Chapter 6:     The Wielsons


Among those academics who came into our lives at that time was 
Douglas Wielson, who was doing his masters in Linguistics at 
Stanford University.  He had put his family into their beat-up 
VW bus and driven north from California just to learn any pieces 
of sasquatch language he might glean from Adam.

We became best friends with them, but the true lifelong bonding 
was between their daughter Melly and Adam, who were both three 
years old when they met.  

Doug had written to us about interviewing Adam and his letter 
had been so intriguing that we just had to invite them to come 
visit us and meet our little sasquatch.  Here's the letter:

to Arthur Forest
c/o the
Great Pacific Northwest Indigenous Primate Research Center (wow!)

Dear Forest Family:


My name is Douglas Wielson, I'm studying linguistics at Stanford University these days and am very interested in meeting and speaking with young Mr Adam Leroy Forest.

I've been doing a thesis on Proto Indo European Languages and desperately want to incorporate isoglosses from the sasquatch language. We saw Adam on your Discovery Channel documentary, heard him speak rather fluent English considering his 2+ years of age at the time, although he had only begun learning it six months before. Anyone with such a verbal ability must have retained remnants of his original language as well. Basically, I just want to talk with him, see what he can teach me.

In case some sort of academic credentials are required to deserve access to this wunderkind, I can rattle off some: Graduated Harvard in Physical Sciences, minors in Psychology, Botany, Anthropology and Astrophysics. Also been a member of MENSA. Now it's Linguistics. Yes, I know, I've spread out a lot, totally irresponsible. Can't help it, everything's so interesting. Other credentials: traveled a lot; organized several Greenpeace demonstrations and most cool credential of all-- I turned down a job offer from the DEA because I refused to participate in The War on Drugs.

Okay, I assume that there's a long list of highly qualified scientists and influential dignitaries impatiently waiting to meet /study /probe a poor little sasquatch's body and mind. Scholars potentially much more worthy of your time and consideration than me. But I want to get to Adam anyway, so I'm going to try to cut into the line by cheating: I'm going to bribe you.

1) My Most Important Sell-Out Item: our little daughter, Melody Anne Wielson (Melly). She is 3 years old, same as Adam and wants to play with your little boy. She fell in love with him on TV--thinks he's a teddy bear or something and has talked about him ever since. The kids could have fun.

2) My wife Sally is one of the 2 most beautiful women on this planet (and I noticed that Elaine is the other one), she was once even a Hollywood Movie Starlet (might be again if she survives being a Mother). You may have seen her in Death City Massacres, but if not Playboy did and published a pictorial of up-and-coming babe Sally Rathers about 4 years back. You can actually MEET her! (guys usually fall for this)

So now I've sold out my daughter and my wife, just to meet one measly little sasquatch, how low can a man go? Wait--I haven't sold out mySELF yet!

3) Art...old buddy...I definitely got a nutty gutty feeling that we (Art & Doug) could be best friends. Your obvious rapier- sharp wit, vast knowledge and keen intelligence might even be a welcome foil to my own (don't be put off by the blatant flattery, stupid, it's the amusement value I'm pushing here).

But seriously (as I have been all along), ever get déjà vu ? When we saw your documentary on Discovery Channel it was like we already knew each of you. Maybe reinforced because we videotaped that documentary and Melly played it again and again to see the li'l 'squatch. Let me tell it like it is: we just plain fell in love with you all--amazing little Adam, beautiful Elaine, handsome & sexy Art (Sally's words, honest!). So we decided that we had to meet you and become friends.

Now maybe all this sounds crazy to you, but I'll just bet it doesn't. I know from traveling that sometimes we get caught up in the Slipstream of Fate and end up meeting karass- mates, and weird things happen because there are absolutely no accidents or coincidences. For example, I'll even bet you know what a karass is, don't you?

So come on, invite us to check out your li'l'squatch.

