. . ========================================================= Anything above this line is not part of my newsletter... . . . . . . . . ============================================ July 2003 Newsletter #1 - by Phil Konstantin ============================================ Greetings, I am going to get on my soapbox for a moment. It has been a sad couple of weeks for the law enforcement community in San Diego. In the last month, three Police officers have been killed in the lines of duty. One was a San Diego Police motorcycle officer directing traffic near the beach. A driver who was not paying attention struck him. Another SDPD motorcycle officer was trying to catch someone who had just stolen a truck. The thief made a quick u-turn in a residential neighborhood and went out of his way to run the officer down. The third incident was when an Oceanside Police officer contacted a person in his city. The person was a convicted felon, gang-member and deported foreign national. I do not know if the officer knew this. The encounter turned into a fight, and the criminal got the officer's gun, and shot and killed him. Both of the criminals have been caught and will probably be charged with murder. The unobservant driver has not been charged with anything at this time. This just goes to show you how precious life can be. I feel safe in saying that none of these officers knew they would not be coming home after their shift. I also doubt if any of the other involved people had plans to kill someone that day. I know we cannot live our lives as if each moment is our last, but we should at least appreciate the time we have. Is carrying a grudge really that important? Is fighting over a parking space something we really need to do? And, leaving kind things unsaid for later, may leave you with them unsaid forever. Just think about it. I guess I could also say something about appreciating law enforcement, but it would probably wind up as a joke about doughnuts as I try to lighten things up. ---------------------- I had a great time on my trip to the northern Rocky mountain and plains states. I finally have all of my photos online. The pictures are a bit large for people who use dial-up modems. There are approximately 600 photos. I broke it down into pages with about 25 pictures each. You can find the first page here: http://americanindian.net/2003.html I started telling you about the trip in the last edition of the newsletter. I will continue with it in this one. You should be able to read the first part on this page: http://www.topica.com/lists/americanindian.net/read/message.html?mid=907864613&sort=d&start=34 I'll start off with the last paragraph: The next stop was the Crazy Woman Creek fight. This is a rather obscure battle which happened between Buffalo and Casper, Wyoming. The roads through here are seldom marked. Fortunately, I had a great map. Fort Reno was abandoned long ago. The only thing there are the interpretive signs. Many of the sites in this area are on private property. I went west and tried to get as close as I could to the site of Dull Knife's fight on the Red Fork of the Powder River. This is not to far (as the crow flies) from the place made famous by Butch Cassidy, Hole-In-The-Wall. Dull Knife Battlefield is on private property. They have a no trespassing sign, and I could not make arrangements to get their permission. It is interesting territory. I spent the night in Casper. (new stuff) I had a nice book with me called "Hidden Wyoming." It had lots of details on many different popular places, and the "hidden" ones, as well. I was surprised by the low price of fuel in Wyoming. It was in the mid $1.30s. My first stop outside of Casper was Ayers Natural Bridge Park. It is one of the few natural bridge which has water flowing through it. I noticed lots of small butterflies there. Next up was Douglas, Wyoming. The area around Fort Phil Kearny and the Fetterman Battlefield had several metal silhouettes depicting Indians on horseback. Douglas had a variety of these metal designs. They ranged from cattle to dinosaurs to jackalopes. A jackalope, like Bigfoot, is a seldom seen creatures which is part jack rabbit, and part antelope. Only a few, special people have seen a real jackalope. These people usually also have a certain skill for spinning stories. I have a picture on the website (the metal outline, not a real one). Douglas is also home to Fort Fetterman. The fort was named after the Captain who, against specific orders to the contrary, led 80 soldiers and civilians to their deaths in a trap near Fort Phil Kearny. Established in 1867, this was considered a less than hospitable posting. Many soldiers assigned here deserted. If you were to draw a straight line from Douglas to Buffalo, Wyoming, you would have a good idea of the path taken by the Bozeman Trail. The trail's purpose was to get people from southeastern Wyoming to the Montana goldfields. In fact, it was a violation of several treaties. Its construction led to many conflicts between the army and the local Indians, including Red Cloud. Fort Fetterman is located near the beginning of the Bozeman Trail. I continued in a southerly direction on Interstate 25 until I got to Highway 26. Heading east, I made it to Guernsey. Guernsey has two claims to fame: the Oregon Trail Ruts National Historic Landmark, and Register Cliff. The