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My Life Interacts with that of our Crow friends

December 8, 2015
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One thing follows another.

December 6, 2015

Sunday:  I’m in the basement of First Congregational Church in Billings, Montana. A woman named Terri just bought a children’s book of Crow Tribal children’s stories about the Old Coyote.  I had wondered who would buy it.  I suspected she might.  She struck me as the kind of woman who had some inkling about cross-cultural things.

She is White and her teenage son is African American.  They are both Americans, of course.  Members of our church.

I looked for kazoos at the dollar store.  I don’t know the actual name of the store, but everything in it costs, you know, a buck.  I think there were two kinds of people in the store.  I represented one kind.  I simply wanted to find some kazoos and I didn’t know where else to look.  The other kind were short of cash and visited the dollar store to shop for bargains.  I tried to pick people out as belonging to one group or another.  I thought that perhaps the young man who had held the door for me belonged in group two.  People starting out in life tended to be short of cash.  I remembered that we had been short of cash for years.  We needed cash the most when we had it the least.  Now it is the other way around.

December 7, 2015

Monday:  I suddenly remembered that I still needed kazoos.  I shouted the question at work, in the pharmacy.  “Where can I buy a kazoo?”  Meredith, the woman in the narcotics cage, recommended that I go to Rimrock Mall to a vile store near Dillards.

I did, after work.  In the store, a young man who needed to be coached in how to use the till sold me the kazoos, so I was good.  I took the kazoos to Russell Rowland’s house.

Writing workshop, however, was vaguely unsatisfying.  Oh, the stories were good, some were even great.  The stories people told us verbally were the best.  Finally, what was most satisfying was the story that a member of our group, an Irish/Crow woman, told us.

Her mother had boldly stood up to a white farmer who had defiantly raised a wheat crop on her land after the lease expired.  You could tell the memory pained our fellow writer.  The racism.  The sexism.  However, the woman’s mother prevailed.

“She stood up to the man!” cried Rick.  The woman’s mother “gave the finger to the man,”  Rick exulted.  [cheers]

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