Short anecdotes


Indians and their snakes

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Indian costumes

Our parents were always searching for ways to broaden their three sons' horizons. Vernon, Dean, and I were assigned considerable real work but there were fun activities also.

For example our mother organized twelve neighborhood boys into an Indian dancing group. We made our own authentic Indian costumes, drums, and other accessories and learned Indian dances from books we borrowed from the library. The dancers were mostly Dean's age but I was the oldest so I was the drummer. We entered One Act Play contests winning many awards, a few blue ribbons, and one Grand Prize.

One of the blue ribbons was for a program that included real live snakes that the Indians held in their mouths as they danced. The performers were up on a brightly lit stage while the audience sat in the dark. During the snake dance, Dean dressed in his beautiful feathers and beads, danced over to me and whispered in my ear that he intended to hide his snake and then appear to look for it. I stopped my drumming to announce that one of the smaller snakes had escaped into the audience but no one need be concerned for the snake would only be looking for a warm place to hide. This was many years ago when women still wore dresses.

Suddenly the women and girls began shrieking because they thought the snake was slithering under their feet. The men and boys laughed as they and the Indians looked for the snake. Sometimes Dean would holler "There it is" causing people to squeal with horror or laugh with delight. But everyone was very careful not to step on the snake.

Eventually the activity became so wild that I started banging on my largest, loudest drum announcing to everyone that Dean had found the snake in its own snake box.

Now you know where Dean developed his talent for entertaining the ladies.

Dale Reed, December 2002

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Last modified: 2005-10-08