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Posts Tagged ‘Family’


20200306_112700The full title reads: ” “Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, Incorporated” — BallClub, July 13-15, 1920. Benjamin Caswell, of Cass Lake, President” “and in another place “Rich” Photo –Bemidji–

I found this photo in my Grandmother’s shed. Having cleaned it out a few months after she died in 1985. “Lizzy” Elizabeth Joyce Mason is the girl with the bow in her hair on the far left. She was 14 then.

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To the left of her is my Great -Grandfather, “Neogeshig”, or Thomas Jefferson Jerome Mason. You can tell from his visage that Littlecreek men received many facial characteristics from him. 🙂

He’s holding Helen C. Mason, age 2, and I believe that little boy half hiding behind his pant leg to the left of him is either his son Vilas, age 6, or son Thomas Jr., age 7.

I figured I’d better put this photograph online somewhere so others could benefit from it–since it’s been sitting on top of my dresser all these years.

I am amazed at the amount of personal family history contained in this photograph. Who are all these people???

The expression of their genes is so strong, I think I would recognize their descendants from this picture! Let me know if you know any of them.

After uploading the whole photo,  I noticed that it was compressed so much that I couldn’t really identify anyone, so I’m adding enlarged sections of it above and below.

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I’m guessing that the man sitting apart from the others in the front bottom row, as a place of prominence, is Benjamin Caswell. Can anyone confirm this?20200306_125403

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Aren’t phone cameras great?

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Every once in a while an Indian (read American Indian) will give a friend or family member a nickname. Sometimes these names are given just for fun, other times they are given to help that person be humble. “Dances With Wolves” comes to mind.

I actually know some of my aunts and uncles by their nicknames: Ishky, Bunny, and Boogens are three.

I told my wife that I finally figured out what her Indian nickname was.

“Well, what is it?”, she asked.

“Too Many Pillows”, I said.

She laughed… because she knew it was true.

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I found this picture while searching for family photos at the Minnesota Historical Society way back in ’77. (1977, not 1877)

I managed to find out where I could write to Bob Hope at the time and sent him a copy, hoping that he might have some information about it. I received this letter from him along with my returned photo.
Bob Hope Letter
Mr. Hope couldn’t provide me with any new information except to suggest it may have been taken in a studio. (I was thinking Cali-for-nii-aa) but I was pleased nonetheless to have received a personal letter back along with his autograph!

I recently signed up for a five day free trial of Newspapers.com (I needed a credit card but was told how I could easily cancel my trial before the five days were up.)
During that period, I pretty much dedicated myself to looking up as many possible Ancestor references for myself and friends who were interested. I probably looked at a thousand possible articles and was rewarded with a score or more, which I “Clipped” and then downloaded. This was one of them.
Bob Hope and Ben Littlecreek at the Nicollet Hotel
Yep, same top hat, same sport coat, same two people. BINGO!!! Mystery solved.

Part of the article reads:

“Forever a gagster, Bob Hope invaded Minneapolis Monday. He put on a two-hour stage show in Minneapolis Auditorium. Sang a duet with Mayor Eric G. Hoyer, said nasty things about Bing Crosby, and was made an honorary Indian. Most of the shenanigans took place in Nicollet Hotel, where, among other things, the ski-nosed comedian attended a dinner put on by the Theadore Peterson American Legion Post.

*   *   *

In Picture below, Hope meets Chief Ben Littlecreek of the Red Lake Chippewa Indian Tribe. Hope made the Chief an honorary “Paleface”, from the movie by the same name.”

As a side note, I like Hope’s irony here. That’s the first time I’ve heard of an Indian being made an honorary Paleface!

All kidding aside, for you genealogy buffs out there, Try the Newspaper.com free Trial. It was worth it! (And, they actually made cancelling the trial easy!) All irony aside, I will pay for a subscription–which I can get for just one month if I want–should I need to research other ancestors in the future.

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Mom says, “Let’s stop and see if the bears are there.”

So we turn off into the dump grounds, where six large dumpsters are lined up on an asphalt pad inside a ten foot high chain link fence.

It is night.

Our headlights illuminate almost everything–to a height of about six feet.

The scene is ghostly.

A bear saunters out from between the dumpsters–wary, as any wild animal is on an Indian reservation.

He is huge for a bear, at least a good six hundred pounds.

He walks slowly away and out of the compound with a full white garbage bag clutched in his mouth.

