Sunday was a beautiful day. It started out dank and foggy, at least on my end, but cleared as the sun came up.
I headed out about 6:30, stopped for gas and breakfast, then tootled off down the road. The drive was surprisingly easy and Indiana has made great strides with S.R. 24 so the drive went faster than I had anticipated. I was a bit early arriving.
Margaret pulled in about 10:30. There were two little boys directing traffic who tried to flag her past where I was waiting, but I yelled out that she was with me so they let her turn into the parking lot. It does pay to get there before the gate guard.
She stepped out of her minivan wearing the coolest tie dyed shirt and Birkenstocks. Yes, folks, Margaret has hippie tendencies. You can’t tell from her avatar because she has her hair styled for polite society, and it is very nice hair if a bit short, but the hippie girl is in there.
We hugged, and after the first awkward minutes we were off and talking. We covered it all- kids, pets, this place (since this is where we met, after all). Then, we hit the pow wow and went shopping.
The first booth sold leather. They had some cool coats and some military paraphernalia. I was looking at the coats but then the vendor told me that the coat I was holding up was their best seller. I asked which their worst seller was, but after a moment of shocked silence, they all laughed. I was serious. I don’t want a coat that half of the country is wearing. The girl then came over to talk and proceeded to tell us how great Marines are, which I do not deny, although she herself was never a Marine. She managed to get pregnant on her way to basic training.
We extricated from that scintillating conversation and moved on down the line of vendors. If you wanted an animal part, they had it for sale. I saw wolf, coyote and mink pelts with the faces still attached, horsetails sans bone, just hide and hair, deer hooves and antlers, turtle shells, bison jaw bones, rabbit skulls, rabbit skins. They had moccasins, rattles, pipes, tomahawks, drums, baskets, and jewelry out the whazoo. Oh, and there were some cool knives. One of the vendors had a spear, too, but it had a plastic spearhead, useless in a fight.
Finally, tired out from not spending money we started looking for food. I had a buffalo burger, good but needing more ketchup, and Margaret had nachos. By this time she was starting to feel that head cold, too, but she didn’t let it stop her. Food in hand we headed for the grandstands to watch the dancing.
The welcome ceremony, the Grand Entry, which we had to stand for, took about 30 minutes. While we were standing, an enterprising yellow jacket came over and started to burrow into the nachos, specifically the beans. I didn’t know they liked refried beans. When we sat, I picked up the pile of nacho it was in, trying to avoid disturbing it, but no such luck. It came out pissed off. Luckily, I had a 4” Styrofoam plate and was able to bat it away, eventually. I batted it between my legs, but it went under the bleacher instead of over. That would have been a story for the EMTs to tell.
I got a video of the ceremony, but I haven't been able to convert it yet. It's a huge file. I don't have any other pictures because they are pretty strict regarding camera usage. And I was busy talking.
More talking, some prayers, the sun got hot, and Margaret needed a cigarette so we walked out to the cars. She did try valiantly to keep her smoke from my face but she didn’t know about my karma. If there is any smoke within 20 feet of me, it flies directly into my face. Without fail, every time, smoke magically infiltrates my lungs. She switched sides with me, she held her cigarette at arm’s length, all to no avail. She says I was nice about it. She doesn’t realize it’s the same brand of cigarettes my Grandma smoked.
We missed the rest of the dancing. Instead, we talked, laughed, and had a good time. There’s always next year for the pow wow.
Yes, there are no pictures of Margaret and myself. We didn't even discuss it, we just didn't pull out the cameras.