your future bud,
Doug
There was a photograph of them: attractive man and woman about our ages and a gorgeous little girl, sprawled in a heap together and laughing. They looked happy, nice, familiar. Did we get déjà vu's? "I don't believe it," I said to Elaine, "I DO remember this woman from Playboy! Usually I just give the girls a once over and read the articles..." "Yeah, sure," Elaine nodded, "I believe that." "...but that pictorial I saved. She was my dream girl...uh, before I met you, that is." "Mmm? Yeah, she's really beautiful, all right. And--oh WOW--so is HE! Invite them, invite them!" So we did. And a few weeks later they arrived about noon in a battered old VW van, a flashy but faded relic from the psychedelic 70's. Elaine and I went out to greet them in the driveway, Adam stood up on the porch, still shy of strangers. The three people who got out of that ugly old van were an especially beautiful family. Douglas Wielson was tall, lean, elegant and handsome like a wolf. Long brown hair tied neatly back in a ponytail, clean shaven, clean faded Levis, charming smile. He radiated intelligence. And sexiness I guess, since I could hear Elaine grunt beside me. But I had my own problem: the woman with him. Sally Rathers/ Wielson was the epitome of the perfect blond beautiful stacked smart gorgeous babe. She was so stunning that I was stunned. Then I finally noticed that her husband was shaking my hand and introducing himself. "Hello, Art, Elaine. I'm Doug, this is my wife Sally and that's our daughter Melly--she's the brains behind this expedition." Little Melly was the logical genetic result of two such attractive parents, a perfect golden girl child with huge sky- blue eyes and tangled blonde tresses, skin like an apricot, so divinely beautiful that she seemed as fantastic an entity as did Adam. And little Melly said, "Look Mommy, there he is, the li'l 'squatch!" We all looked over at Adam standing on the porch, still hanging back, unsure of these new people. But when Melly got out of the van and Adam saw her from the porch, he came down to us, obviously interested. Both of their faces lit up with smiles as they walked toward each other. We adults watched this with interest because we weren't sure how they would react to each other. Adam had met other children before and sometimes they were afraid of him. But not Melly. They walked right up to each other and just looked, taking their time about it, as if each was in wonder at what they saw. Adam was more than a head taller than Melly, so she had to reach up to feel his nose, even as he ran his fingers carefully through her l ong wavy golden hair, each fascinated that such an exotic creature as the other actually existed. "I saw you on TV. You're the li'l 'squatch that can talk!" Adam hesitated, then nodded conditionally, as if unsure of exactly what she meant. "Well, so SAY something!" Adam pondered and then timidly asked, "What's a squatch?" Melly giggled. "YOU are, silly!" Then she put her hand on his furry chest, as if to give him a friendly little shove. But she didn't push; they just both stood still, her hand over his heart. "Act-u-ally," Adam used his newest big word, "I'm a SASquatch. But you can call me Addy." Melly gave him The Look-- the kind film vamps work hard at --head tipped slightly, lashes lowered, interested, adoring. Then she closed her hand on his fur, gave it a gentle tug and they ran off around the house laughing, to play in the dirt. We had all seen it, but Sally said it first: "My God, I think that was Love At First Sight!" Doug tore at his hair in mock despair. "Oh no! My daughter's going to marry a sasquatch!" Everyone laughed, Doug was such a kidder. We finished our introductions, the usual trivialities, like: "You found your way out here without getting too lost, I see." Doug smiling, "Yeah, no sweat, we just followed your map. Good thing too, we must be near where people fall over the edge of the world." "You're so far out in the woods here, all those mountains, rivers, waterfalls," Sally said, looking around, "all this nature is so wonderful after LA!" "It is," Elaine joined in, "but then--" and suddenly all four of us spoke in perfect unison "--ANYPLACE is wonderful after LA!" We all stopped in surprise, astounded by what had just happened: two sets of strangers speaking the same thought simultaneously. Then we all laughed simultaneously as well.
Doug was a radical free-thinker, a wild long-haired freak genius who had been offered jobs with think-tanks from IBM to the Pentagon, but turned them all down because he was most interested in traveling at that time. He had been around more than anyone we knew--Africa, India, Europe, South America. He had written several articles in the Whole Earth Catalog. He had organized Anti-Nuclear demonstrations for Greenpeace. He was blazingly intelligent and crazy and funny, totally charismatic and charming, a classic Cool guy. Sally Wielson was just as intelligent as Doug in her own way. And when she smiled and talked you forgot to think of her as a Playboy-babe. If anything, the 4 years since her sexy layout had given her a mature quality of beauty that she hadn't had back then. There was nothing artificial about her; no make-up, no Hollywood hair, no silicon or bra; she didn't need those things--and no artificial attitudes either, she was a natural wonder. A lot like Elaine. A stunning couple, you had to like them. Elaine certainly did, and so did I. They were about our ages, they even had a kid Adam's age, so we all hit it off immediately--just as Doug had predicted--as best friends. Melly became especially important to Adam. He had seemed content enough around Elaine and me and scientists and other adults, but what children really want is the company of other children.
