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Thursday, November 26, 2009

TURKEY DAY

orange tractor


It's Thanksgiving without Jr this year. Several of them over the last 7 years I've spent with Jr, making nothing of it, a Thursday with not much traffic on the highway. Today I had dinner with the Whitehead Richardsons, Dean and his sisters and their families. It was at Wilma's. Several of them put together a tremendous amount of traditional Thanksgiving cooking. I only knew about half the people there. Now I know them all. It was good food and good company. Dallas scored 2 touchdowns against Oakland while I was there. I saw one. It was made by a slick runner.

Couldn't visit TarBaby today. Last visit I took him some dry food from here and he liked it. I'll take him twice as much tomorrow. It seemed like a kind of dead day. No momentum. In many ways, just another day. In many other ways an important day for my culture, white American, a day set aside as America's sacred day. Mothers day and Father's day were created by greeting card corps, while Thanksgiving goes back to our origin, the original white people who suffered the disease-ridden voyages by sailing ship to face New England winters without chainsaws.

I don't know what it would take to get a shipload of people to leave England and go to a place Western Civilization had not touched. To start with, all they had was wood to build fires with. Forest everywhere and the wild animals to go with it and some people they believed in their belief system to be savages, who turned out to be curious and helpful, to their own peril. The beginnings of the prophecy by White Buffalo Calf Woman that the white people will push the red people out of their homeland. The first landing of a ship bringing the white wave that covered Turtle Island, the North American Continent, from shore to shore in a relatively short time.

Like I said, it's my culture's holy day, not for the people already living here in tribal systems. They don't think much of it. White Buffalo Calf Woman told them if they don't stop warring with each other, a white horde will sweep them away. I don't understand why such a remarkable human being as Sitting Bull was guiding the Lakota on the run. He was something like Robert E Lee, on the losing end from before the start of the Indian Wars as Lee was the Civil War. The industrial North where the money and war machinery was made could not be beat with arrows and spears. The rule of thumb in war has been the one with the most advanced technology wins.

It was the distress of the Indians that created Sitting Bull's tribal power, and the distress of the South created Robert E Lee's greatness. Both of them had to live with the humiliation of surrender after all or nothing wars. Sitting Bull ended up a dancing monkey in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show that toured in Europe. He sold autographs for .50, quite a lot of money then. And he gave it to beggar children in NY and the European cities they visited. He's known to have said something like this, you white people don't even take care of your own. He was struck by all the poor people he saw begging, esp the children. Robert E Lee's plantation was made into a cemetery. How humiliating is that?

I wonder what kind of people would pay for a voyage on a one way trip to an uncharted continent, chance determining where they landed, unless someone had been there before. This is probably all told in at least one book where someone has researched the lives of everyone who crossed on the Mayflower. And then to have lineage that goes back to the Mayflower is American hot diggity dog real breeding. I'd venture the men, at least, on that ship had an adventuring spirit, perhaps the equivalent in our time of someone who climbs Himalayan mountains or courier riders in London on dirt bikes weaving through the traffic.

If they weren't rugged men when they landed, they were soon after. Then more came and more and more. They built a nation from that one spot where the ship landed. What a curious bunch of people we Americans came to be, as broad a range as the whole world. East and West is interwoven here where we have names like Suzy Wong. The whole world is woven together here. Learning to get along is the American dilemma. The way will come. We do a pretty good job of getting along now.

The thing about us Americans is we commonly believe the problems we have today will be ironed out in the future. It seems to work out that way too if you don't get in too big a hurry wanting to see it come to fruition before your eyes. It's slow, but it does seem to me we're creeping along toward democracy for all, the American ideal. We're all taught it in school all the way along. It's what we believe. In a way, it's what we demand. It's what we will have. Of course it's imperfect. But it gets fine tuned over time. The pendulum swings this way for awhile, that way for awhile, stair steps upward through time.


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