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Life in an Indian Town, Part 2

August 14, 2010

Sadly, summer has come to an end. . . you can only dream so long.  Waaah, waaah, sniff, sniff (imagine you hear lots of coughing, hacking, and spitting up in surround sound.)

Alas, the good times are over.  No more blind screaming hedonism at all hours.  No more back rubs, or for that matter, front rubs.  Sleeping is pretty much out of the question.  (If you’re gonna panic, now’s the time.)

Attention people of the Northern Hemisphere, summer’s kaput!  Work, work, work, work. I’m afraid it’s time to put our noses to the grindstone.  By the way, have I told you about my theory concerning the challenges of “putting our noses to the grindstone.”  Recall Michael Jackson. His famous nose, or lack of one.  Forget the rumors about multiple plastic surgeries, it was that nose-to-the-grindstone-thing.  Poor fellow.  

(I’m off topic.)

Okay, like I was saying, work, we must do it.  Before I head off to Amman, Jordan to work as a Fulbright scholar for 2010-2011, I thought I would post some pictures of the good times and good-timers that came to visit me this summer.

Four Chocs and a Taos Pueblo

It seems all roads bring Indians to Ada, Oklahoma during the summer.  (Just kidding.)  But hey, my friend, Taos Pueblo writer and scholar Jane Hafen, [left front] came to town to yuck it up with four Chocs at a local restaurant.  Also pictured is Jacki Rand, [back, left], Jay Watson, Sheila Watson, and me.  Jay and Sheila are the genius-fast-pitch-softball manager/player duo.  I met them at Tuskahoma in 2007, and their team, The Chahtas.  The Watsons stopped in Ada to see us before heading to Anadarko, Oklahoma to play in a Kiowa ball tourney.  Go Chahtas!

Here’s another pix of the “J” girls sitting in the living room of my house.  (I swear they were rolling snake eyes before I pulled out the camera.)  Seriously, Jane’s a professor of American Indian literature at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.  Jacki is a professor of history at the University of Iowa. But each summer she lives in Ada.

"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here."

Later, we all visit Linda Hogan’s home in Tish.

Scroll down.  Pictured are, Jacki, Jane, and American Indian lit scholar and dear friend Patrice Hollrah, ( also the director of the Writing Center at the University at Nevada at Las Vegas), Alyssa Craig (my granddaughter), Chickasaw writer-in-residence Linda Hogan, and me. By the way, thanks Patrice for the butcher knife for the ART HOUSE.  What a thoughtful gift.

Scroll down again.  Way down. More end of summer blow outs pixs.  Salonaires gave a literary reading at the Ada Heritage Center.  About 35 people attended our reading.  It was 101 outside.  Jeeze.  Jim Wilson read  from his memoir, Journeyman, set in Beirut from 1980-1989.  In the memoir Jim tells of fleeing the Lebanese civil war in 1987 for Athens Greece.  He later returns to Syria to continue his work as an archaeologist  with his lover, also an archaeologist, at the American University of Beirut.

Jim Wilson reading from his memoir, Journeyman.

Scroll way down.  More. A little more.  (Sorry.) Choctaw-Chickasaw poet Phil Morgan reads from his book, The Fork in the Road at the Indian Poetry Store, Salt Publishing, 2007.

Pssst: Ask Phil Morgan, (Choc-Chick) about his collection of new songs that he's written.

Way-way-way below, Ken Hada reads from his new poetry manuscript-in-progress.  (The poetry is fabulous by the way.)  As soon as he has a title I’ll leak it to the media.  Ken worked on his new book at Rilla Askew’s Kiamichi mountain retreat outside of McAlester, OK.  Rilla, an Oklahoma fiction writer, lives in upstate NY during the summers. (And yes, Ken is really sad that summer’s over.)  Other readers were Jacki Rand, Chris Ross, and me.

Poet Ken Hada, professor at East Central University

Way at the bottom of the post is me.  I gave a talk at the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy on a film I co-produced in 2006 with Native filmmaker, Jim Fortier.  The film, Playing Pastime, American Indians, Softball and Survival is a documentary about the 11 tribal fast-pitch softball tournaments in Oklahoma. Okay that’s all folks.

PS: Remember however to stay-tuned this fall for my blog posts from Jordan.  I promise to try and be serious.

I screened "Playing Pastime" at Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy in July. This is a documentary I co-produced with Native filmmaker Jim Fortier.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2010 9:22 am

    Good memories, my friend. Thanks for the comments regarding my poems. Now it is time to go away and work, but we will come together again and celebrate. Looking forward to it, as always.


  2. LeAnne Howe permalink
    August 15, 2010 11:11 am

    Tks Ken. Let’s cut a rusty soon. Perhaps before I travel.

  3. August 26, 2010 6:06 pm

    Hi Leanne,
    Long time reader, first time commenter. Great post. Also, I loved Miko Kings and that you portrayed a relationship between a Native American and an African American, something that is so rarely portrayed. The love story reminded me so much of my grandparents that I started crying (in a good way). Have a great time in Jordan and keep writing!

  4. LeAnne Howe permalink
    August 29, 2010 10:32 pm

    Tks Vanessa! The love affair between Ezol and Hope also made me cry. I hope you will follow my travels while I am in Jordan. I plan on posting essays about my adventures.


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