pow wowing

don’t know if I am getting to be a  hard core pow wow indian but I stayed until the last song on opening night. and last night we stayed until 1:30. again til the last song.

so far it has been a real good pow wow. our tribe offers righteous prize money therefore we draw some of the best singers and dancers. we get a good show for our money.

we took our chairs over mid Friday bout 11 o clock. we set them up on what is the front row of the arena. nobody sat in front of us to block our view of the dancing.

I took advantage of the good viewing location to take pictures with my Nikon and record dancing with my cell phone. I know I got some good pictures and footage. photography is one of my hobbies. i wanted good pow wow pictures to use on my blog site here. i use them a lot.

I am trying to stay away from greasy foods but I did have some fry bread. i don’t eat it often. there is always a stand that makes fresh squeezed lemonade.  had to have a large cup of strawberry lemonade since i avoid pop. there is a migo wagon that makes the best soft tacos with steak, onion and cilantro. i look for their stand every year.

i also try to stay away from cigars. but i thought what the hell its pow wow time. i smoked a few cheap cigars while watching the indians watch the indians. i didn’t take my Cuban cigar though. i will kick back sometime and savor that one. then i will stay off cigars again until the next special occasion.

I found some brass and silver metal conchos at one stand. I use them to make porcupine hair rosettes. you don’t see rosettes made like that very often. I will make a bunch of them. I sold a pair of them at our gathering. if I had more maybe I could have sold them too. i also found some eagle feather decals to pimp out  my riding mower.

I was asked about roaches. I quoted some prices and said I also consider trades. I was asked like trades for what. I said whatever people make like tanned hides, pow wow outfits (thinking of for Samuel), beadwork, moccasins, ribbon shirts or whatever.

i was tired last night after staying there until 1:30 in the morning. ol misho is usually asleep by then. i decided to stay home today. it rained last night. don’t know what that will do to the arena. anyway i seen enough pow wow. i gotta catch up on work at home today. it was a real good pow wow for me.

time to pow wow

these are trade beads meant for indians. they were found on a steamboat that sank on the Missouri river in 1854. I was at the Kansas city farmers market wednesday. they have a museum there built around this steamboat and all that was recovered from it. they had dishes, boots, barrels, whiskey (maybe to cheat the indians out of their land with) axes, nails etc.

the river shifted over the years. where the steamboat sank was covered by mud in a field owned by a judge. he bought the land from Wyandot indians. attempts were made to get the several hundred barrels of whiskey but they weren’t found. during this last recovery effort many pumps were kept going to get the water out. they finally recovered what they could and decided to keep everything together as a collection. now it is in this museum.

we have been going to the city market for years. we always say lets go see that museum. we visit many museums through out our travels. I like to view what I can of history. we finally explored the museum. it was like stepping back to the 1850s. everything was from that time period. even parts of the steamboat.

yesterday we went to the sparks flea market. I bought more junk than I needed. and probably spent more money than I should have. I got a few things I wanted. one was a red 100% wool blanket to make something with. I bought a wooden ice cream maker to make a drum out of. even though I don’t need any more cds I bought some anyway. they sell cheap. I buy them to add to my playlists. can never have too much music.

there were a few things I didn’t buy that I wished I could have. some guy had 6 grizzly claws for $150. they go for 450 each and up. I wont get a shot at that again. I passed on a Hudson bay blanket for $100. wont see that often either.

went to breakfast at the casino the other day at nine o clock. couple of old guys (do only old people eat breakfast?) asked if we were just waking up. I said we just finished walking two miles. got an ‘oh’. we walked again this morning. trying to walk as much and often as we can. that aint counting walking or standing for over 4 hours at the flea market.

tonight our pow wow starts. we will go check it out. I like to see what the stands have. I am charging my Nikon camera batteries. will take more pictures of Indians. or of the Indians watching Indians.

I will spend the next few days at the pow wow. the thing bout being retired is I can do whatever the hell I please. I will get back to my routine after the pow wow is over. haven’t made a roach in a coupla weeks. I will get busy on that and other things. for now, its time to pow wow.


pow wow coming up, flea market too

our pow wow is getting closer. the grandsons are all up for it. they like to get out there and dance. even if they don’t have an outfit.

