Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hunting for Wild Boar

Hunting for Wild Boar 

In 1970 I was serving as an Executive Officer on a destroyer when I was assigned to an American joint military staff in Iran.  The U.S. Army had maintained a large presence in Iran since World War II, when we shipped many thousands of tons of arms to the Red Army from the Persian Gulf, and up to the Soviet Union, as Lend-Lease. 
Iran was taking more and more responsibility for patrolling the Persian Gulf and the whole Indian Ocean.  The U.S. was very interested in keeping the USSR and their allies from getting “comfortable” in the area. I was sent to advise the Iranian Supreme (Joint) Staff, under a U.S. Army Major General.

   Map of Iran

Hunting for Wild Boar. Colonel Sam Duncan invited me to join him on a hunting trip up in the wilderness north of Tehran, near the Caspian. Colonel Pasha of the Iranian Gendarmerie was our guide.  Both he and Sam were avid hunters.  I was not.
                 We left Tehran at 7 p.m., headed for the Nowshahr area in several vehicles. At the highest mountain pass we encountered a snowstorm, and skidded near a precipice. It was scary.  Iranians seem to have a death wish with their driving.  They love to drive really fast, particularly on narrow mountain roads where you can’t see what might be coming around the bend.  This Colonel Pasha was a mad driver.
We put on chains—the Gendarmerie troops accompanying our excursion helped.  At some times we would slide nearer the edge than I would have preferred.  You could look down the mountain and see the warm, humid jungle of the Caspian below.  That was where we were headed.  Finally, we took the chains off, and  started down.  We see huge rockfalls from a mountain tea house (chai khane). One falling rock nearly smashed us.  Our brakes were bad. At 3 a.m. we arrived in a Caspian orange grove, and entered a cottage where we slept on Persian rugs until 6 a.m.

                Then we started up the mountain on mules, the great white hunters, seeking the boar!
At noontime we stopped for a lunch in the wild. Col. Pasha had arranged a delicious chelo kebab lunch for us (loads of rice, marinated lamb on skewers, yogurt, and flatbread.)  

 Chelo Kebab

Our bearers were observing Ramadan, the Muslim fast from dawn to dusk, so they ate nothing at this time.  However, when we returned to camp that night, after dark, they had a fine time, lubricated by a little Scotch whisky that the Iranian colonel had slipped to them.

                In the afternoon, Sam shot and killed a large wild boar.  Col. Pasha quickly dressed it, but then how to haul it back to camp?  Since it was a pig, the Iranian mards (mard=common man) wouldn’t touch it.  Pasha solved the problem by borrowing Sam’s sleeping bag liner, and we stuffed the huge boar into the liner, then, insulated by the fabric, the mards could lift the boar’s carcass onto a mule. 

                Colonel Sam gave me a nice tenderloin roast from the boar, and we dined on that later in Tehran.

Now, about some books, papers and a photo I’d like you to look at…..

Sir Richard Burton’s “Kasidah”

 Kasîdah, The; of Hâji Abdû El-Yezdî, Or The Lay of the Higher Law by Abdû the Traveller; Translated and Annotated by His Friend and Pupil, F.B. Sir Richard F. Burton, K.C.B. [250 copies of this edition were published.] 1915 Portland, ME: Thomas Bird Mosher. Thomas Mosher issued this 1915 reprint of Burton's 1880 Kasîdah, dedicating it to Charles Freeman Libby. This edition has paper-covered boards with gilt inscription in Farsi: "Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî"  Frontispiece portrait of Burton from etching by Léopold Flameng, with tissue guard.  Kasîdah, acc. To Oxford English Dictionary,  is a classical Arabic or Persian poem, which begins with a reference to a forsaken campground, followed by a lament, and a prayer to one's comrades to halt while the memory of the departed dwellers is invoked. Introduction by William Marion Reedy declares that "The Kasîdah will never be as popular as the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (to which it is often compared), but it will endure...."  Burton (1821-1890) claims to have been the translator of these verses, and in Notes provided describes the author,  Hâjî Abdû, as a native of Yezd Province (central Iran), "who has travelled far and wide with his eyes open", and has added to his native Persian, and classical Arabic, some Latin, Greek, scraps of Chinese, Hebrew, Syriac, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Slav, Berber and more;   but it is well-established that Burton, the Victorian scholar, soldier, linguist and adventurer, was the author. This edition contains numerous tributes to Burton,  by Theodore Watts-Dunton and Algernon Charles Swinburne. It also reproduces a facsimile of the 1880 first edition.  At end of text is notation that 250 copies of this book were printed on Van Gelder hand-made paper and the type distributed in the month of  "October MDCCCCXV" 100 pp. including notes and bibliography.  23.5 x 31.7 cm. Paper-covered boards with gilt inscription in Farsi: "Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî";  cream trim, lightly soiled, with one-cm tear to top of spine. Frontispiece tissue guard loose. Text block excellent.  Deckle-edged pages. Very good.  (7314)  $95.00. Poetry.

