Friday, April 29, 2016

Outdoor and Night Games: Hyrum in the 60s

Some of the games we played growing up were large community games.  These were games such as kick-the-can, hide-and-seek.  We lived kitty-corner from Todd Nielsen and I remember going there for some very large kick-the-can games.  This was hard on whoever was "it" because it was almost impossible to capture a large group before someone kicked the can and set everyone free.
In this game someone is "it" and attempts to capture everyone while also defending the can (a can placed in an open location.)  this could become tricky as if you went on direction to capture someone, somebody could come from the other direction and set everyone free.  However it was a good evening game in the summer.
Tag was also common.  Again we would often play in the Nielsen yard.  They seemed to have a big front yard and many of us would congregate there.  Different tag versions included regular tag.  However we would also play frozen tag, where the person "it" had to capture everyone.  If he touched you you were frozen until someone not touched yet could tag you and then you were unfrozen.  This game seemed to be a bit more even than kick the can and not quite as difficult for the person "it."
Other communal games would be participating in sports.  On day we went to the Nielsen'a for a big game of football.  Everyone had their own t-shirt upon which they had put numbers with magic marker.  I remember I tended to Willie Wood of the Packers.  One child, whose mother didn't want to mark a shirt, came with the numbers pinned to the shirt.  Some people just don't understand.  You can't play with pinned numbers because they are dangerous if a tackle sport.
We would also organize baseball games in our community.  When we first moved to Hyrum, there were two vacant lots next door.  We used these for a baseball diamond.  We would have friends from a couple blocks away come to play.  This would include the Wengreens, the Nielsens and the Burnetts.  Even Denny McClain would come at times.  We had quite some adventures.  This lots included hills form soil removal when they put in our house.  This made a nice home run fence.  Our bases were not always conventional.  We had a big rock as our third base.  Charlie was playing third.  One game a low liner was hit.  The ball hit the rock and bounced up and caught Charlie a good one in the face.  I can't remember where, but it was bloody and painful.  We replaced our third base after that.
We had some good fun.  When they finally built homes next door it did not destroy our baseball games.  We then moved across the street next to the Burnetts where there was a pasture which sufficed for a good baseball playing field.  Weldon would usually put these games together.  It is interesting because when he was 15 he started running Hyrum Little League games and organizing leagues on a broader basis.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Duckwater Personalities: Sophie Allison and Irene Mike

When I was in Duckwater, Sophie Allison and Irene Mike were already part of the Senior Center program.  However they were both still very active.  They were sisters.  They were some of the few who actually attended the Lund Ward on a regular basis.  And when we started a branch in Duckwater, they were very active.
One of the most impressive things about Sophie Allison was her weaving.  I feel, in her own right, she was keeping a vanishing tradition, with lots of history in Nevada, alive.  I visited her one afternoon while she was preparing willows for weaving.  She gathered the willows from along creeks.  The Currant Creek had a large patch of willows and this was a favorite spot for gathering.  She would keep the willows in water until she was ready for them.  She would take a willow form the water, and then hold it in her mouth.  With her fingers she would peel the bark away.  In this manner she prepared the willows for weaving.  Sophie was adept at making cradle boards.  They had a different design on the hood for boys and girls.
girl

boy
 She also made baskets.  Mostly she would make baskets to assist in the gathering of pine nuts.  I remember she would make cone shaped baskets for this.
This is a skill that was important to the original Shoshone.  I don't know who is carrying on this tradition now that Sophie is gone.
Sophie in the middle and Irene on the right
Many of the children from the reservation looked to these two women as Grandmother.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Poetry I Like: The Song My Paddle Sings

The Song My Paddle Sings
 
E. Pauline Johnson (1862–1913)
 
 
WEST wind, blow from your prairie nest,
Blow from the mountains, blow from the west.
The sail is idle, the sailor too;
O wind of the west, we wait for you!
Blow, blow!        5
I have wooed you so,
But never a favor you bestow.
You rock your cradle the hills between,
But scorn to notice my white lateen.
 
I stow the sail and unship the mast:        10
I wooed you long, but my wooing’s past;
My paddle will lull you into rest:
O drowsy wind of the drowsy west,
Sleep, sleep!
By your mountains steep,        15
Or down where the prairie grasses sweep,
Now fold in slumber your laggard wings,
For soft is the song my paddle sings.
 
August is laughing across the sky,
Laughing while paddle, canoe and I        20
Drift, drift,
Where the hills uplift
On either side of the current swift.
 
The river rolls in its rocky bed,
My paddle is plying its way ahead,        25
Dip, dip,
When the waters flip
In foam as over their breast we slip.
 
And oh, the river runs swifter now;
The eddies circle about my bow:        30
Swirl, swirl!
How the ripples curl
In many a dangerous pool awhirl!
And far to forward the rapids roar,
Fretting their margin for evermore;        35
Dash, dash,
With a mighty crash,
They seethe and boil and bound and splash.
 
Be strong, O paddle! be brave, canoe!
The reckless waves you must plunge into.        40
Reel, reel,
On your trembling keel,
But never a fear my craft will feel.
 
We’ve raced the rapids; we’re far ahead:
The river slips through its silent bed.        45
Sway, sway,
As the bubbles spray
And fall in tinkling tunes away.
 