He is followed closely by a black and white mother cat–her belly hanging down loosely–
as if she were his pet,
hoping for a morsel leftover from her master.

Another bear rises from scrounging within one of the far dumpsters.

His form towers three feet above its five foot high walls.

He regards us curiously.
then disappears again within.

Strangely enough, we do not see each bear.

They are holes in the night,
an absence of light
In the form of a bear

Although, at just the right angle,
we see the glint of their eyeshine–
the light of their spirit within them.

*Bears, plural, in Anishinabemowin.

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Always be your self

unless you can be a Littlecreek.

Then always be a Littlecreek

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Marriage


Marriage is a three-legged race…

while holding an egg…

on a teaspoon.

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We still dance everyday.

Not the dance of ballrooms, discos, or weddings;

but of two stars orbiting each other.

 

Each affected

by the others well of gravity,

of solar storms, magnetic fields, and hot plasma.

 

Our orbits are stable but elliptic,

one pursuing the other,

one being pursued;

but which one, and when?

 

We red shift and blue shift

appearing cool or warm,

depending upon point of view.

 

Friends, family, and acquaintances

are mere planets.

 

We shall continue to dance every day.

And time?

What is that to us?

We are immortal.

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* Happy Thanksgiving Day!

It’s 2:45 a.m. here. My little hairy black standard poodle kid Belle nudges my hand. “Dad, I gotta go.” So I let her outside and know that she will be at least 20 minutes dawdling around until I give in and tell her I have a treat for her if she will come in. (She has me trained well.)

In 20 minutes I will be sleepy and ready to turn in, myself. I also know that this is a time when my little mind is most creative, (IMHO) so I thought I would write a “stream of consciousness” piece and see what happens, without having to worry about family nodding off at the dinner table because I pray to God on-and-on about all of the things for which we personally are full of thanks.

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the good ol’ USA. I choose to emphasize the positive about it. Here I sit in my nice warm house, a roof over my head, and  a place to sleep, looking forward to a day filled with food preparation and food eating. I have a wife and a dog whom I love, both of whom have chosen to continue to put up with me. We have grown-up kids living nearby whom we get to see regularly. My mom is still in decent health and I have a nuclear family of brothers and sisters, and an extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews and their children with whom I can stay in contact.

I have a great support system in my church, work in church which enables me to help other people and feel self-worth. I’m thankful for God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost and everything they do for me.

I’m thankful for my friends and acquaintances from church or college, or whatever walk in life, in many different states and countries with whom I have stayed in contact, some for forty years or more. I venerate all of my mentors, whether very young or older who have taught me so much and continue to do so.

I’m thankful for time. I have it to pursue my little hobbies; writing this blog, poetry, my journal. And I’m thankful for you dear reader, because you’ve allowed me into a small portion of your life by following me. Thank you.

Now I’m drawing a blank. Which makes me realize five things: that I don’t want to boor you, that I take so many things for granted, and that I have the luxury to do so, and that I have all that I could want, and that I am sleepy again.

So I will end here with the hope that you will have a happy thanksgiving too.

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“I’m from Minnesota

Got no one to call my own

So I go a lookin’ for you Hi-ya

 

 

If you’ll be my honey

I will be your suger pie

Wei ya hi

Wei ya hi ya!”

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These are lyrics from an old 49er song. These were sung for round dances where young people could socialize with each other after a powwow.

Here is a link to a softer kind of 49er that I think you’ll enjoy. It’s called the “Eternity Song” by Randy Wood and friends. The English lyrics are:

“As long as the grass grows, river flows.

As long as the wind blows,

That’s how I will love you,

for all eternity”.

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Cemetery

Are the dead meant to fade away?

Are our forebears meant to be forgotten,
when the ones who loved them pass away?

Spirit houses are not made to last.
They are new at the time of death
and old and decrepit after a short time,
a few years.

This so the spirits of those who linger
near the world of the living
have time to transition.

In some of the reservation cemeteries,
there are the newest graves at the front,
with their gaudy plastic flowers and mementos
and bright and shiny polished granite
fading to graves halfway back.

On these, no plastic blooms.
They are the somber, weathered, dusty tombstones;
some in the lichen covered, obsolete limestone,
of those who could afford them.

And the simple wooden crosses
rotting and askew,
of those who could not.

And further back still,
the depressions in the grass
of those old, old ones,
silent and unattended,
unmarked and forgotten.

The lost ones

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