My wife Danielle and I are, Lord willing, traveling to Hollywood in September to meet the production team for the Pennsylvania movie. In the first part I wrote about my quixotic quest to play the character Goa Eeguls in the movie. But I want you to know that it is a fun quixotic quest. I really don’t care much one way or the other. Sure, I am perfect for the part, and they should cast me, but I realize that they almost certainly won’t. But if they do… it’ll be great 😉
Just don’t take my quest as some sort of tiresome “striving for a goal.” That is not the way I think. I like the quest for the entertainment’s sake. It’s about the adventure. As a writer, one way or another I get to write about it, and that makes the quest worthwhile. So before you read this part two, maybe you should read part one? Or at least just realize that I’m doing all of this to entertain myself, because it’s fun.
Ok, after you read the general synopsis of Eeguls’ character in the last part, here is the canonical history of Goa Eeguls:
Canonical history of Goa Eeguls based on Michael Bunker’s books and short stories (as codified in the Pennsylvania AZ fan wiki: https://theaz.fandom.com/wiki/The_AZ_Wiki
- 2064: Eeguls born. This is four years before Jed leaves for New Pennsylvania, and fourteen years after The Transport Agency banned all private Transport. Twenty-four years after the end of the first Transport war.
- 2068: Start of the second Transport war. Eeguls parents die.
- 2081: Eeguls is married.
- 2085: Eeguls leaves Dry Valley Farm (and his wife) to live in the wild.
- 2100: Eeguls writes a short memoir in his own tongue which is found 50 years earlier in an Oklahoma okcillium mine and is considered “found rebel fiction.”
- 2121: Time frame of the primary events in Pennsylvania.
Eeguls is an important character in the novel, and he is 57 years old when he meets Jed. He could be younger in the movie, but who knows right now? He plays a bigger part in the literary sequels.
How does the character known as Eeguls, BECOME Eeguls? In the short story “Becoming Eagles” we learn that he lived on his grandfather’s farm after his parents died at the beginning of the Second Transport War when Eeguls was only 4 years old. He loved living there when his grandfather ran the farm, but after his grandfather died, the farm was taken over by cousins and the place went downhill. Eeguls is forced to marry a second cousin in order to give the cousins control of the farm, and eventually he tires of their wickedness and greed. As a child he used to roam the wilds and he would see the eagles in the sky. He told himself one day he would be free like those eagles. So he leaves to go hunting one day and never returns.
As an adult, he became a “Wild One,” one of the salvagers and survivalists who lived and thrived on the edges of what was left of society. They salvaged in the old bombed out cities, trading and bartered where they could. Eeguls is a loner, who will fight when he has to, but he prefers to live as a free man on his own. There are several instances where he joins up with the resistance to fight against the ruling Transport Agency — and the story that takes place in Pennsylvania is one of these instances. He has a moral compass, but he doesn’t feel pressured to fit into any “system” and he prefers to live his life dependent on himself and God and nature, rather than on any particular political system.
If you haven’t picked it up so far, and you didn’t read the first part. I’M TALKING ABOUT ME! My wife and I started exiting “the system” in 1997, went fully off-grid in 2005, and have learned to chart our own path, live off the land as much as we can, to produce for ourselves, and to try to stay out of the political squabbles that seem to have overtaken the world. I based the character on myself… maybe an idealistically pure version of myself, but myself all the same. That’s why I think I should play the part.
I shoot. I live without the artificial brute force manipulation of my environmental temperature 24/7, I can live off the land, I can stink, and I can insult people and use poor English if I must!
Sooo…. we’ve come to my BECOMING EAGLES workout plan. You’ve been waiting for it, and here it is.
Our water pump (that we use to get water to the gardens and the animals, has been down for a few months. <— this is the first step of the workout plan. BE FORCED TO WORK OUT! I end up carrying about 120 gallons of water just for the animals every day. Sometimes more. It goes like this (and remember, it is 100 degrees every day.) The water is in a cistern. It hasn’t rained in most of a month, so the cistern water level is down about 5 or 6 feet. So this involves dropping a bucket and letting it fill up. The bucket (now weighing a little over 40lbs) is pulled up. I try to do a snatch and grab movement, switching arms with each rep. The water is lifted up chest high, lowered, then poured into a bucket to be carried. Two buckets a time are carried to the trunk of the car. When Danielle is off working (and has the car) or out of town, I do an extra workout of carrying each bucket two at a time the length of a football field. Six buckets fit in the trunk, so 6 reps of the snatch and grab and pour. Then carried two at a time to the car. I drive to the first spot (the horses,) and drop off 15 gallons. They will have it gone in less than 2 minutes. Then I drive to the pigs and drop off another 15 gallons. Drive back to the cistern. (Don’t forget getting out to get gates each stop.) Do the whole thing again. Another 15 gallons to the horses and another 15 to the pigs. Back to the cistern. Maybe 10 gallons to the horses, 5 more to the pigs, and then 15 to the sheep. Back to the cistern. Ten to the sheep, 5 more to the pigs, 5 to the horses, then 10 to another pig pen where we only have two pigs. Also during this time, I haul about 60 lbs. of soaked corn/water to the pigs as a snack (they get a ration and sometimes free-range too.) The whole process takes about an hour in the heat. Sometimes it is shorter, sometimes longer. Sometimes I have to haul hay bales to the sheep. I have to be flexible. Remember, sometimes I do this whole process, but without the car.
Do this every day for the hot part of the summer. Add walking. I walk from the cottage to the office and back about 8-10 times a day. That’s 300 yards, 16-20 times a day, not counting any other regular farm work walking. That’s close to 3 miles a day, just going back and forth to the office.
That’s the backbone of the Becoming Eagles workout. August is here, and I plan on ramping it up a bit with some special dietary machinations and perhaps some other exercises. I should be in tip-top shape physically and mentally when they tell me I’m not going to play Eeguls in the movie!