By Alan Sorensen
I leave on vacation today. When I return to work in two weeks, it will be to a new job.
I've been cleaning out my desk this week and finishing up what stories I had on the line. I decided it would be appropriate to clean out my mind and print some thoughts that never made it into earlier columns.
This is the end of my question marks for Sports Illustrated's top 50 Montana athletes of the 1900s: Has no one heard of Sam McCullum -- Flathead Brave, UM Griz, Minnesota Viking, Seattle Seahawk?
Now I'd like to reflect upon those athletes in my youth who instilled awe: Jack Brady could play roundball with collegians at age 5; Bob Porter knocked every pitch out of the Lions' Park at 10; Dan Morris could throw a sizzling curve at 6; Ned Malone was state all-around diving champ at 4; Skip Grodahl was city tennis champ at 11; Harry Lippy did everything he did better than anyone else and was a lover, too; Sandy McLean could swim faster than most of us could run; Debbie Dykstra was the first Montana girl to swim the 100 under a minute; Terry Olson was the strongest older kid in the world and Jim Catt the strongest younger kid; Duck Kampf and Gale Mork could out box anyone; and Dan Hulett, who knew every stat in every sport in the world. There may be a couple of exaggerations there somewhere, but I'm not sure which they'd be.
I miss reading Lisa Marie's column weekly. I understand she has a wider audience with the Great Falls Tribune, but with The Daily News, we got to read her every week. Now, we're told, she'll be featured once a month in the Montana Parade Section of the Sunday Trib.
It seems everyone I've talked with enjoyed reading Miss Stahl's column. And I'd imagine we all had the same reaction to some of her better work. How can such a cute, petite, angelic young girl so nonchalantly describe in such detail and precision the more blood curdling work at the colony. Her pieces on butchering and rendering and doing in the chickens and geese were wonderfully gory.
I think there's a woman in New York state who needs to check her life.
Kay Stevens (or is that Stephens, Stephanopolous or Steppenfetchit?) of Williamson, N.Y. has been trying for years to get western states to respell Sacajawea's name. She insists that Sacagawea spelling is the more accurate spelling of the Shoshone name.
I think Ms. Stevens should spend a little time among the Indians of the West. I don't know precisely how long it would take her to learn that every tribe is unique and that numerous dialects from a handful of Indian language groups are extant in the land.
Sacagawea, as Ms. Stevens knows her, may very well have been pronounced Sacagawea in Shoshone. But let's not forget that Sacagawea was known among native peoples in many tribes -- Piegan and Blackfeet, Assiniboine, Sioux (Oglala, Lakota, Nakota, Dakota, et al), Mandan, Ojibway, Cree, Salish and Kootenai, Nez Perce, Spokane, and on and on. Each tribe even had several names.
There's Chippewa for Ojibway, White Earth People for Gros Ventre.
And then there's the Assiniboine: Ossnobian, Nasserniboine, Assiniboi, Assinipoval, Assinibouane, Assinepoualao, Assiniboe, Assiniboil, and, of course, Nakoda -- Friendly People.
My dad was raised in western Minnesota and among the Chippewa of western North Dakota. His family's homestead ended up behind Garrison Dam and at the bottom of Lake Sacagawea. He pronounced Sacagawea's name Sacagawea.
I grew up on the Hi-Line, amidst the Chippewa and Cree, Assiniboine and Gros Ventre, Blackfeet and Metis. The great lady's name here was pronounced Sacajawea. I'm pretty sure there must be other pronunciations out there somewhere that I've never heard.
Sacajawea or Sacagawea (my dictionary has both spellings), her image, when I was a child, was reproduced more often than any other woman's, including the Statue of Liberty and Lady Justice.
I understand that her image is going into or has already gone into widespread release again. This time on the dollar.
Whatever her name, Sacajawea (Sacagawea) was a wild country rose of rare and glorious quality.