|Written by by Jim Northrup,
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Fond du Lac Follies jetted to Phoenix, Arizona for an event at the Heard Museum. My wife Patricia accompanied me. We didn’t make our reservations at the same time so we were not able to sit together on the three hour flight. It was no big thing because we knew rows 22A and 14F get to the airport in Phoenix at the same time. We had a delightful reunion in the Phoenix Airport.
The weather was cold and rainy. I was glad we still had our winter clothing on. So much for our escape from the cold of winter.
We become Holiday Inndians on the first night of the visit.
We easily located the Heard Museum, thank god or AT&T for iphones. We got to the museum with plenty of dumb time before the scheduled reading of my work so we looked around. I laughed when I found out non-Indians had to pay $18.00 to get in and all we had to do was show our tribal IDs.
There were numerous exhibits. I liked the one about the Navajo Marine Code talkers and the one about boarding schools. We looked in the gift shop and thought we’d have to sell one of our grandkids and a canoe to afford the beautiful art for sale.
When the time came I recited poetry and read from my works for the audience. Keith Secola joined me with his guitar and flute. His music certainly added to the impact of my words.
We followed Keith to his home where we met his family. Patty cooked us a meal, after so much eating out, it felt good to eat home cooked food. We sat on the patio and enjoyed the sight of his fruit trees, he has fruit just hanging from the branches. I thought of the thigh high snow back home.
We left early because we had to get up and be in Tuscon, 96 miles away, at 0900.
There wasn’t much to see while driving across the desert except for saguaro cactus sticking up out of the sand. There were mountains in all directions.
The event this day was a book expo on the campus of the University of Arizona. It was said that 45,000 people would attend. We were assigned a tent and set up copies of Rez Salute. Most people walked by without looking at the authors and their displays. There was too much to see and most folks walked by with glazed eyes, looked like they were suffering from information overload. I thought I would have to set my leg on fire for them to notice me and my book. What I found gratifying was when people would dig out their copy of any of my previous titles and ask me to sign the book.
When our time in the booth was over I consulted my iphone for directions on how to get out of town.
We motored through the sunny desert back to Phoenix where we would sleep and catch an airplane back to winter in Minnesota.
The flight home was uneventful, my favoritest kind.
**** Fond du Lac Follies motored to the Native American Literature Symposium at the Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake. We were there to take part in the Mazinaate part of the doings.
Each person was allotted five minutes to talk. I read a mix of my material.
The best part for me was seeing my old friend Dr. Margaret Noodin. She came from Michigan for the doings.
We visited with those we knew then headed north on I35.
**** Mark your calendars for the 13th of April. We will have a ten-dollar a plate dinner and a live auction of art for sale. We are raising money for our language camp in June. Among the art items we have so far are five signed Carl Gawboy prints. My friend Ted Charles, USMC veteran, has made an elm bow with an estimated pull of 55 pounds. He is donating that for the auction. We have many other pieces of art for the auction. One of the most unusual items is a tanned kangaroo hide. A moccasin maker could have fun with that item. A person wearing them could really jump far I think.
**** We have 200 maple trees tapped but we are bragging 250 trees. Sugar bush is always a family time of the year. So far we have had a son, a nephew and a daughter-in-law forming the nucleus of the crew. My grandson Joe Northrup will help when it comes time to gather sap and boil it down to maple syrup. As we prepare for the first boil we are wondering who will join us in making syrup.
**** Mii iw, mii sa iw.