i had fun at the fulton county’s trail of courage 09. heres a picture of me after they gave me the key to fulton county. looks like i turned native on us eh. many at the festival dressed up in clothes that would have been worn before the 1830s. i thought i would be a sport and dress up also. i could have worn one of my roaches but the style of the potawatomi in that area was to wear a turban. so i put one on. i havent worn a beaded bag my great uncle gave me so i wore it. i made my leggings and had the rest of the things already.
they must not see many indians around indiana. when i walked around i heard little kids say things like ‘wow look, an indian’. or others would come up to me and talk. i politely answered every question. many had an interest in indians. i even had one lady come up to me and asked ‘are you a genuine indian?” that made me chuckle. i replied i dont know bout that but i am indian. we talked awhile. the lady got all apologetic about what happened ‘to the native americans’. i told her we still here, in spite of what happened. that kinda eased her mind somewhat.
i plan on going back again. it was that much fun. i didnt get to see everything. i had to give a presentation each morning about my history. that was easy. then each afternoon they would have an hour of indian dancing. i was required to be there as the honored indian. since i already had my gear on i even danced. showed them some of my moves. i havent danced much in public before. maybe some honor song for a friend or relative. so i danced for the festival people. many of the other dancers came up to me and we became friends. one nice old lady told me i was ‘a magnificent man’. i hugged her. seems i hugged many people all weekend. the people there were so friendly. i was happy to have met them. many thanked me for coming and invited me back. or told me of other festivals that were held up there.
i was allowed to have a stand. they had 200 stands there. i sold a few things. i gave alot of things away as gifts. people would just stop to talk and admire my art. they usually have 18,000 people go thru there on a weekend. i received many compliments on my art. a young lady that was one of the aztec dancers liked my hand drums. said she didnt have the money to buy one. so i gave her one of my miniature hand drums. she liked that. when they were dancing on stage later she smiled at me. other people gave me gifts so i just took things off my stand and gave it to them in return. kinda humbled me that people were so nice to me. as i always say there are many good people everywhere. my wife mary would watch the stand while i was away.
even though i didnt get to see every stand i did visit many of them. i admired each craftsmens art. i bought a striker to make fire with from a blacksmith who made them. i stopped and talked to a flintnapper. i asked him what he did with the discarded pieces. he said he just made smaller pieces from them. he asked me why i asked. i told him i liked sharp edged ones to make fire with. so he went thru his pile and gave me a nice piece of flint. i asked how much and he just smiled and said it was mine. so i took his picture. i bought an otter hide from another dealer. it was priced 125 dollars, but he took 80 for it. i will make a turban with that. i bought some woven leg bands from another nice gentleman. it was a set with a belt but he broke the set for me. he told me they were hudson bay colors. i like them. i bought a straight razor from one stand, to go with my shaving cup and soap. maybe i will shave with them sometime. i bought some lye soap from a nice old lady that had a stand next to mine.
there were so many stands i didnt get to see all of them. every time i would walk somewhere people would stop and talk with me. it would take me an hour to get a hundred feet. i sampled alot of the food stands. most food was cooked over a fire, i like it that way. they had a canoe ride up the tippecanoe river for a buck. i didnt get to do that. i know potawatomis canoed up that river in the old days. maybe next trip i will do that.
i met people i knew from last years trail of death. i stayed with a coupla of them. people put us up every night all the way there and back. one night i had offers to stay in 3 places but i did want to camp at least one night. there is something about sleeping on grandmother earth. people fed us too, many fine meals. i took pictures but not enough. i wish i had more. maybe i will post pictures on my facebook. i will remember everyone i met and all the places i seen, even without pictures. it was indeed an honor to have been with everyone i met. i had one hellva weekend.
packed and ready to go. been up for this trip for a few weeks. been so busy harvesting the garden and drying, freezing and canning what came from it. gardening is a full time hobby, vocation or whatever the hell you wanta call it. it takes half a years time. i still have things to pick when i get back. it has been an amazing growing year. may not see one like this again for awhile.
