Friday, September 21, 2012

Pow-Wows, Tomatoes and Mountains

There are many special events that take place on an annual basis in Cody for the benefit of both the locals and tourists.
Every day during the summer the road is closed outside the Irma Hotel and a free gunfight is held on the street (complete with actors, costumes, portable cowboy buildings and props).
Every day during the summer there is a rodeo at the rodeo grounds, located on the outskirts of town.
Every Thursday evening throughout the summer there is a free concert at the downtown park, located close to the Cody Visitors Center.
Every year there is a balloon festival and 4th of July parade.
Every year there is a Pow-Wow, on the grounds immediately adjacent to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.
We stopped by the Pow Wow for a short while this summer, on a very very hot summer day not long after we arrived back in Cody.
A video I found online showing some of the action of the event:
Before the dancers paraded in the grassy arena LC and I wandered around the booths that lined the fence surrounding the area.
As we had walked towards the entrance gates I noticed the the license plates of the vehicles of the dancers.  There were dances from all over the western section of the country, and I could see stickers on their vehicles indicating that they traveled with this show all over the United States.
We went to the Pow Wow because it was rained out last year and we did not have a chance to see this once-a-year event.
In truth these kinds of things don't excite me very much.  It is a purely personal thing, but as I looked at the costumes of the dancers as they milled around before the show, and as I wandered throughout the booths looking at jewelry and paintings and figurines I knew that everything was too manufactured, too mass produced, too contrived.  Native American history and craftsmanship packaged in the bright colors most suitable for tourist consumption.
After wandering the booths LC and I searched for a seat on one of the set of bleachers that had been set up for the audience.
We had arrived not long before the events were to begin and I had hoped to take many pictures of what I knew would be a colorful event. 
We had to settle for a corner of one of the bleachers located behind the tents and pop-ups that had been set up for dancers.
We ended staying for only a short while.
Too hot, too many people, too much noise.  We had only been back in town for a short while and the organized chaos of the area was overwhelming for two people who still needed rest.
But it was a noisy, dancing, colorful and upbeat event and I know that it is always a highlight of the Cody summer schedule each year.................
Before we headed back to Tennessee last summer our neighbor, LC and I would often sit on the front porch of our little rented house in the country and look for shapes in the clouds in the sky.
One day I looked up into the sky, pointed and said "I see a penis!"
Chris our neighbor and LC followed my finger and then burst out laughing.
There indeed was a penis and scrotum shaped cloud in the sky and these two people laughed in hysterics at my find.
With trailer loaded high with our belongings our neighbor came over to the house the day before we left and told me that she had baked me a cookie for the trip across country.
When I pulled the tin foil back from the cookie sheet it was my turn to laugh hysterically.
She had baked me a very very large and anatomically correct cookie.
LC looked at it, laughed, and said "I'm not eating that".  No problem I laughed back at him - I wasn't planning on sharing anyway.
I wanted to take a picture of my special cookie but my neighbor begged me not to and so I didn't.
Every summer my neighbor grows all sorts of vegetables in containers in a greenhouse that she has constructed right beside her home.
She grows many different kinds of tomatoes, peppers, carrots, celery, green onions and more, and so we are very lucky to receive regular gifts of home grown vegetables.
She cans tomatoes throughout the summer, makes salsa, makes jam from green tomatoes.
She keeps some but also gives many jars as gifts to friends and neighbors throughout the year.
I have spent the last couple of months eating bowls full of cherry tomatoes, popping them into my mouth just as I would eat grapes.
A couple of days ago Chris came over to our house carrying this heart shaped tomato in her hand.
She asked me if I wanted it. 
I did....................
Heart Mountain late in the day and taken part way down the hill in the back yard...................

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