We liked the Wielsons and they liked us, so it was definitely not all research and academics between us. It was summer when they came, so we took them out to our favorite local summer scene at Naked Lake. Dave the Hippie Mailman had introduced us to the lake: a semi- secret nude beach hidden out in the woods near Sultan, down unmarked logging trails, between hills, behind walls of trees, isolated, invisible out there unless you knew where to look. There were no houses, no asphalt roads or signs. To find it you had to be lost, or someone had to take you there. Naked Lake was private property, owned by a logging company who allowed us to use it and therefore not a public beach, so there was no problem with any authorities about nudity. Sometimes a cop or two did come out there, if they could think of some excuse, but only to look at naked girls. There was a cadre of regulars who came almost every day in the summer, most of them very nice people, socially aware and well-behaved, careful of nature and a lot of fun to be with. The main activities were swimming, sunbathing and picnicking on the dock, swinging on the rope, drinking beer and smoking pot. Doug and Sally blended right into the group and became regulars too. We all had fun: Adam and Melly played in the water, I ogled Sally, Doug ogled Elaine and everybody flirted outrageously. "When do we get to swap wives?" we joked. "Hey guys, whenever you're ready," the girls countered.
Doug's original interest in Adam had been to find sasquatch words containing phonemes comparative to Indo-European and Sanskrit isoglosses, looking for some original primeval proto-language. Of course, Adam had been so young when we found him that his own native language had been minimal, which he hadn't spoken for a year by then and by now his English was actually better than average for children his age, so Adam couldn't seem to remember any sasquatch words. But Doug used word-association techniques to draw out sha-ha for fire, se for water and so on, eventually compiling a glossary of about 20 sasquatch words. However, when Doug saw how quickly Adam learned new words, he started researching "cognitive retention" instead. He often changed directions when he came upon something interesting, refusing to be locked into any routine that stifled creative discovery. He was always saying, "You've got to look at the Big Picture..."
The Wielson family stayed with us for a month the first time they came. The next year Doug got a job doing another kind of language for Microsoft in Redmond--he was also a computer genius--so he and Sally and Melly stayed with us again until they found a house just inside the Monroe City Limits and after that we saw them almost every day for years. Having kids that played together was part of it. Adam and Melly got along really well; she called him her "Big Twin Brother". They were a team right from the beginning. He was the big and strong, she was the little and light, but they thought alike. It was uncanny how efficiently they could organize themselves to a specific task. Like playing a game, or getting apples from the top of a tree: Adam would lift Melly up into the branches she couldn't reach, so that she could climb out on the highest branches which could not bear his weight, then she would simply hop down from absurdly high up, totally confident that he would catch her, which he always did. Later, when they got older and went to school, they would become a great study team: she would read school books aloud to him, also naming page numbers and he would remember every word, page by page, then feed it all back to her for discussion. They did quite well academically whenever they worked together.
When we got the piano we sometimes had sing-alongs. Elaine usually played piano, friends would bring instruments along-- Steve Bonneville was a fine guitar player, Sally played flute, Doug designed and played a broomstick-box bass, Dave the Hippie Mailman was a trained cellist and I would even drag out my old violin and we'd all wail out some bluegrass or funky 12-bar blues, or whatever somebody knew. And in the middle of all that, like star performers, Adam and Melly would do their song and dance routine, singing out melodies with sounds rather than words, bobbing accurately to the beat, Melly following him, then leading him. Sometimes Adam would move in close to observe people playing their instruments, focusing on their techniques and the sounds they produced. Everyone commented on it and on the sense of concentration they had felt emanating from him. He was trying to learn how to make music. There were lots of parties in those days, barbecues, weekends were often chaotic. Doug was partly responsible for that, he loved to get lots of people together and play loud music, dance, drink, be merry. We enjoyed it too, but he was the catalyst who kept the energy up, knew everybody to invite, told jokes and flirted with all the women just enough so that they had fun--and just innocently enough not to get in trouble with Sally. Clever guy. Sally was somewhat more serious (everyone was more serious than Doug), although she had fun at parties too. But she didn't flirt so much because men reacted to her beauty too strongly. I was lucky enough to be one of the few men she did allow herself to flirt with and took it as an honor. Actually, I has half in love with her and Elaine felt the same about Doug, which was comfortable for all of us somehow. We had a special 4-way love affair going on for years. Sally and Elaine were also a team in those years, not just as mothers and fellow shoppers, but also involved in projects together, political demonstrations for Women's Rights, Red Cross collection campaigns. They once drove to Montana to visit Elaine's folks on her family ranch, took the kids. That became a political struggle, since the IPR didn't want Adam to leave, so Sally called a studio lawyer she knew in Hollywood to make a smokescreen case out of it and off they went in the meantime. Sally's Hollywood film career kept arising to the surface every now and then. She had been in five movies in her early twenties, with a better role each time because she was actually a very good actress. Of course she'd gotten the babe and bimbo roles back when she started and after the Playboy shot her career was about to get bigger--she'd been offered a part in the Bayway TV series, because she looked so good with nothing on. But then she met Doug and Melly became her career instead, which she had never regretted. But Hollywood did not forget Sally Rathers. She had a manager who believed in her and wouldn't give up. As Melly got older Sally accepted some of the better scripts and began to make movies again, on a limited basis, one every other year, then one a year. Some of the movies were quite good, The Other Other Woman, Intimidation. She had a career again. Eventually she did become a genuine Movie Star, even won an Oscar. More about that later. Doug and Sally loved Adam as much as we did, it was wonderful having their help and support in those years. They were two such talented and attractive people that things went well for them, so it was good to have them on our side.

Chapter 7

Adam out of Eden