, and retrieve her son. She didn’t want to hang around for the performance to finish, since she didn’t like that punk music. Sirga thought it was no talent garbage.

His mama’s favorite musicians were Elvis Presley and The Beatles. However, she did listen to others frequently like the Kinks, The Who, Led Zeppelin, etc. Today the genre is referred to as classic sixties and seventies rock ‘n’ roll. A high number of the bands were from the United Kingdom and North America. She played the albums frequently enough that Mekkar learned many of the lyrics to individual songs from those bands. Maybe this was strategy was used by his mama to further her son’s grasp of the English language.

On one trip she even dragged little Mekkar to a few landmarks in Memphis, Tennessee. Sirga was such a huge Elvis fan. However, since Graceland at the time was not open to the public yet, she was very disappointed. Not surprisingly, the young boy was very bored there on that trip.

Another time Sirga also had to haul her adolescent son to Beatles and Elvis concerts in the nineteen sixties back home, when she preferred to take her best friend instead. She never let Mekkar forget it too! All he remembers now of the experience are plugging his ears with his fingers because of the numerous screaming girls’ right after the introductions.

Sirga also chose little Mekkar for a few jaunts to Amsterdam and made him smoke blond oil-based Lebanese hashish with her. It was her number one choice. She only did this once in a while, not on a frequent basis. The issue was that Sirga did not want to smoke it by herself. So, guess who was required to participate with her? He didn’t really have a choice but to go with her to the red-light district there. It was under the threat of having his pants pulled down and enduring a whipping on his butt right there in front of everyone. When you have not reached the age of seven what can you do about it? Frankly nothing and just go along. It was better than suffering ultimate embarrassment in front of strangers. Being forced against his will is the reason why Mekkar chooses to avoid this environment to this day and smoking in particular.

Mekkar’s mama had an issue of chronic low blood pressure. Sirga was diagnosed mistakenly when she was younger to have been hypoglycemic. She normally only needed about 4 hours of sleep per night and functioned just fine. Maybe because of this, she always had this need to stay busy and didn't desire to have a lot of peaceful alone time for herself. No one else understood why. Sirga never revealed the reasons behind this to anyone. Everyone felt they might incur a sharp rebuke if they inquired about the matter, so it was shunned.
“There is a time and a place for everything, but it is not always the right time or the right place,” Sirga repeated this mantra many times to Mekkar. He eventually got the picture after learning the hard way.

The eventual six-foot two-inch tall Sirga was born during a foreign military occupation of the area long ago. She was snuck out to another region through snow-tunnels and other means. She had to prevent from being killed as a baby, as the occupiers were shooting all of the newborns. The barbaric enemy soldiers later on adopted a scorched-earth policy in the area, which burned mostly everything. Thus, she barely survived her own traumatic start in life. Subsequently, her oldest son had to endure a similar path at the outset of his life.

A slightly, darker skinned Sirga had a very light but distinctive tint to her skin. That feature made her appear as a person who be considered to have a nice tan today. She could easily pass as the stereotypical Latin American in appearance. She never spent time out in the sun lounging around or tanning in a booth. Mekkar’s mama considered those pursuits as a waste of time. Sirga always tried to maximize her time, just like she did at the University. Mekkar suspected that she knew something that he didn’t. She hated wastefulness of any kind.

She would tell her children repeatedly, “Children in other parts of the world have limited resources available to them.” Mekkar would hear these remarks from his mama as a reason to motivate him and have her son finish all of the food on his plate, for example.

The native woman met her husband Henrik while working the early morning shift at a pastry shop during her college years. Both of them achieved an advanced degree from the University. The equivalent, in some other places, would be equal to a Master of Business Administration. So, they were both highly educated.

Sirga was not afraid to say anything to anyone, at any time, and right to their face if necessary. She knew she could fight really well and even taught a young Mekkar how to throw a powerful right-cross punch. She also believed that she could drink most people under the table. Even policemen, bosses, and government officials were not outside the realm of her sharp wit and retorts.

