#WOMBATSDOAMERICA Day 10
Blogging our recent US trip day by day, four weeks after the event.
Thursday 14th August – Lakota
Firstly, let me apologise for the rushed nature of today’s post. This is because I’ve just spent a glorious day with Mombat at the zoo, leaving very little time for considered writing or editing. Please bear this in mind. Off we go then.
Early doors, we investigated tiny Chamberlain Main Street. Small it may be, but it’s also appealing, due to an abundance of independent shops. The people were extremely friendly. There were a couple of antique shops, one of them run by Barry. There are flower shops and a general store. There is a cinema with a wonderfully old-fashioned feel, and a cake shop with mouth-watering pastries.
Janine knows everyone in town. On the street we met the owner of the cinema. Janine asked her what was showing that week, but she couldn’t remember. Later, while we were in the flower shop that Janine used to run, the phone rang. It was the cinema owner ringing through to tell us what the films were. Connections, eh?
Barry’s shop is a treasure trove of delights small and large. He showed us several Lakota artefacts including a rawhide parfleche box, and small beaded fetishes wherein mothers sewed the unbilical cords of newborn babies to bring good luck. He kindly gave us a set of lovely napkin rings, and me an old bottle opener that I was admiring. I liked that anyone mentioning Ranger’s name got a discount.
We treated the Betts to meal at a place up the hill where I had a chicken thing with ‘sidewinder fries’, a chunky spicy spirally potato treat. Kind of like curly chips, in the English sense of that word.
Barry returned to his shop while Janine, Mary and I visited the Lakota Museum. Oh, dear reader, I was in my element. There was so much info about the tribe, and the history of the Indian nation. I was particularly taken with a star-quilt that the tribe gives to people that it honours and respects. Do you know, there were sixty million buffalo before white men came? White men killed buffalo for sport, or simply to handicap the natives.
Outside, a warm restorative Healing Garden offered a relaxing view over the river.
Driving out of Chamberlain afterwards Janine stopped at her sister’s house where they were babysitting her twin granddaughters. Delightful girls, I had fun dragging them around the floor in a cardboard box.
At a convenience store the checkout girl told us that she supported Chelsea FC, and we discovered that carry-out boys exist.
After a steak dinner Barry showed us a collection of documents and old photographs of an American pilot, one Rollie Bucholz, who came over to Britain in 1941 to fight for the Allies some time before the USA got involved in the conflict. Barry had gathered all of these ephemera from a house clearance. I hope there’s a book in it.
Then we jumped in the Grasshopper to take Ranger for his swim and his rabbit hunt. Ranger is a gorgeous dog. We saw a couple of deer and a dense cloud of mayfly on the river bank.
In the evening Barry showed us his three star quilts, given to him by the Standing Rock Dakota for all the work that he had done for them in his wildlife and fishing conservation days. He used to manage the elk and buffalo populations for several nearby tribes, trapping them and moving them from National Parks to various Indian reservations.
Lady came home from the vet, feeling more her normal self.