I am downtown Lodge Grass, Montana getting honey fresh from the hive!
Walking into the Apiary my buddy owns, I notice that cops are swarming a trailer (no pun intended). So, I yell inside and rally the guys to take a look. We all pile out like a buncha idiots on Jerry Springer and cops all over –
One cops walks past and asks “what is this”
Crow Native dude says “huh?”
The cops points to the building – “What is this?”
Crow Native dude says ” Lodge Grass Apiary”
Cop – “huh?” –
Crow – “LG Apiary” really slow…
Cop – “what?” (as in are you messing with me) and we all realize someone was absent from school the week APIARY was on the spelling list!
Crow – “Apiary, bees, honey….”
Cop – “oh, you work there”
Bees buzzing and I am holding 36lbs of local honey laughing…
I guess there was another shooting in downtown Lodge Grass – cops everywhere – and I drove home!
Thanks Claude Dawes for thinking to run up and lock down the school and safeguard our most precious resource!
I leave home around 11am headed into the Wolf Mountains just east of Lodge Grass, Mt. Headed to one of my favorite spots – the 4H Pond – where ice cold spring water flows! The approach to the spring is a climb in 4wheel lo – sure ya can make it in a car but why beat up ur ride? I am idling up in first gear low and just come around a bend
when I see a young black bear. I stop get out and take pictures – the bear obliges and stands up to check out the old Toyota ( I can tell he approves). I idle down into the pull-out where the spring water flows so cold it is a blessing! I pray and give thanks as I always do while letting the ice cold water wash my hands and head. Chloe, my four year old lab plays in the creek. I fill up a seven gallon container and a 1/2 gallon jug for the trip back.
I walk back to the Toyota and hear a loud knock knock knock – pause – knock knock knock; Chloe begins to growl and I tell her to load – she refuses and we both look in the direction of the knock. At the top of the ridge to the south east, something big moves through the trees as the knocking stops. Cold realization hits! Sasquatch.
My buddies and I always say we are going squatching – the local Crow People have shared sightings and encounters with me – but I never really thought I would hear or see a Sasquatch. I can not say what I saw through the trees. But whatever it was – it was sentient and wanted me to look up out of my reverie and see this trans-dimensional being. Oops, trans-dimensional – I have always believed in Sasquatch and just figured it came and went at will from another dimension not yet perceived by humans.
I came down from the mountain and stopped at a friends house to share my water wealth – then another friend stops and is headed up in the Big Horns to fast and pray for four days – I ask him to remember me in his prayers and he gives me a feather after he drinks deep.
Ashley ThreeIrons got mad at me because I did not write about Shannon a couple of years ago when I was writing about Kyle her husband. I really did not know Shannon back then –
Two years pass and a friend says “you could spend the rest of your life in Lodge Grass and be perfectly happy”.
Lodge Grass is a wonderful microcosm of the world – I have lived all over the world and choose Lodge Grass as home.
But what does that have to do with Shannon OldElk and why does she have such a cool last name. I saw Shannon dragging a washing machine down Main Street – chain wrapped around the machine and her old Toyota just a cruising along. I got a call from Roxy asking for $150 to bail Shannon out of jail – the Crow Indians got a
“landbuyback” money settlement – where the government is yet again buying up reservation land. A lot of folks got between $12,000 and $500,000 for their land – and bought mega-trucks to cruise the Rez! Yeah, Shannon sold a small piece and kept the rest of her land for her children! (I respect that) So, Shannon is driving down the highway in her $400 Toyota beater car and gets pulled over – the cop comes to her window and before he can say a word – Shannon says “I know why you pulled me over!” (the cop perplexed) says “why?” and she proceeds to say – “you pulled me over because yer jealous of my land buy back car!” of course it did not help that her plates were off the other Toyota.
I respect Shannon – over the course of three years, I have loaned her about $100 in increments of $10. She has always paid back! 100% payment which is amazing around here! I respect that!
Shannon has challenged me on many occasion – just last week when her son George got kicked out of school for “sexual harassment” (giving a fat kid a wedgie) she brought him to me because he needed a lesson. Well, the day wedgies are sexual harassment I will be damned – so for $20 he mowed the lawn! I asked him after he got done if he learned his lesson? He said yep, I made $20 for giving a wedgie and did not have to go to school! Good Parenting on both Shannon and my part!
Shannon has challenged my morals – she once asked me”what is your…well you know…like I like to drink but what do you do that is wrong?” She was well into a good bottle of whiskey at the time – but it gave me pause for reflection. Yes, I know what I do that is “wrong”. I too have been deep into a bottle of whiskey and philosophy. We all have made mistakes, we all love and try to help each other and we plod
forward as a family.
Shannon OldElk is real! and I am glad that Shannon and her husband and her wonderful children whom I dearly love are part of my Lodge Grass Family!
Sometimes I just need to get up in the mountains – Wolf Mountains. Just need to release and seek peace at the 4H Pond.So, I sit relax – I don’t even fish! and just bask in the beauty! I am thinking I should climb up to the Lookout Tower and then walk the trail to the point – I was going to write “hike” instead of walk but that sounded arduous.
I walk out and this is my view! Chloe is all happy and running around and I look down and find a big ole bag a weed! I guess someone else had the same idea!
I take a minute for a stupid selfie – and remember the text I sent my best bro Woody before I left ” if I am not back in a week, come looking”
Yep, jinxed myself – jump in to start for home and dead – nothing – and I climb out and smile and push start the old FJ60 to life – dirt roads rattled a small starter wire loose. I guess I need to be more careful with my thoughts!