Henrik, a former hockey player, and Sirga raised three male athletes. Despite that, Sirga was not a big sports fan at all and only went to one of her son’s hockey matches. It was Mekkar’s squad versus Alf’s team. The boys would directly compete against and confront one another during the match. Mekkar was physically unrelenting facing his younger sibling. Boy, his mama’s fiery temper got the best of her that evening and it was firmly directed at the older Mekkar. From the stands, Sirga let him have it good after time had expired. As a result, she never again went to any of her sons games due to what she saw during that matchup.

For the longest time Mekkar thought his nicknames were phrases that his mama called him directly. Many were swear words and short phrases. The barrage was constant, comments such as “you are driving me crazy ...” and worse. Mekkar thought that maybe he and his mama were too much alike with a hard-nosed edge. This would often create personality clashes between them.  

As a parent, Sirga had a plan to develop her oldest son’s character. She wanted to teach him how to best adapt to the world at large around him. She wanted to avoid some of the mistakes, so far, that she had made in her life. Like a typical parent she wanted the best for her children. Still, it is a delicate balance of helping and guiding without resorting to over protecting and insulating one’s offspring.

“As the oldest, I will impart some (higher) culture into you, whether you like it or not!” bellowed Mekkar’s mama. Sirga spoke to Mekkar in this way because one of her goals was for him to have his own way of thinking, make up his own mind, and develop his own tastes. The idea was to have him not automatically align himself with the crowd because it is most convenient. Her thinking was why do what everyone else does just to be in that main crowd. Too many people are followers afraid to step out on their own course. Don’t choose a certain path only because it has the least resistance. Be yourself, no matter what!

Sirga also took Mekkar with her to see plays, opera, museums, and other comparable activities. Mekkar still likes repertory theatre to this day, but hates opera because he could barely understand it much. Plus, he really doesn’t like that type of singing or music; it begins to annoy him quickly. Everyone around Mekkar also says he can’t sing very well either.

This is where Mekkar developed his philosophy of pick two things to like or that are positive where you are. He expressed the adopted strategy to especially encourage those individuals around him. It was really applicable when he was caught in temporary undesirable situations that he might be stuck in. Environments that Mekkar did not choose to be in such as surprise activities and blind dates, etc. For example, he might choose to focus on an attractive person nearby.

In one instance, there was a woman that Mekkar was interested in and wanted to get together with her. He was surprised and unaware of the event that they were about to attend. It was a music concert. Unfortunately, it was a particular type of music that Mekkar hates with a passion. So, he chose a minimum of two things he might enjoy during the event. He chose that something he could relate to in his mind. Mekkar next applied a slogan related to one of the band member’s outward appearance. Every time that member would be featured and out front Mekkar would bellow out. Since, they have similar musicians’ play these groups of instruments during festivals at home; this role was not unfamiliar to him. The second thing he did was set his own clap-along rhythm and tempo to the music. This action made his hands hurt afterward, but distracted him at the same time. Mekkar ended up having a better time than the female he went with did and she was a fan of the performing music group. This surprised her. As a result with the added benefit of having a good attitude, the later reward was better.   

On one of her trips abroad Sirga brought Mekkar along with her to see a film in the city. It was exciting to the boy as this was a period before widespread use of home video cassette recorders. The main selection playing at the movie house was the first James Bond film Dr. No. The film originally came to the big screen in nineteen sixty two and starred Sean Connery. The movie had been out for a few years and Sirga was already a fan of Sean Connery before the Bond films. She chose this movie for Mekkar to see because she overheard the boys in town talk about Secret Agent 007. They thought that James Bond was so cool. Bond always seemed to get hot babes, cars, always had cash, had an exciting life, carried a gun, kicked butt, etc. Mekkar still wants to be James Bond even now.

