As we were headed to ceremonies this year, Medicine Man Little Willing Talker asked me how many ceremonies had I missed since we became Tribesmen 50 years ago? He was tapped second session and I was tapped third session in 1963. I thought for a moment and said maybe a dozen. I remember coming back fourth session to see what ceremonies looked like on the ridge. Ask anyone from 3rd session ’63 and they will tell you about the rain. It started raining at 5:30am, the Runners were kind enough to get the Foxmen up at 5:00am before it hit, and it stopped about 2:00pm. We had just finished half of our testing when the monsoon hit again and ceremonies were moved to Goetz Lodge. So, fourth session I returned to see what ceremonies were really like and I saw my brother, Wally, who was my tapper, advance to Keeper. Our troop came out fifth session of ’64 when I advanced to Warrior and I have been on the Staff since 1965. The other ceremonies I missed were when I had student competing at the National Speech and Debate Tournament held first or second weeks of camp. When you think about it, I have seen or been a part of a number of ceremonies.
During the last 50 years I have seen proposed changes in ceremonies that have stayed and some ideas that have died out after only a couple of years. I was part of the first group that went through the Warriors ceremonies to advance to Firebuilder. Before then, only Silent Braves knew for sure they were going to advance. But do you remember Pathfinders (Oh wait, the man who proposed that idea said it had nothing to do with Mic-O-Say); or the sacred pole that lead the Scouts to and from Story Fire?
I spoke with and listened to H. Roe Bartle (Chief Lone Bear) when he was at the last ceremony in 1972. Just as a side note to any staff member – I made him an honorary member of E-Ba-Dee, much to Bill Kent’s (Sachem Little Magic Wire) concern that night. He told me he would be sure to add that honor to his list of Who’s Who. He must have truly understood that everything in E-Ba-Dee is backwards as I never saw it listed. I have talked tribal history with Lloyd Schmidt (MM Tree Hunter); seen Dick Boehner (Chieftain Sees the Sun) “get cute with the Chief” Finley Fiske (Chief Swift Spear) when he advanced to TTB; remember every Thursday night Marvin Atkins (MM Peace Keeper) would lose his voice; saw Marc Stine’s tapping fire and remember the night he advanced to Medicine Man; I directed ceremonies second week of ’82 when Roger Thom (Ceremonial Chief Swimming Rock), then Directing Medicine Man, was unable to be at camp; I was there the night that Ken Baker (Little Pack Rock) went from the DMM to Ceremonial Chief and Ed Stroud (Walks Tall) became the DMM. I could go on and on, but the hour grows late and there is much ceremony. Besides, I was told to keep it brief.
I have been Blessed to be a Tribesman for 50 years and been able to participate in over 280 ceremonies. Truly there is much friendship and leadership in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say. So, to the friends I grew up with, my friends of today, and the friends I have yet to meet, may you find the love of Mic-O-Say come to mean as much to you as it does to me.
Senior Medicine Man Least Red Clock