The time to harvest maple sap came and
we were ready. By we, I mean the crew, son Joe, son Aaron, nephew
Kris and two daughter in laws, Sara and Jackie.
We have been working together for
about a decade and I think any one of them can set up their own sugar
bush. That was my goal when I invited them all to work with me. The
afternoon sun brought warm feelings to us.
Months before we tap we talk. We
decide which trees we will use. This year we found a better place to
get the gallon jugs, our drills are still good from last year. We use
electric and hand drills to make the holes in the trees. Because of
attrition we made some new taps.
The deep snow was a handicap, my
brother Vern said he slipped off the trail and sunk into the snow,
the only part of Vern that was showing was his hat, now that’s
deep. My crew had to wear snowshoes most of the time.
In our first boil we began with 110
gallons of sap, when we were done we had four gallons of syrup.
After having the appropriate ceremony.
The syrup was delicious and I am glad we do this every year.
I think we will have one more boil
before we pull the taps to close another successful season.
Along with nephew Kris, Fond du Lac
Follies motored to the state capital. The event was to rally support
for the legalization of cannabis. The people gathered in the rotunda
of that huge building, the one with gold horses on the roof. Nathan
Ness invited me to say a few words. So I did. I support the
legalization of cannabis. As my son said, I outed myself. By the time
you read this I will be 71 years old so even death doesn’t scare
NORML was there passing out t-shirts,
brochures, and posters. I got an extra shirt for my wife.
Cannabis has helped pull me through
some tough times.
Fond du Lac Follies motored to St.
Cloud State University. Fond du Lac Follies motored away from St.
Cloud State University. The less said, the better.
I do not support pipelines, my tribal
government likes pipelines because they have 18 million reasons to
like them. That is how much the pipeline company paid our tribal
leaders. $18 million.
I know of two explosions that happened
to the existing pipelines, one was in the Ditchbanks and the other
was just south of the Black Bear Casino. That one threw rocks and
dirt on Interstate 35.
I do not like pipelines.
In one of the most usual projects
ever, Trudy Vrieze asked me to be part of a cat calendar she is
working on. I know the world is divided into those who love cats and
those who don’t. I am one of the don’ts. Someone asked me if I
liked cats, I responded with that old vaudeville line. “Sure, I
like cats but I don’t think I could eat a whole one by myself.”
In spite of that I agreed to the photo shoot. Trudy assured me it was
for a good cause, she was raising money for people who care for and
neuter cats and dogs.
Sure enough Trudy showed up with her
long-lensed camera and her husband Robert. She said she could stop by
at the world headquarters of the Fond du Lac Follies on her way home
from Fergus Falls, Minn.
We had to borrow a prop cat from my
son Joe. I didn’t catch the cat’s name. I don’t think anyone
threw it. Joe and Sara were the cat handlers. They handed me the cat
and I sat on the couch in front of the camera.
Trudy wanted a photo of our two faces
next to each other. I could feel the cat tense up, he (or she) was
getting ready to jump using my chest for traction. I could feel the
cat’s claws beginning to dig in.
I knew Oscar Mayer Wiener Dog and
Buster Brown Shoes liked cats about as much as I do. For the duration
of the photo shoot they were caged and delegated to the basement.
When Trudy thought she had enough
photographs to choose from, the handlers took the cat away from me.
I went downstairs to rescue the two
dogs from their exile. They both ran upstairs and began sniffing
around, they knew a cat had visited, I surmised.
Trudy began shooting photographs of my
two handsome dogs. Both went to the front window and leaped up and
put their paws on the window sill. They looked photogenic. She
agreed. She took some more photographs outside where the dogs
The views expressed here belong to
the writer alone, they are not meant to represent this tribal
government, this Reservation, this newspaper or anyone else. Comments
and bingo packs can be sent to FdL Follies, PO Box 16, Sawyer,
Minnesota 55780, email: email@example.com; Facebook name: Jim