During the main festival in the middle of the year, Sirga would make a reference about everyone should be getting together with someone for the evening. Hey, she was going to be Henrik. Sirga would affirm to her sons to remember that she raised good boys. There was an expectation involved on that particular day that reflected on her. Her sons grasped the concept too and the females were more cooperative for this event. Like most of the mothers in the village, her attitude was very different on this night. The difference was that this is an annual event, not an everyday phenomenon. The rest of the year Sirga might utter the phrase, “When you always think with your genitals, you will screw up sometime or someplace."

Once in awhile Sirga pronounced sternly, “If you want to smart off to me, I will hit you back or whip your butt in front of your friends for your maximum embarrassment.” Sometimes when the boys were with their mama in the shopping store or other public places, they might begin to get whiney, unruly, and temporarily out of control. All she had to do at those times was raise her hand or give a certain look. It snapped them back to their senses and they behaved themselves. The children reacted right then, right there with no more nonsense. We knew that she would kick our butts in front of everyone in the store. Anyone else who was dumb enough to say anything to her about it would get a piece of her mind. She would tell them flat out, “Do you want yours kicked right after I am done here!” Mekkar is unable to comprehend the behavior of unruly children that he notices today in stores, restaurants, and other places. He always thinks that his mama did a much better job than parents currently. It was certainly a different era then and seems to Mekkar as being light years away from today. So much for the modern world being better.

“Don’t take any abuse from anybody, ever!” was Sirga’s last statement and advice to her oldest son Mekkar. She stated this while dying in the front passenger seat of a vehicle from a head-on collision accident on the German Autobahn. The cause of the accident was not any fault of their own. Henrik was in the driver’s seat and already dead. Mekkar, who was lying across the backseat asleep, now awake but trapped by the tangled metal and injuries. The teenager would be the only person in either vehicle to survive the accident but this incident still haunts him to this day.

Sirga was almost thirty eight years old when she was killed in that auto accident. Janna and others claimed that Sirga didn’t look like she aged past twenty two years old, even as Sirga grew older and far surpassed that age. Mekkar thought about this for a moment. If his mama was still alive today she would turn seventy in the year twenty twelve. He just could not imagine his mama with gray hair and looking so much older.

Mekkar got his attitude and disposition from Sirga. She got hers from her mother, Helga, and others related to her. Mekkar’s grandmamma was considered as the head of their family. In his culture, it does not matter whether the person is male or female. The head of the family is the oldest living individual who is not senile. Mekkar puts it this way, “As long as you have all of your marbles and still have your mind, you can become the foremost person in your clan that others taken direction from.”

After securing her child Sirga’s safety, Helga was put into service as a registered nurse in World War II. Mekkar’s grandmamma was involved quite a number of Allied convoys across the Atlantic Ocean. She was chosen because of her adaptability and multiple language skills.

Helga said frequently that history books neglect to tell the whole story of what really occurred on the high seas. As a result of the success of the damage inflicted by enemy submarines, she was aboard quite a few boats on the surface that were sunk. Helga also affirmed that there times where she went without sleep for more than a week at a time. That is, due to all of the constant danger encountered by the battle fleets as a result of combatant activity.

After the war, most who previously knew Helga declared that she was never the same afterward. Later on, Mekkar spent some time with his grandmamma. Even a boy at his young age realized something was not right with her, but she was not senile. He would sometimes lay down with his grandmamma attempting to comfort her until she fell asleep. However, Helga could never be consoled because of the permanent damage to her psyche. For many years, the bottle seemed to be Helga’s best friend. She eventually drank herself to liver disease as well as kidney failure and eventual death. Toward the last few years of Helga’s life, an older Mekkar would have to transport her for dialysis treatments multiple times per week. It seemed to him to be a slow, torturous march to the underground. He hopes to never go through that horrible experience. Witnessing his grandmama’s ordeals has affected his viewpoint. If he found in a similar situation, Mekkar has decided to automatically refuse to endure any of those unsuccessful treatment options. Prolonging a death march is not living to him.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


During the tourist season Mekkar would encounter tourists at his families’ restaurant that catered to them. It seemed to Mekkar that the travelers were always clamoring for native knickknacks and objects to take back home with them. So Mekkar decided to be entrepreneurial and capitalize on this.