rocks in this area along the North Platte river are a soft type of sandstone. Thousands upon thousands of heavy wagons laden with pioneers and their goods left their marks in the rock. In fact, in a few places, the ruts are almost six feet deep. Unlike a few other places where I have seen the ruts left along old trails, these ruts are very pronounced. Also leaving their marks in the rocks were the pioneers themselves. Register Cliff is very similar to Independence Rock southwest of Casper. The cliff was one of the first significant outcroppings many of the travelers would see after crossing the flat prairies. Many carved their names or initials in this cliff, which was one days march from Fort Laramie. Sad to say, many of the people who caved their names on this rock did not live to see their final destinations. Disease, accidents, bandits and a (not as often as most people think) occasional Indian attack took their toll. Just a few miles to the east of Guernsey is Fort Laramie. Unlike some of the forts I visited on this trip, Fort Laramie was a major operation. It had a large garrison during its active days. Several major treaties were signed here, or near here. The fort served to protect the westward migrants, traders and the railroads. The National Park Service has worked very hard to restore the area to what it looked like during its heyday. I asked one of the historians if they knew where the treaties of 1851 and 1868 were signed. The treaty of 1851 attracted so many Indians, that the fort was not large enough to handle everyone. The "Great Smoke" (as it came to be called - as in smoking a peace pipe) was actually held a few miles into Nebraska (near modern day Morrill). The historian said they did not know exactly where the 1868 treaty was signed. You can see a photo of part of the 1868 signing on page 277 in my book. Just a few miles from Fort Laramie is the "Grattan Massacre" site. Like many fights between soldiers and the Indians, this one started from a minor incident. In this case, it was the shooting of a cow. The rancher wanted to be compensated at a rate that many felt was much more than the cow was worth. The army responded, a parlay was started, a soldier fired a shot, the Indians retaliated, and most of the soldiers were killed. Among the dead was Brule Chief Conquering Bear (Martoh-Ioway). Here is a website which has an interesting version of the story: http://www.stringofbeads.com/Mormon%20Cow.html While this is not by any means a major battle site, I was a bit surprised not to see any roadside signs pointing the way toward the marker for this incident. I turned north on Highway 29 and traveled through some very sparsely settled territory. There are lots of grasslands in this part of Nebraska. I stopped at the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. It has some interesting geological outcroppings. It also has a small by surprisingly nice museum of Indian artifacts for such an out-of-the-way place. They have many pieces of traditional clothing donated by local collectors and tribal members. My next stop was Fort Robinson in the northwestern Nebraska. This fort also placed a big role in many of the plains Indian wars. Crazy Horse, Dull Knife and almost 1,000 of their followers surrendered to the army here on May 6th, 1877. Four months later, Crazy Horse would be shot and killed here. This is the place where Dull Knife and his Cheyenne were being held prisoner when they finally had enough and broke out on January 9, 1879. My next stop was to be the Warbonnet Monument. While driving along some back country roads, I noticed a sign for the Hudson-Meig Bison Bonebed. I had never heard of this place before, so I thought I would check it out. Fortunately, there were plenty of signs offering directions (just ask someone in Crawford or Fort Robinson which way to go). Finally, after many miles of dirt and gravel roads, I cleared a rise, and thee was a very modern building that resembled a large Quonset hut. Inside the nicely air conditioned building (no snow out here on the prairie!) was the site where LOTS of bison died in a small area. The scientists are not sure what caused this mass death. The site does not have the typical signs of a bison jump (where the locals stampeded the animals off a cliff). In fact, they do not really know what caused so many bison all to die in a very confined space and almost all at the same time. There is a small spring next to the site. One theory is that lightning struck the spring and killed the bison drinking there. Another theory is that fire might have herded the bison into this small area. I threw out the idea that a sudden coldsnap or a tornado might have caused it. No one knows, for sure. Just north of the Bonebed (as the crow flies, but not as the road rolls) is the Warbonnet memorial. It is marked on a few maps, but not many. It was the scene of a confrontation a few weeks after the Little Big Horn. While the actual fighting between the Indians and the soldiers was very limited, this is the scene of the much heralded battle between William Cody and Yellow Hand (Yellow Hair). Fact, and fiction, are a bit hard to determine here. There are several contradictory stories of what happened here. Below are a couple of websites which explore different versions of the incident. http://www.wyomingtalesandtrails.com/cody.html