To inform NotestoPonder, an inquisitive, new, Western-Canada follower, here follows the tale of the Great Pow-Wow.
Knowing I had to get up early to take the daughter to the Pow-Wow, I went to bed early. Since regular for me is four AM, I headed for bed at three….right after a blog comment…and another. It’s 3:30, and the wife is still reading….it’s 4 AM and she’s turning the light out. Toss, turn, toss, turn….it’s 4:26, I’ll never get to slee….waddya mean it’s 7AM, and the alarm’s going off?
Juice and pills, feed the cats, water the dog, the son comes home and I take the car to pick up the daughter’s friend, and then her and her stuff. Not a cold day, but the fog’s so thick I can see KayJai’s face in it.
It’s so thick, I almost couldn’t see the photo radar police car. I drove past one last year. They sent me a picture of my car and licence-plate, along with a $50 speeding ticket. I sent them a picture of a Fifty-Dollar bill. They sent me two photos, one of a pair of handcuffs, and the other of a cell door. I sent them an email video of me, walking into the police station, right now, to pay the damned ticket.
By the time we got to the venue, the worst of the fog had dissipated, but the grass was wet. The nearest parking was at the top of a 40 foot hill. I hauled down the first couple of items, just in time to claim a good spot, but I am not hauling 500 pounds of stuff, down, and later, up, that hill. We were allowed to, carefully, drive on the paved walkways, and park at the bottom.
After getting the daughter unloaded and set up, I headed home for some more sleep, and some chores. There either was, Friday night, or would be, on Sunday, an old car show. At a red light, a 1972 Oldsmobile 442, and a 1939 Ford drove past my nose. After some computer time and more sleep, I drove down to the plaza to pick up a pizza for lunch. In the parking lot, near the restaurant were 8/9 more oldies, a ’41 Dodge, a ’67 Mustang, and, side by side by side, a ’62, ’63, ’64 and ’58 Chevy Impalas.
The son says the only person who impresses him more with old cars than me, is the young fellow he works with. We just look at a car and tell, within a few years at least, the make and age. This was easy back in the day of yearly model changes, before they all became featureless clones, and you can’t tell Detroit iron from imported rice-burners.
Back in the tailfin heyday, 61 Chevies ended with a \ slant. 62s looked like /, 63s combined those with a <, and 64s softened it to [. I could probably have got the ’58 on my own, but an IMP58ALA vanity plate gave it away. I could even tell the unchanging VW Bug by a larger rear window or taillight.
I got back to pick the daughter up early enough to catch the end of the outdoor, commercial portion. There was an indoor feast and speaker for those with tickets. There were 40 to 50 vendor booths, none with fewer than two attendants, arranged in a horseshoe around a grassy lea. About half were Native Indians. The rest were White Eyes.
Closing the horseshoe was a large gazebo tent for the organizers. This is where the dancers danced, the singers sang, the drummers drummed, and the First Aiders aided….announcements, contests, lost and found. Some woman tried on a pair of earrings, and walked away leaving her large silver hoops. Another left a green leather (?) purse with a $500 bill in it….or so the emcee claimed, to drum up interest. Like the U.S., I think drug dealers have forced Canada to not print denominations larger than $100. I need to research that.
At the base of the hill, white canvas skinned a cone of poles to make a teepee, but her dress had shrunk, and didn’t meet the ground by eight inches. You’d need to pile a lot of bison shit around the bottom, to keep out vermin and snow. At the other cusp of the horseshoe, a crew built and maintained a smoky campfire all day.
Everyone had a good day, socially and financially. Daughter’s friend did some card readings and sold a bit of bead jewelry. No beaded bookmarks, but the wife sold $51 worth of beeswax candles, in absentia, including a votive that the buyer pulled the wick out of, to rub on buckskins, for waterproofing. The daughter didn’t actually spin yarn, but brought along two bobbins full, and plyed them together. The fascinated watchers didn’t know the difference.
Aside from mother’s candles, the daughter sold some of her jewelry, and a couple of hand-knitted shawls, one of commercial yarn, the other, a bit more expensive, with her handspun yarn. She asked $50 for the first, of the girl in the next stall, but she only had $40 in cash, so the daughter bartered in a $10, hand-painted leather wristband for the grandson, for coming along to help.
$30 bought her an antique Sterling ring with jade stones – cheap at twice that price. Another $25 bought her a hand-knapped stone knife with an elk-antler handle, held on with elk sinew, with a plain, handmade leather sheath. I expected it to be flint, but she tells me it’s agate. Not delicate enough to trim salmon filets, it would still hack a roast off the side of a bison. The grandson bought a four-feather smudge-fan, and two plastic bags of sage.
Daughter forgot to bring her camera, but went home with lots of happy memories, more money than she came with, some lovely parting gifts, and the intent to do this again next year.