Recently Kirkus Reviews reviewed ‘Sleetmute’. They were very complimentary. They said it was “incredibly entertaining” and also said “Resnicoff’s encounters fascinate not only because they introduce readers to a world few have ever seen, but also because he’s a gifted storyteller. He channels his 24-year-old self’s confusion and naïveté in a way that is by turns hilarious, endearing and often quite moving.” Very nice.

    But they also thought it fell short in three ways. First they said that I didn’t say enough about what was going on in my life before Sleetmute, so I’ve added a brief introduction. I think they were right. I think it helps. Secondly, they said that it felt more like a collection of anecdotes rather than a full memoir. OK, but it was a collection of anecdotes. The truth is that the full story of my year was in those hours and days between the anecdotes. The quiet times of tea with someone. The waiting for the mail to be distributed and the laughter over something I can’t recall now. I couldn’t put that into words then. I still can’t now

     Finally they said that I didn’t say enough about how my year affected me. I’ve thought a lot about it. There’s no doubt that the people of Sleetmute did more for me than I possibly could have done for them. They helped me survive. Hey, if you ever need to know how to trap beaver, I’m your man. They gave me their friendship. And they also gave me a quiet confidence that I could endure anything. Priceless.

    So I’ll close with this little story. In the early 1980s I got a great job working for Mattel Toys designing educational games for computers. It was in California, near the beach, and I enjoyed what I was doing immensely. But no matter how great a job is, the best part is that two week vacation you get, and when mine came I loaded my dog and my camping gear up and headed north to Yosemite. I found a place in the woods, outside the park, far from the organized campsites with their electrical hookups and all that stuff. This site just had a place for a fire and nothing else. I was alone. I was tired after my drive. I threw up my tent, built a little fire, found a perfect “Y” shaped dead branch to use to prop up my coffee pot, threw some grounds in the water and laid back on my bedroll to get some rest.

    At dusk approached I saw a rather big guy walking out of the woods towards me. I later found out that he was a full-blooded Apache. He stood in front of my little campsite and said two words. “Nice fire”.

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