|Born in rural Manitoba in 1935, I first moved to Winnipeg in 1942. Even so, I took every chance to spend time back in the country with relatives during school vacations. In days before electricity, good roads and so many other amenities we take for granted today, the lure of the country still drew me back in happy anticipation. Big stands of poplar trees with their leaves rustling in the breezes seemed to whisper secrets of the forest and all it’s mystery, filling my imagination.In 1976 my wife and I moved back on to our own acreage close enough to commute to my city job. This place too had its poplar grove that gave us many pleasurable hours. It was here that storytelling around a bond fire on warm summer nights became a habit.As grandchildren came along and became curious about life, they would ask many questions and pose all sorts of situations that puzzled them. I found very quickly that by telling them stories from the distant past to address their questions, it would impress them far more than any advice or instruction I might offer.
Some of the stories are traditional and have been told time and time again. Others just appear out of nowhere. Sometimes the Silverfox whispers them to me through the trees if I happen to be listening. I become aware that I am in a sacred place where I must walk quietly with respect. There are spirits in such places that seem to speak to me. Other times I might be looking up at the night sky and get the feeling that I am not alone.
And so, my heart and mind are filled with the gifts of stories from all time past, just waiting to be told to young and old alike.
Translating and narrating the marvelous adventure tales of Karl May’s American west leaves me in the same state of mind. I magically become Old Shatterhand himself and am at home in the forests and deserts and mountains of his Wild West.
Audio Books by Victor Epp
The Winnetou I, three Disk Audio CD collection for PC and DVD players is here! These Audio tracks can be played on most modern DVD players as well as any Personal Computer. This famous Karl May tale, narrated by Victor Epp, is filled with excitement and pathos. It highlights the plight of the Native American people and the greed of the White man, an avaricious relationship that is the basis of all ill deeds perpetrated by mankind upon its brothers. During the many hours of audio, the listener is transported to a world that is at once alien and yet enticing. It is an experience that is not easily forgotten.
View All of Victor Epp’s Video Clips here.
Karl May Translations
This is the second book in the Winnetou trilogy which was later followed by a final fourth volume in the series that dealt with the legacy of this great Apache chief. This second volume was also translated by Victor Epp, who transformed his translation into an Audio Book. Here now is a short movie clip for your enjoyment.
“Now revenge drives me away from you,” Winnetou had said, “but affection will bring us together again.
But would it? Would Winnetou succeed in finding Santer and avenging the murders of his father Intshu–tshuna and his beautiful sister Nsho–tshi? Would the two blood brothers ever meet again in that vast, raw land
It seemed an outside chance at best and now Old Shatterhand, on his way to his homeland to visit his parents was shipwrecked in a violent hurricane on the jagged rocks just off Fort Jefferson leaving him with nothing but his life. This now was all but impossible.
Not wanting to be a burden to his friends back in St. Louis, Old Shatterhand opted to make his own fresh start, to get back on his feet. Where better than in New York, to where the people of Fort Jefferson had arranged free passage for him?
The book bristles with action and hair-raising adventure from a death-defying rescue through the flames of an oil fire in the New Venango oil fields to the Comanche slaughter at the hands of the Apache under the mighty Winnetou, finally standing shoulder to shoulder with the giant, Old Firehand against the white chief Parranoh and his Ponca tribe.
The tables are turned on Old Shatterhand and Winnetou when the trader to whom they are seeking to sell Old Firehand’s furs, turns out to be none other than the evil and elusive Santer.
Karl May has once again produced a blockbuster of an adventure tale to inspire people both young and old in a manner only a master storyteller can.
This is the first book in the Winnetou trilogy which was later followed by a final fourth volume in the series that dealt with the legacy of this great Apache chief. This volume was translated by Victor Epp, who also transformed his translation into an Audio Book. Here now is a short movie clip for your enjoyment.
One blow to the temple with his fist brought Rattler to the ground unconscious, and earned him the name, ‘Old Shatterhand’. The name stuck. From that day on he was Old Shatterhand to all but the wily frontiersman Sam Hawkens, his friend and mentor who just couldn’t bear to give up calling him a Greenhorn.
Fate took the young immigrant teacher from a comfortable tutoring position in St. Louis to a survey job for the railroad between the Rio Pecos and Canadian Rivers in New Mexico. It was there that the inborn instincts of a true frontiersman could harness his mighty physical strength, his unerring marksmanship, and total fearlessness in the face of danger or even imminent death.
Facing down a charging bull buffalo with only a pair of pistols, or tangling with a mighty grizzly with his Bowie knife was one thing. But fulfilling Klekih – petra’s dying request to befriend and watch over Winnetou was quite another. They were surveying on Apache territory without permission, and now that a drunken Rattler had senselessly shot the ‘White Father’ and teacher of the Apache nation, they were mortal enemies.
Both men admitted later on that the first look into one another’s eyes had stirred a sense of admiration. Now it seemed all but hopeless. But to Old Shatterhand, a promise made is a promise kept. He would not give up until it was done, no matter what the cost.
Hair-raising adventure spiced with the acid humor of the wry Sam Hawkens leaves room for the high moral values of both Winnetou and Old Shatterhand in the fight of good against evil, and a life-long blood brotherhood between the two men.
