My Favorite Bison is Still Missing…

Roughly 15 years ago I became involved with my local C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) and while I considered myself to be living the Boy Scout’s motto “Be Prepared”, after going through the training for C.E.R.T. and working with our local LEOs and EMS/FD, I recognized that while I was better prepared than most, I was not even close to where I needed to be.

This lead me down a very long, twisted, sometimes horrifying rabbit hole in the world of preparedness, survivalism, resource depletion, world events and politics.

In the course of study, I ran across a website by the name of “BisonPrepper” and was immediately intrigued.  This guy was unlike EVERYBODY in the “preparedness space” on the web.  He was living proof that “conventional wisdom” could be thrown right out the window, and survival could still be possible on next to nothing financially.   All you had to do was unlearn everything we’ve been taught was ‘necessary’ and learn to embrace frugality.   How was he living proof?  He was doing it,  living off grid on ‘junk land’ in the wilds of NE Nevada, living without an automobile, without plumbing, without ‘utilities’, basically living without most modern conveniences that the majority of people in “first world” countries deem essential to life.  Like refrigeration, for example.

I followed his blog for years and would comment frequently,  and James and I would exchange emails occasionally on things that were too big to discuss in a comments section. I bought (almost) all of his books, and while I didn’t agree with him 100%, I enjoyed his point of view and his out of the box thinking enough that I kept coming back for more, year after year.  And besides, he was funny as all get out (unless you’re easily offended, that is).

Fast forward to June 2020 and Lord  Bison (as he was affectionately called by his loyal minions) announced he was going really off grid, discontinuing his blog and moving to a monthly subscription newsletter via snail mail, so naturally I signed up.

It was at this point Lord Bison and I became friends.  We used to correspond frequently via the Post Office, and I’d send small gifts and holiday greetings and what not, anxiously awaiting every new monthly installment.   Then suddenly it stopped. 

I’ve sent a few letters, sent a few emails and all have gone unanswered.  I tried the phone number I had for him and got the old “this number has been disconnected” recording.  His last newsletter was in May of this year, or maybe it was April,  with a May electronic update (he started doing one post a month after a year or so of Mail only, but I digress) and not a peep since then.  Not even a comment on my blog here, which were frequent before his disappearance.

Have you seen this man?

It’s a weird feeling, not knowing what in the world happened to someone that you “talked” to almost daily for a dozen years or so.  It’s unsettling to say the least.  It’s difficult to wrap my head around how someone important to you can suddenly be gone without a trace…

Jim, you magnificent bastard, if you’re still out there, know that your presence (and your majestic hair!) is missed.  Sido mentioned your disappearance a while back, and a few of us chimed in (including Wilder) in concurrence that none of us had heard from you, which is worrisome. 

My hope is that you’ve ‘gone to ground’ out in the BiPOD you told us all about, but it gets harder every day to convince myself of that.   My pessimism, so finely honed under your tutelage, keeps telling me otherwise.  Six months is a long time for someone with as much to say as you do, to keep quiet.

If you’re reading this, let me say Thank You once again for everything you did for me and the greater collection of Minions. Living through these crazy times we find ourselves in is going to be a bit less frightful thanks to you and your life’s work.  I agree with the notion that nobody is ever “fully prepared”, but I can say with 100% certainty that I’m miles beyond where I was when I found you, and my fear of the unknown has DEcreased by 90%, at least. And that is because of you.

Whether we meet again in this life or the next, your next jelly-filled donut is on me Buddy!

Thanks for reading.

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