Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I always thought John Fogerty was one of the top song writers of all time. Some say Dylan was the best, but he didn’t do what John Fogerty has done. His song "Centerfield," gets inducted into Cooperstown this summer. He will be the only musician ever inducted the Baseball Hall of Fame. He wrote the song after watching Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle roam centerfield for the Yankees and Willie Mays for the Giants.

I was lucky to be able to get autographs from these three all-time greats at a time when I was in a collecting phase. In a recent article in Rolling Stone, Fogerty said when he goes to Cooperstown for the induction he will ask for autographs from some of the baseball stars there. "I've met a few of my boyhood heroes already," he says, "and even though I am 65-years-old, I will turn into a 10-year-old. I've got a baseball and a pen and I'll say something like, 'Well, Mr. Ripken, can you sign my baseball?' And he'll be like, 'Oh, is it for your son?' And I'll say, 'No, it's for me.'" Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that!

Most people probably don’t remember John Fogerty. He was part of the music group Creedance Clearwater Revival and his songs were very much part of the 1960s and part of the music me and my brothers grew up listening to during our teenage years. Some of his songs were: “Proud Mary,” "Green River," "Have You Ever Seen the Rain," "Bad Moon Rising" and "Travelin' Band,” to name just a few. You can hear his music on some of the war movies put out a few years back. He tours alone now because of some differences with his band, but that doesn’t take away from his song-writing abilities. And who else can say they have a song of theirs in the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer Time on Rez

It’s starting to heat up here. I'm talking about the weather, not politics. We went through a bunch of rain and now it’s really humid. I wanted to get out and plant some more corn, but wet ground is preventing that from happening. There was one Sunday where it was perfect to get that in, but I couldn’t find my seed corn. I’ve been cleaning up workshop area and I did such a great job that now I can’t find anything. My garden is doing well though. I have kept up on my mowing and I’m trying to get my plantings in. Every year I plant some new stuff in my yard. Working in my yard is my summer past time.

For some watching baseball is that past time but have you seen the royals record lately? The local paper has little coverage of them since they lose on a regular basis and when it is covered it’s on page 5 of the sports section. I do watch the highlights once in a great while on ESPN, mostly when I haven’t anything else to do. I read in the paper about some kid in California who pitched four no-hitters in a row and that is top-notch.

My grandchildren are on summer vacation and it’s a chore keeping them happy and occupied. When we were growing up, me, Larry and Eddie used to go to the creek south of our house and swim. In fact, that’s where we learned how to swim. Back then there was water in the creeks. A few years back, a friend drown in a pond here, so we won’t allow our kids to swim in the creeks or ponds. If they go, they go to the Boys and Girls Club or to town to swim. There is no debate on this.

We go to my grandson’s baseball games at Dornwood Park in Topeka. They lose regularly like the royals but it’s great to watch them play and learn. My grandson hit a ball into right field for a single and I about jumped out of my chair. As I said before, watching kids develop is priceless. We did all that once and that was great, but I think it’s more rewarding to watch your kids and grandchildren play. Soon we will have our pow-wow and the kids dance there.  I like watching people dance.  I can appreciate people having rhythm because I have none. 

That is the pattern of my reservation life: work, go home and mow or work in my garden and go see my grandchildren play baseball or dance.  Kinda simple, but hey what else is there to do when you get older?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Everyday exchanges

Today is the last school day for my grandchildren.  I told my 9-year old to be sure and tell his teacher he enjoyed her teaching him this year.  I hope he remembered to do that. It doesn't hurt to say thanks to people once in awhile. 

Which reminds me of a story that I have to tell you. A long time ago I went to a meeting and this guy named Joe de la cruz, a big-shot of the times, went out of his way to shake hands with me. I was impressed that he made some time to talk to me, especially since I’m a nobody, but this did make an impression on me.  Now  I try and do the same thing and talk to other Indian people when I can. Well, anyway I went  to a gaming conference awhile back and there weren't too many Indians at this event.  But I saw this Indian guy surrounded by white people, probably guys working his tribe for something, so I went by and shook his hand and said hello and this guy gave the impression he was bothered by the interruption. I felt kinda stupid and I guess you can't win them all. Some people are filled up to their eyeballs with their temporary tribal power.

