On June 25, 1876 egomaniac and white supremist George Armstrong Custer and his men were wiped out at the Little Big Horn in Montana. It was the beginning of the end for the home team who were on their way to being herded onto reservations and minimalized by the government. The phrase, “Once proud people” is overused. It’s a go to for documentarians who feel guilty about the fate of the Native American. Amid all this, they’re making a comeback. Connecticut has two tribal run casinos. Massachusetts is following. The tribes are learning that they were hornswaggled by preachers, Indian agents and politicians. They found a way to win, not using warfare, but appealing to the white man’s need for amusement and squandering money. The native tribes gambled, sure, but they didn’t risk Little Johnnie’s college fund on making a hard eight. As a member of the visitors who doesn’t indulge: Hooray for the home team, a hundred thirty six years late, but it’s a beginning.

W&N 79 was a trip back in time for me. It’s going to grow and become a piece for my writing class. It’s amazing how all the nuances come up as you reread a piece. It needs to be written down, if only for the fact that somebody might read it and write a memoir about some part of their childhood. We have enough historians documenting the big stuff that happened. We need to get the small stuff out for people to read. We’re losing our oral history. How many of us are going to be approached by a college student with a recorder and a camera wanting to find out about our past?

The story:

Ronald Fox spent as much time as he could with the women on the television. He professed his love for them and they sent him messages alerting him to dangers that were imminent. It was a Wednesday while Ronald was watching a panel show that featured an attractive Asian woman who was alerting him to the plan the hospital had for him when an orderly named Reardon sat beside him and tried to engage him in conversation. It was a common ploy. An employee would feign interest and try to extract secrets. Secrets that kept Ronald safe and one step ahead of the staff. Ronald tried to create a capsule around himself but Reardon persisted. He talked about weather, baseball any plans Ronald had when he got out. It was the first time anyone mentioned getting out. Was this a slip on Reardon’s part or did the hospital have plans for him? What did they know? Was Reardon able to intercept the messages from the women Ronald Fox loved? He had to find out. He talked, about the weather, baseball and the fact that Ronald Eox didn’t communicate with the other patients. Ronald listened and watched television. He’d allow Reardon to get close. His stash of pills would do the rest. It would take time.

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