Thursday, April 21, 2011

How the Indian Lost His Feathers.

I had no shoes and complained, until I met a man who had no feet
Native American Proverb

When you think of the Great Plains of the United States your mind conjures up images of a vast flat sea of grass. This is true for many parts of the Great Plains, but there is this spot in Southeast Montana that does not fit the picture.

The geography of Montana shows its character like the face of an old withered man.  The winter's are harsh, the summers hot, even the animals that live there must fight for survival.  My first experience with Montana came when I arrived there in April, many moons ago. I did not go of my own volition.  The military had sent me fact when I received my orders for Montana, I thought I was being sent to Spain.  An honest mistake. When I arrived it was cold.  This was in stark contrast to that hot day on June 25th 1876.  


  1. Eagle.. you ever been to the south side of Chicago.. now that is the Armpit of the USA..

  2. The Custer battlefield is an interesting place – I have been there several times and marvel at how foolish Custer’s behavior really was in attacking a much larger force known to be among the best mounted warriors in the country with much to fight for. In spite of his foolish acts at the Little Big Horn, no one can reasonably deride Custer for cowardice or lack of bravery; he is credited by some historians for being the single most important individual accountable for the Union Army’s victory at the battle of Gettysburg. His cavalry troop prevented the Confederates from attacking the Union Army from the rear. His was probably a case of ambition pressing on his optic nerve causing him to make an unrealistic assessment of the situation at the Little Big Horn. Besides, the 7th Calvary was not an elite fighting force; some of the troopers couldn’t even speak English.

    However, the Indians were equally brave and foolish. Theirs was a lost cause and their leaders knew it. Winning the battle was one thing but the subsequent massacre and mutilation of the 7th Cavalry soldiers was another; it sealed their fate in the court of public opinion.

    I wouldn’t wish anyone the necessity to spend their life on an Indian Reservation; the ones I’ve seen are terrible places with corruption, alcoholism and poor living conditions the order of the day. I do hope one day the Indians get their feathers back but they must realize only they can make it happen.


  3. my travels I have intentionally skipped Chicago..on purpose.

    Examiner...You are right. I intentionally stayed out of the discussion of the battle. Like you I have been there many many amazing place.

    My knowledge of the Natives is from spending a great deal of time with them. They were my customers and are my friends. To use their way of speaking, the women lament the loss of their braves to alcohol, and drugs.

    They are trying hard to get their feathers back...but the Government does not make it easy.

  4. Captain - Our early treatment of the Indigenous who inhabited this new land is a stain as dark as slavery. As we are seeing now, our Govt. is very adept at breaking promises. Andrew Jackson is villified among the indian tribes, but did you know he adopted an indian boy?

  5. Montana IS what America WAS, or so the T-shirt says. Is there still no sales tax in Montana? Is that why you see all of the expensive ($800k to $1.5 million) Prevost Motor Coaches with Montana license plates on them? My friend has a ranch outside of Red Lodge Montana. His property is worth twice what mine is in Florida and he pays about one quarter of the property tax.

    Marine, I was up in your neck of the woods a few weeks ago around Gatlinburg. Met a beautiful young lady with black flaxin hair down to her waist at a restaurant. Her name tag said TAYANITA. She looked exotic and I was trying to guess her nationality. When I got the courage up to ask her, she proudly said I AM AN AMERICAN. She looked at my stupid expression and said "you know, as in the indigenous PEOPLE! Thankfully, I did not ask what her name meant in Cherokee, but you can look it up as I did to my surprise.

  6. SOL. When I left 2 years ago..the Sales tax was zero. And based on attempts to change will stay that way for a long time to come.

    Property tax is lower in some places...income tax is very low..but they get you on those vehicle taxes..a new car will set you back in taxes...if your car is over 15 years old (and many of them are) you pay a flat fee and never again.

  7. SOL - Now that was appropriate. Yep, quite a few Cherokee near Gatlinburg and Cherokee, NC.


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