Friday, March 13, 2009

Grandma Backpack

This is a story that I have to tell, no matter what anyone thinks of me.

Last year when football season started, I bought some ribs and some beer. It was like in September and if you know me I love football. Well to make a long story short, cops busted in my door and took us in to jail for drinking, it's illegal here, if you didn't know that.

The jail here, you do 8 hours in a drunk tank with about 14 other people before they switch you over to the inmate housing. Then after the next shift comes in, you get to make phone calls and get out for $35. So I get out and go on with life.

I have court over the $35 fine coming up and can't get off work to go to court, can't postpone it because about 100 other people have court at the same time, the same day. They usually just drop the charge and give everyone their $35 back, big waste of time and money, in my opinion.

Anyways, so I consult a tribal lawyer, which here a tribal lawyer takes a test, I think and pays $50 for thier license...anyway she tells me if I don't show up for court that I would be forfieting my $35 fine. Fine, I thought, they can have the $35.

Fast forward to Christmas 2008. I have a friend who at the time was only 20. Can you ride with me to Whiteclay and buy me a 6 pack of Smirnoff Ice. Just go to the first bar I tell her, the guys a perv and don't card girls. I tried, he's not working, she said. I'll give you 5 bucks. OK, I say.

I get my shoes on and we leave. We are followed by a cop. He doesn't stop us until we are halfway there. To make another long story short, my fine wasn't forfeited and I had a bench warrant for it. I was non-bondable on Christmas and the next day of court was on New Year's Eve. So I sat for what seemed like forever but it was only 7 days.

And our jail is new, so it's like camp without the outdoors. There are four girls to a pod of two bunks and my bunkmates were all funny as hell. But it's not a cell, just like a big dorm.

I was in there with an older lady named Darlene. "Grandma Backpack" is what they call her because every where she goes she is seen with her camoflauge backpack. She called us all "my girl..." shared her food with us and talked to us.

Most of the time, I see her standing in the border town of Whiteclay, drinking with the rest of the homeless, though she isn't homeless. She always has something in her backpack for you, new shampoo or whatever she can sneak in there in stores. Sometimes she sells those things, sometimes she just give them away. She was the same in jail, giving things to everyone. Helping everyone out.

She was the only one not worried about using her phone calls for bail money, she called looking for her backpack. When she finally located it 2 days and 4 phone calls later, she relaxed and waited for a TR bond. (temporary release)

I was in a funk, it was the holidays and here I was, as if I was this horrid criminal. I read as many books as I could (one a day) and swore when I got out I was never gonna ever gonna watch The Wedding Singer again. See there is a TV and VCR in there and everytime a new load of girls came in, they watched The Wedding Singer as if it was brand new. And now I hate that movie with a passion, in fact when everyone went to church, I hid it.

When Grandma Backpack got a TR bond before the rest of us, she went around giving everyone stuff she had collected, like coffee packets from church, little candybars from church, magazines from the library, when she got to me, all she had was a piece of paper with a Bible verse. I'm not big on church or anything, but I took it to use as a bookmark and gave her a hug.

When I read the piece of paper, I smiled.

It said this.

"I am important. God has a purpose for my life therefore I have hope." Ephesians 2:10

Aftert that I took as many pieces of the Yatzhee scorepad papers as I could and started writing this. You see Grandma Backpack didn't have anything to give me but that piece of paper. But she gave me so much more than that. She gave me hope, and no matter what I do in life, I know there is a purpose. At this point I am still writing, in longhand the book that she finally made me start that day.

I don't know when I will really finish Modern Day Tales from The Rez, but at least I started it.

(translated from the back of 6 pages of Yahtzee scoresheets.)


Goose Creek Indian Reserve said...

THEY talk to us in many different ways and forms, you never know what or always listen.

josie2shoes said...

Awesome story!

Mike S said...

Wow! What a crappy deal!! This state finally did away with liquor & beer prohibitions & we lost a great way to make extra dough in the 'old days'. We were the only place that COULD sell on Sundays & being in the middle of a sportsmen's paradise the moola poured in every Sunday from all the city dwelling vacationers. Oh well, it was to good to last.

Jimi said...

Your entries are always interesting to read...

JJ said...

I've really enjoyed reading your articles.

I sure hope you get your 'puter fixed soon.

Dana Dane said...

thanks everyone

um JJ I have a new pc but I keep getting nixed by the paper

Maybe this week

I think they want me to cry around or be more political or tsalk about me, myself and I more

i just write what's real...not so much what i think is reality

Anonymous said...

Go for it! Bout time.

JJ said...

Well I hate to hear that. Part of the reason I read that paper is for your column. Yeah, they have a lot of good info regarding news on the rez, but when I read your article, I feel I get a far better feeling for how life really is. I live in TX, but spent time up in that part of the country when I was a kid. Your columns take me back to those days.

Pilamaya ye yelo.

Dana Dane said...

Thank you JJ, you can always read me hear when I don't make it past edit lol

Wild Oglala said...

Don't those moments just mess with your brain? and those hosers down at the jail. kept your $35 and had the nerve to issue a bench warrent! My own cuz hauled me in once just because I had a person who was drinking riding with me and he let her go!! And then, while he was relaying me to HWY16, the fool turns around and goes on a high speed chase with me cuffed in the back! Ever go down Wounded Knee hill at about 90? Our law enforcement sucks!