By Alan Sorensen
I got back from vacation Friday and checked in at the office to make sure the locks hadn't changed and that I still had a job. They hadn't and I did.
I also found a new computer sitting where my old reliable had been. You know how we used to get attached to our old upright typewriters and rebel when the electrics were brought in. I kind of felt that way Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Not only was I unfamiliar with the new tool on my desk, it didn't provide many of the essential functions my job requires.
Hugh, the computer guy who keeps this place running, showed up Sunday morning and said he'd try to have it up and running with all of the necessary functions, such as spell check and e-mail access, by Monday morning.
Good to his word, Hugh had everything pretty much set by Monday a.m. I discovered a couple more glitches during my first half hour at work and Hugh came in and corrected them during the following hour.
You know, this new technology ain't so bad; it's just that it happens so often. My car is about 14 years old and will continue to age gracefully in my care for some time to come, I hope. I wish the same for my TV, furnace and wood burning stove.
Businesses come and go, too. That's what has caused a bit of a holdup in my columns about oldtime Havre grocers, service stations, bars, dealerships and other merchants. While a business might be under one person's ownership in one location during the 1940s, it could be somewhere else under someone else's ownership in the '50s or '60s.
I talked with the boss before going on vacation and asked if it would be possible to sponsor a get together of people interested in contributing to the lists.
I suggested we buy a lot of kegs of beer and truckload of burgers and head to a city park with pads and pencils for everyone. The boss said it would be more likely we'd head with pads and pens to a large room of some type with coffee and doughnuts.
Anyway, stay posted all of you with fond memories of Havre as it was in your day. We'll work something out when the boss gets back.
In the meantime, my relatives up west were keen on a book called "The Education of Little Tree" by a guy named Forrest Carter. I retired to my throne early this morning and finally finished the book. It was a touching account that portrayed a Cherokee family in a noble light.
What worries me, though, are all of the accusations that the author who wrote such a touching account of growing up Cherokee in the deep south was actually a member of the Ku Klux Klan and wrote speeches for Gov. George Wallace of Alabama. The book was full of anti-federal sentiment.
I'll do more research. Carter, by the way, was also the author of the Josie Wales stories, the same name as the family in Little Tree.
Just before I went on vacation I received an e-mail from Jonathan WindyBoy, Chippewa Cree Tribal Business Committee member at Rocky Boy. The e-mail contained an observation by astute comedian George Carlin.
Carlin, who apparently put a lot of time and thought into his research, contended that the term Indian has nothing whatsoever to do with the Asian country by that name. He said that at the time that Columbus discovered the islands off our continent's east coast and the coast itself, India was known as Hindustan.
Carlin said that the term Indian for the native people of this continent and its islands actually came from Columbus' written records of his encounters with the people. In his notes, Columbus apparently noted the spirituality of the native people and referred to them as people in God - in dios - ergo, the term Indian.
Carlin went further, insisting that it was the ultimate insult to call Indians Native Americans because Americans are the ones who were responsible for the genocide visited on the Indians.
Carlin and Carter: apparently opposite motives with largely identical results. Little wonder why I believe little of what I read these days but still look for the good in all of it.