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Donna Flood
Lesson in Futility


Exhibit International Trade Building, O.S.U.

The daily struggle for making ends meet makes us pray there will be no extra hardships put upon us making our daily work anymore of a trial than it already is. Age has a way of making one stop and consider what is necessary and what really is not.

With this in mind it became apparent some things must be reconsidered as to our getting involved with this or that project. The death in mother's family presses in on her at age 90 and we do not want her to be overcome with the depression.

Mother wants to attend the benefit fund raising pow-wow, crafts exhibit being given to help raise funds for Indian students. We are a little with tongue in cheek since we know these students are “on the roll,” and already receive money for schooling. Our children are denied access to a roll due to a technicality shored up by the powers in control, no matter it has nothing to do with the sacred laws of our own culture. But, we lay all this aside and cater to our Mother's wishes. Monday will bring the hard realities for us to scrap up gas money in case my daughter needs it to get to college only fourteen miles away.

A day of packing art, crafts, my other daughter's wheel chair along with her very rigid cerebral palsied body into a borrowed Suburban wasn't exactly my idea of a pleasurable outing. Never the less, we are off like an aging runner in a marathon, looking back over our shoulder to see if someone was coming up on us from behind.

We were there as the second of the exhibitors. The others were to come later and extend their time on into the evening when the main crowd appeared. Because of Mother's anxiety and her wish to leave early this is the way it had to be.  Only one other exhibitor truly held hand made articles. His beautiful Indian flutes, hand made buckskin tops, and cedar boxes were a  thing of beauty. Even the cane he leaned heavily upon was hand carved. Every other booth was of purchased goods to be resold at a mark-up price.

The foods were the traditional rich meat gravies, frybread, geared for a generation and time when the Indian people were athletic and physically able to handle this. We knew the following day was to bring misery to us from the eating of it, but, oh well, we ate it anyway.

In a hurry my husband had not been able to complete the rack he was building for my painting to be displayed. His drilling the screws into it gave the caretaker a near heart attack because he thought he was drilling into the walls. He said, “I thought I was going to have to be setting in front of the judge.”

Somehow or another we endured the day with not one of us complaining quietly or audibly to our Mother. She thoroughly enjoyed her time of socializing, visiting, showing her shawls and even selling a couple for barely enough to cover the cost of material. She would never know my brother lent a man the
money to buy one of them.

It was a gift to our Mother, our making small sacrifices. The material for the rack cost twenty-five dollars (25), gasoline was another twenty-five (25), the booth space cost was thirty-five (35) but, for a good purpose, we were pressured into believing.  Lunch cost us fifteen (15) but the rich food that evening was free. Tums were a couple (2) dollars, Cokes for our stomach three dollars (3). I sold two pot holders, (2.50). This left us only Ninety-three dollars in the hole.

I didn't add the money my brothers were donating on the drum for the fund raising. Mother is already talking about the one going on at the Fairgrounds in a couple of weeks. The booth price there is only twenty-five dollars.  She tells  me.


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