Shootin' the Breeze

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Search Results for: “Pine Ridge

Pick Me

The Redskins are coming to Denver to play the Broncos on Sunday.  That causes us to revisit the controversy about the name.  This post is similar to one I posted a few months ago, but just as the controversy continues, so does my suggestion remain.

I read in the news AGAIN that there is pressure on the Washington Redskins football team to change its name because Redskins is thought to be derogatory.     I have a suggestion that would allow the team to keep the same logo pictured below.

redskin

How about Washington Indians?    The Cleveland Indians in baseball, of course, already are using that same name that I am suggesting, but we have both the Major League Baseball Giants in San Francisco  and the NFL Football Giants in New York.  Washington Indians would work.  Keep the logo on the helmets.  It seems respectful.

On the flip side, the Cleveland Indians need to lose their logo.

whereisthehonor

The poster above came from the American Indian Movement (A.I.M.) website.

As I pointed out recently in another post on this blog, many actual American Indians call themselves Indians as well as Native Americans.  The American Indian Movement is a group that sticks up for, well, let’s call them Indians since that is what they call themselves in their organization’s name .   It is not the name Indian that is the problem.

Below is the sign for the Pine Ridge Indian (not Native American) Reservation.

Pine-Ridge-Indian-Reservation-image

If Redskins is dropped as the name, just use the name that real Indians call themselves and, again, keep the logo.

Now let us consider the names of two other professional football teams and an appropriate, very cool, even beautiful, logo.

The fierce Minnesota Vikings  logo does not seem disrespectful to me.   However, I have a suggestion for them too.  And for the Dallas Cowboys.  I have a dream.  Pick me!  Pick me to represent both identities.

viking logo

mustache al
If the Vikings merge with the Cowboys, I would like to be considered as the mascot since I am a Viking Cowboy by a combination of Scandinavian ethnicity  and American West cultural circumstance.  I hereby consent to my image on the right being displayed as the face of the Dallas Vikings, or for the Minnesota Cowboys, depending how the merger negotiations go.  It could even be drawn as a caricature to be used as a logo, such as the Viking on the left as long as it is done tastefully and depicts my rugged good looks in a respectful manner.

A team with that visual image looks to me like a winner!

While they work out the details of the merger, I will work on the mustache and Viking braids.  I already have a good cowboy hat.
Mustache

Buffaloed in South Dakota

Last September, Sugar and I went to the Black Hills and enjoyed the buffalo festival in Cody, South Dakota.  I’d like to say that we picked the weekend so that we could attend, but it was simply good luck that we happened to be there.

Buffaloes were central to the culture of Plains Indians, including the Lakota Sioux people, many of whom still live in South Dakota.  The Black Hills are sacred to these people, and to me too.  The Pine Ridge Reservation is there.

There is a large buffalo herd in Custer State Park.  In late September they hold their annual buffalo round-up there.  During the weekend prior to that event, when we were visiting, the town of Custer celebrated the importance of buffalo to the area in many ways.  On street corners throughout downtown Custer were life-size model buffaloes that had been painted creatively by artists.  On Friday evening was a reception at a bank at which the public could meet the artists and get a preview of their artwork, which was auctioned off the next day.  Not only were the full sized buffaloes auctioned, but also smaller sculptures of buffaloes and paintings of buffaloes.  Lots of buffalo art!   Since our home is decorated with western art, and since Miss Sugar is an artist and art teacher, the art auction was of great interest to us.

Now you are probably wondering what art we purchased.  The answer is that the bidders were out of our league.  However, we did buy a buffalo skull from a booth of such items.  It was not part of the auction but it was part of the buffalo festival.

We’d like to go back to Custer, South Dakota this coming September for the buffalo weekend.

Washington Indians vs. Minnesota Cowboys

I read in the news that there is pressure on the Washington Redskins football team to change its name because Redskins is thought to be derogatory.     I have a suggestion that would allow the team to keep the same logo pictured below.

redskin

How about Washington Indians?    The Cleveland Indians in baseball, of course, already are using that same name that I am suggesting, but we have both the Major League Baseball Giants in San Francisco  and the NFL Football Giants in New York.  Washington Indians would work.  Keep the logo on the helmets.  It seems respectful.

On the flip side, the Cleveland Indians need to lose their logo.

whereisthehonor

The poster above came from the American Indian Movement (A.I.M.) website.

As I pointed out recently in another post on this blog, many actual American Indians call themselves Indians as well as Native Americans.  The American Indian Movement is a group that sticks up for, well, let’s call them Indians since that is what they call themselves in their organization’s name .   It is not the name Indian that is the problem.

Below is the sign for the Pine Ridge Indian (not Native American) Reservation.

Pine-Ridge-Indian-Reservation-image

If Redskins is dropped as the name, just use the name that real Indians call themselves and, again, keep the logo.

Now let us consider the names of two other professional football teams and an appropriate, very cool, even beautiful, logo.

