Hawk Dancer

BC Village and People

Village of Birch Clump
a nice place, (most of the time)


This is where the story starts, in December of 1934. Richard White is seventeen. He just burried his parents and leaves his Menominee, Michigan family home to move in with his Great Uncle John Wounded-Bird.
    
    You will be able to learn more about the village of Birch Clump as you scroll this page or the menu.
    Rich illustrations and short bio's on several of the characters are on other pages. Click "MORE" to see more.
Joshua at the river side
The Bird Farm

   The farm plays an important role to assist in preserving and promoting Indigenous cultural rights during the infamous passage of theAmerican Indian Termination & Relocation era, 1948-1971.
    Richard inherits the farm and turned it into the first ever Native American Franciscan Friary. Richard takes the name Fr. Jacob Gibwanasi (Hawk Dancer.) 
Where is Birch Clump?
 
   
The village of Birch Clump is in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. It is about half way between Menominee to the west, and Escanaba east along M-35 highway. It is nestled on the shores of Green Bay and surrounded by pristine forest. It was never a large place, though the population was nearly double in the 1950s-1970s of today.
   All the children are above average, just as Garrison Keillor would say of his beloved Lake Woebegone. They can run freer here than in most large cities. Crime is very low. The last murder was decades ago, a domestic thing spoken only in hushes back then. About the worst that happens is a bar knuckle fight once in a while. Tourists loved the one a couple of guys had out in the general store parking lot last summer. Wow, that was something. It lasted a couple of minutes; luckily without any debilitating injuries. Those two boys are good friends this year.
   Compare BC with some of those so called ideal family value TV towns, and I’ll take Birch Clump any day. Cabot Cove of Murder She Wrote had a murder every week, fifty two per year. Little Home on the Prairie had fist-n-cuff disputes, just like you can find in my books. However, that dinky little prairie town also had a few murders, armed robberies, anti-Native American racial violence and folks shooting guns at each other.
   Many residents are responsible gun owners, yet there have been no recorded gun crimes in BCV. They’ve come a long way in race relations as well, even promoting Indigenous cultural rights. It was a long hard road getting there, as noted in these books.
     There was at least one robbery. That was in 1971 at the general store. Neil the stock boy can tell you about that. He was beaten up pretty bad by the intruder in the short story, Start the Day Right. 
   BC Village had its boom and bust days starting back in the old lumbering times and through the days of copper and iron ore mining. The marina kept the town going shipping the local timber and later the ore smelted in Fayette to industrial cities via the Great Lakes. When the old smelting process ended, so did most of jobs at the BC Marina. Fayette became a ghost town. Birch Clump just got a little sleepy (at least those passing through that didn't read these books might think so.)


     Meet some of the villagers and friends. I gradually add short bios and illustrations of my fiction characters. Click the "MORE" button found on most of these pages to explore more about the novels, readers and to see what's new.
 
 A bit of local farming and dairy has always sustained a few families. And there was some Lake Michigan commercial and sport fishing using the marina, which was quite dilapidated in the 60s and 70s, headed that way in the 40s and 50s even.
   The Michigan DNR has taken over the marina in late years. It is fixed up, modernized and now part of the State Park system safe harboring some fancy large yachts cruising or vacationing on the Great Lakes.
    Disclaimer: The author is not responsible for anyone getting lost in the pristine forests looking for Birch Clump. He reminds readers that although many of the towns and cities mentioned in his novels are real, Birch Clump is fictional.

Clic the Next Pictures:
for enlarged details
Neil Roberts moments before a thief surprised him in the 1971 general store robbery found in the stort story, Start The Day Right in the book Ten Things: Birch Clump Village Reader 4. Illustration by the author.
Left: Neil Roberts in the short story: 
Start The Day Right found in the book TEN THINGS: bcvr 4.
     Age 19 - He is unlocking the back door of the general store. He is in for a huge suprise waiting just inside that door.
Madge, the waitress across the street waited each morning for Neil the General Store's stock boy to open the front door so she could get a look at his delectably skin tight jeans.She brought him and his boss morning coffee if the restaurant wasn't too busy. 
     Right: a Baby Boomer. Over half of the my characters are members of the Baby Boomer Generation. A number of them made up the Hippy Movement. Even those who were not bona fide hippies adapted some of the styles associated with hippies. It was common for both genders to grow their hair long. Clothing tight include jeans, often worn tight, and sandals; maybe some love beads.
    The illustration is of a charcter still under development, probably around age 13/15.
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