Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ceremonies, pow-wows, old singer and Shug!

We are winding down our Spring ceremonies here on our rez. We had our 4 day dance, a baby-naming and an adoption.  It is time-consuming but I’m glad I got to witness all of this.  It takes dedication for sure to fulfill our religious obligations.  Dedication is what it takes to keep a religion going strong, that’s for sure. We are tired after it’s over, but our batteries get recharged and we go again. 
This week we have our annual pow-wow.  I’m not into this too much, although I like watching my grandchildren dance and visiting people.  They used to get me to do invocations but I guess they got tired of hearing Potawatomi prayer words and got others to do it. It’s less for me do. Also it’s a good time for candidates to fall over themselves to get a vote or two.  Speaking of candidates, we hardly see them at any of our events so they must have chumped our votes off, in fact, only one person asked me to vote for them.  Usually we get rain at our pow-wow but this year there is none in the forecast. 
My garden could sure use some rain though.  I use my hose in times like this.  Since I moved my garden closer to my house it is easier to water.  

On another note, we hate to lose musicians who we listened to while growing up.  A case in point is Herb Reed, the last surviving original member of 1950s vocal group the Platters who sang on hits like "Only You" and "The Great Pretender," recently died. He was 83.  I saw the Platters perform locally once  and often wondered how it would have been to see them sing when they were young.  This guy said in an interview that he spent his money made from singing frugally and bought homes.  Others in the group spent money like it was going out of style and ended up with little. 
I like music of all kinds and watching old singers perform was a treat.  When I was young, we had no opportunity to go any concerts since we were poor as the proverbial church mouse.  I remember my Mother and her husband Al Wamego asked Voncile and I to go to a Johnny Cash concert in Topeka in the 1970s.  It was a good experience.  I became a Johnny Cash fan for life after watching the man in black sing that day. Yet, it was much later that I attended more concerts.  The local casinos and ours have singers come through and we try and make it over to hear them sing.  Merle Haggard came to our casino once and although I heard he didn’t care for injuns, I still went to listen to his songs.  He is a good singer but you could tell it’s hard for him to sing because of his age. 

Gracie Slick said once that it was stupid to perform after age 50 and she quit altogether, but I would have went to listen to her sing in a heartbeat.    
And no writing is complete for me unless I mention my great granddaughter Shug nob go kweh.  She is a jewel and is starting to crawl and has a smile that can melt this old guys cold, cold heart.  Damn I’m a lucky man to see five grandchildren and now this.

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