The fierce Minnesota Vikings  logo does not seem disrespectful to me.   However, I have a suggestion for them too.  And for the Dallas Cowboys.  I have a dream.  Pick me!  Pick me to represent both identities.

viking logo

mustache al
If the Vikings merge with the Cowboys, I would like to be considered as the mascot since I am a Viking Cowboy by a combination of Scandinavian ethnicity  and American West cultural circumstance.  I hereby consent to my image on the right being displayed as the face of the Dallas Vikings, or for the Minnesota Cowboys, depending how the negotiations go.  It could even be drawn as a caricature to be used as a logo, such as the Viking on the left as long as it is done tastefully and depicts my rugged good looks in a respectful manner.

A team with that visual image looks to me like a winner!

While they work out the details of the merger, I will work on the mustache and Viking braids.  I already have a good cowboy hat.

WyattCarlsonStache

Pre-Campaign Identity Strategy

The response across the nation to my pre-announcement of my candidacy for the U.S. Senate has been even more greatly underwhelming than anticipated.   Apparently, the Senate has plenty of white males already.  It might be advisable to emphasize diversity within my gene pool.

One of my grandfathers used to say that he was “mixed as the dogs in the streets.”  With fewer dogs in the streets due to leash laws, as well as the greater use of spay and neuter clinics, that saying probably lost some of its impact. Shucks, that was gonna bring me some street cred.

I do have two grandparents born to Swedish immigrants, so I could emphasize a strong Viking heritage.  The new TV series called The Vikings might have  helped in popularizing Vikings, yet I am not certain that will translate into electability.  I need more of an American identity.

Colorado is a western state.  We elected a former Senator named Ben Nighthorse Campbell.  I like Senator Campbell and even met him at a cafe when he was on his way to a meeting and asked me for directions after I introduced myself.

Former University of Colorado  Professor Ward Churchill did not run for office as far as I know, but he knew how to get attention.  Professor Churchill not only offended lots of folks by his comments about 911 being the fault of Americans rather than terrorists, but he also turned out to be a poser about being Native American.  I might have more Indian blood than him.  My gramma, who lived in Chickasha, Oklahoma, claimed to be part-Indian before it was so popular that Professor Churchill wanted to join the Native American club.  I don’t think Gramma knew about the scholarships or she might have gone further than the eighth grade.

On the subject of Native American vs. Indian, isn’t it telling that the American Indian Movement (AIM) organization named itself what it did?  Also, the proud Oglala Sioux at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation have not changed their sign.

Pine-Ridge-Indian-Reservation-image

Will Rogers is one of my heroes.  I wish he was still around to be my campaign chairman.

Back to the drawing board……….  I am working on “branding” my campaign identity.  How does the electorate feel about cowboys?

As I do this strategic planning, based on Will Rogers and Gramma, I have decided to open up my campaign staff to Okies, despite my Texan wife’s prejudices.

Okie dokey!

Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse was a Sioux war leader who was never defeated in battle.  He was one of the strategists at the Battle of Little Big Horn, where General Custer was wiped out by an alliance of Indian tribes. 

He fought to protect his home in the Black Hills of what is now South Dakota.  He was never defeated, but he did surrender and was taken to Fort Robinson, in the Pine Ridge area of Nebraska.  Sadly, he was murdered there, stabbed in the back by a bayonet, to the shame of his captors.

He died in 1877.  Many years later, Indian leaders persuaded an award winning sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski, to build a monument such as Mount Rushmore, honoring Crazy Horse.  The “monumental” job was undertaken by the artist in 1948, but is still not completed.  Mr. Ziolkowski died in 1982.  His family continues the task.  So far, after six decades, only the face of Crazy Horse is recognizable.  It is not really a task of sculpting because a mountain is being carved by dynamite primarily.  There is a sculpture done by the artist which is being recreated on a much larger scale.  It is a daunting task. 

I recommend that you visit the monument, which is near Custer, South Dakota.  There is no hurry though.  Take your time.

Buffaloed

Yesterday I wrote about our trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota last weekend.  Actually, that post was more about our misadventures with the trailer we rented.  This one will be more positive and well illustrated with American Bison, also known as Buffaloes, so if you are not enthused about such critters, back off immediately.

Buffaloes were central to the culture of Plains Indians, including the Lakota Sioux people, many of whom still live in South Dakota.  I have previously written about the Pine Ridge Reservation.  Tomorrow, I intend to write about a famous Lakota leader, Crazy Horse.

There is a large buffalo herd in Custer State Park.  Yesterday was the annual buffalo round-up there.  During the weekend prior to that event, when we were visiting, the town of Custer celebrated the importance of buffalo to the area in many ways.  On street corners throughout downtown Custer were life-size model buffaloes that had been painted creatively by artists.  On Friday evening was a reception at a bank at which the public could meet the artists and get a preview of their artwork, which was auctioned off the next day.  Not only were the full sized buffaloes auctioned, but also smaller sculptures of buffaloes and paintings of buffaloes.  Lots of buffalo art!   Since our home is decorated with western art, and since Miss Sugar is an artist and art teacher, the art auction was of great interest to us.   I’d like to say that we picked this weekend so that we could attend, but it was simply good luck that we happened to be there.

