64 Corvette out of the shop

by Jim Northrup
Fond du Lac Follies motored to the east. The occasion was the Independence Day parade held in Cloquet. The '64 Corvette was out of the shop finally so we wanted to be a part of the parade. The Reservation's Veteran Service Officer, Mary Northrup, gave us a Rez flag to display.

Jerry Fairbanks, an Air Force veteran, and I motored to the beginning of the parade route and got ready. I taped the Rez flag to the rear trunk and taped a Marine Corps flag to the driver's side door. My granddaughter Raina wanted to be in the parade so she perched on the trunk lid. I told her the parade was for her and her part was to wave at the crowds. The nine-year old was smiling and waving.

As we were preparing the car I noticed a bald eagle flying overhead as if he were checking us out. I thought that was a good beginning to the parade. Two Air Force jets also flew over. Call me old -fashioned but I was more impressed with the eagle.
jim\'s corvette.jpg
We were parading behind a Pearl Harbor survivor who was in a GTO convertible. He was throwing candy to the kids along the route. That looked somewhat dangerous to me. The little darlings were darting out into the parade route to pick up the candy. We didn't have candy to throw so we just smiled and motored along.

The cheering got loud when we came by groups of Fonjalackers. I saw my grandson Bimose waving at us. My sister Nita and her family were in the crowd waving. I saw several men saluting when they saw the Marine Corps flag.

The parade was fun and we enjoyed ourselves. The entire parade route was eight blocks. It seemed like it was over too quickly so I circled around and rejoined the parade. We tucked in between the fire trucks at the end. The Shinnobs were laughing when they saw us coming by the second time. I told my cousin Les Northrup I was getting paid mileage. I wasn't really but it was good for a laugh.


Question of the Month, Ojibberish Division

Q. How do you tell a Shinnob to save money?

A. Just say, "Tuckabuckaway."


Fond du Lac Follies motored to the Something Annual Veterans pow wow held here in Sawyer. My wife was going to operate her food stand called Stand Here. This year she had a sign that said Free Coffee For Veterans. Those business classes she is taking at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College are kicking in, especially the marketing ones.

I set up my stand to sells books and big birch bark baskets, didn't have a cutesy name for it. My stand had a bingo table across the front that held the books and baskets. The rest of the shelter was a veteran's lounge, we had chairs and shade, stories and lies, a Marine Corps flag, a John Wayne picture, and free coffee from Stand Here.

USMC vet Ray Earley had a captive audience for his stories. He had the largest chair and the only footrest.

George Dick had a giveaway on Saturday morning. His son Kak gave me a new red Marine Corps hat. I think he wanted me to change the oil in my old one.

One vet visit was pretty special, it was Adam, a young Marine just back from Iraq. He was a gunner on a Hummer and was only blown up once by a roadside bomb. I asked Adam if he wanted a Corvette ride. He said yes and we left the pow wow grounds at Mashkawisen to cruise the curvy roads south of Sawyer.

The Rez giveaway on Saturday afternoon was a good one. I got a pound of Rez rice, a keyring, a wallet, a t-shirt and a hat, two hat pins, and some honor songs. According to Mary Northrup there were 157 Fond du Lac veterans, 105 vets from other places.

At the end of the pow wow they had fireworks. To a combat vet with PTSD, fireworks are like bringing a keg of beer to an AA picnic, or a Corvette to a Thunderbird car show, a cat to a pit bull dog fight. Ray and I went to my house. The explosions weren't as loud but we could still hear them, the thunk sound when they left the tube, the explosions when they went off in the air. The rapid small explosions said AMBUSH! When they stopped I thought everyone was changing magazines. If they have fireworks again I shall go to the woods

In spite of the fireworks I had a good time and I would like to thank Mary Northrup, the VSO and the Veterans Committee

The views in this column belong to the writer alone, they are not meant to represent this newspaper, the Rez, Fonjalackers, parade organizers, veterans or anyone else. Comments and bingo packs can be sent to FdL Follies, PO Box 16, Sawyer, MN 55780-0020 email

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web page http://www.nativewiki.org/Jim_Northrup