Flight of the Southern Cross, The, by Kingsford-Smith, C.E and  Ulm, C.T.P., with a Foreword by His Excellency, the Right Honorable Lord Stonehaven P.C., G.C.M.G., D.S.O., Governor-General of Australia; Illustrated 1929. New York, NY: National Travel Club. 295 pp. 13 x 21 cm. Squadron Leader Kingsford-Smith and his gallant Australian and American companions set out from San Francisco for an attempt to fly across the Pacific Ocean. Includes about 24 photos of airplanes and crew who made this journey.  Black cloth on board with gilt lettering, spine sunned. Cover worn.  Inside hinges cracked, front and back. No jacket. Fair. (3232) $15.00. Travel/Aviation

 India: Portland Transcript, Portland, ME, May 19, 1877; Vol. XLI No. 7 Portland, ME: Elwell, Pickard & Co. India Today by Rodney Paul-- humorous account of travels amongst Hindoos.  "Hindoo babies never cry; and no one shows them how to laugh. In Benares you have Brahmins, the most interesting and intellectual, Mohammedans, who are arrogant and dissolute, with warlike and fanatical dispositions; and Parsees, the merchants, dressed in black, notice no one, except he face them as a customer." 8 pp. 42 x 58 cm. Newspaper, worn,  good.  (5785)   $15.00. Travel/History

Prague, Czechoslovakia: Circular Tours around Prague by Cedok Motor Car ca. 1925 Prague, Cz.: The Czechoslovak Tourist and Transport Office Ltd. Leaflet advertises sightseeing tours by Cedok Motor Car of Prague. Daily twice circular tours (Sunday excepted). Starts from main entrance of the Obecni Dum Na Prikopech. Sightseeing lasting three hours. Authentic and complete explanations in all world-languages given to sightseers by expert local guides. Price Kc 35.00. Tour includes Vaclavske namesti, Rytirska ulice, Uhelny trh, Havelska ulice, Krizovnicke namesti, Hradcanske namesti, Karlovo namesti, Kralovske Vinohrady, Prasna brana, more. 2 pp. 16 x 30 cm. Paper leaflet, printed on both sides, good. (6859)  $17.00. Travel

 Photo: Slovenian Girl, ca. 1905

Photo: Elegant woman from Carniola, Slovenia.  ca. 1905 Detroit, MI: Detroit Publishing Co. Hand-tinted photograph of woman in native costume, with very elaborate headdress. High-quality studio photograph of woman in costume of Carniola, Slovenia, in former Yugoslavia. Photo is hand-tinted for use in costume series.  17 x 22 cm. Photograph, mounted on heavy board with annotation: "16624 P.Z. Krainerin" and on reverse, "City Library Association, Springfield, Mass." and handwritten: "Costume Austro-Hungary. Austria-H. girl in Carniola cost." Item  deacquisitioned. Very  good. (6642)  $60.00. Travel/Photo

Rockport, MA: Ye Headlands of Cape Ann-- Real Estate Advertisement by Giles, Jason 1902 Rockport, MA: The Rockport Review. 32 pp. 23 x 15 cm. Booklet tells history of Rockport as it offers a parcel at the Headlands of the Norwood property.  Property is served by water and electric lights, with an easy walk of eight minutes to stores, markets and post office, and in ten minutes, to the B. & M. R.R. railway station.  Booklet shows the beginnings of granite breakwater in harbor, intended to provide 'Harbor of Refuge' for the North Atlantic Squadron of U.S. Navy war vessels during the summer months.  Photos of local sights, including two page spread showing photo of town and harbor, taken from belfry of the Congregational Church. Paper booklet, very good. (7282) $59.00. Travel/History

Tunis and Tunisia Little Guide Book from O.N.T. Fédération des Syndicats d'Initiative de Tunisie ca. 1910 Tunis, Tunisia: Syndicat d'Initiative of Tunis. Tunisia has been under French protection since 1881. History, Climate. As of 1898, according to Sir H. Johson, Regency of Tunis is as safe for tourists as is France itself. Description of Tunis, population 200,000, including 80,000 Moslems, 20,000 native Jews, 42,000 Italians and 22,000 French. Korbous warm springs, famous since Roman times.  Mohammedia, Oudna, Zaghouan, Nabuel & Hammamet, Douga, Bizerta, Utica & Kef, Khroumirie; Tunis to Susa & Kirwan, two days by rail or motor car; From Sisa to Gabes by El-Djem & Sfax; Gafsa & the Djerid; From Gabes to Matmata; From Gabes to Medenine and to the country of the "Ksours".  Tunisia has 2,200 miles of splendid roads, for motoring, even into the real desert. 24 pp. 12 x 19 cm. Paper booklet, worn, fair. (7748) $21.00. Travel

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