Old Jules, what’s something unique and strange that makes you, you?
I’m a hermit getting along towards 70 years old living in the middle of nowhere in Texas. I talk to my large flock of free ranging chickens and my four cats. I don’t listen to the radio, don’t have a television, and I once almost went an entire presidential term without knowing who was prez. I became a private pilot by buying an airplane, hiring an instructor, firing him when I got sick of his antics and soloing myself. I had more than 500 hours logged before I ever applied to take an FAA test ride and get a license.
Old Jules are you a loner? If so, why did you decide to live this way? Are you ever mistreated and/or rejected by your family and neighbors who think loners are odd people?
I’m a hermit. I might be considered by others to be a loner, though I’m not. I’m a sociable person when I’m around sufficiently few people.
I’ve been out of touch with my family, some members for a decade, others for several decades. I heard recently my 90 year old mother died, but felt nothing when I heard it. I don’t know whether my dad’s alive or not. I called him up on the phone 15 years ago [first contact in 20 years] to wish him a happy Father’s Day and he hung up on me, which was okay by me.
I doubt people think I’m odd, though I do think they are. I need to go at least several days, sometimes a month, between seeing other people just to keep my head on straight.
Old Jules do you believe in animal rights?
I think I might believe in animal rights, but I’m not familiar enough with what’s going on in the world to know.
I’ve never bothered to think it through, but as a practical matter, I kill anything of any species that threatens my cats and my chickens, including the occasional feral domestic cat, and pretty much leave everything else alone. When I have to kill a coyote, coon, or something else I always chop it up and feed it to the chickens. I’ve never yet had occasion to put a human being into the mix to test my resolve.
I do occasionally eat meat when I can afford to buy it, and if I went a longish while not being able to afford it I’d probably kill one of these deer I’m forever running off with a slingshot to keep them out of my chicken feed.
Without trying to nail all this down into a philosophy it seems to me it represents a behavioral code. I’m not sure if it’s accurate to call myself a supporter of the current animal rights philosophy.
Old Jules, has your life been what you expected? If not, in the end does it really matter?
I don’t believe I could have ever imagined much of it ahead of time, but it’s a smile and it’s been a constant adventure. When people talk about being bored I file it away as something to look into next lifetime to see if it’s as interesting as not being bored.
I don’t believe anything about this lifetime is going to end unless I manage to figure out how to do it right so’s I don’t get into the same set of challenges next time around. The prospect gives me a strong motive.