Even when he was working while waiting and bussing tables at the diner, he would bring up passing conversation with some of those visitors. Mekkar would work it by telling them how to get unique native items for gifts. Especially with Asian tourists, who seem to have always bought everything they could get their hands on. Mekkar had previously done some research. He had also heard from others that tourists from that part of the world greatly desired ground up reindeer bones for use as an aphrodisiac. So, Mekkar saw an opportunity and arranged for a cut of the profits with another person in the village who would grind up antlers for him. Another slice of the money made went to his mama. Otherwise she would be ticked off that he used the tourist business eatery and its customers as a pitch place for his little cash operation. Plus, Mekkar had an excess of supply, little storage space, and knew where to get more. It was helpful that both the male and female species of reindeer grow antlers every year and also drop them annually.

Another factor was the great amount of reindeer in the area, thus a bountiful supply to meet Mekkar’s need, and most of the natives had little use for the bones, especially the antlers. Only the people who made local native goods such as knives, etc. used some of the bones for the handles, utensils, and other such trinkets. For those items the stronger preferred internal bones were extracted after a separation process for the rich, tasty meat was completed.

It was a good thing for Mekkar that the antlers were replaced every year so they were plentiful. Mekkar would then guide these tourists to the appropriate person that he previously arranged business connections with. It was a specific individual in the village of his choosing to sell the ground up bones and antlers. The travelers’ desires were met and everyone benefitted. So, why shouldn’t Mekkar wanted to make a little money for his efforts! It wasn’t like there was a ready made market for a lemonade stand and something like that. Mekkar made it very clear regarding purchases. He would tell the buyers something to effect that we only accept cash and only certain types of money: U.S. Dollars, British Pounds Sterling, German Marks, Swiss Francs, & a few other stronger currencies. Mekkar would go on to mention that No Japanese Yen, Russian Rubles, nor other weak currencies would be accepted as payment for the products due to their lesser values in exchange. There was a lack of getting any fair conversion rate for those involved regarding those less valuable monies. Plus, few of the area banks would even bother to handle those other mediums of exchange at all.

Remember, Mekkar lived in the country not the big city where there is plenty more options. The native boy was just trying to put his creative native brain power and capabilities in action as he knew that adaptation is key to survival. This applied to many realms in such an isolated environment. The ability to use what is easily accessible to forge out a reasonable existence there.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Mekkar was home visiting for a short time to attend a gathering due to a family member passing onto the afterlife. He was not planning to stay long as he needed to go back and finish his high school education. He also had to get ready for the upcoming fall sports season of football and beyond. Mekkar was a person that lived by habit of consistent routines and liked it that way. No unforeseen surprises were a good thing to him. Being a creature of habit was too inbred by his cultural upbringing whether he realized it or not, so he wouldn’t have been able to change it much anyway.

Henrik suggested that him, Sirga, and their oldest child Mekkar brighten up the mood and celebrate the recent deceased person’s life by taking a fun trip. Of course, there would be travel incurred but Mekkar’s papa didn’t tell the other two where they were going. Well at least not up front but he would reveal their destination later on in the journey.

After a few hours of flying with the resulting change of planes, the trio arrived in Hamburg, Germany and picked up the black shiny new model Mercedes rental car. Mekkar figured if they were going to drive might as well go in style. When they got on the highway Henrik revealed where they were going and said he wanted to enjoy a nice drive on the super speed highway of Germany. Both of Mekkar’s parents had fancy sports cars at home and liked to drive fast. They were very proficient at quick motoring also. However, the not too warm summer and sunny clear sky outside would belie the dark events that were soon to come.

