Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunday rides, politics and the heat, of course!

I took a Sunday drive to the Kickapoo Reservation for a birthday meal.  All of the fields were burned brown and many trees looked like they were dead or dying.  The experts say this is the hottest summer since 1934 and that Missouri and Kansas could lose up to a billion trees (my yard looks bad also which shoots down years of work.  In other words, the blood, sweat and tears were to no avail).  Plus the pond levels have dropped a bunch and some have dried up entirely.
On the way back, we drove through Horton, Muscotah, Larkenburg and one other small town.  These places used to have several businesses on their main streets, now the only thing left is a post office.  Times have changed for the little town in this area.  I guess they are victims of migration to the big city, the economy and Wal Mart. They will never recover!

Although they rate only a passing thought for most of us, one can only be amazed at how our reservation had been transformed.  Ours, like so many other reservations were poverty-stricken. Who would have thought we would have a green plush golf course, a big casino and hotel, black-top roads, and jobs.  Yet with this new wealth, there is political unrest.  A case in point:  Look at how I reacted to voting in our run-off election this coming Saturday.
I laid out my ballot.  I looked at it long and hard, my hands kinda shook, sweat broke out on my forehead, a tear developed but never quite went over the proverbial high Indian cheekbone, then I called the local holy men to smoke my ballot but they were still asleep so I said hell I will wait till my nerves calm down. That night while sitting on the front steps,, one candidate, T. Wabnum drove by my house and honked at me, so I will probably vote for him because he acknowledged my humble presence in this life,  plus he publicly stated he was going to treat us Indians right. I hope he continues to wave and honk after election day.  Okay, that’s one down. I rarely see the other candidates. They don’t look at me or talk to me. I just don’t know. I may have to pow wow with the holy men here for guidance. I will keep you updated, and while the actual election is still a few days away- the fate of our fine tribe hangs in the balance!  But somewhere in all of that, I found the courage to do it and the voting dilemma is finally over: I filled out that paper and only I will know if I made a mistake, but we have such low expectations anyway that we shouldn't be disappointed at all. Sorry tribe, after Saturday: forever hold your peace! (you can't see it but tears did make it over that proverbial high cheekbone).

Today had my mother lived, it would have been her birthday.  We would have had a big meal, had cake and bought her a gift for being the best mother possible.  It ain’t going to happen, but it would have been great to have that meal with her.  It would have been better yet to learn a few more Indian words from her. We had to move on and learn to live without her loving and caring ways – such is life.

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