The Great Plotnik

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

George, Tom, Abe, Teddy and Crazy Horse

Three great nights in Boulder with Bron, three so far in the Black Hills. Never knew Colorado was so dry, never knew South Dakota was so green. Apparently, it isn't, but this year they had rain, so the sweet clover is in flower everywhere, even in the Badlands. They make a special honey from this clover and tomorrow morning we're going to meet Dave the honey-maker's wife and try to get her to sell us some.

In the Wagon Wheel Bar in Interior, SD, you get bottled beer, cowboy hats and country music, but not many customers. In the Cedar Pass camp store the sales women are all Lakota but they speak like TV teenagers on sitcoms. Tomorrow, after buying honey, we can choose between visiting the Minuteman Museum (that's a decommissioned nuclear missile site) or the Pine Bluff Lakota reservation.

We fucked the red man, shot Crazy Horse in the back after guaranteeing him safe passage and sent his people and all the rest into permanent exile. But he's still here. It may be that we are bright comets who are burning out, and when we are all gone Crazy Horse will return, along with Geronimo, Sitting Bull and Red Cloud, who you see side by side on t-shirts up here, in a parody of the four white chiefs on Mt. Rushmore.

The Lakota say Crazy Horse defeated George Custer in about as much time as it takes to eat a meal.

The Crazy Horse Memorial is half an hour from Mt. Rushmore and will take another hundred years to finish. But you can see him already, head raised above the granite mountain that will someday display his hair flowing backwards and his horse turning beneath him. 

Rushmore is interesting. They never finished it. When the sculptor died, funding dried up and that was that. What you see is all there will ever be. But the Crazy Horse Memorial just keeps growing. The sculptor died but his sons and grandsons are still working, blasting rock, designing, chipping away. They don't think even their grandchildren will live to see it completed, but the family will keep at it until they're done.

And then, in that distant day, George Washington, Tom Jefferson, Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt will look across the mountain and they'll see Chief Crazy Horse, flying away on his steed, always half an hour in front of them and not a damned thing they can do about it.


At 8:54 AM, Blogger The Fevered Brain said...

This is a great post!


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