I am working on that. I am having one made for Andrew. one of our young dancers made his own fancy dance outfit. that is what Andrew wants.

when I heard the young guy made his own,  I asked him if he could make my grandson one. I said I would trade  a roach for it. he said yeah.  the young guy wore my roach during the potawatomi gathering. he knows it is equal value to what a child’s outfit would cost.

I will work on getting an outfit for Samuel next. hopefully I can trade a roach for that too. I cant afford what outfits are going for but I can trade my art for them. I have to ask around who makes outfits and if they would trade for a roach.

the sparks flea market is this week. I will go on the first day this Thursday. when they ask me if I am looking for anything in particular I say ‘I will know when I see it’. I usually buy something if it catches my attention. I do look for things I can use too. I also look for things I can make art with.

it is a good thing I have been walking. I have walked 12 miles in the past week and a half. it takes me about 3 or 4 hours to visit all the nearly 200 stands at the flea market. I usually take a pain pill with me cuz my back will start hurting by the end of the day. that is a lot of walking and standing. I am glad I can still get around for an older guy.

I had my oil changed before my last day trip. I had to see what kind of gas mileage I was getting. I seen it was 26 miles a gallon. that aint bad for an old car. it has over 220 thousand miles on it. it is still running good. I will run it until it wont go no mo.

there was a full moon the other night. they call it the sturgeon moon. that’s when Algonquin tribes (like potawatomi) would go fishing for them around the great lakes. I ate sturgeon back in my militant days. I stayed with some indians on the west coast. they caught sturgeon all the time. I loved the taste of it.

I told some indian ladies that when I spoke at a food conference in northern California a year or two ago. they made it a point to get some cooked for me. I really appreciated that. eating that meal took me back a quarter of a century.

finishing that ceremonial belt is put on hold. we are waiting on the rest of the feathers to come.  my sister has the beadwork done on the pants part. she is in Colorado with my other sister. we have plenty of time before fall dance.

I haven’t worked on any roaches lately. been busy. I did start another woodland style one. I will get to it after pow wow. I am retired. I work at my own pace. I still get plenty done.

going to pow wows

on the spur of the moment we decided to go to the Kickapoo pow wow yesterday. it was a traditional pow wow. it shouldn’t always be about competition. got way too many indians trying to out tradish others now.  I haven’t been to a kickapoo pow wow in a while. I used to know many people on the Kickapoo rez. i still do but some are gone now.

one of my nieces stopped by and mentioned the pow wow. I suggested we go check it out. before i finished asking whether anyone was interested in going, the grandsons hollered yeah. we loaded up the lawn chairs and some snacks and took off.

i said we should eat pow wow food for supper. i don’t eat fry bread that often but like it now and then. i had an indian dog–a hot dog cooked inside fry bread. it was okay. wont call them by the other name they used to be known by.

we sat with my family i have up there. we got in a lot of visiting. my niece had a stand. Andrew took it upon himself to go work behind the counter. don’t know why he did that but was glad he wanted to help. before that i had to take the boys across the road to the playground. misho had to help them swing.

i remember going to a few pow wows up there that were hot. it was cool enough as we sat watching the dancing. Andrew and Samuel both danced a few times. they dance because they want to, not because we make them. it is still fun for them to dance. that’s the way it should be. dancers that act bored should stay the hell out of the arena.

next up is our pow wow. i thought of having a stand for my roaches. then thought no, i will pass this time. i want to accumulate more inventory before i have another stand. i need more smalls that sell. they make some coin when big items aren’t moving. gotta make a few more of my crafts. maybe dice sets, miniature hand drums and miniature pow wow drums on stands.

i will check out the other stands that are set up. i want some decals for my riding mower. more than likely i will get another air brushed t shirt with my logo on it. i do that at every one of our pow wows. there is always a migo stand that makes the best soft tacos.

gotta charge my Nikon camera batteries. i will take a few more pictures. it is a hobby of mine. been taking pictures so long it is a habit now.

sometime this week i will have to go buy more bacon and sausage from the meat locker. we had a big supply of them when we bought that whole hog to butcher. we ran out. we still have plenty of other pork though.

