Fond du Lac Follies: Feeling like a rich man ricing

News From Indian Country 10-08

The leaves are beginning to change colors, things don’t seem as green as they used to. The sky is just as bright blue as before. The nights are cooler.

Ricing is here again and members of the family at the World Headquarters of the Fond du Lac Follies have been to the reservation lakes gathering our share of that gift from the Creator.

I went into ricing feeling like a rich man because I have two big cast iron kettles and two canoes. We already had one big kettle but my wife, Patricia, found one in an antique shop in southern Minnesota. I know we can use the second kettle to boil maple sap next spring, should be able to boil twice as fast. The new-to-us canoe was also purchased in southern Minnesota. We also have two cords of seasoned fire wood. Yup, I feel like a rich man.

This year we had a student who wanted to learn how to parch his rice gathered at the Sandy Lake Flowage north of McGregor, Minnesota. I let him use my fire pit, my firewood, one of my kettles and a canoe paddle. I showed him how to turn the rice in the kettle, how to check the parched rice so he knew it was done. I supervised him and he learned how to turn the rice, how to keep the fire not too hot or not too cool. After two hundred pounds I knew his life story and he knew how to parch rice. I am just passing on what someone taught me.
I am currently working on a manuscript for the Minnesota Historical Society Press. They want to publish 250-300 pages. I have 600 pages after 19 years of the Follies. Dr. Larry Gross helped by collecting the copies of the Follies.

I am working with Dr. Margaret Noori on the editing of the manuscript. We went through the entire body of work and decided on which stories we keep and which can be edited out. The working title of this manuscript is The Distilled Follies. She helped me with my first book.


The  manuscript I am working on after that is called Dirty Copper. It is the story of my character Luke Warmwater as a Deputy Sheriff in Carlton County, a big city police officer and finally a Public Defender Investigator.

Here is a preview from the middle of the that manuscript:

Luke was driving his squad car in the northern part of the city, day shift. The radio came alive, “406,” the Dispatcher said.  Luke replied, “406, I’m at 10th and Lincoln,” giving his location as was the standard practice in the police department. “406, we got a report of a purse snatching behind the hospital.”  “10-4, do you have a description of the suspect?” “406, he is a white male, long brown hair, about 5’8, 160 pounds.” “10-4, clothing description?” “406, no clothes, he was naked.” “Naked?” “10-4 406, naked.”

Luke drove to the area and did a perimeter search, parked his car and began walking through the alleys. In the second alley he saw a bare foot sticking out from behind a dumpster. He looked and saw a white male, naked, with a brown leather purse clutched over his genitals. Luke told him, “Stand up, drop the purse, and put your hands on the wall.” The man complied and Luke told him, “I won’t search you, I can see you’re unarmed. I won’t ask for identification, you don’t have pockets.”

Luke cuffed him, picked up the purse and walked the man to the squad car. He covered the naked suspect with a blanket and radioed in to report he had the suspect in custody and had recovered the purse.

The man in the back seat spoke up and said, “Wait, wait, let me tell you what happened. See, I was over in the next block. This woman had invited me over because her husband was at work. We were just getting started in the bedroom when we heard the front door being unlocked. I jumped out of bed and kicked my clothes and shoes under the bed. I escaped out the window to the fire escape. I heard heavy footsteps walking to the window. I went down the fire escape and when I stepped off the bottom step, the fire escape went back up to the second floor. So, there I was standing in the alley wondering what to do. Then, this other naked man came running up, handed me the purse and took off.”

Luke laughed all the way to the jail. He told the Desk Sergeant the guy’s story, it quickly spread. Some cops were saying it had happened to them.


Mii iw.

Mii sa iw.