I wrote this article in response to a recent story that appeared in The Oklahoman and was reprinted in the
Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale
Welcome back. Many people have asked me to comment on the recent newspaper article concerning Chub Anderson and the Mullendore murder. The following is my recollection of the time I spent with Chub, which I hope reflects my respect for all the parties involved in this tragedy.
It was July 5, 2006 when I had my first real visit with a man who had become a legendary figure in this part of the world. The wrinkles in his face showed he’d spent many a day outdoors in severe weather and his bowed legs spoke of hours on horseback. Several of his fingers were gnarled from various mishaps but he was still able to write. Captured with little but the clothes on his back and facing severe medical problems, much of his life was focused on sheer survival.
He first asked to meet with me after a chance encounter at his sentencing hearing in Sedan, Kansas and to this day I’m not sure why. There were plenty of reporters on hand who were willing to pay to gain his attention and his trust. His life experiences had taught him to read people through eye contact, facial expressions and body language. He could see right through people and understand their motives almost immediately. On many occasions I saw him quickly assess the people who came knocking on his door, some of whom were friends and some of whom were complete strangers. Regardless, they all called him Chub. That’s how it was when we first met and that’s how it was when he died.
After several months spent getting to know one another while he was incarcerated, I eventually agreed to make a trip to Alder, Montana. This is the small mountain town where he had been living for most of the last sixteen years before his capture.
In the time just before his arrest Chub had been living in one seedy hotel after another in Helena, Montana keeping his few remaining possessions in an old travel trailer which was stored on a friend’s property high in the mountains outside of Alder, There were several boxes of handwritten notes and paperwork, old clothes and some home movies he had made of himself in better days. He’d bought the camera right after he went the run in 1990, fleeing the charges related to his most recent arrest for pot growing in Kansas. As a result he had also violated his probation for similar charges in Oklahoma. He created a new life for himself as “Jack Everett” and managed to avoid capture for sixteen years. This is when he purchased a top of the line (for the day) movie camera and tripod to film what he would later describe “as the best time in my life.”
Chub asked me to retrieve these films along with the boxes of paperwork and a few personals items. He kept a few clothes and left the rest with me to refer to while I was writing the story of his life.
Over time Chub told me about the most important things in his life; the good and the bad things he had done, his relationships with friends and lovers, his family and his enemies. In the months before his capture he hadn’t had much company and later when he was paroled in Kansas and eventually moved into a small apartment, things didn’t change much. I visited him several times a week to work on my project and I found there were a few people who were devoted to helping him but many others came to see him out of curiosity rather than genuine friendship. Chub could be charming to these people and would usually entertain them with well practiced stories from the past.
With all that said, its time for March Madness and with Oklahoma State beating Kansas on Saturday, I am ready for the playoffs! Although it was cold and blowing ice outside, those of us who were inside Gallagher-IBA Arena for the game didn’t care. The arena was sold out from the court side seats to the rafters and everyone was there; Big Country Bryant Reese, Eddie Sutton, Danny Manning and even the Oklahoma City Thunder including Kevin Durant. There were also a large number of Kansas alumni and fans all dressed in Kansas blue. With emotions running high I’m happy to report that good sportsmanship was practiced all the way around and everyone had a great time.
Till next week I’ll see ya down the road………………….