Sunday, October 21, 2007


This weekend is a craft show in Whiteclay, Nebraskee.
Whiteclay is a horrible, little unincorporated town two miles south of where I sit and bead.
I don't know if anyone actually lives there except maybe a few transients and business owners. (I googled it, the population is 17...don't think that includes the transients and I don't believe it.)
Whiteclay is south of the border of Nebraska, where alcohol is legal. Now one thing I will say before dissing any of the business owners there is that if alcohol was legal on this reservation, we would NOT be giving all this moneyy to that little town where over 4 millions cans of beer are sold a year. 3.3 million dollars worth last year to which the alcohol sales tax for that went to the state of Nebraska and not our tribe. Whiteclay is the second largest in beer sales in the state of Nebraska next to Omaha. If alcohol was legal here we would not have a few of the problems we suffer from. I am not saying we should all drink and be happy. All I am saying is taking something away will not stop anyone from getting it. Anyone can study the Prohibition from the 20's and know that alcoholism and crime went down after the 18th amendent was repealed.

Anyway, I think about 5 years ago or so some missionary put in a Hands Of Faith church and second hand store called 555.
555 feeds free lunch on Fridays and two other meals a week. Mostly to the homeless, but I have eaten there twice for the Lakota Crafters Co-op meetings.
555 thrift store is ok, I bought my furniture there and they sell many other items and hire locally. I love buying second hand books, so I am slowly bulding up a collection of literary classics.
They have a garden, Green Tipi Gardens, in the summer with many volunteers from the reservation and the produce is given to the elderly and donated.
555 is somewhat like an oasis in the prairie when I went there to interview the manager Bruce last spring. The Green Tipi Gardens made me forget that only yards away people were begging for money and passed out.
This weekend is their Hay Days.
They will have a sort of fall festival for the kids and a craft show for the crafters of the Lakota Crafters Co-op.
I have been to fall festivals before, but never around here.
I am not an official member yet of the Co-op but the goal is for all of us crafters to achieve an income that is livable via craft shows, internet sales and fesitvals like this.
So this weekend as you are out enjoying the fall weather, remember I will be peddling my goods in the town everyone loves to hate. (and you better enjoy this weather...pretty soon snow will fly and you will say "I shoulda listened to her.")


*There has been talk and complaints that people want Whiteclay to stop selling alcohol. To me this will not stop the drinking, it will only increase business for the bootleggers and encourage driniking and driving to further towns that sell it also.


Mike S said...

A rather good example of reversed positions. Our people had legal Sunday sales back when the closest town was 'dry' and no towns were allowed Sunday sales. Since the Tribal Lands are in the midst of a huge tourist destination for fishing, hunting, hiking, canoeing, etc, there were huge sums on $$$ exchanged on Sundays, and a brisk traffic both there and at the 'Town Line' store weekdays. The store was just over the town line into the next town which was 'wet'.
Now it's all changed. Sunday sales are legal state-wide and almost all towns are 'wet' these days. What's notable is that there are less alcohol problems among all the area residents now it's legal. Seems to bear out your theory:)

Anonymous said...

I love second hand furniture too. Bought a great Queen Anne wingback at Goodwill last Sunday for $15. As for the cake thing, I have been doing it now for about 5 years. It has been slow in progression. People either want to pay for what I do or others want it for free. So to supplement I clean. The biggest kick in the teeth came from the people I started cleaning for first. I made a cake for them to try and they ended up ordering a wedding cake and bridal shower cake from a place in another town. Back in March my husband had a fit and since then has offered no monetary help. So I have been scraping by on what I could make to pay the bills and keep this every growing kid in shoes. It came quick and it was messy. But I have progressed alot this year with the cakes. So hopefully I can do it fulltime sooner rather than later. Thanks for the compliments!

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Dana, I hope this blog is a way to communicate with you without going through Bloggers Anonymous. I seem to have annoyed someone there who stepped in and replied to a comment clearly addressed to you. I'm not sure why she did that! I didn't want you to think I hadn't responded to your kindly visiting my blog the other day. Thanks for that.

Josie Two Shoes said...

So the answer is not shutting down Whiteclay, but legalizing alcohol on the rez? Makes sense I guess. Why do you think so many voted against it when they had the chance? I agree with you totally that making something illegal only adds to the problem, it never is a solution in itself. For you to get arrested because you want a beer with your barbeque is ridiculous!

The Black Hornet said...

I agree about the prohibition thing. It's always better to allow and educate than to disallow and create a black market and the crime that ensues.