Not long into the car ride Sirga first gave a complement to her son for participating in a recent international hockey tournament. Then, true to her nature as she had high expectations for him. Mekkar’s mama next started to critique Mekkar’s team by saying that his team should have won the whole tournament. Henrik agreed with her and stated that Mekkar’s squad did not play to their full ability. Henrik should know as he had played ice hockey before having to change careers due to injury.

Mekkar did accept the criticism but pointed out a few points of his own. First, he took a shot off of his left foot and fractured it on his very first shift in the first period. This affected and reduced his top form throughout the tourney. Plus, Mekkar mentioned that any of the top six national powers in international ice hockey could win any event at any time. The six were Canada, United States, Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, and Finland. For any other non hockey power entrant like Norway or West Germany to win it or even medal was unlikely.

The powerful USSR National Team was the rightful favorite as they had regularly beaten NHL, WHA, and squads from all over the hockey world during the past decade in International matchups. They even shutout the NHL All-Stars 6-0 to win the 1979 Challenge Cup at Madison Square Garden. Many of the other players were flat out intimidated by the Soviet dominance, but Mekkar was not. Mekkar’s parents knew that their son always compared the biggest individuals to bears from back home and this eliminated any fear of people on his part.

However, Mekkar was tired and wanted to exit himself from this conversation and the subsequent critique of his play from his parents. He then decided to ignore them and his eyelids got heavy. Soon, he laid down across the back seat to rest. He attempted to still secure himself with a seat belt while lying down in a side position but was fairly unsuccessful in that regard. It was probably a good thing too that he released that restrictive device and was not upright.

The accident happened in a 49.7 Kilometer (30.88 miles) stretch between Göttingen, Germany & Kassel, Germany less than 3 hours from their driving starting point in Hamburg.

Mekkar, who was lying across the backseat asleep was definitely now awake by the force of impact. The collision had woken him up from his nap but there was the fact that he was trapped by the tangled metal around him and now could only slightly sit upright. There was one thing he for sure aware of was the pain in his legs. He knew his body fairly well and he was aware from his previous personal experiences with sports injuries that it was serious. In regard to everything else, Mekkar was still in a state of shock and disbelief. Mekkar noticed that Sirga was unable to turn her head in either direction to inspect that status of her husband’s or son’s condition.

“Don’t take any crap from anybody, ever! No matter whom they are. Remember, you are no respecter of persons and always stay true to yourself.” was Sirga’s last statement and advice to her oldest son Mekkar. She stated this while dying in the front passenger seat of a vehicle from a head-on collision accident on the German Autobahn that was not any fault of their own doing. Then, Mekkar’s mama expired, as she took her last breath, due to the result of her considerable injuries. Mekkar’s papa’s head in the driver’s seat was already visibly crushed upon impact and had already died. However, his status was still unknown to the teenager. Henrik’s large legs were driven backward because part of the engine’s placement in the cabin. This gruesome scene had unfolded right in front of a horror stricken Mekkar. His mind was engrossed on the situation at hand and it was not restricted just to his own physical suffering.

He was also distracted with worry about the condition of his parents in front of him and concerned if their lives could be saved. Unfortunately, Mekkar was not a doctor and would not have been able to ascertain his mama or papa’s condition. Plus, even if he was qualified to help, he was unable to extract himself first. All Mekkar could do was hope for the best. Yet, there was always the dreadful feeling deep within him of the worst possible scenario that was unfolding before him. Mekkar stubbornly refused to accept that his parents might have been gone away from this realm as to their health and well being. The continual thoughts racing through his mind was not only from fear but also used as a distraction from his own predicament.

The young man from the arctic also expected his parents to evoke some power or conjure up a spell to get them all out of this predicament and make it all whole again. That is how much faith Mekkar had in his parents’ special natures. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen and he began to consider that it was their time to go. That is to advance into their next plane of existence for further self development that stems from an old tribal belief system.

