Friday, July 25, 2008

A Busy Day

Up early! Pack up the Castle for travel. Get on the road. No, we didn't head out to move today. This was the day we needed to go to Mid States Campers to have the troublesome solenoid replaced so the slides will work properly. We found out that next week, when we're heading out of the Black Hills area, it will be impossible to get service, due to the Sturgis rally. So we needed to get up to Rapid City today. We were at the dealer's by 9:00 and finished by 9:40. I think that may be a record for efficient, fast, service! We were treated very well, no hassle at all.

Once we were free to go, Jim took the dogs and the Castle and headed back to Broken Arrow Campground to settle back in, while I made a pilgrimage to Walmart. It's the first time since we were in North Platte, Nebraska that I've set foot in a Walmart. Another record? Possibly!

My list included getting the oil changed on the car, a haircut for me, and my prescription renewed. Oh, yes, there were a few grocery items as well. By the time all of that was accomplished, I felt like I'd been in Walmart most of the day!

Jim was back and set up and relaxing before I left Rapid City for the hour's drive back. When I got back, we decided to go into Custer to see what the Gold Discovery Days celebration would offer. We attended the quilt show and voted for our favorite quilts. These pictures are especially for Janna, our friend who lives in Big Timber, Montana and is a quilter, Carol in Alabama, Pam in Delta, Colorado, and my sister, Ann, the family quilter:

This one is my favorite!
I realize the pictures do not do justice to the beautiful detail work on these quilts, but that's the way it goes, sometimes pictures can't capture the reality very well.

After viewing the quilts, we walked over to the park, where there is an arts and crafts fair. Along the edge of the park are these two sculptures created by Lloyd Kreitz and donated to the City of Custer by Lloyd and Webster Kreitz in 1998. The first one is entitled "George" and the plaque reads, in part,

"...On June 25, 1876, Custer and his troops rode towards and encampment of thousands of Indians, led by great warriors such as Crazy Horse, Gall and Sitting Bull.

Before Custer and his men could charge the encampment, they found themselves surrounded by Indians. In 20 minutes, maybe less, Custer and 225 soldiers died on a small hill overlooking a sparkling river called the Little Bighorn.

'George' and 'Chief' are examples of art addressing the past and present conflict between the White Man and Native American.

His wings, as well as those on 'Chief', represent the One True Spirit found in all living things, allowing for hope, forgiveness, peace, and joy."

The other is called "The Chief". Here's what it's plaque has to say:

"In the morning, when I walk barefoot upon it's soul, I can hear the very heart of the holy earth." Sitting Bull, 1875.

'Sitting Bull's great stature as a tribal leader stemmed in no small part from his gift for simple, almost poetic, eloquence. He was one of our best remembered Native Americans, a Souix spiritual leader, politician, great warrier and chief of the Hunkpapa band that fought Custer and Reno at the Little Bighorn. Throughout his lifetime, Sitting Buill bravely and eloquently refused to give up his people's land. On December 14, 1890, Sitting Bull was killed at his Grand River Camp.

There are symbolisms in this sculpture of great note. They are:

Mittens - represent the four winters Sitting Bull and his band spent in Canadian exile rather than giving in to the U.S. Congress and surrenduring to the reservations.

Red Hands - knowing that the Souix were facing a showdown with the U.S. Army. Sitting Bull asked for 'divine aid in battle' by sponsoring a sundance, the most solemn of Indian religious ceremonies, where medicine men painted his hands and feet red and then blue stripes on his chest and shoulders.

Red spots on arms - he also offered a special blood sacrifice to Waken Tanka (Great Spirit) of a 'scarlet blanket'. His adopted brother used a pointed steel awl to lift pencil sized pieces of flesh and then sliced them off with a sharp knife, 50 pieces from each arm, causing his arms to run red with blood, creating the 'scarlet blanket'. Witnesses said that during this ordeal, his face never changed, nor did he stop chanting.

Ghost Dance Shirt - Sitting Bull never actually wore a Ghost Dance shirt, but, white authorities believed that he and the Ghost Dancers were planning an uprising which led to his arrest and eventual death. The birds on this shirt represent 'messengers' that Sitting Bull, a great mystic, believed brought him guidance.

Wings - Chief Sitting Bull, like 'George', has wings. They are to remind us that both men, in spite of being enemies in their lifetime, are, many believe, of the One True Spirit that is found in all living things that allows for forgiveness and conciliation."

Well, that about sums it up.


Janna & Mike said...

Beautiful quilt photos, Ellie. Glad getting the Castle fixed was so painless.

Mark and Dortha said...

Beautiful quilts...and I always love a good craft show. I am glad to hear you had a good experience at the dealer and got the slide working like new.

Joe and Sherri said...

Great lesson...I always loved Native American history. What happen to Native Americans is unforgivable.

Joe and Sherri