Born in 1952 as Kim Curtis, in Denver, Colorado, ManySkunks grew up in Wyoming in the Uranium boom town of Jeffrey City. He worked for many of the ranchers there, along the Sweetwater River, learning much about the history of the area. Some of these fine folks were quite old and had lived through much of the history in Wyoming. Learning about this history sparked a lifelong yearning to learn more about the history of the State.
About 38 years ago, an old fellow named Timber Jack Joe, who was part of the Wind River Mountain Men, a group of Wyoming residents who had researched much of the history of the mountaineers of the Fur Trade era and had transformed themselves into facsimilies of the real article, kindled another ember that got the young Kim to thinking that this must be what he was meant to do, too!
Kim's mother taught him to trap muskrats and he learned to trap beaver on his own by observing the sets made by others in the area. In doing so he became more familiar with the fur trade and the methods used both then and back in the old days.
When he was 9, his parents allowed him to be adopted into the Lakhota Nation. Most of you know them as Sioux, which is a derrogatory name derived from the Ojibway and imposed on these fine People by the white man who didn't know the difference and in all reality didn't care.
Years later, Kim became ManySkunks partly because of his ability as a skunk trapper and partly because of his ability as a trumpeter. The 1838 Rendezvous Association needed someone to bugle for the opening ceremonies for their first rendezvous on the original rendezvous site used both in 1830 and 1838. He bugled for them and they, in turn gave him a name. That name became ManySkunks, mostly due to the fact that he had trapped over 765 skunks that spring alone. They felt that he definately had earned the name.
A couple of years ago, as had often happened to American Indians in the old days his name was changed to CallsTheWind as it was noticed that whenever he sat and played the Indian flute the dead calm would be replaced by a cooling breeze. This is not a bad gift to have! Many rendezvous are very hot as most of the rendezvous re-enactments take place in the hot summer months, just as had the original ones. ManySkunks is still known by that name and by the new one, as well.
In the last couple of years CallsTheWind has found out that he is not only of Scot-Irish descent but also of Cherokee (Tsalagi) descent from his mother's side of the family which settled in North Carolina well over a century ago right near what is now known as Qualla Boundary, the country of the Eastern Cherokee.
Jeffrey City is located in Fremont County, Wyoming as is Lander, where he lived for years and the city of Riverton, where the original 1838 site is located. He and his wife, Jenaka now live in Ethete, Wyoming, a small community on the Wind River Indian Reservation, still in Fremont County.
The vast amount of history that has occured in this State and County is mind boggling. CallsTheWind still pursues the local and State history that has captivated him since his youth.
Lately, he has become interested in the blacksmithing trade. Not so much in the farrier end of things or the knife making, but more along the lines of creating useful items such as steak turners, flintlock and caplock black powder shooting tools, lantern hangers and even Scottish cloak pins and kilt pins. He finds smithing an outlet for boredom and frustration and a good craft to know. He turns out items of beauty and function that he sells at rendezvous throughout the western rendezvous circuit.
For quite a number of years, ManySkunks/CallsTheWind has given talks on the Mountain Men and the Fur Trade Era at schools events and at the Sinks Canyon State Park, just south of Lander. He help with the Oregon Trail sesquicentennial celebration at the location of the marker commemorating the crossing of Dr. Marcus Whitman and his wife, Narcissa, in 1836.
Among his current endeavors ManySkunks is working on a historical novel, focusing on a trapper among the Indians in the Wind River Valley, set in 1836.
In 1999, ManySkunks contracted a very rare imune disorder by the name of Stills Disease and since then had to have both knee and hip joints replaced. Both shoulders, the right ankle and both wrists are also infected and need work done. At this time he is not out and about. This disease is eating away on the end of his bones and is a very painfull affair. So therefore the forge is quiet and Rendezvous' just have to go on without him. He still keeps in touch with his Buckskinning buddies and Trapping friends and even though it is very painfull for him to walk and carrie heavy things, he created a shooting range in their empty pasture and is out and about there behind the house shooting and spinning yarn whenever someone is willing to go out there with him and do the things buckskinners normally do and he is cabable of doing at this stage of his illness. A hawk and knife block is next on the list and maybe with some help of his friends that will get accomplished this summer (2004). Their door is always open to friends and fellow buckskinners alike and everyone interested in the time of the great Rocky Mountain Trapping era is always more then welcome to come and take a load of, sit and talk, have some coffee or even spend the night, maybe even a couple of days. Since ManySkunks can not go out to see his friends, he is always delighted when one or two come by and spend some time.