all i need now is some cheap cigars, some coffee and some road. tomorrow i will drive into the rising sun. it will be at my back when i quit driving for the day. there is something about being on the road. wouldnt want to do that all the time though. i enjoy my home life. i remember some of them old indians saying sometimes you gotta step back from where you at to see where you at. then you appreciate it more. amen to that.
i will meet people i travelled with on the retracing of the trail of death thing i was on last year bout this time. i will visit with them and some are putting me up for the night. we became good friends in a short while. there is always good people in this world.
i like to see places where potawatomi people lived or travelled thru. i know alot of my history. i like to personallly see the places i learned about. when i visited where our people lived up north i can see why they wanted to stay there. i also understand why our people came here. the way i see things we are one people. dont go along with that separate nations thing. we just one nation. too bad we dont live that way. it used to be that way.
i kinda dont know bout being an honored indian, like i will be up where i am going. i have devoted a good part of my life to learning our history, genealogy, language , culture etc. and i have tried to keep what i learned going. sometimes its a thankless job. the more you do the more is expected from you. i do what i do because it is what i believe in. dont really need anyones thanks or approval. we have people that hate on others for no reason at all. sometimes for merely being in another family. so its kinda nice that somewhere someone wants to honor me. hell yeah i will take that. i know that most people will never have the opportunity to learn some of the things i have been exposed to. my teachers have gone on. they were great teachers. i honor them by living the life i live. thats a hard life to life. so i will enjoy this weekend very much.
scraped an elk hide almost all day today. finally got it done. i then strung 3 hand drums. i put one drum head and lacing in the freezer to take with me on my road trip. i have to demonstrate my craft at my stand. so i will string a hand drum. the drums i made today are still drying. i am anxious to hear what kind of sound they will produce. i bet they will sound good. i like elk hide hand drums. they have a different tune. i will make some with deer hide later. they have a good sound too.
i am anxious to hit the road. we leave early thursday morning. maybe before sunrise. got a coupla stops to visit with friends. nice to know people from other places. we have a place to stay all the way up there and back. we will camp two nights at the festival. they really get into it there. they have an old time village, log cabins and canvas lean tos. they have 1200 people that dress up like in the early 1800s. they cook everything on the fire. lotsa craftsman will show their crafts and how to do them. they have canoe rides on the tippecanoe river, our people traveled that river. it really sounds like fun.
i put together an outfit to wear at the festival. i have white buckskin leggings with a breechcloth, ribbon shirt, yarn belt, fully beaded moccasins and a fully beaded bandeloir. i put it on to see how it all fit and damn i really look like an indian. since they all dressed up i thought i would get into it too. they will honor me twice during the indian dance part of the festival. so i thought i would dance too. so i gotta look like an indian. i also have to do two presentations about my history. that should be easy.
walmart and the mall should be full tomorrow. its per cap time. just in time for my road trip. gas has slowly crept up some since my last road trip. i may buy something at the festival. hard telling what they will have there. i will look for strikers to make fire with. those mountain men guys make them. i also like to ask the flintknappers for broken pieces of flint to make fire with. i will find something that i cant live without.
i will start packing tomorrow an be ready to hit the road…
i made a new scraping beam cuz the old one had it. it was out in the weather too much. this one is heavy, it is a treated telephone post so it should last. i will make one out of a hickory log later. that will have smoother grain and will harden with time. last year some kin of mine brought me a post that was full of knots. they dont understand that could cause a hide to tear. gotta have a smooth surface.
i have an elk hide that has been soaking. i will scrape that to make some hand drums to take to fulton. i bought 4 hand drum frames with some of the money i made off my stand at the gathering . sorta like reinvest it to make more with it. a friend of mine said we could make some frames out of hickory at his dads place. his dad has modern and old school tools. we will steam the hickory and put them in a jig to dry in a circular form. that will save me the cost of buying frames each time. i will just make my own. in business you gotta cut costs.