Anyway, qualified or not as a medical professional Mekkar was not stupid and could see some of the considerable damage done to the vehicle. He was quite aware that his folk’s survival was precarious at best. He had seen other car accidents back home where people had been killed. Mekkar had already been in a few winter weather related minor fender benders himself as a passenger. However, no where near on the scale of this.

What seemed like forever, even though in reality it was only a brief time, Mekkar heard the sounds of sirens and saw the reflection of red and blue colored lights of the emergency vehicles. Next, he heard noises and voices from the rescue workers despite his hazy state of mind. The boy listened to the discussions of the individuals describing what they saw, from their perspective, while at the same time attempting to free him. Mekkar overheard some of them say that they would be surprised if anyone in the accident was still alive. It helped that the boy from the north was still familiar with some the language spoken by those on the outside of the hunk of crushed metal. This desperation made Mekkar call out that he was trapped and wanted out of there.

At this point he was also beginning to feel claustrophobic in his unenviable confined situation. Added to the fact that he was also fully unaware of the nature of what had happened. There was a wide range of different emotions and thoughts clouding Mekkar’s normal thought processes.

Finally, they cut their way through the mangled metal to first reach Mekkar and remove him from the wreckage. Mekkar told his liberators that he had probably broken both of his legs since he knew his body well. He asked to be careful as to not make the problem worse than it already was. Mekkar was soon given drugs to put him in a state of semi-consciousness to provide a numbing sensation to sustain him and most likely to keep him calm under the circumstances. His hope was that he was able to block out much of what just occurred. Mekkar was confused and confounded by his true situation but didn’t realize the full measure.

As Mekkar was on a low lying stretcher, unable to walk, he saw where the other vehicle had crossed over into their lane in the accident and hit theirs head on. The other vehicle landed on their side of the highway. Mekkar knew then who was responsible for the disaster and felt helpless to reverse the timeline. His fierce anger overcame him at this point and he flung himself off of the stretcher. The enraged teenager crawled over to a sheet covered body on the road that was next to the other vehicle. Mekkar assumed that this was the individual who caused the smashup so he pulled back part of the covering. He attempted to kick at and rain down blows with his fists upon the now lifeless corpse of the other driver in front of him. In reality, he was incapable of making that person feel some of the full measure pain that he was dishing out. Mekkar was not able to take the correct position and executive his wrath in this physical manner very effectively. Then, the teenager followed up with an extensive barrage of expletives at the deceased person as he was pulled off the prone lifeless body. He had determined in his mind whom was responsible for this tragedy and aimed his spit at the other vehicle and other dead driver. Fury and shock at the same time can normally be lethal combination. He just didn’t care what anyone else thought about him at this juncture. Mekkar was in a mood for revenge and desired to extinguish the pain he was feeling inside. However, the full measure of psychological affects as a result of this incident wouldn’t be evident for some time.

Someone in the ambulance, on the way to the hospital, pointed out to Mekkar that lying down across the back bench seat probably saved him from being another deceased statistic. But, this news was no consolation to him right now. Other details of the incident came out not long after evidence was gathered from witness statements and physical calculations of how it happened. However, there was nothing to be done to change the outcome which was already obvious. After the shock effect and medical remedies wore off, the nagging reality of his situation of losing both parents as a teenager hit him harder than any punch to his gut or noggin on the ice. He wondered why he was the only one to survive the accident? Why didn’t he join his parents into the next life?

Many questions ran through Mekkar’s mind such as, “Why did my mama and papa leave me?” and “Why where they now taken away from me?” Mekkar was clueless as to their new location and realm or what form his parents now possessed. The teen had little adult understanding of what that all entailed and hoped the wise elder Aslak back home might fill him in. He became overwhelmed by these types of feelings for some time. He realized that he was also helpless to change the sequence or effects of this series of events.

Mekkar’s temperament became much shorter and fiery when remembering back and the thoughts about the crash continued to creep into his mind. He did his best to try to forget the whole incident to speed up the healing and recovery process. Unfortunately, the now missing gap in his life was too much for him to not notice. The constant physical reminder from his injured legs made him aware as well.