Celebrated my 50th birthday today! What a great day for change and moving forward – toward 60. Well, a FJ60 – a 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60. I love old trucks and this blog was started as a way to keep track of my old trucks…Yes, it needs MT’s and windows tinted – rusty and dented mountain rig!
Mountain Crow Outfitters is offering a once in a lifetime opportunity to one enrolled member of the Crow Tribe. In the month of April, there is going to be a buffalo hunt and it is going to be done traditionally with the buffalo being taken with a bow. We will be selecting one high school student over the age of 14 who has never had the opportunity to harvest a buffalo and wants to experience the challenge of bow hunting! Mountain Crow Outfitters will train and provide the equipment needed to fulfill the hunt. Mountain Crow Outfitters is seeking sponsors to enable a Crow young person to learn the traditional ways of hunting. The Crow Reservation is located in Big Horn County the most impoverished county in the United States. Specific criteria will be adhered to when choosing this young Crow native: excellent academic standing, proven leadership abilities, good school attendance, and an overall positive outlook. Why? We feel that by teaching youth to hunt both traditionally and by understanding modern conservation that parallels Crow Native ways; we will begin to transform the young hunters on the Crow Reservation. We will be teaching both hunter safety and respect of the Crow natural resources. Mountain Crow Outfitters will be filming this hunt and your support will be included in the credits on a national hunting network through the Pursuit Channel.
Here is a list of the items needed to make this a successful and learning experience. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and we hope that this seminal hunt will be the basis of a program here on the Crow Reservation that is repeated yearly and grows to include many teens! The hunter will need: a bow, six arrows, practice tips, a knife, a hunting pack, hunting boots and clothing, and broadhead tips for the hunt.
Here on the Crow Reservation a guy was charged with taking an elk out of season and off reservation! Throw him in jail! Fine him! Seize his weapons of elk destruction! Hold on now – wait wait wait….something about a pesky Indian Treaty? Are those still valid? Come on this is the 21st Century – The Crow Rez, where I proudly live, jive and survive, was originally – get this – 38 million acres! (Fort Laramie Treaty 1851) Way to much land for one tribe! Sarcasm aside – it was reduced in 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty to a mere 8 million acres. Oh, but it does not stop – over the next years through “Congressional Acts” the reservation was reduced to a mere 2.3 million acres! So – 38 million minus 2.3 million equals ? Theft in the first degree! The Crow Elders were wise in respect to hunting and fishing and they slipped in this pesky little clause into the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty that states – Article 4 gives the Crow tribe “the right to hunt on the unoccupied lands of the United States so long as game may be found thereon, and as long as peace subsists among the whites and Indians on the borders of the hunting districts.”
Nice move Crow Elders! Clayvin Herrera, a friend and Captain of Crow Fish and Game was cited with fulfilling the wishes of the Crow Elders that wrote this clause into the Fort Laramie Treaty! He took an elk off the reservation but still within tribal hunting grounds. So, explain to me how this is a crime? The United States took 35.7 million acres from the Crow and now we are worried about elk? Or are we worried about Indians leaving the reservation to hunt? I say case dismissed! Don’t waste more tax dollars when native education, drug education, hunting education, and a myriad of other concerns need addressed. Or, to quote Ted Nugent – “Take your kids hunting so you don’t have to hunt for your kids” I encourage everyone to cruise on over to support Clayvin- and buy one of his cool t-shirts! He created this design to raise money and awareness for his fight to uphold the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty.
My birthday is coming up – the big five oh – 50! I am growing my hair and goatee long to celebrate and it will all commence on April 15th! One of my buddies asked me what if ya got $50k for your birthday – what would you do?
I thought about that all weekend long – the truck broke down again and looks like a water pump needs replaced. But wow, $50k kinda like lottery winner time. I know what I would do –
I would buy/mount an old Alaskan Camper to my old diesel truck – pack up my meager possessions and go out on the road. Chloe would ride shotgun and I would plot my course all over these backroads USA. I would visit Facebook friends, friends that supported me when I was down and almost out, one Hell’s Angel that saved my life, a Mormon kid that I owe, my old classmates, my old students, Curns, Hank Will – and my cuzins far and wide, my favorite medicine man in Arizona, not my ex-wife (cause I wanna live to 51) ! I would travel and say thank you to all the great people that created me and keep a log of all of it! Then publish that log in what is called a book!
Then I would come back to Lodge Grass, Montana and settle – because really this is my home. I love this rundown, poor community. Real people live here – good people – even tweekers with good hearts.
So many years ago – teaching high school English and Creative Writing in Pinon, Arizona – one female student said to me “my dad would be a redneck if he weren’t an Indian?”. Her dad is a good friend of mine and it has left me wondering for the last fifteen years – because her dad is a redneck! (and yes, I am a card carrying Redneck and look at the term in a positive complimentary fashion – no hood required)
Today, out with my bro Claude Dawes here on the Crow Rezervation picking up hay bales left behind by the Westwood Ranch farmer. Waste not want not – and Claude pulls up in a Ford F450 hauling a tow-motor meant to lift bee hives on the truck – he careens down the side of the hill and we strap and load two, one ton, bales of hay! Claude is a redneck! He is the head of security for the Crow Tribal Chairman and drives a monster truck that I call Ta Tonka !
Fifteen years after the question – yes, I think an Indian can be a Redneck!
(Disclaimer: the usage of the color “red” in no way is meant to be pejorative as in Washington Redskins)