scraping that hide should take a good part of a day. i have to save a piece to take with me to fulton. i have to demonstrate some of my craft. so i will make a roach and string a hand drum. maybe i will get my picture taken with some touristos. i have another salted elk hide in my tool shed. thats anutha days job. i talked to some of my homeboys about saving me their deer hides to make hand drums with. they said they would. maybe i will try to tan one again. my last effort didnt turn out. i will keep at it til i get it right.
i picked half a bushel of indian beans this week. i still have more growing up my cornstalks. i have some corn left to pick. it was late and hardened. i will make kakasuwabo and lye corn with that. my dad gave me an old tool used to remove the kernels off the cob. you can only find them at antique stores or flea markets. they are real handy. beats taking kernels off by hand and saves alot of time. i am still getting tomatoes, we are canning them. almost everything else has stopped producing. just gotta harvesting what is left. then i have to till the soil under and add lime. i will be ready for next year then.
the president addressed congress the other day. while he was talking some one hollered ”liar”. the prez was cool he stopped a second then continued on. the last prez woulda accosted the man. there is no truth to the rumor that the heckler was from one of our general councils.
i read an article in the paper this past week about gaming. i wonder why they cant write just one article about gaming without trying to slam indian gaming. the article said that indian gaming killed horse and dog tracks. yeah really maybe investing so much that they couldnt get their money back had something to do with it. maybe it was management. perhaps they should consult with indians and ask ”how do you do it’? they might learn something from indians instead of making them the adversary. or the whipping boy for their own shortcomings. the thing is our paper prints this stuff while we pay for huge fullpage ads. do they consider the money we give them for advertising. do our people bring this to their attention?
lets see the president plans a speech to address school kids. parents threaten to pull their kids out of school so they wont be “indoctrinated” by his speech. a vocal minority call the president a nazi or a socialist. no one every questioned listening to dubya’s speeches. we talking about the president of the united states giving an address here. what was his message? to tell kids to set goals and meet them, to stay in school. talk about an over reaction. i tell my kids the same thing. i havent heard them say i was indoctrinating them. or that i was a socialist.
i voted for the president. an overwhelming majority of americans did. he won by a landslide. everyone wanted a change from the previous administration. now to hear a vocal minority no one wants our president to do his job. i dont envy him. he has a tough job to do. when someone says they want to help the average american citizen, that is called socialism. when previous presidents helped the rich, that was patriotism. figure that out. i doubt anyone can fix the problems that face this country overnight. it took years to get where we are at today. it may take years to ever recover from this.
electing a black president was a right step for this country. it shows that most people in this country arent racist. thats good. we all in this together like it or not. there are still pockets of racism left in spite of all that. we had a state representative give a speech calling for a ”great white hope” to unseat obama. she clarified that by saying she meant the great stars in the gop. yeah. it took this long to elect a black president. it will take more years before we elect another one. people wanted a change. change takes time. are we hiding behind labels like socialism to hide an underlying racism. no matter what color the president is, he has an uphill battle to face. we gotta support him. no one criticized the last president, ask the dixie chicks. we didnt have a choice with the last one. we had to go along with what ever he did. we fought wars because the war machine needed to make its profit. we wanted to keep our people safe from someone half a world away. now we dont want to help the people in this country. we can bail out the rich but dont want to help those that cant afford health care.