i might take that opportunity to ask the meat plant if they can save me some deer hides that hunters bring in. i will use them to make drums with. i have asked hunters around here to save them but they don’t. i suppose i could go drop a deer too but i wont just to get the hide. i kinda quit hunting because young hunters spoiled me by bringing me fresh meat. but when i count on them to bring me some, i go skunk.

will see what this week brings.

jesse james house, won some bucks

we stopped in st joe the other day. every time we pass thru that town I say that I want to see where jesse james was shot. he was a bad dude. this time we looked it up.

bummer was it was closed at 4. we got there 20 minutes late. it was moved from its original location but was jesse’s house. I wanted to see the inside especially the picture frame he was trying to straighten when he was cowardly shot in the back. I guess they even have the gun used on display.

at least I got to see the house though. that’s the way it was when we took a train to Salisbury to see Stonehenge. it was closed too but I could see the rock formation thru the fence. I was about fifty feet away. I was disappointed I couldn’t see the rocks up close but at least I was there. same with jesse james’ house. maybe I will get a chance to see both places again when they are open.

I haven’t been to any casinos lately to gamble. I was at ours when I was given some free breakfast passes at the gathering. but no bingo or slots. I do play the lottery though. I know the odds are almost as high as hitting a slot machine. I did win $20 on one lottery  ticket. righteous bucks.

we have been getting some rain lately. not enough to make the creeks run but any rain is good. my habanero peppers are forming, same with my jalapenos. I may get a crop yet. I also have my sweet potatoes growing. I don’t really have anything else growing.

I got another order to make some indian dice. the order is for 3 sets. I already have to make 2 sets for trade. I have a 5 gallon bucket that is full of buffalo ribs I have saved to make indian dice with. I may start working on them next instead of a roach.

I have some deer rawhide soaking too. I make miniature hand drums. they are 3 inches across. they are meant to hang from a cars rear view mirror. got into making miniatures by accident. I made a miniature indian ball stick. I was just playing around but it turned out good. so I started to make other things small like a pow wow drum on a stand.

we are taking a break from working on the ceremonial feathered belt we are redoing. my sister is doing the beadwork on it. after that is done we finish up by putting on the feathers. we are waiting on some that a tribal member is donating. I have some but not enough. this guy is sending the rest. I cant wait to see what the belt looks like when it is done. I have already worked on redoing 3 of these belts. I know they look good when done.

last night we had a supper that reminded me of my younger days. we had potato soup and cowboy bread. when I was younger I got tired of eating those but now it is a real treat. I saved the round flower balls that grow on nenwezhek tops. we used to put them in potato soup. it gives it a different flavor. we did it with the soup we had last night. like one of them old indians, I kept dipping my cowboy bread with butter in the soup. it was real good.

day trip

we drove over to an amish town in Missouri yesterday. it is about a two and a half hour drive. I listen to one of my playlists on my phone while driving.

we go there to buy non gmo food. if I cant pronounce an ingredient on the label I wont eat it. it is part of our healthier eating diet.

we bought big bags of rolled oats for our morning oatmeal. I eat oatmeal now. for years I wouldn’t touch it because we had to eat it everyday at boarding school.

we also bought bags of home made egg noodles. I like the wide noodles but we bought thin noodles too. we gonna need them after we butcher the roosters we were given. we will probably do that soon.

I bought fresh veggies too. gotta have tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupes and watermelon. gotta eat what is in season.  and I have been eating plenty of fresh veggies. mine didn’t do well because of the semi drought we were in so I buy from farmers markets. I found I get better prices at this amish town than I get at the farmers market in topeekie.

we ended up with a box of groceries from the amish country store. we go to the bakery next door after leaving it. I like their fresh baked bread. we bought several loaves.

we browsed thru some of the antique shops in town. I didn’t really find any treasure I couldn’t live without. we went to eat in one of the popular diners there. it is always full so we waited until the lunch crowd had peaked. I bought a club sandwich for five dollars. I also had the battered mushrooms. I only ate half the sandwich because it is so big. I took the rest to go.

we got home late afternoon. it wasn’t hot so we went for our two mile walk on the paved road near our home. it is the third walk we took in the past four days. I am trying to log some miles walking outdoors before the weather prevents me from doing so.

one of my sons is on a cruise in the Carribean. I told him to get me a Cuban cigar. I know I am suppose to give up cigars but this is a Cuban. my son called me on facetime. he had a cigar in his mouth. I said don’t light that, its mine. he told me he had two of them. one was mine.