http://www.rootsweb.com/~nalakota/wotw/mlyhbb/yellow_hand_killing_buffalobillstory_wotw093034.htm http://www.rootsweb.com/~nalakota/wotw/mlyhbb/yellow_hand_whokilled_wotw093029.htm I headed north from here into South Dakota. It was getting late in the afternoon, so I hurried toward the Crazy Horse Monument. This massive carving is the source of some debate. Some Indians feel the structure is a good idea, other do not. It was originally proposed by some tribal leaders in response to Mount Rushmore. Some Indians say that Crazy Horse would never have pointed like that because it is considered rude. Regardless, it is an impressive undertaking. Here is a link to the monument's official website: http://www.crazyhorse.org/ After leaving Crazy Horse, I thought I might have enough time to get to Devil's Tower before it was too dark to see. So, I headed back into Wyoming. Unfortunately, I got a bit turned around in Moorcroft and could not find the connection to Highway 14. I was going a bit slow in the Interstate while trying to figure out where I hard gone wrong. A Wyoming highway patrol officer pulled me over to check on me. "I don't remember the last time I saw anyone going 55 on this stretch of road." He set me straight and I spent the night at a nice little motel he recommended in Moorcroft. Early on the morning of the 23rd, I headed up to see Devil's Tower. Like many people of my age, I saw the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Most of the last half of the movie takes place at Devil's Tower. Well, I was enroute to my own "close encounter" with Devil's Tower. OK, I know that is pretty corny, but I couldn't help myself. A bit of trivia, I used to do interviews on the radio in Texas in the mid 1970s. One of my guests was Dr. J. Allen Hynek. He is the person who created the phrase "Close encounter of the third kind." I interviewed him a year before the movie was made. The good doctor had a cameo role in the movie. Toward the end, he is one of the older scientists who walks up to look at the spacecraft. He strokes his beard while examining the UFO. I have always been fascinated by mountains and volcanoes. Devil's Tower has always been on my "to do" list. It was very impressive. Many tribal groups have tried to get people to stop climbing the tower, as they consider it a sacred site. The NPS has posted this message on several of the signs at the visitor's center. However, they do not prohibit climbing. Someone fell to their death a few days before I arrived. I used to be a mountain climber, and this place is considered a good climb. Taking the sacredness of the site, I would never consider climbing here, even if I was still in good enough shape to do it. Louie Freiberg is one of the subscribers to this newsletter. Bless his heart, he set up a luncheon in my honor at the Alex Johnson Hotel in Rapid City. Louie would make a great cruise director. He seemed to really enjoy bringing people together and trying to see that they had a good time. Thanks to Louie, I got to meet lots of very interesting people. The long list of folks included (a partial list) Chief David Beautiful Bald Eagle, Gay Kingman and Tim Wapato, Joan Hunter of the Journey Museum, Mary Frogg of the amazing Prairie Edge store, Dean Campbell and Tarita Hairychin, Karen Sussman, Arvol Looking Horse, just to mention a few. Gay and Tom invited me over to their beautiful home for a cookout. They have both had very impressive careers. Before becoming executive director of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA). Tim was with the Los Angeles Police Department for over 20 years. See, cops can have more than one career! Gay was the Public Relations and Seminar Director for NIGA. Kay's great grandfather Sunka Cankohan (Dogs Backbone) was killed at the Little Big Horn. A marker was scheduled to be added for him on June 26th, 2003. Marty showed me around Prairie Edge in Rapid City. It had the most amazing selection of Indian related material I have ever seen in one place. If you are in Rapid City, I highly recommend visiting this store. Louie met Dean in the library. dean was looking up something on Indians for his fiancé Tarita. Being the outgoing guy that he is, Louie invited them both to the luncheon. Just before arriving in Rapid City, I had a flat. While I was waiting for the flat to be fixed, Dean and Tarita drove me around. Tarita is Lakota. She was adopted by a non-Indian couple when she was quite young. She is trying to rediscover her past (that sure sounds familiar). Dean is also interested in Indian ways. We went down to Wounded Knee to see the cemetery and the scene of the massacre. Since reading "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee," I have always wanted to go there. It almost felt like a pilgrimage. I am Cherokee, not Lakota. But, I feel somewhat of a kinship with the people who were killed here. I get that same sensation in many of the places I have visited. Based on many of the e-mails I have received, many of you seem to share this experience. I cannot really explain my feelings while I was there. I was mad, sad, and glad (no rhyme intended). I was glad the people still survived, despite some of the government's efforts to get rid of them. Tarita was especially happy to have met Chief Bald Eagle. They shared many conversations which were special for her in her search