Having attended this Indin gathering for twenty seven years all of the weather possibilities have been experienced, even a close call with a local tornado
sweeping north of our camp and lifting two of our tents off the ground. It had been one of those hot humid powwows where we try to do everything on the powwow program in the three days before returning to teaching
responsibilities at New Mexico State. Young Son Joe was determined to stay awake long enough to do the stomp dance after midnight. His mother stayed with him while
those family members worn out from the dancing and events returned to camp for some rest. Our tent had an addition on one end as a sleeping cave for our young sons. Eight
year old son Daniel crawled into his sleeping bag in the tent cave and was asleep by the time my head hit my pillow. Was it a dream or was our tent beating like a human heart.
I awoke to the sound of nylon sides of the tent pulsing and someone yelling, “We have got to get out of here. Wake up!” The boy’s mother opened
the tent flap door and shouted, “A tornado is coming! Daniel was sound asleep through the coming storm. I dove through the tent cave opening and pulled him by
his legs out of the tent. In the faint glow of the camp lights I saw our friend Thea in her small brown dome tent floating back to the ground. She was unharmed and
told us the powerful wind lifted the tent where she was sleeping into the air. Thea spread her arms and legs as wide as possible on the tent floor hoping she would not fly up in the clouds.
tornados were going to come to our camp this year! We were going to have one of the best camps and Powwow dances ever before traveling to New Mexico for a distribution ceremony of my son’s mother and grandparents. It would be another nine hundred miles of motor home travel to the Land of Enchantment and a twisted road climb up the backside of the Sandia Mountains to the Crest where we would meet friends and family for the ceremony
event. It had been ten years since the deaths of the boy’s mother and her parents. All of our family agreed it was time to return the ashes to a place overlooking
the City of Albuquerque at a place loved by them. Having two grown sons to help with the long driving hours was a real blessing as long as they followed the G.P.S. and did not do any off-roading. It had been one of the best Delaware Powwows we had attended when my grandson and a good friend from Albuquerque came to our camp. Grandson Thunder and friend John had not seen for many years
and our trip back to New Mexico would give us time to tell all the old and new stories. In Albuquerque, we enjoyed the great Mexican food, breakfast at the Frontier Diner across from the University of New Mexico,
turquoise skies, tourist shopping in Old Town and desert scenes. I put on my new Roswell Alien tee shirt for good luck as we said sad goodbyes and began the two thousand mile return trip to Bear Lake, New York.