i am not up on my politics. i dont understand alot of all this. i dont go along with getting a rope before we ever give the president a chance. we are still the best country in the world. lets hope that he keeps us that way. government is our problem but it is also our solution. i say lets ride this out and see what happens. impeding every step is not a solution. democrats and republicans are both part of the problem. they have to work together to help this country. thats why we elect them. maybe they have lost sight of that. lets hope…
i enjoyed going to ku’s football opener yesterday with my sons. the stadium was packed, they said it was the largest crowd ever. we got there early and scored a free t shirt. i picked up my tickets at the will call window. as we entered the stadium one of the attendants asked me to remove my hat. guess he was checking to ensure i wasnt smuggling anything under it. while he was checking to make sure i got nothing illegal under it, several eminem look alikes walked by with hats on. surely it was the way i was wearing my hat, no doubt. kinda like when i am at the airport, i am randomly searched evry time. after we went in we bought large cokes to have a souvenir cup to keep. thing is we were on the wrong side of the stadium. so we went around to the other side. there anutha attendant made us toss our cups in the trash. their own cups are illegal. wtf. i didnt let peoples pettiness spoil my day. hell i live on the rez. i am use to petty shit. i enjoy life too much. things only get you down when you let them. i had a great time at the game with my sons.
before i went to lawrence for the game i stopped at the pow wow by shawnee lake. had a good time there as well. i took alot of pictures and visited with many people i know. i checked out the stands and bought some deer toes to make some rattles for my outfit i will wear at fulton county when they honor me. my sisters told me they will try to make it there to see them honor me. i am glad some of my family will be there. most are busy. a friend of mine said its about time someone honored me for all that i do for our people. i felt good he said that.
when i left the pow wow i got stopped for speeding. i was courteous to the officer. he ran my plate and said it was expired. i said no i got a new sticker on it. i didnt have the insurance card but showed him it was on the registration form and valid til december. he told me he was gonna give me a break and just gave me a warning. i thanked him and told him to have a good day. he is just a man trying to do a thankless job. i would have had to pay double fine for holiday weekend and my insurance would have gone up. he was a good man.
my sunday morning ritual is to read the paper and check my lottery picks. i seen a picture of a dark indian on the front page. it was my brother randy. he started dancing. i may have to show him some of my moves.
i seen an article the other day about a rehab place. it is for people that are addicted to the internet. too much facebook, gaming or myspace. the cost is outrageous. guess i gotta live with my internet addiction. it is my window to the world. this morning i chatted with one of my homeboys, sock while on facebook. he is stationed in the middle east. i told him to read my blog.
my spam blocker has blocked over 6,800 spam so far. if it werent for spam i wouldnt get comments. i am glad to hear from people. i only had one in yer face comment. so thats good. thing is if someone dont like what i write they dont have to read it. blogs are opinions of the writer. no one is forced to agree with everything expressed in blogs. there are over 70 million blogs. i dont people agree with everything said in them. i only read the ones i want to read. thats freedom.
will head by the pow wow before heading to lawrence for ku’s home opener in football. the game is sold out. kick off is at 6 this evening. that gives me time to check out the stands at the pow wow. i talked to a flint napper there last year. i got some of his discarded pieces to make fire with.
i heard they had over 400 reported cases of swine flu at ku. so does that mean i have to wear a mask to the game tonite? i have to think about a blog my son told me about. some guy wrote that people are so afraid of swine flu that they wear masks. millions of people have aids but people wont wear a condum.
i read an interesting article the other day. a columnist said according to a study that texting makes a driver 8 times more likely to have an accident. some one that is talking on a cell phone is 4 times more likely to get into an accident. that is the same rate as a drunk driver. and our lawmakers are considering outlawing texting and cell phone usage while driving two years from now. yeah two years. or some want the law to just apply to teenagers. like adults wont smash into someone. i seen plenty of dumbasses on the road that do both. they are dangerous to others. outlawing that has my vote.
