Resolute Bear began as a chunk of log on the side of the road in Pennsylvania. Most books come from a similar source.
Michael and I stopped at the road side stand of a chain saw carver on the way home from a trip to Pennsylvania Dutch country, where Michael had lived as a child. There was a whole row of bears and a few other different carvings waiting to be sold. The bears had been burned lightly with a blowtorch to make them black where the fur should be. The carver was spraying his creations with linseed oil to help them last longer. The smell of wood chips, singed wood, and the oil was heavy in the summer air.
Most of the carvings were happy little bears with wide-eyed grins. One lone bear with his mouth set in a non-committal way waited to be convinced to lean into a frown or brighten up to a grin. His eyes were smaller than the others, too, making him slightly myopic looking.
Naturally, Michael and I would be drawn to the odd bear. We chatted with the man, made a deal, and the bear came home with us. We call the bear “Resolute.” For the record, almost everything in our yard had a name. There was Melba the Peach Tree, Red Auerbach the Maple, Nathaniel the Hawthorne, and the trio of potted Christmas Trees we rescued from Home Depot: Luke, Bruce, and Blue. In the front yard was Stanley, the Blue Spruce, for Stanley Kunitz, the famed gardener poet who also lived on the Cape. Read More…