Well, as I’ve shared with you before, that was the winter that old grandpa Low Dog came in October and stayed until April. This is what we call, “An Indian visit!”
Of course it was my duty to always be at grandfather’s side, as I’ve told you how he had great difficulty in getting around due to a stroke he had suffered a year and a half earlier. Well, I spent that entire winter in the company of those great, old men, listening to them reminisce. I heard so many great old stories of our Dakota people in their days of glory. It seemed that every story had to be accompanied by a good song.
Late in the spring, my Aunt Ella Deloria returned home and she noticed me around the house every day. In the Dakota way, my aunt had become my mother, when my mother Lima Deloria, her sister died from TB when I was five. Of course the inevitable question had to pop up to which I had to tell the truth. Aunt Ella then questioned Grandpa about my school status and he said, “Yes, he has been with me every day and this time with me will be more valuable in his life than the time he would spend in a school that my grandson doesn't understand the first thing about. I am an old man. My grandson is just a young boy. The things he has learned and will learn here with me, he can never learn in a school.”
Just as he said, I learned more in that year than I would have learned in any academic situation. There are so many things to learn beyond academics that enrich our lives
Phil Lane Sr., Mato Gi, Brown Bear, Ihanktonwan Dakota, Jan 11, 1915-March 29, 2004