Little Egypt Heritage Articles
© Bill Oliver
16 December 2007
Vol 6 Issue: #48
O’siyo, Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen of Little Egypt,
The season is one of ‘good feeling' for peoples around the world.
Birthdays also happen. There is empathy to be expressed about presents
for birthdays and Christmas – does one get more because of the two so
close together? [Happy 97th Birthday tomorrow for Aunt Lois.] It is also
the season when all too frequently many folks pass from this plain.
On December 14th last, Nebraska witnessed the passing of Julia T.
Tharnish. Ms Tharnish was celebrated as Nebraska's oldest citizen at 111
years old. We hope the Wake was ‘Grand'.
A wee bit younger, Floyd Red Crow Westerman passed last Thursday.
"There is an ancient Indian saying that something lives only as long as
the last person who remembers it. My people have come to trust memory
over history. Memory, like fire, is radiant and immutable while history
serves only those who seek to control it, those who douse the flame of
memory in order to put out the dangerous fire of truth. Beware these men
for they are dangerous themselves and unwise. Their false history is
written in the blood of those who might remember and of those who seek
the truth." -Floyd Red Crow Westerman [1936-13Dec2007] as Albert Hosteen
in The X-Files episode "The Blessing Way"
This passing buzzed through the Internet on Friday last and I could not
help but remember the quote above. The event got me to thinking – more
than usual. The memory of us as beings is most fragile.
Floyd Red Crow is well known as an actor, musician [folk singer] and
activist. He portrayed the Sioux leader Ten Bears in "Dances with
Wolves"; he sang with Willie Nelson and Harry Belafonte. He was on the
television series "Walker, Texas Ranger" and "Dharma & Greg". The
quote illustrates his activist role, yet my morning newspaper gave him
but 27 lines. His credits cannot be expressed in so few narrow lines.
For interested folks who are interested readers, a good memorial can be
As various holiday celebrations ‘tick off' during this period of the
year, the season and days become very busy for many of us. So it is with
our family. Family and friends buzz into town or through it and stop for
a moment or two to reacquaint. Children of one generation or another
give performances with their schools and organizations. Preparations for
festive gatherings have been thought out and those physical activities
are under way. Ah, the exchange of recipes give thoughts of ‘sugar
plums' dancing in one's head. And, decorations, indoors and out, have
been prepared. We are noticing a shift in the types of outdoor
decorations. The inflatable types have increased while the ‘lights' have
decreased. Some lawns seem to be coated with flat plastic until evening
when things are again blown up.
Our grandchildren in elementary and junior high school have had their
programs. The music has taken on a more world wide flavor of this
season. This afternoon we went visiting a neighboring community or two
to listen to additional programs put on by our high school and college
At this juncture I sidestep a moment to mention that one of our families
takes an interest in local theatre and our high school granddaughter
received an award [called the ‘Willie', for the shortened community
name], for her role in a play called "The Clinic". We smile yet in
remembering how well she did in expressing the part. We think it
possible that she is the youngest winner to ever be selected for this
Back to an observation of the changing mode of celebration of this
season. More cultures are being included in the seasonal celebrations in
any presentations done by our children. The observation that comes to my
mind is that in some larger metropolitan areas, great concern is
expressed over any Christian representations, while in smaller
communities, while other cultures might be expressed, the Christian
traditions are still maintained.
We have much conversation as to be more politically correct with
expressing "Happy Holidays" and/or maintaining the traditional "Merry
Christmas". Either way it is still a "good feeling" season, so my family
wishes everyone the best of Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. This
house of mine feels that the Great Creator made us all, everyone from
the same source. Our differences have developed since, but we are still
from the same source, and that is important.
e-la-Di-e-das-Di ha-WI NV-WA-do-hi-ya NV-WA-to-hi-ya-da.
(May you walk in peace and harmony)
"Myths are universal and timeless stories that reflect and shape our
lives ..." Alexander McCall Smith, Dream Angus