Monday, September 27, 2010

Martie and the Boy!

This is my girl Martie and my grandson Pat ko shuk.  They took this picture at Family Night or "Sunday on Monday Family Night." He goes to school at Royal Valley Elementary School and is in the Fourth Grade. They also had ice cream at this event and played three games of uno and Pat ko shuk won two out of the three games.  They asked Kek to go along but she was too tired to mess with them.  But they stopped by the golf course and missed the golf lessons offered by Notah Begay but saw him leaving in a car.  They still were able to get a t-shirt and a hat.  The golf course opened up today for tribal members, but I stayed away for fear of a vicious attack for playing golf on a work-day so I stayed at my work-station.  

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Writing, softball and Joe Hale!

A young friend of mine, who I will leave nameless for his own protection told me that he was the only one that reads my blog.  I told him I was wondering who that was who showed up on my counter.  Such is the life of a tormented writer - all you can do is hope that somebody reads your stuff.  I don't want to say, you pray somebody reads your material, because that wouldn't sound right. Maybe I should use more big words, huh?

We made a journey to a place called Salt Lake City to watch our daughter and her softball team play ball in a National Indian tournament.  They raised all of their expense money.  I think that is great.  Help yourself if you can, if you can't let the tribe pay for it.  They did well for a first time facing this kind of competition.  They ended up 2-2 for the tournament, but now they know what has to be done on their next trip.  I enjoyed watching the games and it made me miss seeing our old team play. 

I had to cut my trip short by a day.  I came back to the rez to help with Joe Hale's funeral.  Joe died at age 62.
I've known Joe and his boys for years.  I watched his boys grow up and through his teachings, they picked up the songs fast. They are known as top of the line singers on the pow-wow circuit, but I remember them most for
helping us with the songs in our religion.  That will be Joe Hale's legacy -teaching and passing along the traditions of our way of life. 

In his earlier days, he went off to Vietnam as a member of the U.S. Marine Corp.  During one encounter with the Viet Cong, He was hit in the upper left arm by rifle fire, and was stunned by the impact and was knocked to the ground, but survived. Joe said later that those were scary moments and was afraid to look at his arm because he felt like there was nothing there. That was in 1966. He was sent back to the United States after this incident, recuperated and finished out his service time.  As fate would have it, Joe's brother Victor died in Vietnam in 1968 and his cousin Martin Jim, Jr died there in 1971.

 It was a hard go for Joe for a good number of years, he had inner struggles that few can know and understand.  His life was similar to the life of my brother Larry.  Both left here young boys and the Vietnam war changed them into vastly different people.  Thankfully, the inner struggles of seeing war,death and seeing their own blood flow in front of them leveled off in time, but both died fairly young.  To me, that wasn't much of a reward for serving our country but we have little say in that department.  Now the only thing left is the memory of knowing these good people.  That is part of the cruel realities of life on an Indian reservation.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Football 2010

This is a picture of Zach Wamego with his Aunt Lisa Wamego and Wabnum.  Zach and Wabnum are my nephews, while Lisa is my sister.  This picture was taken after Coffeyville Junior College beat Garden City Junior Colllege.  Zach is 6"6 and 320 pounds and plays right guard and is gradually working into a starting position.  He played at Royal Valley High School.  Zach is the son my late brother Mike. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Retirement is postponed!

I was ready to retire in a few short years, but now Obama wants to raise the retirement age. The full benefit age will be 70. Of course, his popularity will decline further if he were to implement this idea.  Old people get awful mad when somebody tries to dismantle anything dear to them and historically politicians stay from any changes at all in social security because of this political fallout.  So the lesson for politicians is to pick on less popular programs and they'll last a long time in politics.  Oh, yeah their retirement package is pretty awsome, so they don't have to worry at all.  The only thing they will have to worry about is will somebody pick them up at the end of the day when their kids put them on a park bench and let them fend for themselves.

Damn, I might be lucky to hang on that long anyway. To be truthful, I’m lucky to be even considering retirement. I seen so many of my relatives and friends die young and I mean damn young. I guess so many of us thought we were lucky to reach 30 and anything after that were considered bonus years. For the longest time, Indians never lived long enough to worry about any retirement.  I think the life expectancy for Indians was 49 years old and it might be a tad higher now. In addition, Indians always had low paying jobs, so any real social security was minimal and there wasn't anything called a 401 K for years and years.  Getting old for many Indians only promised harder times if they didn't have somebody to take care of them.

I could get up a list of things I want to do before I kick off at age 71. Isn’t that the way it works, as soon as you retire, you die instantly. What could that list be? I have no ambitions to see Hawaii and its pretty beaches, don’t really care if I see Phoenix again, and oh maybe it would be nice to see Europe. My brother Larry was stationed in Germany after he left Vietnam and saw quite a few European countries and wrote me what he saw there, so I guess it would be like de ja vu, if I did go there. So I guess I can rule that out, plus who wants to figure out currency exchanges?

I suppose I could settle for taking my grandchildren to a few places in the lower 48. I saw Alaska and it was right pretty. Sarah Palin was still in high school before she become a rock star that she is today.  I didn’t see her on that trip, but I saw some moose, bear and a bunch of eagles.  I can't go too far South, I might get deported and who wants to see western Kansas again? I don't want to see the oil fields of Texas, Louisiana and Florida, thanks to Exxon or was it some other company who did all that damage?