indians are so trusting that they lost most of their land. in my business i am called on to trust people now and then. you cant go thru life mistrusting everyone. some guy at the gathering wanted one of my roaches. he said it matched his outfit perfectly. he wanted it bad(violin music here) but said he only had enough money to get home on. he asked if i would take 200 for that 400 dollar roach. i knew it was worth more. the guy wanted it bad. so i told him i would split the difference. i would take the 200 and trust him to send me 100 when he got home. he said “you would trust me”. i said yeah. its been over a month now and still no bucks. i called his cell and got his answering machine. left messages. still nada. must be one of lifes lessons here. dont know why indians do that to other indians. i know this guy will look good with my roach on. over the years i have been ripped off many times. lotsa dancers wear one of my roaches that they owe me some money on. i quit making roaches many times cuz i got tired people taking advantage of my good nature. i wont become mistrusting because of a few. i am naive enough to still think this guy will send me what he owes me. my roaches are worth more than what i ask for. the deal is built in. the non native dealers charge alot more and no one questions their prices. they simply put the money on the table. wish it was that way with the artists that make the craft. i quit selling to dealers cuz they ony pay half of what the roach is worth. i do so many ceremonies a year that i cant do a regular 8-5 gig. i get by on my artwork. wish people would be kinder to native artists.
seen an ad on tv promoting donut holes. if they so good why not just leave them in? its all about promotion i guess.
i went to the softball game at the 3rd cluster again last night. i go to support my sons. i also visited with my daughter who showed up to watch her brothers. i doubt this rez has too much parental involvement. got other kin on most of the teams in the league. i ended up cheering for both teams. our team got beat by an inch. so goes it. the sun still rose this morning. i am up for a game again next wednesday. the teams could use a little more support. not many fans show up for this rez league. there is nothing wrong with encouraging our people to play together and get along.
i am ready for k u’s home opener in football this saturday. i already have the tickets waiting for me at the will call window. i want to show up early cuz they got a free t shirt promotion. i went to alot of ku football games over the years. we didnt have too many winning teams to cheer for. things have changed. our team is ranked in the first poll.
i picked a bushel of njuns beans the other day. that took awhile to pick that many. i have that many still maturing. thing with beans is that when they are ready you have to pick them. if not they pop open to drop the seed on the ground. survival instinct. gotta get them before this happens. i still have other njun beans growing up my cornstalks. i should get plenty of these ones too. beans can be dried then stored. no need to can or freeze them. them old injuns used to say not everyone can grow njun beans. like all living things they have a spirit in them. gotta be good to it.
my chickens must be molting. not getting many eggs as i was. still have enough for breakfast, though the doc says they arent good for me. i think it is the processed eggs that are bad. i know what goes into my chickens. i had a coupla possums that were trying to get my birds. konugish took care of that problem. no more possums.
i am trying to score me some wild rice. my supply is dwindling. i go thru as much of it as i can get. got a connection up north that is looking for some for me. last year was an off year. this year is not much better according to some that live in rice country. i will buy commercial grown rice if i cant get wild rice. sure would rather have wild tho.
my niece’s girl kishno was on t.v. this morning. she is my great niece. she was on to promote the upcoming shawnee county pow wow. she is the out going jr princess there. i got several texts to watch her. so i was up before 7 to tune in the news. i remember one pow wow announcer calling her kish nobell. sounded like the peace prize. pow wow announcers usually butcher the potawatomi language. i will probably take in at a day of the pow wow this weekend. i bought a sweat lodge drum frame there last year for 10 bucks. i covered it with a buffalo hide. i may take some pictures and get some more video.
been busy lately and kinda neglected my walking. i am back on pace again. i have lost about 15 pounds. that is good for a guy my age. or anybodys age. this evening when i walked i looked for the beaver that were by the bridge i walk over. i havent seen them in several weeks. last time was before the gathering. hope they are okay. maybe they moved up creek or sumthin.
one down side to my trying to eat right and exercise is that i started smoking cigars again. i know that i shouldnt. but smoking a cheap cigar is one of lifes pleasures for this njun. the upside is that i heard my daughter is going to spain and portugal. i already put in an order for a coupla cubans. that is one fine smoke.
