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!
Is it poaching if you are white on the Navajo Rez and the only guy with a deer rifle not in pawn.
Moving into Pinon, 1998 and I unpack the guns and stash em! I unpack and unpack and finally moved into Teacher Housing, Pinon Arizona – Navajo Reservation. Being a white guy on the Navajo Rez is an experience and the learning curve is steep. From Renee Kevine bringing me frybread at home because I mistakenly said “what’s that?” to Peyote Tea – I was the classic neophyte.
November rolls around and I had gotten to know the janitor Moses Clark pretty well. He drives up to my house and honks his horn (another learning curve – Navajo do not use your doorbell – why, when ya have a horn). I am thinking what glonnie (drunk) or native arts and craft sales lady is it this time? Looking out, I see Moses in his 71 Ford lifted to the sky ! I love the truck and my little Chevy Chiddy (truck) sits sulking in the corner. Moses gets out and asks me to come over and shoot this Mule Deer that is usually in and around his place early morning – tomorrow being Saturday. I look at him and say “how do you know I have a deer rifle?” he smiles and says everyone in Pinon watched you unload your stuff! Duh, town of 400 people on a high mesa and bets on how long I was gonna last were running 6 – 7 months. Moses had a sweet deer rifle just happened to be in pawn…
I said to Moses, ” well, yes, I have a deer rifle but what about a license and tag to shoot the deer?”
Moses looked at me like I was the dumbest white boy that ever hit the reservation and said ” huh? what if you miss?” we will worry about the tag later! ”
I don’t miss and shot a beautiful Muley ! 26″ rack – and field dressed out at 185 – well, that is what I was told later when Moses dropped off my share of venison. No, I never asked to see the tag but I know it was well butchered complete with “Bashas Grocery” stamped on the white packing.
The bet on how long I would stay – well they all lost and gave up after ten years. My old deer rifle is not some sexy cool rifle but was passed down from my father to me – Mauser 8mm with an Ivory Indian head embedded in the stock!
Beginning in June 2010, I started to notice an odd light at 9:46 in the evening and it appeared to be descending onto what is known locally as Satan’s Butte. The local Navajo have tales about a large snake that lived on top of the butte and ancient rituals were performed around a huge fire – the snake would emerge from a hole and “wishes” were granted to the supplicants. If cows or sheep wandered into the vicinity – they were just left to the butte. Knowing this and having heard stories from local Navajo Ranchers about a craft that was seen to enter the crater formed inside Satan’s Butte, I was curious but dismissed the stories as local folklore to entertain the white rancher! On June 2nd I rushed into the house and told my wife that I had seen something descending into Satan’s Butte. She rolled her eyes and asked when she should call the men in white jackets. I swore I saw something that appeared to be cylindrical and had flashing red lights in the middle. Two night later, I rushed into the house and told her to look out because it was descending again. She was not quick enough and missed the craft. By this time, the wife really thought I had flipped out or was drinking! I then told her that I was going to Flagstaff to Best Buy and buy a good camera so I could photograph it next time it landed. I bought a good digital Nikon! Having bought the Nikon, I waited and waited…
(I have full MUFON documentation of this story complete with e-mails and photos)