Fond du Lac Follies

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Fond

du Lac Follies has sure been jetting a lot lately. It must be because November is American Indian Heritage Month. Speaking for myself, I believe every month is American Indian Heritage Month. My first airplane ride took me to Dayton. To get there I had to ride a jet to Atlanta. To get to Ohio I had to go to Georgia first. I guess it makes some kind of airline sense to go to the Peach state to get to the Buckeye state.

I proceeded to Wright State University, it was a huge place, 17,000 students. I met with some students who were leaders of the Native American students group. We shared some time together and then it was time for me to tell stories and recite poetry. I stood in front of the room and told stories about the Anishinaabe and about life on the Fond du Lac Reservation in what is now called Minnesota.

I flew from Dayton to Atlanta then on to Minneapolis and finally Duluth. I got to Sawyer and shook off the effects of jet lag.

I then flew from Duluth to Minneapolis to Portland, Oregon. This event

was a tribute to American veterans. American Indian veterans were

honored during this event. There were quite a few people including a

Navajo Code Talker. His name was Samuel Sandoval and it was interesting

visiting with him. He told me to forget everything about the movie

Windtalkers. He told me how it really was as a Code Talker in the

Marines during World War Two in the Pacific Island battles. He was

accompanied by his young wife, some vets asked if she was his

granddaughter but he laughed and said he was married to her. When

Samuel found out I was from Minnesota he said he was wishing for wild

rice. I gave him a pound of Perch Lake rice that my family gathered

last September.

Also in attendance were two men who were Tuskegee Airmen. Both

had flown P-51s in Europe during World War Two. I was in the midst of

historical figures at this event. There were quite a few American

Indian veterans of the Vietnam War there also. It rained for four days

and nights while I was in Portland. I thought the easiest job in

Portland was being a weather forecaster. Something like, "tonight we

will have rain followed by a thunderstrom tomorrow with sprinkles in

the evening and a gulley washer storm this weekend". I only saw the

bottom of the mountains because of the clouds. The rain

followed me back to Minnesota. I continued shaking off the effects of jet lag.

I caught a flight to Minneapolis for a flight to Cleveland. Roberto

Chavez had invited me to Cleveland State University and NASA invited me

to the John Glenn Space Center. I met some skins who worked for the

space agency. At NASA I told the employees about meeting John

Herrington, the Indian astronaut. I told them I gave him a fast ride in

my Corvette and asked if he wanted to drive it back. He asked if I

trusted him with my sports car. I told John if NASA trusted him with a

space shuttle I could trust him with my car. The employees of NASA

laughed at that story. In honor of John Herrington I took off my Marine

Corps hat and wore my NASA hat he had dated and autographed. At the end

of the reading I put my NASA hat away and put my Marine Corps hat back

on.

I went to the airport for a flight to Detroit and caught another airplane for the trip back to Duluth.

In the Rez newspaper I learned the Reservaton leaders liked my idea of

veterans parking. Ferdinand Martineau and Mary Northrup of the RBC

wrote about the proposal and they will make it happen. All Reservation

buildings will have parking spaces for Veterans I wrote a piece in the

Rez newspaper for Veterans Day. I proposed two ideas to the RBC. I

wrote about the State of Minnesota giving us a bonus after our

participation in the Vietnam War. I thought the Rez could follow the

State precedent and give veterans a bonus also. I also proposed the

veterans parking spaces at Rez buildings, at Naagachiwanong

Adawewigamig, the Black Bear casino and hotel, the golf course and the

three Community centers.

In a related note R & S Auto on the Big Lake Road is offering a 10%

discount on repairs for veterans. Good thing because I took the

Corvette there for repairs needed before I parked it for the winter.

Rob of R & S Auto decided on the discount after reading my piece in

the Rez newspaper.

Mii iw

The views expressed in this column belong to the writer alone. They are

not meant to represent the Fond du Lac Reservation, Fonjalackers, or

airlines anywhere. Comments and bingo packs can be sent to FdL

Follies, PO Box

16, Sawyer, MN 55780-0016. Email: jimnorthrupfdl@gmail.com