Transcript for the Piece Audio version of New Years: A Reflection
New Years in the West
Music - Auld Lang Syne (In and under)
HAL: It?s New Year?s but what does that mean when you look out your window and everything is still the same. Sure you have the day off, lots of good football, world still in a mess, and there?s all those expectations about a wild New Years Eve? But there?s something else, even if you count the days by a different calendar, it?s the part about making a mark in time and saying, ?well, its time to start the count down all over again.? It?s about reflecting back -- but more-so it?s exercising that wonderful human ability, to resolve to do better next year? In this hour we will visit the American West, the land of possibility. We?ll hear from Steve Rich, a rancher and activist who sees deep metaphors in the land and the changing seasons.
Steven Rich ? Gosh here?s a whole new year, and in these northern climates, the ground may be covered with snow and the slate wiped clean?and the water is storing up for another season. And we get to try it all again and see if we can?t do better. I think there?s a feeling of anticipation in all of that and a sense of celebration.
HAL: We will go to Wounded Knee and meet a family, working to heal a wound that even time has not been able to fix. We will meet Barre Toelken, Native American scholar and folklorist extraordinaire.
Barre Toelken- Making noise, doing bonfires, firing off guns in the air, drinking a lot of booze and so on?those are all customs, folk customs that come down from the celebration of the ending of one part a year and the beginning of another. IN other words we still physically & emotionally do some of the things that our ancestors did a couple thousand years ago when we celebrate New Years.
HAL: But first let?s visit Alasdair Fraser who plays us an ancient Gaelic fiddle tune and then we'll trace the origins of that other great Scottish hit, "Auld Lang Syne"
I'm Hal Cannon. This is a special New Year's edition from the Western Folklife Center. Happy New Year!
Alisdair Fraser / Jean Redpath / Barre Toelken
IN- (fiddle music) Hal- It?s the winter solstice?
OUT- (BT)?Thanks Hal, same to you.
HAL: Barre Toelken is Professor Emeritus of Folklore at Utah State University.
Hal: Your listening to a New Year?s broadcast from the Western Folklife Center, I?m Hal Cannon
MUSIC: (((need musical bridge between Toelken & Little Finger)))
HAL: Leonard Little Finger is a Lakota Sioux elder whose holiday memories hold the pain and seeing the specter of his great- great- grandfather, Chief Big Foot massacred at Wounded Knee on December 29 in 1890.
LLF#1: Christmas coincided with my family?39 of them is what it now stands at?that were in the march towards Pine Ridge under chief Big Foot. They were in flight, they were out in the cold and couldn?t light campfires to cook their food. They were in flight with the possibility of being killed. And then comes New Years where the old is put out and the new begins. And so I have a mixed feeling there from that standpoint.
HAL: There?s something about injustice unresolved that keeps the past alive. In Native America this is particularly true where a hundred years seems like a breath away from the present. Leonard Little Finger has dedicated his life to bringing a new chapter to the history of his people. In 2000 he lead his family on a journey of redemption. He gave us the privilege of documenting that odyssey.
IN- Day one. It?s Saturday morning late July?
OUT-?I can go to Wounded Knee without crying (followed by music / fade out)
HAL: For the decedents of Chief Big Foot, the work of healing is not an easy task. It may sound simplistic but one of those really nice things about being alive is there is always the possibility of healing. Sometimes it just happens when you?re not looking but often, making that decision to change, to heal your life is the hardest thing we do. In the 1920?s Bruce Kiskaddon wrote a poem, dear to the hearts of cowboys, which advises that the best place to make those life changing decisions is in the silence and majesty of nature. Here to recite the poem is a man whose daily life is spent on the edge of the world.
IN- I?m Ross Knox
POEM: Did you ever stand on the ledges, on the edge of the great plateau?
OUT-?you stick to that cool decision that you made on the canyon rim.
SONG: ROW by Dsquared, Don Charles and Deb Gessner
HAL: That was D Squared, Don Charles and Deb Gessner, singing from the bottom of the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River.
My last stop is to see my friend Steven Rich who splits his time between the Kiabab Plateau of northern Arizona and Salt Lake City. Steve is a keen observer who sees in the dry western land spiritual truths. After discovering that the deserts of the West are spreading further into the grasslands, he has dedicated his life to healing the land.
IN- Your family have run a ranch and a resort on the edge of Grand (Hal)?
OUT-(SR)?it?s a metaphor for every hope. (followed by Grand Canyon Suite)
MUSIC: need to find GC suite music to match tail after Steve that?s cut off.
Hal: I?m Hal Cannon. You've been listening to a New Years Special Radio broadcast from the Western Folklife Center. The program was produced by Mary Beth Kirchner, Taki Telonidis and yours truly. Support came from the R. Harold Burton Foundation and the George S. and Dolores Dor?e Eccles Foundation. Here?s wishing you and the world a healing New Year.Back