our tribe has a glasses program. some call them commodity glasses. i am eligible for new lenses and frames this month. so i will go get a new pair. i had this last pair for two years. then i will score me some ray bans per cap time. thought i better take advantage of this program before they cut it. most programs are getting cut. we make more money but get less services seems like. some do well though.
last week was r crumbs birthday. i told my sons that. one asked who’s r crumb. yeah really. he was a cartoonist back in the sixties. most remember the artwork on one of janis’ albums. big brother. that is crumbs work. i have an old comic book collection from my hippie days. it is all the old dope comix. some are r crumbs comix, the checkered demon, the furry freak brothers, wonder wart hog, zippy the pinhead. all kinds of them old hippie comixs. i got bout 60 of them. dont know why the hell i hold on to them.
this evening after my walk my wife and i picked half a bushel of tomatoes. there are still more green ones still ripening. we have canned over 5 gallons of them so far. salsa, hot sauce and tomatoes. i put my habenero peppers in the hot sauce. that sauce will make you talk migo. i still got more crooked necks to dry. got 18 of them done but want more. i have njun beans still growing too. lots of them. cant beat the taste of anything that you grow yourself. i keep saying this has been the best growing year we had in a long time.
got a pile of pumpkin dried for the coming year. i could be corrected that it is actually squash, but it aint no fun saying squash. sounds like something you’d do to a bug. anyway i have 18 crooked necks dried. i will dry some more after this wet spell lets up. so far i have given away over 60 of them. thats good. maybe i will eat some of that when i show up at some ceremony or cookout. corn and punkin are our sacred foods. cant have too much of them. if indeed corn is our life, then this growing year means we have plenty of life left. that point is probably lost on new wavers, rednecks and some politicians who are trying to suck the very life out of us.
the other night i went over to the ball park by the 3rd cluster to watch my sons play softball. they are in a rez league with njun teams from the area. they will play on wednesdays. it was fun to watch. that kinda ages me. my playing days are over, now i have become a spectator. i thought there were a few times that i would have made that catch back in the day. i have known many of the players since they were little kids. now they have kids. that sorta ages me too.
since i have become a spectator i bought tickets to ku’s first home football game. got an email from ku’s ticket office, since i buy tickets now and then. they had a deal of 4 reserved seats for a hundred bucks. not bad. i priced single game tickets earlier and they were going for 50 a pop. so i saved some bucks. they play a team called northern iowa. didnt know they had a team. our offense should put up some impressive numbers against them i hope.
i ordered some hand drum frames from a place i bought from before. they arrived on my doorstep yesterday. i like doing business that way. make a call and wait for the merchandise to be delivered to me. now i have some drums to do. i have two elk hides i have been saving. i will probably make two hand drums and freeze the rest of the hide. i have to put on a demonstration at the festival i am heading to at the end of september. that is part of the deal for having a stand. its free as long as i show and sell my art. that festival will draw an estimated 18,ooo people over the weekend.
i had to thaw out a buffalo hide i had in the freezer. i put so many things away that i just couldnt afford to have it take up freezer space. i will cover a small 49 drum with that. sure didnt want to waste that hide. i remember scraping that hide for a day and a half. that is alot of work. it made my shoulders burn. i have a big pow wow drum i covered with buffalo hide. it has a good ring to it. hope to sell it at that festival. i imagine this little drum will sound good also.
i got in touch with some people i met on last years retracing of the trail of death. i will stop and visit them when i head to fulton county. they offered to put me up for the night when i pass thru. its always good to meet kind people. one friend will show me the place where that band of potawatomi camped when they were on that forced march. a small child died there. probably will smoke my pipe there.
i know a guy that has land where that band lived on before they were rounded up. he will let me camp there. that should be an experience. i will smoke there also. this guy said he has found arrowheads and other artifacts on this land. i hope to see them. i always like to visit places where potawatomis lived. this whole trip should be full of history. i like that. really looking forward to hitting the road.