The Pioneers

He was pulled from the sinking ship through a hole too small for his body, literally losing his skin in the process; it was the only way to save him, and he knew it: the desperate deed was done at his own behest. Once safe from the stranded vessel which had been making its way down the Mighty Mississippi (mighty indeed!), the rescuers were caught completely off-guard when the survivor, dripping with blood and water, began to laugh. This was maybe the third time he had escaped from death by the skin of his teeth, and the dawning realization was to be born again; laughter was the only appropriate response. When examining their prospect further, deep scars on his back from prior life traumas were discovered. How had they been inflicted? He somewhat causally explained to them that he had hunted bear. Who was this Greek god before men, this Hercules? In a three part television series about the man, airing in the 1950s, Walt Disney had him don a coon skin hat, even though in reality David Crockett wore one infrequently. Crockett was solider, statesman, hunter, and…pioneer.

When living out West, on the front range of the Colorado Rockies, I would drive home for the summer to Western Michigan under the hot, dry sun. These endless days of driving afforded me the tremendous opportunity of listening to the adventures of Lewis and Clark and of Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. These stories left an indelible mark on me in the form of the haunting sense that we were once more than we are now…

This restless feeling returns when thinking of the pioneers who settled the American frontier, brave souls like Crockett and Daniel Boone, himself captured by Shawnee natives, but who was later adopted as part of their tribe. These brave souls possessed a spirit of adventure and a willingness to risk all. They carved out of the forests, homesteads; out of the rolling hills and plains, farmsteads; out of the mountainous valleys, ranches. Each brought with them some craft or skill, some knowledge or expertise that formed the basis of these local and self-contained economies. They hunted, fished, farmed, and (sometimes) fought. They made their own candles, wool, and weapons. Their lives were hard, but it expanded the spirit. Our lives are—by comparison—easy, but decidedly hard on the spirit.

Heritage meats represent Frontier: new ground which is really the reclamation of ancient ground. They represent the recovery of a lost way of life, a way of life known to the pioneers. Heritage meats somehow embody all that was good and noble about the Old World, Colonial America, and the West—the “something more” that we once were. For these reasons, when yesterday Duba & Company announced open enrollment to its insiders’ club, its only seemed natural to name it in honor of the pioneers, the “first settlers” of new territory.

True, Pioneer members will be the first to taste the historic flavor of heritage meats by getting a first pass at our inventory (available this Spring). And they will also receive discounts on every purchase. Much more than this, though, I believe that Pioneer members are those who resonate with all that heritage meats represent: frontier territory.

There are a limited number of memberships being offered—only fifty, in fact—and about 20% of the memberships were sold in the first three hours of their offering. If you’re interested in becoming a Pioneer, please click here to learn more.

 This post has been dedicated to Duba & Company’s first Pioneers.


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