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Contents Page: December 31, 2010, vol 6 no 4

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Theresa Williams

 

Chief Taholah Days

The Quinault tribe calls its celebration Chief Taholah days, not the fourth of July.  The real festivities will happen tomorrow – canoe races and a parade.  But the fireworks stands are selling now:  people have driven a long way to buy the ones with names like Rolling Thunder and Sonic Boom.  The fry bread stand is also open.  An old grandmother sells it from a battered travel trailer.  When a strong, young Quinault man comes to her window, she stands slowly, complains that when she needs help nobody’s around.  The man turns sheepish.  She takes her time with his bread, patting the soft dough again and again in her wrinkled palms.  Her little granddaughters enter the trailer, paying no attention.   They wear pink nail polish and eat skittles.   As soon they’re sure their grandmother isn’t looking, they open the cigar box holding the money, and, giggling, count the bills.  Indian boys are shooting fireballs out over the river. Explosions bounce off the water, the far hill.  Nobody flinches. The man turns toward the sound. 

loping
along the river
a black dog 

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crane