Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the tag “Pine Ridge”

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.

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!

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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