Some of the stories contained in this collection have their origins in oral folklore, ancient myths and legends of the various nations who first populated North America. There is a long list of people who have heard and collected and recorded these stories, all the way from Lewis and Clark, to David Thompson to Ella Elizabeth Clark, and many in between whose diligent and dedicated work has served to preserve small snippets and smatterings of the remarkable richness these complex and sophisticated cultures offered up. We owe a debt of gratitude to all those who had the foresight and took the time to pluck these stories from the realm of oral traditions so that they would not be lost to future generations who might not otherwise have the means to hear the fundamental wisdom embedded in them. These stories are presented to pay homage to the ancient ones whose understanding of the world around them often far exceeded that of our sophisticated modern day civilizations. With deep respect to the tribes and nations whose ancestors these ancient ones were, I have tried to present them in a language universally understood in today’s world while staying true to the meaning behind the stories, to the best of my own understanding.
My speculation on how these letters eventually came into my hands is a bit of romantic daydreaming. I like to think that Yuri must have had a hand in binding them into the heavy leather cover. He would have the means to do that. I want very much to think that he and Trintje actually traveled to Gerhard’s original home and got to meet and embrace Katarina. What a lovely meeting that would have been. At least, that is my fantasy. I like to think she had an audience with a prince and his wife. That would be something that no Mennonite would ever pass up, and then receiving official documents from them; that would carry some considerable weight. It would be all over town in the blink of an eye. Katarina could then have confronted her father-in-law who, after reading the letters became contrite and penitent, and thus passing them on to another of his sons and so on down the line. Unfortunately that could not have happened because David the father died on September 25th of 1802, about the time of Gerhard’s last letter.
But I cling to the notion that such a meeting took place and by it, Katarina’s life was thus fulfilled and Gerhard’s letters were not in vain. I fantasize that she kept the letters close to her until her demise. Perhaps a brother of Gerhard’s received them to pass them on to the next generation. I’ll not waver from that thought. The time is getting shorter in my own life until I may have the opportunity to join him where he now is. I’ll ask him about it.
The chief spoke; “Nohtawenan saweyiminan oma Ka Kesikak”
Ohkom’s English response; “Our father, bless us this day”
Chief; “Ayis Kiyehewini pimatisiwin”
Ohkom; “For your breath is life”
Chief; “Sayweyiminan mena ota mamawai Kayayahk”
Ohkom “And Bless us here together”
Chief; “Meyinan, muskawisewin mena ayinesewin”
Ohkom; “Give us — strength and wisdom”
Chief; “Ta natohtamahk menata nahehtamahk”
Ohkom; “To listen and to hear”
Chief; “Namoya ayiwakeyimowin ta pimitsahamahk”
Ohkom; “Not to follow enviousness”
Chief; “Meyinan asumena ta wapahatamahk”
Ohkom; “Give us again to see”
Chief; “Sakastewini mena ka nanskomitinan”
Ohkom; “Sunrise and sunset”
Chief: “Hiy hiy ki anaskomitinan”
Ohkom; “Thank you, we are all most thankful”
Chief; “Pitane ekosi teyihki”
Ohkom; “Hoping that will happen”
The group now rose up from their places and formed a long line to shake hands and greet the two women, their own beloved Ohkom, the Spirit Speaker and Marie as well. Marie couldn’t believe the kind and gentle friendliness of these savage heathens.
Ohkom’s grandmother leaned over and said quietly, “It is not we who are the savages.”
Marie was thunderstruck that the woman had read her mind. Was it true that these people could read the thoughts of others? “No, no, not everybody,” said Ohkom, laughing.
|Now available in Softcover format :|
From the Author:
I was thinking about writing a book about a remarkable young man who lived to the age of forty-two with a disease called neurofibromatosis. That was about thirty-nine or forty years longer than predicted. The reason I knew him so well was that he was the son of a lifelong friend of mine. It wasn’t until I attended the funerals of the young man and a few months later of his father, my friend that I decided to do it.
Having no idea of how to begin or what to say in my book, I let it write itself as it were. Of course I had to protect the identity of my friend an his son, so I decided on a fictional flight of fancy, inserting as much of their personalities and activities into the narrative as possible. It took a few months to get it all done, because the story kept taking unexpected turns and I could literally do nothing except try to keep up with it. I wasn’t sure of what I had written when it was complete until I started editing.
Each time I went through the book I discovered new revelations I hadn’t even realized. One of the most striking things I discovered was the tremendous contribution to society made by people with “disabilities” to the community as a whole. Doctors and nurses and caregivers of course make their living serving these people, but aside from making a living, the benefits that accrue to them as a result of this work are monumental. And the volunteers, often considered the heroes of social services are tenfold beneficiaries of the lives of the people they serve.
You could say that if anyone can make the world a better place, it would be people with “disabilities” and not the world leaders as we might expect. It kind of turns the world on its head and makes a mockery of the “top down” system of benevolence.
As a bit of a fatalist, I am grateful to be chosen to write this narrative an hope that I have given it a credible effort. I sincerely hope the reader will find the same revelations I did.