Sunday, July 8, 2012

Quirk in the Flow, Quirk in the Flow (to the tune of: Band On The Run)

Don't you wish YOU were a cat?
Something changed.

I decided to buzz over to attend Lapwai Days, a Nez Perce Pow-wow in Lapwai, Idaho. I was greeted by a man who, once he calmed down, said he had "issues" about his land. He had thought I might have been some young "bucks" come to party and trash up the place. Once he realized I wasn't he became quite welcoming, but we had a few tense moments there and it put me on edge.  

I've heard small town life described as "living in a fish bowl." I've only encountered it here and there, but the incident above gave me the feeling. I mean, it only took the fellow about five minutes to show up. I hadn't even had time to change my shirt, which was the reason I stopped. Being  unfamiliar with the phenomena I can only speculate, but I'm in the early stages of a theory that says: it's heightened on a Rez.

As I toured Lapwai and its enviorns, I continually felt "observed." The first night it was obvious I was the stranger. The audience for the oral history performance was held in the high school gym. Practically every person there was under 17. And of the fifteen adults, I suspect I was the only full-blood anglo.

When I went into town the second day I met a man who reminded me I'd waved to them as they went by earlier that morning. Of course he had no way of knowing I'd waved to at least 20 other trucks going by that morning. I mentioned something about early-stage Alzheimers, but he didn't seem convinced.

I heard of a bagpipe fest in Athena, Oregon next weekend. I think I'll go there.

email:   mfhalb@gmail.com

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