Kidnapped by a Red-Haired Viking!

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Having been kidnapped by a red-haired Viking berserker and Tui-na master with an uncanny resemblance to Sammy Hagar, I now find myself in the wilds of western Montana, in the middle of the craziest adventure of my life.

Meeting Jesse for the first time was an extremely unsettling experience. I was riding the city bus one Sunday afternoon in 2012, happily absorbed in a book, when a man got on. I may never have noticed him, except that my mother immediately called out a greeting and proceeded to introduce us. She had chanced to meet him once before at a bus stop, and had later waxed enthusiastic about his story of healing by a Chinese doctor and subsequent apprenticeship. My response had been a roll of the eyes, as she had a history of meeting “fascinating” people on the bus, notably overly friendly men a little too keen on her smile.

Smiling brightly now she said, “Rose, meet Jesse.”

I looked up from my book, prepared with the usual polite smile I gave all strangers in whom I had no interest, and was startled to silence. Jesse was looking at me unsmiling with a strange expression I could not read. Tall and fierce with long, curling red hair, he was so unlike what I expected I didn’t know what to think. My first impression was that he did not like me, but I found I couldn’t really fathom him or his reaction to me. We exchanged no words, and after a few moments he sat down and began a conversation with my mother. It was not until years later that I understood what had happened.

Being observant by nature, and a keen judge of others, I was used to seeing others without being seen. Not even my closest friends or family had ever penetrated the veil of mystery and secrecy I lived behind. Twenty years in the making, the wall I had build between myself and the world was strong and impenetrable – or so I had thought. Now with no warning, I had looked up at a complete stranger and, to my utter astonishment, found him looking at me.

Terrified and somewhat indignant at being thus discovered, I instantly threw up additional defenses, which Jesse later told me he felt as a tremendous output of energy so intense it almost knocked him over. Hence the strange look on his face I had at first interpreted as hostility. I must have been 24 at the time. He thought I was 16.

I went back to my book, dismissing the incident with the assumption I would never see the man again. For a long while it seemed I was right. Then, two years later in the summer of 2014, by the strangest chance – or fate – our paths crossed again. But that is another story…

 

Read more at Mountain Rose Tales.

Redhead Capitol of Missoula Montana

Missoula ValleyAfter seeing so many redheads here in Missoula, I knew I had moved to the right place. I am not sure what draws people with red hair to this beautiful valley in the mountains but here we are anyways. There have been a large Irish immigration to the area including the nearby city of Butte which boasts to have had the greatest number of immigrants from Ireland to the USA during the copper mine days. In addition, I quite often meet gingers that have moved here from my home state of Minnesota where based on my ancestry can be Irish,  German or Scandinavian-like Red-haired Vikings. My goal is to organize a redhead festival of Western Montana. Thanks for your help!