This is the 21st year the Fond du Lac Follies has appeared in print. Once again let us all gather around and sing together. Happy Birthday to it, Happy Birthday to it. Happy Birthday Dear Follies, Happy Birthday to it.....or Mino-dibishkam to it, Mino-Dibishkam to it, Mino-dibishkam dear Follies, Happy Birthday to it.
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There, don’t you feel better? I certainly do. That comes out to 252 columns, if you can’t find something to laugh about in there, can’t find something to think about or whine about, perhaps you should read elsewhere. Maybe even write something yourself?
The first 12 years of the Follies will be coming out in the form of a book. It is called the Distilled Follies and will be published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. The publication date is expected to be in January or February of 2011. We couldn’t put all of the columns in there because of the space limitations so we had to cut some stories. We distilled it down to the right size.
Dr. Margaret Noori helped with the editing. Megan, as we usually call her, has agreed to write an introduction to the Distilled Follies. For those who missed out the first time around this is a chance to read the vintage Follies.
**** Aaniin ezhi ayaayan? How are you? Well, alphabetically speaking, I had an abscess in my arse, a boil in my buttocks, a carbuncle in my can, a disaster in my derriere, an eruption in my epidermis, a fissure in my fanny, a gouge in my glutes, a hole in my haunch, and an infection in my interior. I had to have surgical help with my medical malady.
I wrote about the same problem four or five years ago, strictly as an experiment. I wanted to see if I could write about a somewhat distasteful subject in a enlightening and silly way as a way to block the pain and painful memories.
I went to Mino-ayaawin clinic and talked to the doctor, he took notes and asked if the wound was draining. I thought it was and he prescribed an antibiotic after the examination, he suggested a hot bath to ease the pain. Apparently the wound closed up and continued to fester inside. The Doctor said I should get to the emergency room right away.
My wife took me to the emergency room in Cloquet Hospital and the doctor there said she thought I should be examined by a surgeon. They called an ambulance and I was transported to St. Mary’s in Duluth.
What? An ambulance for my burning bum, my painful posterior? Fortunately, they didn’t use the red lights and siren. That was the first time I ever rode to Duluth wearing just a medical gown.
I was examined by two doctors, one of whom was a surgeon. I was wheeled into surgery right away. They issued me a white party hat for my head hair. Once again, I met the gas passer who put me to sleep. I woke up after about ninety minutes. The surgeon explained my wound was rather deep and I would need to be packed with medicated gauze so the wound would heal from the bottom out.
The next morning I was released and the pain pills were doing what they were supposed to do. No pain no where. Nurses from three different agencies examined and attended to my wound. The hole healed from the bottom of my bottom out as it was supposed to. No more dual exhausts.
**** Fond du Lac Follies motored to St. Paul to attend the Native American Journalists Association Convention. The doings were held in the Crown Royal Hotel. I began seeing Indians as soon as I walked into the lobby so I knew I was in the right place. I called Ray Earley to join me, I knew we would get good eats there. We did. I was invited to be the plenary speaker, didn’t know what that was so I looked it up in the dictionary. I told stories for an hour. One friend I met there was Dan Agent, a former editor of his tribe’s newspaper. About fifteen years ago, he was being fired because of something he ran in the newspaper. I wrote about “freedom of the press” in Indian Country at the time. Since then a new administration came in and did include that freedom.
They are now celebrating ten years of freedom of the press in Cherokee country. Here at Fond du Lac we don’t have freedom of the press. Right on the masthead of our Rez newspaper we are told no letters to the editor are allowed, no opinion pieces either. We have a ways to go before we have freedom of the press here.