And up on the hills against the sky,
A fir tree rocking its lullaby        50
Swings, swings,
Its emerald wings,
Swelling the song that my paddle sings.

This poem is written by a Native American woman, E. Pauline Johnson.  I like the feel of the paddle, and can feel both the rush of the rapids, and the peacefulness of the calm before and after.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Duckwater: Digging a Sewer Leach Line

In doing social work, sometimes you do what is needed.  While I worked for the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe, a tribal member's house burned, and a family was homeless.  I was on the phone to arrange with B.I.A. housing for a double wide trailer to be provided.  The tribe provided a property for the same, and would get water and electricity to the site. The septic tank would also be provided by the B.I.A.  However they would not provide the labor for placing the septic tank nor the leach line. That is one of those extra duties as assigned.  Someone from the B.I.A. directed the project, and I and tribal employees provided the labor.   We spent a day putting this in.  Of course a back hoe did most of the heavy work, but there was shoveling to get the right slant, and then shoveling in gravel.  I don't know much about such things, and just did what I was shown.  However it felt good to provide a real contribution, and for the family with there young ones to move back in.  I was able to visit them a couple months later delivering Christmas gifts provided by Save The Children.  It takes a community sometimes.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Duckwater Community Projects 1983-85: Physical Education: Duckwater Shoshone Tribal School

When you work for a small community, you become involved any many different activities.  On of those was helping the Duckwater Tribal school with recreation.  I had experience with community recreation in Hyrum, Utah where I grew up.  I also drew lots from materials I borrowed from Clyde Buff, who had graduated in recreation from Utah State University.  I too had taken a class in this topic.
My first year in Duckwater I was pressed for some consistent things to do.  As a result I volunteered for doing physical education at the Duckwater Shoshone School.  Usually I would try to fill the time with activities.  These were games and activities I found in a large book Clyde had from school.  We played some pretty fun games.  One of the favorite was "pomp" a game I played growing up in Hyrum.  We went through lots of games, and then picked the ones we liked best.  We played a crab walk soccer and chase games, and pomp became a favorite.  He also did several different types of relays.  We also played freeze tag.  During the winter we had the use of the tribal gym.  During the summer we played outside.  Then we played softball.  We also played soccer and tag.
One year Jan Halstead helped sponsor an American Lung Association Olympic marathon.  This event was a joint County School and Tribal School event.  The kids took pledges and then participated in several different Olympic type events.  These included broad jump, Frisbee throw and a short dash.  I helped train the kids and then participated as a judge for some of the events.
ANother joint event was a jump rope-a-thon.  Jan also helped sponsor this.   Some of the kids took part in this as well.  We had fun in P.E. jumping rope and practicing for this.  Rondee Graham, one of the younger children, was a very good jump roper.  When we did the jump-a-thon groups of four would take turns so one of the four would be jumping all the time.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Skinny Dipping in Rigby

One time we were in Rigby, my father was determined to show us his old swimming hole.  It didn't matter that it was Sunday, nor that we not brought swimming suits.  My Dad was determined that we try out the idea, and he took pictures of his to document the event.  We took our cousin Danny, as well as a couple of the Olsen boys who came with the directive form their father to not get wet.  However in swinging across, one of the brothers fell, and to not be the only one punished pushed the other one in so they were both wet.  Their father was mad.  Sara and Clyde drove down to look for us, and caught Weldon in the raw.  I was smart enough to stay in the water.
Danny behind and my brother's behind as well

Yours Truly

Cousin Reed Olsen swinging.  He missed and got wet and man was his dad mad.

Me and my brothers

This is Weldon

My dad had a thing for taking pictures of us nude.  This is our bathtub in Hyrum.  My mom did some editing.  I don't know why, but usually bathed together until we were quite a bit older, every Saturday.  You know, the get ready for Sunday thing.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Stories I Like: Apes, Stairs and Bananas from Good Clean Fun

GCF: Apes, Stairs and a Banana

Start with a cage containing five apes. In the cage, hang a
banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before long, an
ape will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the
banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the
apes with cold water. After a while, another ape makes an
attempt with the same result - all the apes are sprayed with
cold water.

Continue until, when another ape tries to climb the stairs,
the other apes try to prevent it.

At this point, turn off the cold water.

Now remove one ape from the cage and replace it with a new ape.
The new ape sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To
his horror, all of the other apes attack him. After another
attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the
stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five apes and replace it
with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked.
The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with
enthusiasm.

Again, replace a third original ape with a new one. The new one
makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four
apes that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to
climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating
of the newest ape.

After replacing the fourth and fifth original apes, all the apes
which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced.

Nevertheless, no ape ever again approaches the stairs. Why not?

"Because that's the way it's always been around here."

And that's how corporate policies begin.

This I found on Good Clean Fun.  It is on Jeff Bridges website





The Ham Story

A similar story I heard was a woman who always chopped the ends off the ham before putting it in the oven to  roast.  When her husband saw his wife wasting some of the ham he asked her why.  She said because my mother always did it this way.  Husband asks, "Why did your mother do it that way?"  "I don't know, she just did."  Husband finally prevails upon her to call mother and ask her.  The answer, I had a small roasting pan and  the hame would not fit if I didn't cut off the ends.  Who knows sometimes why we do what we do.  Sometimes you just have to think outside of the box.
This story I heard at Amway conventions.