‘Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes” -Goethe
Goethe has been with me all morning –
Every-morning I drive down and feed the horses, and then Mojo, my old black lab and I make a tour of downtown Lodge Grass, Montana. What was once the only incorporated town on the Crow Reservation is now sucumb to a ghetto. I love Lodge Grass! I love that everyone waves as I drive on by – I do not know anyone – a couple cashiers I joke with on occasion – the Post Office lady that I tease – Indian Joe the wanna be complete with ponytail – but everyone waves at the ole Jeep. I love all the dogs that chase the Jeep and how Mojo barks and is a dog!
I read about change yesterday with the acceptance of gay marriage. Not threatened –
But, what I was looking for was change close to home. I drive around the pow-wow grounds and up a hill passing the rodeo ground and looking toward the Wolf Mountains and I realize the change. Wildflowers! Every week there are new wildflowers opening. I stopped and shot some pictures but they do not do justice to the beauty. I don’t think that is the change Goethe is talking about but it is the change I prefer to see.
Stop in my favorite supermarket in Lodge Grass (the only supermarket) and see the owner today! He compliments me on my writing which is cool! Tells me my Amish story is really funny! Cool…then says I got one for you!
He tells me about sitting in a meeting for product – where salesman after salesman come in and try to get all the IGA owners of Montana to buy products – this salesman from back east comes in and tells about this great pastry that has taken the world by storm! This pastry is just incredible and it sells out as soon as it comes in – people line up to buy it – it is just amazing pastry!
He tells the IGA owners that they have to buy CROW NUTS – they come in glazed, chocolate covered, powdered, or plain. The whole group of IGA owners from Billings to Sheridan start laughing! One owner finally says – well the Crow women will love em and some of the men too! You can find these right next to the Rocky Mountain Oysters at our local IGA!
A glonnie is one of the first words I learned in Navajo. I believe it was Zenas Bizahaloni that had me go up to a fellow Navajo teacher and say ” You are such a glonnie!” Of course, I said it to the head of the Math Department at Pinon High School and she was very straightlaced!
She knocked me over the head and I knocked Zenas one! Glonnie – means drunk in Navajo. Not just any drunk – a professional drunk that sat on Ocean Hill ( so named due to all the hairspray cans and bottles that littered the side creating OCEAN – Hairspray and water Not a funny thought) I digress…Pinon, Arizona – Navajo Rez!
So, late Saturday evening (Crow Rez, Lodge Grass, Montana) a Glonnie knocks on the door and asks me if I have any money. Like my hillbilly neighbor says “they figure ur white so ya got money or can get it” (Yes, it magically appears to white folk). I said “no, my wife is in Bozeman and did not leave me any!” I shut the door and go back to writing. The next morning my gas can and duh – gas are gone – stolen out of the back of the Jeep! Great, a crime of opportunity – he is white he can get more!
Monday morning a Glonnie pulls into my driveway! She is driving a red Dodge 1/2 ton and her face is red from drinking. Sitting in the passenger’s seat is an old old man passed out from a night of drinking – cowboy hat askew! She says “I’m checkin self to rehab got $20 for gas to help me get there?” To which I replied – “You are welcome to all the gas in my gas can that was stolen outa my Jeep Saturday night!” She said – ” that happens to white people?” I thought Indians only stole from other Indians here on the Rez – dats not right – what color was your gas can – I will go find it!” – I replied – “red” and I like your line on going to rehab – good one!” She smiled toothless and drove off in search of my gas can!
I wrote this for Cass – because she loves my funny stories! I love all my old students who never cease to amaze me reading my stories and laughing and encouraging me!
And Zenas – creates some of the most beautiful beadwork – hit him up if ya need something!
This morning two cowhide rugs went up for sale on Craigslist! My wonderful wife was on it like ticks on a hound! She called and set up an appointment this evening to purchase the two rugs for $60 dollars!
