This blog will be posted on 9/11/16, the fifteenth anniversary of the atrocity that was to our generation what Pearl Harbor was to our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.  Pearl Harbor led to a long and terrible war, and a time of homeland deprivation and Victory Gardens. It was a time that saw Americans donating their hunting rifles, shotguns, and handguns to Britain to allow the home guard there to defend against what was expected to be a boots-on-the-ground invasion of the British Isles by the Nazis.

Our forbears won that epic battle to preserve freedom. They left a lasting legacy of preparation. And, yes, of self-reliance. In World War I, a “backwoods home” kinda guy who had learned how to shoot in the hills, Sgt. Alvin York, put those skills to good use and became America’s greatest hero of the conflict.  Audie Murphy, the most decorated hero of World War II, came from a similar mold.  Fast forward to Carlos Hathcock in Vietnam, and Chris Kyle in the current long-lasting conflict that grew out of 9/11/01. There are lessons here.

That self-reliance is at the heart of Backwoods Home, our host entity and the one to which I paid homage in the most recent post before this one.  A couple of days ago, at the Self-Reliance Expo in Lakeland, FL I finally got to meet Jackie Clay-Atkinson, who for good reason is Backwoods Home’s most popular writer. Her talk drew more people than any other presenter’s, and watching her answer audience questions I saw a human encyclopedia of the answers the attendees sought.

It’s easy to see why she’s so popular. She’s as down to earth in person as she is in print, and Jackie also has a sense of humor of which the print media has not taken full advantage. She genuinely cares about the people who read her work. She walks the walk, talks the talk, and lives the life.  She and her family are role models in many, many ways.

The Backwoods Home booth was clearly the most heavily attended at the Expo while I was there, including the Home Depot display.  The “real people” public recognizes what Backwoods Home is doing for them.

On 9/1l/16, “Keep your head on a swivel” as Pierce Kibbey advised in his excellent presentation at Self-Reliance Expo. The “bad guys” in this fight seem to place value on anniversary dates when they plan their evil.

And stay ready for anything (I say as someone who went through a hurricane about ten days ago, and was glad to be prepared).  Thanks to Jackie and the whole team at Backwoods Home for all they do.

The Expo…


Got to finally meet Jackie, left, and see Lenie Duffy again…


Jackie commanded the rapt attention of the largest audience I saw at the Expo.


Pierce Kibbey’s lecture on situational awareness was timely.



  1. Today I heard about a boat lift that happened in NY during 9/11.
    It was the largest boat lift in modern history, almost 500,000 people were rescued.
    During the attack all the bridges, tunnels, subways, and airports were closed so
    people couldn’t get out of NY. It’s an amazing story….here is the youtube;

  2. I finished up a two-day Texas Hunter Education class on 9/11. It seemed like a good way to spend the afternoon.

    But when I checked over the class roster I noticed that out of 17 graduates, 11 of them were born after 9/11/2001.

  3. Everyone,

    Back home from total hip replacement surgery. Original pain is gone, replaced by very mild pain that results from any major surgery. This pain will fade as I recover and do my rehab. I was lucky to have a surgeon that uses a fairly new technique that involves going in from the front, requiring much less soft tissue damage and much shorter rehab. Was walking (with aid of a walker) the day after and released from hos[ital at the end of second day.

    If any of you old farts are contemplating hip replacement, please ask your surgeon about anterior v. lateral hip replacement. It makes a huge difference in the pain experienced and the length of recovery.

    Thanks for the thoughts and prayers.

  4. Lord Baden-Powell was asked what was meant by the Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared”. He said “Prepared…for any old thing!”. This magazine and this blog help me keep it together when I see so many in our country not prepared for *anything*, let alone an emergency or disaster.

    @ Mary Beth Robinette: Thanks for the reminder that despite the best efforts of some of our “leaders” at all levels, the REAL American spirit of self-reliance and helping others has not been bred out. Even now we hear of the “Cajun Navy” who helped their neighbors in NOLA after the most recent catastrophic flooding (and the gov’t efforts to curtail it, naturally).

    When the next real attack does happen, I have some hope still that Americans will come together as Americans used to do and did decades ago when Evil walked the earth by the names of Nazism and Fascism.

    Until then, keep praying and may God (continue to) Bless America.

  5. Jaji, The Cajun Navy was/is great.
    Now the Government wants them to register…….and control them (as you have mentioned)!!!!
    Boy does that sound familiar!

  6. Dennis,

    Wow, walking on a walker the day after hip surgery! What a great time to be alive. I love the music from the 1700s, but I wouldn’t want to live back then and be a victim of their medical ideas. The USA sure is the place to be, especially when you need medical care.

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