by John Aldrich
Our final stop last week was Birdsprings, and that was where the wind caught up with us. This food run is normally held at the homeland of Sadie Curley with the Birdsprings Chapter House serving as the backup. Unfortunately, for the second spring in a row, this option had to be exercised. It's really a very nice facility, but it's not like being out on the Land.
The wind and dust forced a few accommodations amongst the outside crew. Boyd Mitchell came dressed as a gangsta' cowboy.
- while TomHogan was an impregnable fortress in this Walmart-inspired outfit.
Here's what it looked like outside the chapter house with the dust swirling and saplings bending.
Hairdos were also subject to revision, as Cathy Pope found out.
- along with John del Campo
Inside the facility, however, all was well, and we had another very successful food run. Birdsprings is the smallest of the eleven food runs we conduct. This, along with the spaciousness of the building's interior, made it easy to move about and interact with the Elders. Even though we weren't at Sadie's, she and her family were still very much in control of the event.
Here is Sadie being honored with her Pendelton blanket.
Other highlights included Cathy Pope meeting her Elder, Louise Curley, along with Louise's daughters.
Don Bagley was honored by his Elder, Thomas Walker, with a beautiful bolo tie.
And here is the lineup of volunteers as the program progressed inside.
One of the special things about this food run is the food. In this case I'm referring to the meal served as part of the event rather than what is given to the Elders. Sadie's daughters Toni and Teri are inspired cooks and orchestrate a sumptuous meal for these food runs.
With the help of other family members, they cook for days and produce a meal mixing traditional Navajo foods with more mainstream dishes. If you enjoy eating and feel like trying a food run, Birdsprings might be the perfect place to start.
Other than loading the Elders' vehicles, the final activity for many volunteers is shopping. Elders and their families bring rugs, jewelry, and other crafts to each food run. Prices are typically very reasonable so everyone goes home happy.