I received an email from the retracing of the potawatomi trail of death association. I was asked if I was going to join them this time.  I would like to   but don’t know if I can afford it right now. i will meet them and eat with them when they get to sugar creek.

now i have to get back to work.

walking the dog

it has cooled down somewhat from the heat we had this summer. we took the opportunity to go walking on the road. we take the dogs on a leash. that is mainly to keep them safe from cars. once somebody speeding by hit one of our dogs. the car didn’t even stop. once we get to our graveled driveway we take the leashes off the dogs.

my car is due for an oil change. gonna do that today to get it ready for a road trip. the grand kids are in school. we got a good start on the feathered belt we working on. time to cop some road time. don’t know where we will go. I like road trips to be spontaneous. maybe I will get some gambling in. kinda gave gambling up lately.

I may or may not camp out. haven’t done that at all this year. something about sleeping on the ground reminds me of my hippie days. I have the tent, air mattress, camp lantern and lawn chairs packed in the car. I didn’t have half that stuff in my hippie days. everything I owned fit in a backpack.

I got together most of the supplies for a set of fancy dance bustles for my grandson. I told the kid he better dance this time around. I made him an outfit once. I made him white buckskin leggings and  an otter turban. I bought him a ribbon shirt and we already had a beaded vest. he didn’t want to dance once he got to the pow wow. I said if he don’t dance this time around, the bustle is mine to sell if I want.

I am trading a roach worth $850 and I bought another two hundred in goose feathers, hackles, pony beads, etc.  the outfit will be Haskell colors–purple and gold. when someone tells me they cant afford one of my roaches I say then they cant afford to pow wow. it takes money. mary and I traveled all over the country to pow wows. we gave it up when gas prices went up.

I am fattening up the dozen roosters we got for free. no us indians don’t get everything free. people get rid of roosters because it don’t pay to feed them and get no eggs. I took them as a source of meat.  I don’t want to feed them too long. nor do I want them to get tough. takes to long to cook them when they get too old. these are young roosters.

I have cleaned chickens many times over the years. gonna make chicken and rice, chicken and egg noodles and my famous tortilla soup. I might even make a bunch of chicken broth for cooking wild rice and other soups later.

I get emails from lotsa places. one I have been getting lately is from powwows.com. they are advertising an ancestry.com special. for 59 dollah (a righteous 40% saving) they can connect me to the ‘cultures, cuisines (their spelling), and traditions’ of my heritage. huh?

they claim more than 10 million people did this. without my calculator lets see 10 million times $59 equals one hellva pay day. they add the results cant be used instead of legal documention. what? I don’t get no indian card?or some of that indian money?  jeez.

today is my mothers birthday. she would have been 90 years old today. happy birthday dear mother.


finished book

I finished the book I thought was about relocation. it wasn’t. it was more of a fiction story about some indians that lived in Oakland.

I didn’t flash back on my relocation days. that seems so long ago and it wasnt fiction. I was out of a hustle at the time.  i was in the need of a new adventure.

I signed up for the relocation program out of the local bia office. they were gonna take this backward, alcoholic rez indian and help him make something of himself in the big city. they gave me a one way bus ticket to Oakland and some cash.

I went out partying the night before and blew most of  the cash they gave me. I boarded the bus hung over with about 30 cents in my pocket. I was in my early twenties but already knew that feeling well. I didn’t even have enough clothes to fill the borrowed suit case I carried. it was the promise of a new start in a new place.

the bus made a stop in reno. I dropped my change into a slot machine figuring I had nothing to lose but everything to lose. I hit about 7 bucks in nickels I think. that was my eat money. I was hungry because i hadn’t eaten all day while riding the bus. a meal of hamburger and fries  put me close to being broke again.

that pretty much summed up my whole relocation trip. I was broke and hungry most of the time I was on it. the program was to dole out $200 a month to me. my rent and food money was to come out of that until I found a job.

there weren’t  many jobs that existed for guys with my limited qualifications.  a bank where I applied for a computer operator job told me to come back when I had my good clothes on. I was wearing my good clothes. I applied as a laundry room attendant. all it required was to clean the place. I told them I had two years of college. they said they wanted someone with 4 years of college. to clean the floors?

