Good Morning Mission!

Photo by Alexandra Jones

It’s 6:34 a.m., 54° and going to 64°. Looks like it’s not going to get really warm until everyone clears out for Burning Man. Details are here.

I’ve noticed that whenever I pick up the Chron, I usually turn to Leah Garchick’s column first. It’s been said before, but she manages to write a society page that, more often than not, passes over the dowagers and doyennes in favor of portraying a city full of small, well-intentioned acts by engaged city dwellers. It’s a good way to start your day. I read it to decompress, the way that some people like to look at pictures of cats in buckets on the Internet. Anyway, today’s a nice example of business as usual.

And oh my, this will be the talk of water coolers everywhere today. Some really nice turns of phrase by the author, Peter Fimrite:

Gravier, known to almost everyone as the “Bear Woman,” has been feeding bruins and other animals for decades, but nobody realized the extent of her devotion until neighbors began complaining. Last Aug. 24, seven fish and game wardens raided Gravier’s home. They stumbled on what was essentially an animal hippie commune and shack-out pad.

In all 15 loafing black bears hung out with Gravier inside the house and on her deck, and lumbered around the compound like kings at a feast. Gravier named her oafish friends things like Smiley, Goofy, Connie, Biggie and Wombat. She admitted setting up a kiddie pool for wallowing. She fixed peanut butter sandwiches for her guests, sometimes mixing in glucosamine to ease the arthritis pain in older bears.

Some 6,000 pounds of rolled and cracked corn was delivered every month from a ranch supply house. Gravier stored the food in a 40-foot-long shipping container that she used as an ursine food dispensary.

Knight-errantry was not in evidence among the hulking chowhounds, who turned Gravier’s home into a reeking outhouse. The cabin-style home was piled high with filth by the time of the raid and immediately condemned by county authorities.

Gravier also fed 18 cats, three dogs, 40 peacocks and a steady stream of visiting turkeys and deer.

Gravier pled guilty this Monday. She won’t see any jail time as long as she Stops Feeding Bears.

You think you have bad neighbors. Puts it all into perspective….

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