Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One Potawatomis look at 2009

The Year of 2009 had it's ups and downs but isn't that true on most Indian reservations?

In a semi-political sense, I was reelected to another four year term on our gaming commission. Elective positions are what an old guy called "here today, gone tomorrow jobs." I think those are wise words because you never know. On the positive side, I enjoy working in the regulatory field, I'm near home, my religion and my family which is a gigantic plus. At the end of this term I will be eligible to retire. Maybe I will do that or maybe it's best to keep your options open. If I retire I can work in my yard and garden and I might be like the Godfather - be working and suddenly keel over. Oh well, I could think of worse ways to die, right?

My granddaughter married a U.S. Marine and moved to San Diego. Tara has been with us since she was a baby so her moving is a big change for all of us. But, we have four other grandchildren to keep us occupied. The beat goes on and there is no time to get lonely.

Our tribe started building a 18-hole golf course this year and I watched them work on it every day on my way to work. It will be a tough course. We toured the course in a golf cart and there are several holes where the creek meanders through, so it will be decision time - lay up or go for it. Most hard-heads thinking they are Tiger Wood clones will go for it, but there is only one guy like that and he sure doesn't live around here. Oh, the chronic cheaters will come up with their transgressions and have consistent low-scores, but for most it's going to be tough. I guess everybody can't be honorable like Tiger Woods on the golf course.

I'm a political animal and political events watcher and every financial initiative is worked over pretty good around here. In one meeting it can be voted in and the next voted out. The clinic comes to mind but for some reason the golf course escaped that fate. Without all that drama, the course moved along nicely and it will be a great addition to the Potawatomi landscape.

Allow me to take a hard right on memory lane for a second. When my brother Larry died suddenly a couple of years ago, I pretty much gave up the game. Before that we enjoyed playing the game and our times together even if it turned into a competitive thing. We both looked forward to playing 18 holes of golf and we got to play some damn good courses and some damn bad ones. Those days will always remain on the positive side of the old memory bank. I'm sure he's working hard on his game for our rematch.

Now with the new course coming on-line and my grandchildren nagging me to get back out there, I will probably give in and get back out there. But I'm sure the yard and garden work won't be allowed to go by the way-side though. Plus I have to get out there with Jim Potts, B.J. Darnell and Frank Shopteese. Frank is a transplanted Texan who saved our team many a time with his great game.

2009 had it's low side though. We lost some really good people. Mike Jackson died in July of cancer as his sister did in the early part of the year. Janell Cadue died in October of cancer. Albert Pahmahmie died in November of cancer and Henry Pahmahmie died of health complications in December. All of them were really good people and were my friends for a good number of years.

Who knows what will happen in 2010, but it's to our benefit to get up ever day and enjoy the ride while we can. When you get older, it's all you can do. Happy New Year!