She gets a text mid-morning saying “you have first right of refusal” “I have a lady who will take both for $100 dollars” . Well, we knew they were way under-priced but hey a deal is a deal right?
She just re-posted her ad to read $50 each! The wife is going to go over and give her $60 for both and see if she has integrity!
I usually just take Old Iron (Jeep) up into the mountains to trout fish or explore. Today, I figured the sun was shining bright and I needed some Prana Energy so I peeled the bikini top off (the Jeep not me) and set out to see how the low road to Sheridan would be in Old Iron. The seats are probably original from 1969 and not comfortable so my right butt cheek fell off to sleep right away as I held the throttle down to a smooth 50mph!
I know, I am the guy in the old rig that y’all are cussin – but it is lifted and I could go 70 but I prefer a leisurely 50 miles per hour. 52 miles of bliss and ya know they say – Ignorance is bliss!
I roll into town and Sheridan is probably my favorite western town aside from Hot Springs, Montana. Hit the! local Taco hot spot and it is closed so I have to settle for Toxic Swill (Taco Bell). Satiated – I cruise town in Old Iron and Mojo hangs out the back barking and being a cool black Lab! Hit the truck wash and then park at Walfart (Walmart). I park way out so Mojo can relax and drink Gatorade, chew a rawhide, and smoke a doobie! I shop and get some fishing lures, Cherry Limeade, and Motrin and walk back out to the Jeep. I come out of Walfart and see about twenty people gathered around Old Iron. I am thinking “great, did Mojo get busted with doobie again?” He is just wagging his tail and happy as I walk up. A group of tourist from Scotland had never seen a dog left in a Jeep and were taking pictures of the Jeep and old Mojo.
Moral of the story – if ya wanna pick up hot old toothless women (or men) from Scotland – buy a 1969 Jeep, lift it, and throw your dog in back. It was really great meeting them and hearing about Scotland ! They loved the Jeep and Mojo – someone tonight will be getting a picture in their e-mail in Scotland of a cool dog and a sweet Jeep. I had no idea people thought the old beast was cool! Made my Day!
I ended the trip going to my favorite smoked extraordinary meat shop! The rack of ribs is $20 bucks for smoked ribs that are the best! I would rather just get some chicken and ribs smoked from Killy’s in Sheridan than eat out anyplace in Sheridan! Sure sometimes ya gotta fill the hole with Taco Bell – but Killy’s is the best meat in Sheridan period! http://www.killysmokehousedeli.com/ I brought home a rack of ribs and some chicken ! Good Eating! The cowboy beans are excellent, the salads are great, but the meat…is worth the drive! Just two more punches on my rib card and a free rack!
Thank you Jenni for introducing me to this awesome meat!
I was eating out at my favorite restaurant in Sheridan, WY – The Rib and Chop Shop – (awesome food) with an NDN Family and as always I was the only white guy! I just never seem to see color – my bad!
I am following everyone out (they were all well behaved and I kept the firewater away from the table) I waited for a moment as a lady passed me and overheard the next table of diners say ” wow, you never see an NDN family dining out in a nice restaurant!” and ” they were so polite”! I almost choked on a rib bone laughing – yes, the kids say “please and thank you” and we all used our napkins and salad fork…that is the big fork right?
Then today back on the Rez – I stop at the local IGA Supermarket! I am shopping for Texas Toast and an elderly Crow lady comes up to me and asks ” Is that your Jeep outside?” (thinking I might have parked wrong) I said “yes, ma’am” – then she floored me (not with her fist) she said – “that is really really nice – I wish I had a Jeep like that to get to my hunting cabin!” without missing a beat I said ” I would love to take you anytime”. She is probably not much shy of 80 years old and still full of energy and a good eye for 4×4’s!
I have met so many people that are fascinated by Indians – I implore all of you that are – just talk to them! They are just as interested in white folk! and no they will not scalp you! Just please don’t say “My grandmother was a Cherokee Princess” at least substitute another tribe…