to find her past. We decided to go visit his reservation that day, too. The Chief lives on the Cheyenne River reservation. We met him at the powwow in Eagle Butte. He was one of the many drummers and singers there. I really enjoyed the Powwow. I went to one last year at the Sycuan reservation here in San Diego. I noted that their were day-glo colored regalia at both events. Modern day things mingle with the traditional. We drove back later that night to Rapid City. The next morning, we drove out to the Chief's house for Coffee. He and his wife Josee have raised many children, quite a few not their own. We went back to the powwow. A little later I left for a special event. Karen Sussman is the President of the Society For The Preservation of Mustangs and Burros. She helps manage a ranch for wild mustangs and burros on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. She is also a friend of Louie's. She invited me to attend a blessing ceremony for her new house, and for the horses and burros. Chief Arvol Looking Horse conducted the ceremony. We stood in a circle in front of the house. He offered some prayers (mostly in Lakota) and burned some sage. Chief Arvol Looking Horse is the 19th Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe. He has been involved in the ongoing efforts to try to keep the Lakota sacred ceremonies from being performed by people who do not truly follow this life. You have seen several stories about him on the links I have provided in previous newsletter. I considered it an honor to meet him. The horse here are some amazing specimens. I can understand why Karen is so dedicated to this project. I know my father (at one time a rancher and an excellent horseman) would have loved seeing them. My parents might make it up here some day. Here is a link to the ISPMB's website: http://www.ispmb.com/index.html Later that afternoon, I took my leave and headed east. I went up to Mobridge to see the Sitting Bull and Sakakawea monuments which overlook the Missouri River. Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotake) was once buried at Fort Yates in North Dakota. Some of his relatives, and some local South Dakotans decided that this was not right. So, they went up there, and in the middle of the night, they dug up his casket and took it to Mobridge. They buried it inside tons of concrete to make it very difficult for anyone else to try to move it again. The Sakakawea marker in nice. Yes, they spell it differently just about every place you go. Many people want to claim her. But, more on that later... The morning of the 26th saw me in Dickinson, North Dakota. About 40 miles north of town is the Killdeer Battlefield. This was the scene of fight which involved many thousands of people. Again, the battlefield is on private property, except for a small fenced off area. This was a very beautiful area. The dirt road was bordered by barbed wire fences. As I was driving away, I was a Pronghorn on the road. There was another one just on the other side of the barbed wire. The Pronghorn saw me and began to run away from me, rather than jump the fence. I drove very slowly for what seemed like a quarter mile before the Pronghorn finally jumper the fence. If you read the marker on my website, you will see that a place called Medicine Hole is mentioned. Even though there are signs showing the way there, you cannot enter it without the owner's permission. Fort Buford is located at the confluence of the Yellowstone and the Missouri Rivers. As you can tell by my pictures, I was fascinated by the cemetery. I recognized several of the names of the people here. Fort Buford was another fort that was highly used during the plains Indian wars. I was a bit surprised to notice that two of the privates' headstones mentioned an incident which is in my book on August 20, 1868. They are the two headstones in the picture behind "Gros Ventre Indian." Fort Union is about a mile down the Missouri from Fort Buford. The Montana state line is only a few feet west of the fort. The original fort was completely destroyed. All of the buildings here are reconstructions. The river has been significantly lowered since the days of the fort. Steamboats used to be able to come right up the river and dock next to the fort. That is no longer the case. Fort Buford was for soldiers. Fort Union was built as a trading post. They were not operating during the same time. I continued on into Montana. Highway 2 is called the "Hi-Line" by Montanans. Most of the land along Highway 2 is flat. This is the real home of "Big Sky Country." I was very impressed by the Fort Peck Dam. The road along the top of the dam is over 3.5 miles long. This is the longest embankment dam in the world. The lake's shoreline is longer than California's. The lake is fed by the Mighty Missouri. My next stop was the Bear Paw Battlefield. It is southeast of Havre, Montana. The Nez Perce's final destination in 1877 was Canada. After fighting, and escaping from the army all the way from Oregon, they made it to within 44 miles of the Canadian border. This is another of those places where I felt a certain kinship with the participants, even though I have only met one Nez Perce. The Nez Perce conducted themselves very admirably here. Even during the fighting, they helped to treat wounded soldiers. Some even risked their own lives to get