Now you are probably wondering what art we purchased.  The answer is that the bidders were out of our league.  However, we did buy a buffalo skull from a booth of such items.  It was not part of the auction but it was part of the buffalo festival. 

We’d like to go back to Custer, South Dakota next September for the buffalo weekend.

After the PowWow

Previously, I wrote about my introduction to Native American people, aka Indians.  Now I will tell you the rest of the story. 

As a dedicated young cowboy, interested in the American West, I enjoyed family trips  to places like Fort Robinson, where Crazy Horse was assassinated, and the Black Hills, sacred to the Sioux.  The Pine Ridge Reservation is in South Dakota on the border of Nebraska.  We visited Wounded Knee in the Pine Ridge. 

So, when I had to pick an 8th grade history project, I wrote about American Indians and learned a lot in the process.

Later, during my higher education, I signed up for a class called “Concentration in Cross Cultural Communication”  because it included a three week field trip as part of the requirement.  Some of my classmates went to Africa.  I arranged to go to the Pine Ridge Reservation.  In preparation, I read Dee Brown’s book, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.  Unfortunately, at the time I was to go there in the spring of 1975, the American Indian Movement folks like Russell Means had a standoff with FBI agents and took some hostages.  So, I was told that it was not a good time to visit.

Instead, I redirected my field trip to New Mexico, where I stayed at Ghost Ranch near Abiqui.  I was there three weeks.  I visited the seven northern Pueblos, including the Taos Pueblo.  I enjoyed the experience, meeting some nice folks and learning a lot.  As it turns out, many years later, I still enjoy northern New Mexico.  My trophy wife, Miss Sugar, and I frequently make trips to Santa Fe, Taos, Abiqui and Ojo Caliente. 

Miss Sugar has made friends with some artisans in that area and gets materials such as turquoise and silver to use in her own jewelry making business.  She likes the SouthWest stuff.  So do I.  Actually, our log house on the ranch is decorated with cowboy decor, including SouthWest items.  Plus, I use guns and antlers in much of my decorating.

Fortunately, Miss Sugar shares, no, improves upon my taste in decor.  Of course, there is a good reason why.  Not only did she grow up in Texas, but she is an Indian princess, no less than 1/16th Shoshone.  Get a load of that.  That first powwow became my destiny.

Legend of Rawhide

Me and Miss Sugar made a quick trip to Nebraska and Wyoming this weekend.  It was fun.

On Friday, after work, we drove to Scottsbluff, Nebraska, where I lived before coming to Colorado thirty years ago.  We ate at Applebee’s and stayed at the Hampton Inn.  Everything was fine.  I like western Nebraska.  Scottsbluff is so far west that it is only about twenty-five miles to the Wyoming border.

Saturday morning, we headed to Lusk, Wyoming for the performance of The Legend of Rawhide, which we had never seen but heard about from a gal who used to live there before coming to Fort Collins.  She told us to stay with her Aunt Dottie at her bed and breakfast, which we did.

While waiting for the evening performance, we poked around town.  We visited the local museum and the local pub.  At the pub, a bunch of young men in cowboy hats was drinking and playing pool.  They had an odd custom of sharing a jar of pickle juice.  When offered to Miss Sugar and myself, after we remarked about it, we declined.  No regrets about that decision.  The cheeseburger I got with tater tots was pretty good, but I doubt we will be back.  The patrons were too loud for my taste.

Aunt Dottie’s bed and breakfast was lovely.  She has a mansion-like house with a balcony off the second floor rooms.  In the stairway is a stained glass window imported from Italy.  It looks like it belongs in a cathedral. 

The performance was very well done, all by local folks.  Some played mountain men, some Sioux Indians, and some were folks on a wagon train passing through Wyoming on the way to Oregon.  They had fast galloping horses when the Indian warriors circled the wagon train for a battle after one of the pilgrims shot the chief’s daughter, which is a sure way to incur the wrath of them Sioux.  I was impressed by how the Lusk community comes together to put this on.  Well done.  If you visit Lusk next year, you will probably like it too. 

This morning, Aunt Dottie put out a good breakfast, which we shared with a family from California.  Mr. and Mrs. California knew about this weekend because they grew up in the area before migrating on to California.

After breakfast, Miss Sugar and I traveled about eighty miles east again to Fort Robinson, a former cavalry outpost in the Pine Ridge area of Nebraska.  It has a rich history, including the infamous distinction of being where Crazy Horse surrendered.  Sad for him, after surrendering, he was assasinated by a half-breed.  It was not a fair fight.  Now the fort is a state park.  This is another place I recommend that people interested in the West visit.  Not far away is the Pine Ridge Reservation, which has a history of its own, including the site of the Wounded Knee incident that Dee Brown wrote about years ago in his book, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.

We just got home and were glad that it rained a lot while we were gone.  That surely helped put out the fires.  Thank you, Lord!

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