From her website~~ Quote begins of a review , ” It’s been said that the history of this nation was written from the back of a horse. But not until now–with Deanne Stillman’s “Mustang” –has that history come to epic life. At once an important, comprehensive study and a spellbinding read, “Mustang” is ultimately a hymn to our homeland. Deanne Stillman makes a compelling case for the preservation of wild horses.
— John Fusco, screenwriter “Thunderheart,” “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” and “Hidalgo. ” End Quote
Thank you Liz Gilbert
Deanne Stillman I want to introduce your work to a few people here and let you know that Henry Paddy Shearman is coming from England and may be right here . His dream? To look a wild horse in the eye. He is dedicated to working with horses in equine therapy for those suffering from PTSI , suicidal thoughts, including Veterans and INdigenous Youth and all suffering from trauma of abuse. You are in Riverside? Raising funds to bring him first to the Lakota people in South Dakota. (Called The White Horse Project. The White Horse chalk geoglyph in Uffington,UK…ancient giant horse earthwork) . The other thing Henry has dedicated himself to, coming out of Standing Rock, is to learn the Lakota traditional ways and language and to live in a traditional manner. I know you are working on a book on Sitting Bull. I am back out in California in Yucca Valley for medical treatment and,of course , right back into the darkness out here, as it swirls around like a dust devil threatening to never release you from its grip. There is something connective going on here, because I think you are an extraordinary writer and we need your input on this journey,
The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West
“For a long time, the American desert has been my beat and my passion. The reasons are many, but really, there is only one. In the desert, the chatter of city life fades away and my own thoughts vanish; I get quiet and I hear things. The beating of wings. The scratching of lizard. The crack of tortoise egg. The whisper of stories that want to be told.
“In 1991, I walked into a bar on Highway 62, the desert two-lane that stretches from Interstate 10 in California eastward into the far Mojave. I had just finished a hike in Joshua Tree National Park. It was twilight. Thunderclouds were rolling in and the perfume of creosote was in the air. Inside the Josh Lounge, people sat at the bar, guarding their pitchers of beer, talking of sports, the weather, local news. After awhile, I heard the first few notes of a dark desert tale. Two girls had been ‘sliced up’ by a Marine, someone said; probably they deserved it. ‘Who were they?’ I asked. ‘Just some trash,’ came the reply. A frequent visitor to the area, I knew there was more to the story, and I vowed to tell it. A decade later, it became my book, Twentynine Palms: A True Story of Murder, Marines, and the Mojave.
“But before I was finished, another terrible tale was unfolding and I couldn’t shake off its call. A few days after Christmas in 1998, I was waiting to meet with a source in another desert bar. I picked up the local paper and read that six wild horses had been gunned down in the mountains outside Reno. The next day, the body count had grown to twenty, and by the end of December, while people gathered to ring in the New Year at parties across the land, thirty-four dead mustangs had been found in the scrubby mountains of the Virginia Range. A few days later, three men were arrested. Two of them were Marines and one of them was stationed at Twentynine Palms.
“I was surprised – and then I wasn’t. I knew that a number of grisly crimes had emanated from the military base hidden away in that remote desert town. Now, the victims were wild horses and their story also spoke of our history, our heritage, and our land. But what exactly was their story? I wondered as the Reno incident began to take over my life. Why would someone go out and kill the animals that had blazed our trails, fought our wars, served as our most loyal partner? As I began looking into the story, I soon realized that what happened to the wild horses in Reno was about much more than that particular event. It went right to the heart of who we are as Americans.
“With all due respect to our official icon, the eagle, he of the broad wing-span and the ability to see across great distances, of patience born of the ages and majestic flight, it is really the wild horse, the four-legged with the flying mane and tail, the beautiful, big-hearted steed who loves freedom so much that when captured he dies of a broken heart, the ever-defiant mustang that is our true representative, coursing through our blood as it carries the eternal message of America. Many have read Moby Dick, but few – including me, until I began my wild horse research – remember that in his tribute to that which man should not possess, Melville devoted a passage to the other great white, the one that ranged the Great Plains:
“Most famous in our Western annals and Indian traditions, is that of the White Steed of the Prairies; a magnificent milk-white charger, large-eyed, small-headed, bluff-chested, and with the dignity of a thousand monarchs in his lofty, over-scorning carriage. He was the elected Xerxes of vast herds of wild horses, whose pastures in those days were only fenced by the Rocky Mountains and the Alleghenies… The flashing cascade of his mane, the curving comet of his tail, invested him with housings more resplendent than gold-and silver-beaters could have furnished him.’
“To see this killing for what it was, I realized, I needed to learn the story of the wild horse before the Reno massacre – the facts of its life along the trail, at war, at play, in our literature and lore, how it got here and where it came from. It was a large and at times daunting endeavor but one that I felt compelled to undertake: quite simply, the horse deserved its own account, and no such thing existed – at least not in the way I wanted to tell it, by traveling with the horse across space and time, right through the entire American saga.” [top]
Her u tube channel ~~
I have not visited the Joshua Tree National Park~~ Family members who have been there, state is a very spiritual place. I have been to the Morongo Indian Reservation ~~ which was a VERY spiritual experience for me.
” Set at the foot of the beautiful San Gorgonio and San Jacinto Mountains, the Morongo Indian Reservation spans more than 35,000 acres and overlooks the vistas of the Banning Pass. ”
” The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, also known as 29 Palms, is a United States Marine Corps base., established in 1949 ”