water for the wounded and captured soldiers. This was both a sad day and a proud day in history. Perspective is everything. I spent the night in Browning on the Blackfeet reservation. I finally went to sleep at 10:30pm. It was still light outside. I got up around 5am, and it was already light outside. Boy, I was pretty far north! I decided to go a little bit further north. I headed up north to the Canadian border. I parked on the US side and I asked the Customs people if I needed anything special just to walk across the border and come back. They said that was fine and since I had a passport, that was all I needed. As you can see on my website, I took a picture before I walked across the border. As I was walking up to the Canadian facility, I noticed a Peace Marker. I thought it would make a nice picture. As I started to frame the shot, the Canadian Customs Agent in the drive through area started yelling at me. She told me to stop taking pictures and to come over to her. She was upset that I had taken the pictures. She told me that taking pictures of her building was not allowed. She asked me what I was doing. I told her I was taking a picture of the Peace Marker. I showed it to her through the viewfinder. This seemed to satisfy her. That picture was a bit out of focus. I asked her if I could get a better one. She said I could, as long as I did not take a picture of the building. Talk about security concerns! The picture on my site which shows the border and the rocks also shows her building. That picture was taken with the widest angle shot I had. Considering that I have a camera which can zoom in 14x, I could have probably taken a portrait photo of her from the American side. Oh well, she's just doing her job. During the 30 minutes I was here, only one other person crossed the border. I occasionally work at the San Diego-Tijuana border crossing in California. It is the busiest border crossing in the world with over 250,000 people crossing every day. Quite a bit of difference. After avoiding an international incident, I went back south on Highway 89 to the Many Glaciers Road entrance of Glacier-Waterton park. As you can easily see from my photos, Glacier is a BEAUTIFUL place. I was especially interested in Swiftcurrent Lake, which is near the Many Glaciers Lodge. It was here around 1910 that the picture on the cover of my book was taken. I scouted around a bit and found a place that looked pretty similar. Check out the picture on my site, and see what you think: http://americanindian.net/2003x.html I tried to drive across the park on the Going To The Sun Road, but it was still closed for the winter. One of the rangers told me there was still over 40 feet of snow on parts of the road. He said there had been over 30 meters of snow before they started trying to open the road. It was still a beautiful place. I was very impress by the beauty of Flathead Lake southwest of Glacier. If it did not get SO COLD here, I would seriously think about moving here. I have plenty of natural insulation, but -30 is toooo cold for me. And so, on the 27th, I pulled into Missoula, Montana. my home for the next few days. I participated in "A Confluence of Cultures - Native Americans and the Expedition of Lewis and Clark." This was a great event. I was one of the presenters. I'll talk more about it later........ And that is enough (did someone say that was already too much? ;-) ) for now..............I'll have more in a few days.... Phil - philkon @ rocketmail.com =============================== +X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+ =============================== July 2003's Link of the Month is an online version of "NEZ PERCE SUMMER, 1877 - The U.S. Army and the Nee-Me-Poo Crisis" by Jerome A. Greene - foreword by Alvin M. Josephy, Jr. ©2000, Montana Historical Society Press. This is a very detailed account of the Nez Perce's flight from the army in 1877. As many of you probably know, the Nez Perce who did not want to move to the Idaho reservation decided to see if they could find somewhere else to live. Their destination changed a couple of times. Eventually, they had hoped to leave the United States and go to Canada. They outfought and outmaneuvered the army while being outnumbered most of the time. You can read about most of this tragic flight from the army on this website. It also lists references, and includes several maps. You can find it here: http://www.nps.gov/nepe/greene/ =============================== +X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+ =============================== The Treaty of the Month is the "TREATY WITH THE NEZ PERCÉS, 1868. Aug. 13, 1868. | 15 Stats., 693. | Ratified Feb. 16, 1869. | Proclaimed Feb. 24, 1869." It covered Reservation, Allotments, Timber to be protected, School moneys, etc.. You can find a copy at: http://digital.library.okstate.edu/kappler/Vol2/treaties/nez1024.htm ============================== +X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+ ============================== ============================== +X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+ ============================== . . . =================================================== End of July 2003 Newsletter #1 - by Phil Konstantin =================================================== . . . . . . . . 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