Monday, August 20, 2012

Audrey Gibson, "Little Red Cloud"

I don’t know much about the early life of my Mother’s mother other that she was born in Butte Mt. somewhere early in the last century. From what I’ve gathered there was some controversy over my grandma’s birth, but that was never fully explained to me. Anywho, she eventually ended up in Boulder married to my grandpa, “Hoot”.
My Grandmother was a Kootenai/ Salish Irish/Welsh Indian kid that became very educated. She was formally schooled as well as educated in the secret ways of her people. My grandma was a medicine woman. When I was young I remember doing the rounds with her. She would travel a wide circle around the Billings Mt. And Crow agency area’s visiting the old and infirm elders of both Indian and White families. She would give advice, share stories and administer a certain sort of medical advise we can call big medicine. There was one lady she would visit more than other’s. Unfortunately I can’t remember her name, but the exchange of wisdom was mutual from both women. They shared a certain bond that was more than a friendship or a client. This lady would give me candy and goodies upon our arrival, so as you can imagine it was a favorite stop for me.
My Grandma was the one who showed me how to throw a ball, ride a bike, use a glove, shoot baskets, and swing a golf club. I’m not good at the golf club thing. They remind me too much of a sword and I’ve got that inner born hit to kill instinct that makes golfing difficult. She also taught me the ways of her medicine. The secrets of listening that go a long to help heal.
Audrey was all of 4 feet 11 with boots on and she was the head girls basketball coach of the Crow Agency high school at Hardin Mt. They called her Little Red Cloud because her hair was bright almost orange red. It wasn’t her natural color. She died her hair red because that was the school colors for Crow Agency High School. After all she was the basketball coach. She was also a teacher that taught both English and Science. My grandma was a very learned woman. I remember listening to my Dad and her have discussions that would blow the mind of the average listener. My Dad was a great fan of grandma and followed her lead into teaching.
My Grandma Gibson was Heyoka. She was a backwards warrior and often a clown. She spent her life working with the elderly and the children. She was and still is the great memory of my childhood. She taught me the things that I brought with me into adulthood, the important things that people store from their childhoods. She separated the wheat from the chaff.
My grandmother eventually succumbed to the advanced stages of the Alzheimer’s disease that first attacked her in her fifties and sixties. Her memories decade, but my memories of her live on strong. Live on Little Red, I know the Happy Hunting Grounds are good to you.
Peace and Balance,

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Henry Clark Gibson, "Hoot"

My mother’s Father was a big Choctaw/Chickasaw Irish Indian from Texarkana, Arkansas. Even though he adamantly claimed to be from the Texas side of the Border because all things in Texas are bigger. Research showed that he was actually born on the Arkansas side of the border. Texarkana is a city ripped in two by the Texas, Arkansas border. However, when my grandfather was born there may have not been state boundaries in that part of the country yet. He was born somewhere in the late 1800’s. He never really new his real age.
On a shelf in my home I have some horse tack that was owned by my Grandpa. There is a bridal, bit, and a strap that all have a bold US stamped on them. These are US Calvary issued items that date somewhere during the turn of the last century, or one before. He wasn’t in the Calvary. He was an Indian kid growing up in the southwestern desert.
When my Grandpa was a young man he and some friends drove a heard of horses and cattle straight north from Texas to Montana. As he told me the story, there were no fences or roads that bared their progress. Now remember these were a group of Indians heading north. Somewhere along the way they happened to pick up the Calvary tack. I do believe there may have been some horses attached. How ever they acquired the material I’ll leave up to your imaginations.
After arriving in the Montana territory, grandpa began working as a cowboy and horse trainer on a large ranch in Boulder Mt. He eventually became the ranch foreman in charge of a staff of cowboys and drivers. He was the boss, El Heffe. During his time in Boulder he met a Kootenai/Salish Irish woman named Audrey and they married. I’ll write about her later on.
My mother, Linda Elaine Gibson, was born in August of 1938 in the back seat of an old sedan when my grandpa was in his early to mid forties. She was raised until she was about 13 years old on that Ranch in Boulder. My Uncle John came after. Being in Montana living on a Ranch protected my grandparents from the worst of the depression. Being a couple Indian kids gave them the skills and stamina to survive.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor Grandpa joined the US Navy. He worked as a diesel mechanic in the boiler room of a ship. During his time in the Navy he boxed. Fighting was a way to keep his mind off of not being home. Wars do that. They take people from their families and change them.
My grandfather traveled all over the world. He knew people and he taught them what he knew. What he knew, the secrets he shared along with the life he led are the stuff of legends. Minor ones maybe, but hey legends are legends however short they are. They called him Hoot, the sounds of an Owl. He died at the approximate age of 111.
Peace and Balance,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Up And Coming

