The Blue Bear
Lynn Schooler, The Blue Bear: A True Story of Friendship and Discovery in the Alaskan Wild, (New York: Harper Collins), 2003.
This may not be the most polished memoir ever written in terms of language use and metaphor, but it contains one of the most compelling stories of our time. The relationship that Lynn Schooler developed with Michio Hoshino is truly unique in terms of honesty, trust, shared values and an understanding of place in the world.
Lynn Schooler had plenty of experiences that made him a bit distant from others and a loner in many ways. It wasn't easy for him to learn to trust. But Michio Hoshino was the kind of person that almost everyone who knew him felt that they had a best friends status. Through the pursuit of photographs that would tell the true story of the glory and grandeur of Alaska, Michio and Lynn formed a friendship that extends beyond the limits of time, space and human mortality.
Scholar chooses to tell the story of Michio by telling us his own story and in doing so, exhibits a trust that we might not expect if we were to have known the details of his life story.
I discovered the story because of my interest in Alaska. I found that it was a story not to be missed. From that story, I have gone on an journey of other books by Hoshino and Schooler and the authors that they enjoyed. It is a journey that continues.