Sunday Nostalgia: Long Possibly Non-Interesting Entry Follows: You Have Been Warned ⚠️
. . .
I've been thinking about a story from @jeanninebee9
about how she once participated in a Viking-themed ceremony for young campers, and it reminded me of my dad.
When I was a boy, we belonged to the YMCA Indian Guides, sort of their answer to the Boy Scouts. It was a less culturally aware age, and we Central Florida fathers and sons dressed like Great Plains Indians because (I think?) the founders believed that the Native Americans had a lot to teach us about growing up and being good people. We did handicrafts and camping and canoeing and lots of other bonding stuff and I remember those times fondly even if I cringe just a little remembering my best friend's middle-aged white dad wearing a feathered war bonnet and moccasins. 🤦♂️
. . .
When I was old enough, and had completed the necessary tasks, I (and some other boys) were initiated into the Appaloosa tribe of the Seminole nation at a big ceremony at a huge secluded campground in North Florida. . . .
My father and I packed our camping gear in his truck along with dozens and dozens of rolls of toilet paper, a car battery and a can of kerosene. When I looked quizzical he just said "You'll see."
. . .
The midnight induction ceremony was amazing, culminating in a "real" Indian brave appearing out of nowhere on a small bluff above us; he was illuminated by self-lighting torches and said a few words before lighting the tip of an arrow in one of the torches and firing it down into the center of the clearing below.
. . .
His target erupted in a column of flame the likes of which I had only seen at rocket launches at the Cape.
When the flames died down it revealed a large bonfire, previously concealed in the darkness. . . .
I gave my oath of allegiance to the chief and to the Great Spirit in front of that fire, and afterwards we all whooped and cheered as drums beat to welcome us in as fledgling braves; my tribal name was "Little Flying Cloud" after my father "Big Flying Cloud" - which I realized only years later was probably a fart joke 😐
. . (Concluded below)