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Fond du Lac Follies: Column by Jim Northrup

Question of the Month, Ojibwemong

Q: Aaniishwiin maanendamoyan noongom?

A: Gii-zhoomiingweni niwiiw gii-gashkigwaadang nimakasinan


Fond du Lac Follies motored to Milwaukee as a result of an invitation from Kim Blaeser to help promote the new book she edited. It is called Traces in Blood, Bone, & Stone, Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry by Loonfeather Press. This is a handsome book with a painting by Joe Geshick on the cover. Inside are contributions from 32 Ojibwe poets.

The event was called The Voice of the Crane: A Celebration of Ojibwe Literature and was held at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

I motored to Milwaukee with my brother-in-law Richard (Husband) Krieg in the silver Silverado. He has family in Milwaukee and he wanted to visit them.

I met Kim and the assembled poets at a nice place just off the campus of UW-M. There I saw and talked with Kim, Heid Erdrich, Denise Sweet, and Gordon Henry.

We moved our conversation to the area where we were supposed to read. Each one of us read our poetry, poured our words out to the assembled crowd of about 80 people. I think we connected with the audience and each other. It was good. After the doings we all signed books and talked with audience members one on one.

We ate good while we were there and I was sad to see the event end. Heid Erdrich and I motored north to Minneapolis. She wanted to ride with me because the train was too slow. Once again I avoided the gauntlet of casinos in Wisconsin. I dropped her off at her house and headed north to the Rez with a feeling of accomplishment.

The week after the Milwaukee gig we assembled to read again. It was a slightly different cast this time. Noted author Gerald Vizenor was there as was Kim and Heid. Doyle Turner also shared his words at Birch Bark Books, the setting for this reading. I wonder where we wandering Ojibwe poets will meet to read again?


Question of the Month, English version

Q: What is worrying you now?

A: My wife was smiling as she was sewing my moccasins.


My connection with Older than America, the movie, started with a phone call from Riki McMasters of the Minnesota Film Board. She said she was with people who were making a movie and were scouting locations in this area. She asked if she could visit here, the World Headquarters of the Fond du Lac Follies. I said goat head. Riki and I had first met when they were filming the movie �Iron Will�.

We met the Director, Georgina Lightening, and we talked about her upcoming movie. We had coffee inside then went outside to hang around the fire pit. Ray Earley was there spinning stories, he had a brand new audience. I gave Georgina a ride in that snarling Corvette.

They left then we didn�t hear anything more until Veronica Smith pointed out the film had a website. I looked and sure enough the Corvette was pictured there. I don�t think the sports car will be in the movie, it�ll be winter when they are shooting and that is when the Corvette is hibernating.

There was a news conference held at the Black Bear casino and Director Georgina Lightening and Producer Christina Walker spoke about the film. While talking with Georgina about the movie I learned she rewrote the script to include my fire pit and house in the movie.

A week later my family motored to the Black Bear Casino for the open casting call. I heard about 700 people showed up for the auditions. Pat and I auditioned as did three of my sons.

I learned my son Ezigaa is being considered for one of the speaking roles, also my wife Pat. She will be speaking with Adam Beach in one of the hospital scenes. Ray and I will be trading lines with Mr. Beach at the fire pit in the yard.

The film company will be shooting on and near the Fond du Lac Reservation for about a month. People are always asking me what the movie is about and I tell them I don�t know because I haven�t seen a script. I did hear some key words however, words like boarding school, an earthquake, an art teacher that looks exactly like Georgina Lightening, Adam Beach who looks exactly like Adam Beach.

We shall see.

I think Older than America will be in the Follies again.


We motored to Duluth to see the movie Flags of our Fathers, we went because we heard that son of a Beach, Adam was a good actor. Wrong, he is a great actor.


The views expressed in this column belong to the writer alone, they are not meant to represent this newspaper, this Reservation, the movie, Older Than America, Riki McMasters, Georgina Lightening, Christine Walker, Ray Earley, or even my wife Patricia. Comments and movie passes can be sent to FdL Follies, PO Box 16, Sawyer, Minnesota 55780-0016 email: Website: