By Anne Sullivan
A record crowd of 49 came to the Quemado Senior Center on Friday, Sept. 17 to see Petr Jandacek in The Iceman Talketh. The performance was presented by Northern Catron County’s Roadrunner Arts Council under the auspices of the New Mexico Humanities Council and the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.
Costumed in a warm furry outfit (made by his mother-in-law), Jandacek told how he - as the Otzi Man - died 5,300 years ago in the Otzial Alps between Austria and Italy, and was discovered frozen in a glacier in 1991.
A coppersmith by trade, the Otzi Man was found with tools, a backpack, two birchbark buckets, a quiver with 13 arrows, a flint knife, some sloe plums and even a poisonous mushroom he used as an antibiotic to rid himself of parasites.
Jandacek had replicas of everything found with the Otzi Man and he explained their use to the audience as well as demonstrating how he lit a fire, used thongs for a calendar and made his own shoes. A nurse from the audience helped demonstrate how to remove an arrow.
Jandacek also told of his birth in Czechoslovakia near where the Otzi Man was found and his adventurous journey to the United States and Chicago at the age of nine. Everyone, including Mr.and Mrs. Jandacek, enjoyed the splendid lasagna and ice cream sundae dinner served by the Senior Center.