Howdy all, in the next few blogs I’ve decided to share with you some stories about my family. That is my gandparents, parents, siblings, friends,  and everyone I remember.  The stories may be entertaining, or they may not be, we shall see.
Peace and Balance,

The High Road

There’s an old Scottish song that says, “You’ll take the High road and I’ll take the Low road and I’ll get to Scotland before Ye.” This morning I write thinking about the High road. The High road is the rough road, the rocky road, the road that gives us cuts and bruises and often open wounds. I’m thinking about this road because of the recent ordeal that my beautiful wife, Romona and I have been going through this summer.
Sometimes there is a point in which mountains crumble and walls removed, in which all sacred things seem lost and human trust gone with it. If it were not for my savior, my Mona, I do not believe I would be surviving this ordeal. She has been my foundation, my crutch, she has been my confidant, my conscience, the rock that holds me together grounded. It has been a hard and painful journey. The veil has been lifted from our eyes and we have seen the face of humanity.
I removed a post I had written claiming I was on walkabout. This was not true. I was merely fooling myself into believing large philosophical thoughts that blinded me to the truth. I am not on a road alone. I am embraced by the most beautiful soul I have ever met, my Romona, and I regret to say that I have not treated her with the respect, dignity, and trust that is hers. She stands ever present giving me the inspiration to get out of bed each morning and to carry on each day, she is my hope. For her ever present faith in me and the guidance she gives I am forever grateful, Romona I love you and thank you for being you.
Our story began somewhere after the holiday last year when I called in ill from work and slept in. Romona and I stayed in bed and caught an extra eye full of sleep. I don’t know why I woke, maybe to go to the bathroom, but there was something missing from our driveway. Our car was missing. It was repossessed on the day I was going to make a double payment. The bank would not negotiate and the amount of money to get the vehicle back was so large that it was no longer an option. Supposedly we still owe. This I don’t understand. My friend Ray drove me down south to the car lockup and we retrieved our belongings from the deposed car.
Another friend found a cheap car for us to drive after letting us use his personal vehicle, thank you Tim. I was supposed to pay for the car when we got our finances together. This was supposed to happen by now, it did not. On the way home from grocery shopping late on a very cold night, we tend to shop late, the vehicle made a funny spit and a hissing noise and slowly came to a stop. It hasn’t ran since. It was about eleven in the evening and we had a carload of groceries to get home. Luckily a police officer came by soon after and took Mona home and came back and waited with me for the tow truck. We got it towed home, emptied the cargo and have been without a car ever since. This was about eight months ago. I relied on a friend to cart me back and forth from work, we walked, and we have been going to appointments and the stores when our son, Lee is home with his car. Thank you Lee and thank God he’s been here when home from school. Lee’s a student in his final year now at PSU. I should mention, the very same day we had trouble with our car, his engine blew in his car. It was fixed after much trouble and expense on Lee’s part. Now he’s driving a much nicer vehicle, thank God.
Another thing I should mention. My foundation and inspiration, Romona, is not well. She is a very ill young lady that needs constant medical attention. Consequently I have not been able to get her to her doctor’s appointments like she should. There are several specialists she needs to see that we can’t get to because of the lack of reliable wheels. Due to this fact several things are happening right now that would have been avoided if it were only the convenience of a working car and a better income, or a “real job” as I call it. She is still twice what I am ill or not.
As the school year progressed and I began making inquires about my summer job, I worked with the custodians at the same school I work in during the winter, I discovered I did not have a job. This revelation came with two weeks left in the school year. I am devastated, floored, and in serious financial trouble. Bills have piled up, and our mortgage is now in arrears, and I haven’t been able to collect unemployment. We’ve tried some desperate measures like selling gold, which we did not do, and we’ve managed to pull through to the mid of August. A summer without an income.
I’m facing garnishment on my school loans, no mortgage payment until school starts, and a multitude of piled up stuff that seems to keep finding it’s way here. Including very recently the discovery of a Face Book page that was started in my name without my approval. This is technically called identity theft and will be dealt with. When will it stop?
With all this happening my Romona has still stood by strong and vigilant giving me advise and the benefit of her wisdom. She is my inspiration, she is my angel, and she has taken the “High Road” with me. Now, on to Scotland.