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Fond du Lac Follies
Fond du Lac Follies
Friday, November 11 2011
 
Written by Jim Northrup,
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Yeah, the war in Iraq is going to be over in a couple of months President Obama promises. Did we win? Did we lose? Or did we just lose interest in a war that just kept ambling on and on, one that cost billions of dollars and lives.
Was it worth it? Did we ever find those pesky weapons of mass destruction? How many Americans died in that long lasting war? I know who suffered besides the Iraqi, it was the combat veterans that came home greatly affected by their experiences.
According to the news over 4,000 Americans died, and over 150,000 Iraqi citizens. The cost of the war was estimated at 400 billion dollars.
But alas, the war is not over. Now I hear America is sending troops into Africa, four different countries. And what about Afghanistan, aren't Americans still getting wounded and dying there? I forget why we were even there in the first place.
Do we always have to be at war somewhere?

Fond du Lac Follies
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by by Jim Northrup,
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Fond du Lac Follies motored to Oklahoma with my family. I had been invited to Tahlequah by Richard Allen, a Marine who had served during the Vietnam War. He asked if I could talk about that war and recite some of my poetry. I said shore.
First of all, I could have flown there from Duluth, Minnesota and rented a car when I was close. I decided against that because I didn't want to be groped or radiated at the airport.
So, we took a road trip. We estimated the distance as 850 miles, mostly interstate. Our plan was each driver would do 200 miles then trade off. That worked well for us and we got to see Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri from the four lane highway. We only stopped for fuel for the car and us.
Near Joplin, we continued following our planned highway to meet a highway that led to Tahlequah. We didn't know two states had the same highway number and we found ourselves in Arkansas. The road narrowed, and at times rock ledges covered both lanes of the highway.  They were huge chunks of rocks that had fallen off the ledges in both ditches. On that narrow dark highway I thought I heard banjo music from the movie Deliverance. We were glad when we found the highway that went to Tahlequah.
It was hot there and the sun was merciless. The temps were in excess of 100 degrees (F) and we noticed the people didn't walk, they sauntered.  So right away we tried to saunter.  After a while we got good at sauntering. We leisurely strolled along. One of the places we strolled to was one of the Cherokee's casinos. We won enough at the slots to buy a tank of gasoline.
Fond du lac follies
Saturday, September 10 2011
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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It is a beautiful summer morning and I am listening to Robert Johnson and his blues guitar. I am writing the Follies while jamming along. The sun is shining on my left arm, the dogs, Oscar and his dog Belle, are barking at whatever dogs bark at. I am drinking coffee and wondering what I shall write about this time, so let's go, see what comes out while under the influence of blues and caffeine.

In looking back over the month since I wrote the last edition of the Follies I have had some visitors that were slightly out of the ordinary.

First of course was Gary Farmer.  He wanted a weekend away from his teaching duties in Sioux Lookout, Canada. He wanted to relax and perhaps play a little poker at the Black Bear Casino.
Fond du Lac Follies
Saturday, August 13 2011
 
Written by Circle Staff,
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It has been 22 years since the Follies has been running in The Circle newspaper in Minneapolis. So let us all gather around for the almost traditional singing of the Happy Birthday song.

Happy Birthday to it
Happy Birthday to it
Happy Birthday dear Follies
Happy Birthday to it.
   
There, done with that for another year. And what a different world we live in now compared to August, 1989.
I was 46 then, and since I began studying the Ojibwe Language, I can now say with great confidence niizhwaasimidana ashi ingodwaaswi endaso biboonigiz - I was 46 when I started writing the Follies. The Fond du Lac Follies has been in print niizhtana ashi niizh daso biboonagad - 22 years, that is a lot of Rez Cars and dogs ago. In that time period we have made over a thousand birch bark fanning baskets, hundreds of gallons of maple syrup, tons of wild rice and went to too damn many funerals.
Fond du Lac Follies
Friday, July 08 2011
 
Written by Jim Northrup,
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The Water Walkers came walking along the northern border of the Fond du Lac Reservation. This group was carrying a copper bucket of nibi (water) from the Pacific Ocean. They were going to join with walkers who were carrying water from the Atlantic Ocean, the Carribean and the Pacific Ocean. They were going to meet at the Bad River Reservation in northern Wisconsin.
While driving to meet them on Highway 2, I thought of the water I used to carry.
I was young, maybe eleven years old when I was introduced to carrying nibi. The house we lived in did not have running water. That was when,  as the oldest boy in the family, I learned it was my duty to go after nibi. We had electricity but no running water. There was ten kids running around but we had no running water. Year after year I supplied the water for my family. I carried so much nibi I thought my name was Nadoobii.
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