Probably my best bet would be to stay close to home and watch all the theatrics and drama here.  That's worth the price of admission to this reservation, or for that matter any reservation. The cost of living is a lot better than most places.  There are some really good people here and that ain't true everywhere, so I think I'll stay here and watch the grass grow in my yard and garden. It was Mickey Mantle or somebody who
said “if I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”

Saturday, September 11, 2010

KU rises from the dust!

Is it too late to get back on that KU bandwagon?  Please forgive me for giving up on them when they lost to Abilene Tech last week.  I don't know what got into me.  It could have been the weather or maybe some force from outer space made me think like that.  Maybe it was the pills I took for my hurt foot!  I don't know, but they have made my football forecasting abilities look bad to the educated and uneducated world of sports watchers. 

Today, KU beat the #15 ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 28-25 at Memorial Stadium.  They put in a new quarterback and went back to the old offense that made them famous in the past and played like they were suppose to.  The last time KU beat a ranked team at home was in the early 1980s when they beat OU.  I was going to that game but decided to listen to one our general council meetings and I kicked myself for weeks after for missing that upset.

Who do I have to petition to get back on the band-wagon? It sure ain't Lew Perkins, he left on the same midnight express Mangino took, and he had a suitcase filled to the brim  with $2 million in severance pay (for you math people out there, that is $ 5,400 a day or so for doing absolutely nothing for the next year).  I guess the only thing to do is apologize to my readers for making a mistake so there it is - I'm officially back on the KU bandwagon!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Old Songs and Musicians

Let's look around and see what is going on:  The homes are burning in Colorado. There is flooding in Texas. They are going to burn some Korans in Florida. Fall is fast approaching. People are continually mad over the state of politics, and the Killer a.k.a .Jerry Lee Lewis turned 75 years old the other day.

The ol boy is still going strong after all these years. Well maybe not real strong but he’s still going. I saw him in a Las Vegas show with Chuck Berry back in the late 1980s. It was a helluva show and it seemed like both were getting old then. I always said I got to see those two before they kicked off. I have to admit, it is amazing that he’s still cranking out the sounds at his age. But getting back to that show, I thought it was something with him up there banging away on that piano and singing one song after the other. He was great and it was the same with Chuck Berry.

I watched movies about these two after that and read some articles too. Both led fairly rough lives indulging in all the temptations of life.  We know the routine:  wine, women and song.  Hell maybe some of us did the same thing! Both had up and down music careers. Jerry Lee Lewis got married six times. Whoa, six times. I thought somebody said one per lifetime! The life of a musician! As most hard livin folks, he almost died a few times and lived through a bunch of adversity but said all that just rolled off his back. Good words for all of us to live by.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Golf Course Next Door!

I’ve watched the golf course progress for the last year on my way to work. Let me tell you this promises to be one of the best golf courses in this area, if not all of Kansas.

I’ve had the opportunity to tour it several times now and it’s breathtaking at times and will be one of the toughest courses anybody would want to play. It will only get better looking as the years go by once it’s properly established. There’s a 600 yard par 5 and some long par 3s that will be hard to par. I like the way the course is laid out. The front nine is open and the back nine is narrow and has sloping fairways. It looks like the back nine is carved out of the timber. There are creeks crossing several fairways. It will be decision time for many wild swingers, lay up or go for it. It will be a risk reward type course. I only saw the U.S. Open on t.v. but some of the layout is similar – a native grass is growing off the fairways and let me tell you it won’t be easy getting out of that stuff.

So whoever designed this course needs an A plus. It will add some powerful words to the title Prairie Band Casino and Resort. Oh, some good words need to be said for all those young guys working out there all summer in the searing heat. They deserve some kind of pat on the back. As the course nears completion it will be worth the trip to our rez to play.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Night the Wheat Stood Still in Kansas

The KU football team got a good old beating from North Dakota State or Montana Tech 6-3 the other night.  Please don't be mistaken it wasn't Michigan State,so its promises to be a bleak year for KU fans again.  It's bad enough that we have suffered nightmares from KU's early exit in the NCAA baskeball tournament a few months back and now this.  Where are you Nolan Cromwell when we need you?

KU hired a new coach, a better players coach than the last guy, Mangino.  He promised to try and win every game and not cuss anybody, but the operative word is "try." Mangino is living on some golf course retreat in Florida and saying "and they thought they'd do better without me. They also thought I was a bit rough around the edges, but I could deliver a win once in awhile and I'd be damned if we lost to some little school by the Canadian border."  Of course that's all speculation but I imagine he is laughing as he is learning the game of golf.   Mangino does have the time since KU paid him a bunch of money to leave town on the midnight express.

It may be that KU will be lucky to win one game this year and will probably lose to those farmers out at KSU and we will never hear the end of that, I assure you.  We have low expecations,kind of like when people take political office,but damn why can't we win against the lower division schools?  We know KU can't compete with schools like Florida, Oklahoma, Alabama and Texas in recruiting, but at least we should be able to grab a couple of players from Southern Cal, who will serve some probation time for paying Reggie Bush a pile of money while he was winning the Heisman Trophy.  Oh, hell they all do that, don't they?

In Ancient Greece or was it Athens, when somebody was caught stealing they cut off both hands.  It wasn't because they were stealing it was because they were caught.  That's the way it should be in college football or maybe in life.