Which Came First - Kokopeli or The Eye?


In them thar days (late 1940's) simple folk (like me) did not have stickers like now. I hand painted in red an image of Kokopeli. Note the image of the flute player in the upper left hand conner. I have always spelled it, with one 'L' but I guess times change, or maybe both ways are correct. The image was on each side of my gas tank. This web link of " Kokopelli" is one of the best I have seen.

As to the reason for my choosing the "Indian" (Native American) symbol is, I had been married for several years to an "Indian" woman whose family was from Nak Nek, Alaska, which made her an Aleut. I was very interested in the Anasazi culture at that time, and that is where I came across a depiction of Kokopeli in a library text book. As in the "Legends & Lore" section, I guess "whimsical nature, charitable deeds, and vital spirit" could apply to the Birney of Yore -- at least regarding "spirit." "Normal" people just did not "DO" what I did, i.e. the motorcycle trip which the pilot and TV series was based on by my friend Denne Petitclerc.

< My spare tire cover on my motor coach.

It was the same with my later sailing trip when my friends and family were horrified that I was quitting a good job and sailing off to nowhere. Further on in "Lore," I see that Kokopeli "possessed a playful, carefree nature, etc.," and that he was a "storyteller". On my business card is "Journalist / Raconteur," viz-a-viz Storyteller?) Now here is a good one: I see that Kokopeli was considered "the "original" journalist." Wow! I had no idea that, in the future I was to be a journalist! You can see why I chose the Kokopeli symbol.

As to the All Seeing Eye, as I recall this was brought up at a Bronson executive meeting during the predevelopment of the pilot, where I had a small say, but not much. Using Kokopeli possibly could be demeaning to the Indian culture as Kokopeli, after all, is an "Indian" Deity. It was either Denne Petitclerc or Herbert Solo (the executive producer of the series) who thought up the 'All Seeing Eye' and I thought, at the time, it was a good idea and obviously it was.

To this day, my motor home's spare tire cover on the back has a depiction of Kokopeli painted thereon (60 years later) -- but this time by my daughter of my now-deceased "Indian" spouse. Marilynn inherited much of her mother's talent in that she designs and paints ceramic pottery (or anything else) using mainly ancient "Indian" designs. Many of these are sold at a Reservation / Casino a few miles from my home and through other sources. Marilynn has won numerous county fair prizes for this type of work and for crocheted items ranging from napkins to bedspreads. I am proud of her.

Hang in there. - Birney, 1929 - 2012