I pull into the local IGA in my new 1990 Dodge 1ton Powerwagon! (The IGA functions as a social mecca for Lodge Grass because it is the only store – well aside from the Farmer’s Union which is a gas station with free coffee for the elderly and I refuse to submit)….
One old local drunk that hangs out panhandling in front of the IGA and whom I have never seen before – yells at me! I am thinking “great, she wants money and I am always such an easy target”. I walk over and say good-morning and she says “where is the Jeep?” I am thinking ya gotta be kidding me the local drunk knows me and my Jeep? She proceeds to tell me how sweet my Jeep was and how she looked forward to seeing it every day! I was stunned – I did not think anyone ever noticed me or my Jeep! I told her I sold it to a man in North Dakota and he gave me too much money! She laughed and said she liked my new wheels – “ya blend in now”. Mission Accomplished! This is what I love about Lodge Grass – everyone says hello and waves – small town Indian Rez life!
Tru Grit is the name of my 1990 Dodge Powerwagon! Oh, it says PowerRam on the side but I prefer the old title PowerWagon! I had one just like it a few years ago but I lost it through a misunderstanding. I love this old truck! Okay, I am Old Skool or as the local IGA cashier says “dang you are all vintage” which I took as a compliment (doubtful, since she is like 20). I found Tru Grit on Craigslist and talked the guy down and down and down…he threw in the big diamond plated bed box and I drove it home from Sheridan, WY. It has the venerable 360 in her and while I was toying with buying a diesel – I just could not justify the cost. I took the bed box out and now Tru Grit looks “Vintage”. So, if ya see me cruisin Lodge Grass, Sheridan or Kirby Saloon – wave or stop on in –
The only additions are a CB radio, and two stickers – one is “Support 81” and the other 2nd Amendment…so ya know I am locked and loaded and put a cowhide over the old worn out seat. I have been thinking bout getting a stereo…I probably look like a nerd cruising down the highway with headphones on…
I stop at the Post Office and meet this fascinating guy who’s chopper broke down and he shares a great story about a local that drove 10 hours to pick him and his bike up off the side of the interstate. He was genuine. He loved on Mojo and then drove off – but while we were talking an old Indian dude drives up in an old old propane powered Chevy and asks me if this girl took my gas and gas can from my Jeep a couple weeks ago? I said yes, and he said wait right there – it is at my house. (I had a pretty good idea who “stole” it but let it go because Karma is a bitch). The guy comes back a few minutes later and gives me my gas can!
He said that he and his wife came back from Sundance up in the Wolf Mountains a day ago and the girl who borrowed my gas can and gas had danced. One of the things she had to make right was taking my gas can so all good? I smiled – all good. The man’s woman pulled water from a jug in the back of the truck and by then there were four of us standin around. This was Sundance Holy Water – it had been prayed over and we should all drink. She drank long and deep and then the Crow man next to me drank – I know they were all watching and waiting to see if I would drink – I drank deep and felt the blessing instant flow through me. The man who returned my can drank last and we stood talking for half an hour – laughing deep – and happy to be alive on such a perfect day!
These are the days I live for – when the bounty of reservation life is shared so freely – stories, the delineation between Crow Mountain People and Crow River People, and Holy Water shared…
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!
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…
3.67 million Prius automobiles have been built and sold as of March 2013! Over half were sold in the US! GREEN! This car is touted as so green that it makes hippies dance without a hit from their bong.
For some reason, I just do not like the Prius. I have never driven one, never ridden in one, but I have been passed by one! I guess it is the irony of driving a Prius fast. It has not happened just once it has happened many many times. I was driving my 1997 Ford F350 with a 7.3 liter diesel at 75 miles per hour headed to Billings, Montana and bam there goes a Prius at 85 miles per hour – I thought well they might be charging their batteries on a downhill! I look down at the odometer and see that it is about to turn 400,000. I wonder how many Prius are about to turn 400,000? I think of the batteries in the Prius and Each battery pack uses 10–15 kg (22–33 lb) of lanthanum, and each Prius electric motor contains 1 kg (2 lb) of neodymium; production of the car is described as “the biggest user of rare earths of any object in the world.”
Whoa – the biggest user times 3.67 million Prius built = huge environmental impact!
I pull into the parking lot here in Lodge Grass, Montana at the local IGA! I spot a hippie getting out of a Prius! I am driving my 1969 Jeep CJ5. I am thinking wow Earth Day and I am driving an eco-friendly vehicle! Her Prius has a bumper sticker “MiSOULa” I guess Missoula Montana has a soul..cute and “Who Would Jesus Bomb” well we all know the answer to that – Muslims! Oh wait… Anyway, the Jeep is lifted with 35″ tires and the original engine, tranny, and transfer case! Yes, it has new axles Dana 44‘s out of a 73 Ford Bronco (re-use materials makes me a hippie?)
Wow, 2013 Prius with cool bumper-stickers and my 44 year old Jeep! Which is more green? Well, I guess we have to find out in 40 years if the Prius is lifted and still on the road!
Happy Earth Day! and remember dream of Whirled Peas…peace out!