No matter what Mekkar still had to resume his life without two gigantic influences upon him and he wasn’t even out of high school yet. The realization at times hit him like a brick wall. His parents were now gone together forever. It was a permanent journey into the great beyond, an extended unknown realm of the dead. The young man attempted to perceive what his parents would have wanted him to do, that is, continue on with his life.

Putting the tragedy out of his mind was a much more difficult task. What helped him was statements from both of his parents such as, “You can only change and control what is within your capability and desire to do so.” Another related comment was “There are some other things that are beyond you.” Of course, it was not so easy for a traumatized teenager to just forget what he witnessed. Plus, the physical injuries he sustained would force him to relive much of the details, in his mind, for quite some time.

Mekkar was still a young developing man trying to find his way in life, but he was still far from being fully grown up yet. This is despite the fact that teenagers think they know everything with little life experience to back up their perceptions. Another factor was his own native culture considered Mekkar, for all intensive purposes, as an adult already for a year when he was only seventeen. After the shock of the accident had truly worn off the reality of the situation was extremely painful. Later, other deeply hidden effects would manifest themselves later on. For awhile, it got much worse before it got better. Outward fits of rage, anger, loneliness, and disbelief exhibited themselves far worse than he ever anticipated. Disastrously, Henrik and Sirga’s untimely deaths affected the youngest and least mature of the three sons, Niillas, most of all.

The incident adversely drove Niillas to exhibit deep character flaws such as he started to steal when away from the area. This was due to punishment of body part removal, such as loss of a hand, if he was ever caught stealing at home. The rules in place had been in place for a very long time. Everyone drank alcohol in large quantities so that was a normal occurrence. The after effects started a chain reaction in the youngest son’s spiral downward. Drug abuse habits, such as snorting great amounts of cocaine up his nose, began. This, in turn, adversely resulted in a counterweight to Niillas’ great physical and sports talents. It hurt Niillas in regard to better future career opportunities and prospects for him. The result was lack of an increased fortune making ability after the playing days were over. Mekkar’s counsel regarding these matters was rejected outright and had no effect on his youngest sibling.

Other thoughts would flood Mekkar’s head and there was always a sliver of hope that his mama and papa would let him know how they were doing. Maybe they could help and guide him from the other side? Mekkar continually asked himself these hard questions. The problem there was no definite answers or indicators of their awareness.

The young man subsequently attempted to cope the best he could by trying to focus on the earlier relaxing portion of the journey before they had rented the car. Mekkar still needed his full energy for other tasks at hand such as a forced adaptation upon his life. This included the long process of rehabilitation in the repairing of his own body. He was wondering if he would be able to play sports anymore at a relatively high level or even resume his just beginning future pro hockey career. There were whispers, and he heard about them too. The scuttlebutt was that Mekkar might never regain any of his previous athletic skills and abilities due to the accident. Some scenarios had Mekkar never returning at all as a player in any sport. Yet, Mekkar once again survived and would overcome. It just took awhile longer than he hoped.

As a result of broken bones in his legs suffered from the auto accident in Europe that also took both of Mekkar’s parent’s lives, his senior year sports season participation was curtailed. He didn’t make it back until the latter part of the football season. A few of the naysayers were shocked that he was able to compete in fall athletics. They attributed it all due to his young quick recovery powers. His team duties were only two defensive and limited special teams plays. Even then Mekkar was still only about 75% of full capacity.

