IN THIS ISSUE:
News from Wild Wind and the AT Museum
Kid for the Wild Scholarship
Words to ponder
News from the Wild Wind and AT Museum
November 20, 2021 was a bitterly cold day to be standing outside, under a pavilion, hearing stories from folks honoring the AT Hall of Fame inductees for 2020 and 2021. Jim’s legacy is honored with the inclusion in the Hall of Fame for the year 2020. Jim’s brother Mark and two of Mark’s “kids” Randilyn and Josh made the long drive from northern Michigan to Pine Grove Furnace, PA to represent Jim and receive the “hiking stick” representing that honor. Each honoree receives a custom made hiking stick, crafted for the Museum by A.T. thru-hiker John “Bodacious” Beaudet.
My late Uncle “Walkin” Jim Stoltz hiked 30k miles across North America, including the Pacific Crest, Continental Divide, and an east to west cross-continent hike. He performed original shows of his travels with photography and music, always incorporating his keen sense of environmental awareness and justice for all things wild. Last weekend Walkin Jim was inducted into the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame! To represent the fam, my Dad/ Mark, Sister/Randi, and I made the road trip to SE Pennsylvania. It was Dads first road trip since his heart surgery last year, so it was a big deal in lots of ways. We stayed in a hotel, drank lots of turnpike coffee, and walked part of the trail before the ceremony. It was humbling to be in the presence of so many avid (“thru”!) hikers, and especially to hear stories about my Uncle and his passion for wild places. They still sing his songs at the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association annual gathering! Shout out to my Aunt Leslie in West Yellowstone for helping keep his legacy alive with everything from album sales to kids environmental scholarships, and to Aunt Susan in Fairbanks, AK who has built her own legacy through musical activism. Josh
Thanks to all who helped make this happen, including Lorrie Preston, Larry Luxenberg and Gwen Loose and all of you who continue to honor the memories this Museum is keeping. For lots more info about the AT museum https://www.atmuseum.org/
Kid For the Wild Scholarship
Applications are due March 30th….this scholarship is to encourage youth ages 11-18 “follow their hearts” and dreams to get outside. Anyway they imagine. It is not limited to a structured program or camp, but does include that. So imagine what your wildest dream might be…helping get a little brother or sister out on a camping trip, visiting a wild place with friends and teaching them what you know… being in nature together or expericing new outdoor acitivies and learning new skills. Visit the link https://walkinjim.com/kid-for-the-wild-scholarship/. Find the application to download and mail or send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Scroll down to each year too see what some of the other scholarship awards supported.
or apply directly online at:
Words from Jim’s freind, John Roberts:
“Jim had such an easy rapport and gentle impact with his listeners as he reminded us that the parks, …He planted the seeds in us to protect wild places for people, but also national forests, and wilderness areas are our lands! And we could lobby, educate, and fight for these places. He planted seeds in us to protect wild places for people and also for all those critters who call them home.
“…The river’s a promise…of things to come
A ribbon of hope, shining in the sun,
The river is life, for the great and small,
Oh, it’s the call of the wild,
That the mighty river calls…”
Jim gave us a promise, that he would do his damndest through telling songs of long adventures, through witness of animal antics, and wild beauty, through tough times and good souls encountered on the trail, through teaching ballads to both children and adults, and through songs which are soul stirring hymns to a bright future for all Creation, and to keep some places, “Forever Wild!!”.
Gosh, I miss you, Jim, But I know the burden of grief is far greater for those closest to you… As I have recently sought to sovercome grief, two things stand out. One is seeking to be kind and helpful. And the other is the promise of nature, seeing birds still singing and flying, the glory of a sunset, and the majesty of a starry night. Maybe it seems pretentios to say all this, but I only recently learned this.
May I close with a poetic quote from Rachel Carson, who Jim has honored in song and a final verse of Jim’s?
“…Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.” (From The Sense of Wonder.)”