I had to go to the bia office every day. I sat there all day until they told me they didn’t have a job for me yet. it didn’t take too long before I refused to play that game.  if I wanted to be a poor indian I could have stayed on the rez. I lasted about 4 months in the city. many indians made it on relocation. I was one that didn’t.

years later a career bia guy was talking to some of our rez kids. he told them about one of their own who went to California on the relocation program. he said the guy hit the streets and they never knew what happened to him. the kids smiled. they knew it was me.

I had hitch hiked out of town with everything I own in a borrowed back pack. I didn’t make it in the city but I had many adventures I was looking for. hitch hiking was a new trick for me. once I learned how to do that I logged many miles around the country.  I ended back on the rez. it was always my starting point and my finishing point.

my last hitch hiking trip covered several thousand miles in a few months. that was about 40 years ago.  I hung up my hitch hiking back pack then. couldn’t top that trip. I have been home since then.

bossy hummingbird

bout forgot about my hummingbirds til one reminded me. they have been coming here for at least a dozen years. after I got back from Albuquerque one buzzed right by me and flew off.

I was wondering what that was about. I checked the feeders I keep. they were empty. I filled them up and haven’t had a hummingbird fly close by me again. until the next time feeders are empty.

another thing I noticed after my road trip was my sema was dried and curled up from the heat. I watered it with no effect. I thought that was it for my sema this year. it rained a couple of times since then. I was heading out to feed my chickens and noticed the sema wasn’t curled up anymore. it recovered with the rain. I couldn’t get over how it came back.

I picked it and fixed the sema. I was grateful I got a third picking. I watered my sema all thru the heat we had. I kept it alive only to find it curled up after a 4 day road trip. I have put a lot of work into it this year. I am thankful I will get something out of the plants. now they are going to seed so i can have plants next year..

a lady from one of the other bands gave me a jar full of sema as a gift during the gathering. I accepted it even though I grow it myself. I don’t turn down any gifts. i honor them by using them. I was also given some bear root that was sent by another guy I knew. and anther guy sent me some hard punk wood.

we have been working on the ceremonial belt mary is redoing. we took it apart to replace everything. i noticed a name of an old man that used to live here that was etched into a wood piece. it was dated sept. 5 and another number wasn’t visible. couldnt read it because it had two holes drilled thru it to hold the feather spike and protective piece.

i remember the guy. the date must have been in the 1950s. its been that long since it was last redone. so the belt was last worked on over 60 years ago. no wonder the feathers are so worn. we kept the wood piece so the old mans name will still be on it.

Andrew started first grade. Samuel will start school next week. i am thinking road trip soon.

not working on roaches this week

heres a picture of one of my woodland style roaches. my nephew is wearing it. we traded an otter hide for it. I gave two hides for use on our ceremonial drums.  them old indians used to say if you give something away, it comes back to you some way. I guess. I got a hide back. now I have one to use how ever I want.

mary and I starting working on one of the ceremonial belts we use. it is her job and I am only helping her. I helped my mother and another lady redo three of them. I work with the feathers. we took the belt apart to replace what needed replacing. I admire the work that was put into the belt. those old indians sure knew what they were doing.

at two of our ceremonies I asked for feathers to repair this belt. one bro gave some and I have some. but not enough. I was telling some tribal members about not having enough. one woman was asking some pow wow people. not many want to give feathers up, even for a good cause.

another tribal member said he had some that he would donate. we might have enough now to replace all of the feathers. they are old and are really worn. I know the belt will look good when finished.

I haven’t worked on roaches yet this week because I am helping mary. I started the base for one last week. I will get to it when I have the chance. I know I will finish roaches all the time now.

the book I started to read isn’t really about relocation. it is about the people that live in Oakland, some as the result of relocation. it is the story about their lives in an urban setting. I am about half way finished with the book. I get to read a little bit at a time. I have about 4 books I still have to read after that.

we have to head to topeekie. gotta get groceries and supplies to fix the belt with. the grandsons are still off from school. we have them during the week while school was out. Andrew starts first grade on Wednesday. seems like yesterday when I first picked him up and held him in my hands. time flies.