What Really Went Wrong With Les Stroud?
Who Really is
Les Stroud? I will tell you. Stroud is a Canadian survival expert, filmmaker and musician best known as the creator, writer, producer, director, cameraman and host of the television series Survivorman. After a short career behind the scenes in the music industry, Stroud became a full-time wilderness guide, survival instructor and musician based in Huntsville, Ontario. I didn't see the importance of publishing his birth date.
I give Stroud, the husky heterosexual man a lot of credit. It's not every day that a person well known and recognized in Four Star restaurants gets his own separate Wikipedia mentions. I noticed that Stroud was noticed for his name and the good folks at Wiki threw in his jobs and skills and I glanced at the bottom, (a sign of boredom), and there was Stroud again in his own Wikipedia piece about Survivorman. But out of my pure love for Les and his various contributions to Canada and the world, I am including both of his Wiki links.
Les Stroud is
in my rural opinion, very approachable, stoic, and has a high IQ. Stroud doesn't need a cardboard sign hung around his neck telling how high his IQ really is. And while I do not mean to imply anything dark, or things people say in hushed breath in dark alleys, I just mean that take a look at his skills. If I were sitting here in my living room slugging black coffee cup after cup, and this nice-talking voice whispered . . ."Kennnnn, leave your home . . . live in some wilderness," Stroud would be who I would trust to advice me.
But right off the bat what stood out from his personal Wiki was that line "after a short career in the music industry," now who's resume is Stroud trying to inflate? All that I have heard (and seen) him play was a harmonica and I give him credit for building a shelter, killing some game with a complex trap, and builds a roaring fire by rubbing two sticks together and collecting an ember . . .well, you do not need me to tell you that Les Stroud should play harmonica. It's tough on him lugging a 12-string Martin acoustic guitar across his back around the countryside.
Truthfully, Stroud, from the Survivorman episodes, looks on the surface to be wound really tight. I took it on myself to train my eyes to focus "only" on his facial expressions, eye movement. and what position he kept his lips and for how long. Stroud, when explaining almost-every move of whatever show he is showing, he talks low and precise. Great if you are CIA opp, but Stroud, you are a survivalist. Remember that. And as for eye movement, he would explain good places to drink water and when he stooped to get a sip, his eyes grew squinted and quickly threw his head back in a whip-like fashion. Many times he only got ONE sip of the secretive water and that told me that Stroud might be related to the Man of Steel---because a man with his discipline doesn't need a lot of water.
I was taken back in the early episodes of Survivorman and even now, I do not know why. But with a personality like Les Stroud, it pays someone like me, a 64-year-old American man, with security challenges and other touchy skills that I am doing rather well to face (these) cracks in my mirror without the costly Sociological and Psychiatric (Medicines) an hour and 15 minutes west of my home over in Elvis Presley's birth place, Tupelo, Miss.
One of Stroud's staged survival episode where he was teaching me and other viewers, how to survive without food, water, and shelter on a deserted island just off the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean. All Stroud had to live on in his normal teaching time of seven days--was his three portable cameras, his clothing, and a pencil--and he was going to teach me how to survive with little of nothing. Listen, Les! I am a big man and I do get hungry, so ease up on the fasting or lack of food which I find no difference. and teach me how to hold my breath for more than four minutes--I think a Navy SEAL went for six. Four will be okay, Les, since I am too old to even talk to a Navy recruiter about becoming a Seal. I should do that one day before I pass away--I would love to see the young man's face, the recruiter, you see? When hard pressed, I can form my facial expression into a stone faced Riverboat Gambler that would make Bart Maverick lurk in my shadow.
So after a few trying commercials--the best dog food, why I should buy a used Toyota and move to India for the cost of living being so low. With a line-up like that, the channel (which shall remain nameless) should end-up in the black at the end of the next Fiscal Quarter of Audits. But me? Move to India? Gotta take a pass on this one, Les. Although the Indian women are beautiful, I just cannot pull up stakes and move way across the world, learn a new language and live off of super-spicy food. Sorry. A swing and a miss.
Back to where Les was "stranded" as he was in that episode's script, he grabbed up a half-eaten papaya fruit, possibly gobbled down by some power crazed gorilla, and with the lip speed of a tobacco barn auctioneer, Les Stroud squinted both eyes and told me everything that needed to know about the many uses of papaya fruit and some stuff that I know that I would never use. Stroud is very organized in his thought process. I give him credit.
When his four-minute Papaya Presentation was over, I was emotionally refreshed when Stroud told me and the TV viewers that his son, Logan, was going to join him and help him teach people that even when you have nothing, you can still live quite well. Les also has a daughter, Raylan, but she was much smarter than Logan because who wants to sleep inside a musky cave and spiders, both poisonous and harmless and a few fire ants eat at your exposed body as if you were a piece of meat that the butcher forgot to put back into his cooler. Note: do not picture this, please.
Question: if you were Les Stroud, busy, helpful, and loaded with survival skills, why would you ask your only son to be with you on an episode filmed on the Andaman Islands with no visible means in which to support yourself? I am sure that Stroud was a fantastic dad as well as being a fantastic husband, but that role of Stroud being a husband had ended due to Stroud and his wife, Susan Jamison, married in 1994, divorced 2008.
And as Stroud said, "if you're like me--work seven days a week, teaching survival skills, gone for weeks at the time . . .takes a toll on a man, eh?" and winked. I am not one to poke around Les Stroud's life, but I would wager even money if he had only stayed home more, his wife would not have left him.
Throughout the hour episode of Survivorman that I watched, I saw Logan be in one scene with his dad, Les, while they were gathering firewood--the rest of the show where Logan's presence was needed, he was seen fishing on the beach; running while seagulls were squawking at him and Les was doing the voice-over about the Andaman Islands being so beautiful, but oh, so stark, as he put it.
As my main headline might imply whether or not something might be wrong with Les Stroud, besides the divorce, I wonder if you or anyone ever watched Stroud and a buddy who camped in the Pacific Northwest looking for Bigfoot--and as Stroud went into painful explanation, Bigfoot is a real part of many lives. I've never seen one up close, but that may change, he added. In the photo that I didn't publish was a photo of Stroud running from what appears to be an angry Bigfoot in the background trying to catch Stroud, his camerman and producer. I really didn't have the heart to put Stroud as a Bigfoot fan.
I chose the two photos (out of the many photos) that I wanted to use with this personal commentary and I thought that the two photos of Les Stroud looked every bit the strong, worldy, and burly type that someone said might be going on the Danger of Extinction List. What a shame. What a doggoned shame, as the late blues legend, Otis Redding said in one of his songs.
If you want to know more about Les Stroud, just log onto these links:
© 2018 Kenneth Avery