On one those defensive plays, in a road game, Mekkar barreled in on a blitz from his cornerback position on the line of scrimmage. He sacked the heralded opposition prep quarterback from the blindside. The walloping force of the hit from behind caused the signal caller to fumble the football and Mekkar pounced on it for the turnover for his side. This led to the winning score in a close victory for his squad. That was the highlight of the fall gridiron season for Mekkar. The result of hard work of putting in enormous amount of overtime during the rehabilitation recovery process paid off for Mekkar. This was after he would show up to class for awhile in a wheelchair with casts on both legs. His friends colored them with artwork and covered them with signage. At times, the young man pushed too hard and actually delayed part of his recovery timeline. His hard driving desire was to get back before the football season was over, that in which he succeeded. This meant almost no practice time for him, so he had to rely on natural athletic instincts he already possessed. Mekkar had to stay away from skating, hockey, or any physically related activities for a long time to get ready. It was killing him inside to not be able to play any games. The mental toll of inactivity was even more difficult for him to deal with.

These factors drove him from deep within and he has always possessed an extreme mentality to win anyway, in everything he does. Obstacles must be defeated and barriers must be knocked down which is part of his element overcoming, warrior personality. It was definitely his imbedded cultural Arctic background that gave him the view that most circumstances exist as part of a life and death struggle. The same scenario as his birth. The goal is to be able to regain everything at the same level as before and then improve upon that. Mekkar sees it as about the resolves stemming from one’s will to defeat what is happening outwardly in an individual’s circumstances. While at the same time, fight against being totally crushed inwardly. He knows it is easier to sometimes throw up one’s hands and give up because it is the part of the path of least resistance. But, that is not Mekkar’s way and his very nature is fight back with all that he has at his disposal in every realm. His brother, Alf, termed it as stubbornness and he is partially correct.

It was fortunate for him that his overall physical makeup and health constitution was such that it gave Mekkar an extra ordinary healing and injury restoration ability. Maybe there was a parallel between being partially named after a shaman and self-healing capability after all.

Another helpful tool in Mekkar’s body arsenal was that his physical scars were less evident in his younger years. Large markings from various cuts, slices, wounds, and surgeries have seemed to shrink and be less noticeable on his body, even to him, as opposed to many others who had incurred similar injuries. He figured later on that it might be possibly being a guinea pig in the initial stages of development of the new liquid stitching breakthrough that was being tested. Having a good amount of hair on parts of his body also aided in covering some of the skin defects. Mekkar hated it at the time because it seemed to him that the process was longer. The long repeated trips for repairs were exhausting. Mekkar believes that the skin condition that affects him now, due to other health issues, has contributed even more to hiding the numerous flaws.   

Unknown to him at the time, he did return to those aspects of his life earlier than anticipated by all. However, the long term effect was his athletic career was shortened. Before the end of his playing days, Mekkar seemed to be frequently hampered by an ever increasing list of ailments and injuries. Many years later his physical well-being is very affected by the compounded injuries suffered and diminishes his quality of life. His mind does question whether the sacrifices were worth the risk involved and very low financial rewards in comparison than the amount today’s athletes receive. Mekkar doesn’t blame anyone but himself. He feels that he could have been wiser and less reckless with his body. He says it was a product of youth and lack of experience in life. Mekkar attributes this to a belief that when you are young you feel indestructible. That view takes a position that neglects consideration of short or long term consequences. Mekkar knew the liability risks and chose to take that path anyway. It was something Mekkar was convinced he had some control over.

Even though Mekkar would be the only person in either vehicle to survive the accident, this incident still haunts him to this day. He still has issues about being in the back seat of motor vehicles due to this traumatic event. Due to the accident Mekkar will still refuse to get into a vehicle he deems as too small or unsafe. If he has to sit in the back seats there has to be a door next to him. He is always looking for a way of escape just in case. Otherwise, he begins to panic and other people who know him wonder why. Most of the time he doesn’t bother to explain the reasons because he is trying forget. The whole idea is to shove those bad memories back deep into his sub-consciousness where they belong. Mekkar would prefer to walk instead or will look to accept another ride that meets his safety and exit access criteria.

The young man’s life changed forever and toughened his personal resolve as a result of great challenges due to this occurrence. The event eventually fostered traits of more self-reliance and a greater distrust of others, especially of authority figures. However, due to his parents’ early, unscheduled departure from this life they will be forever immortalized in Mekkar’s mind.