  But that shouldn't hold us back from at least attempting to talk to people.  If they hate you, stay away from them is one way of doing it but I think you have to at least attempt to talk to people. It goes to show how some Indians are, there all not like joe de la cruz.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Missouri helps Kansas again!

Kansas has experienced some big-time budget problems these past few years. The answer for Kansas politicians is to cut back on many essential services and to pass a 1% sales tax increase this past session. Some call this a regressive tax because it will be paid for by poor people or older people when they buy groceries, medicines and gas. This is the quick fix for Kansas.

But the long term solution is coming over the horizon. Over in Missouri a Sen. Mat Bartle had this long-term infatuation with cracking down on strip clubs and adult bookstores and he finally won his cause. The Missouri Senate voted 27-4 to ban full nudity and prohibit adult businesses from selling alcohol. The clubs also would have to close between midnight and 6 a.m. The vote, combined with the House’s 118-28 vote earlier Thursday, sends the bill to Gov. Jay Nixon, who will probably sign it into law.

I really don’t care what happens in Missouri or in this business, but just think of the wild-eyed men who will soon cross over the borders and help boost the Kansas tourism trade. They will not only bolster the strip club business, but will fill empty hotel rooms and eat in the restaurants. All of this will increase sales tax revenue and soon Kansas budget woes will go away pronto. An article came out in the Kansas City Star will this full story. What I found so funny was the comments that were made.

One guy said, “Meanwhile violent crime is up in KC & St Louis, unemployment continues to rise, homelessness is increasing, and our infrastructure continues to deteriorate. Thank heavens we have so many politicians in office that love to force their personal agendas down our throats instead of seeing to the real issues at hand.” I guess he was saying that politicians work on their own agendas instead of things that really matter to people.

The rest of the comments said the legislature needs to focus on the economy and jobs instead of legislating morality. Another said Bartle wanted to control your sexuality , then reproductive rights but before you know it you will get a post card from the state asking why you weren’t at church on Sunday. Ha. Ha. Can you imagine getting that post-card? One guy went as far as slamming casinos when he said “ No alcohol served? They are doomed. Yet, you can get alcohol on those boats, get drunk, lose all your money but, hey, that's O.K. . What a JOKE !!

Nonetheless, the Mizzou people are a tremendous help to Kansas folk. On a yearly basis, they help KU improve their basketball won-lost record, now they are helping the State of Kansas solve some future budget problems. Isn’t that what friends are for?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

An event on Wednesday night

My family went to a big dinner for Meeks Jackson last night at the casino. She is an 87 year old elder of our tribe. The language department honored her for her contributions to their program. They called her the last fluent speaker of our tribe.

I think having an event for a respected woman like her is necessary and should be done in this format. Most people will go through life with no recognition and maybe some don’t deserve any, but others do such as Meeks. The senior program also has done a good job of recognizing people nominated by other seniors and they have a yearly event honoring them. That is good too and is a long-over-due trend.

Meeks has lived on our reservation for her entire life. I respect the woman for ability to use and share the language with others. My contacts with her was several years ago. Her and my mother worked in the language program and I learned a bunch from those two and Maynard Potts. For me, it was a rewarding time frame and what I learned from them will stay with me for the rest of my life and it will be passed onto to my grandchildren. I think it’s a needed thing in the lives of Indian people to be able to thank our Creator for everything he provides for us. There is no better way but to use our language in thanking him.

Maybe someday all of the language will be gone, but people like Maynard and Nelson Potts, Meeks Jackson, Alberta Wamego, and Mognit, to name a few, did their part, in their time, to preserve it. So yes it was worth the time last night to see this honoring.