Ken Paden
Friday, 11 July 2014 15:26

Bill McMurray

MIC-O-SAY - THE VIEW FROM 50 YEARS

 … by “Your Chief,” Chieftain Red Breasted Woodpecker, Bill McMurray

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference

(Robert Frost)

 

On July 2, 1964, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act – forever changing America.

 

That same day, miles away from Washington, DC, I stood before a blazing bonfire in rural America and was tapped into the Tribe of Mic-O-Say – forever changing me. 

 

For four-and-twenty hours I experienced a rite of passage that challenged every fiber of my being: “I…searched myself and sought my inner strength and goaded my own spirit to enshrine within my heart four long enduring goals that on the morrow might have more avail than just the memory of totem poles, or white-washed rock.”

In the late evening hours of July 3, 1964, Medicine Man Swimming Rock placed a claw hanging on a piece of craftstrip around my neck, a feather in my forman’s headband, and proclaimed “Brave Red Breasted Woodpecker.”  There were a few chuckles in the crowd.

 

The following evening my family celebrated July 4th with fried chicken and all the fixins’. After dark, as we sat under the Elm tree in our back yard on Mark Twain Street watching the fireworks, my Dad (Eagle Scout, 1923) reminisced about his career in the US Navy. He served  in the South Pacific during World War II, and had been a member of the Naval Reserve since the end of the war –  two decades of service to his Country.  My Mother quoted President Kennedy’s Inaugural Address:  “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”  I remember saying to them that I intended to serve my country by earning the rank of Eagle, by becoming a priest or teacher, and by someday getting involved in politics. Of course, these thoughts were on my mind:  because I had made a resolution.

 

The rest of the summer I rarely removed my red, white, and blue lanyard and Eagle’s claw.   Mom (Golden Eaglet Scout, 1934) observed not only the lanyard and claw, but also a strengthened sense of purpose in her son’s life.  Trained as a journalist and gifted with the sixth sense of the Irish, she started asking questions - and thus began our lengthy conversations that went on for over thirty years - on every topic imaginable – until the day she died.  These conversations started: because I had made a resolution.

 

At the end of August, Cathedral organist Walton J. Smith retired. Inspired by his example and encouraged by Monsignors Ruggle and Nowland, I began playing the organ for two Masses every Sunday.  That same month, I  entered Christian Brothers High School as a Freshman. Our classes began with the prayer, “Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God,” and concluded, “Live, Jesus, in our hearts – forever!” After classes, the Brothers put our Faith into action: I volunteered for tutoring underprivileged children, served as organist for the State Hospital’s Catholic Chapel; gathered food for the needy;  raised money for the missions; helped out at Noyes Home; visited nursing homes; and joined YCS (Young Christian Students).  I became more active in the practice of my Faith: because I had made a resolution.

 

The following February I was organist for the Scout Sunday Observance at Cathedral, after which I was introduced to Scout Executive Finley F. Fiske, and Assistant Scout Executive, Daniel J. Jansen.  The Chief asked my name, and I answered, “Bill McMurray,” to which Finley replied, “Oh, I know that, Brave – your Chief wants to know your Indian name!”  Well, I told my Chief  my Indian name, after which he praised my musicianship more than I deserved, and concluded by challenging me to attend Camp Geiger that summer and earn my second claw. Then Dan spoke up, saying he was the camp director, and asked  if I’d like to earn that second claw as a member of the 1965 Camp Geiger Staff, working in handicraft, helping the younger Scouts earn basketry and leatherwork merit badges.  I said yes: because I had made a resolution.

 

And so it began – walking the path of my 4HR – at a time when many contrary paths were posited in an America increasingly at odds with itself.

 

Mom and I continued having our conversations, the Cathedral and the Christian Brothers continued nourishing my Faith,  Scouting and MOS challenged me to serve my country and to help other people at all times.  I earned Eagle, advanced to KSB, and made life-long friends at Camp Geiger. 

 

A rite of passage fifty years ago anchored my life in guiding principles that have never failed me. The Great Spirit has richly blessed my life, and I give thanks, on my golden anniversary as a tribesman.

 

“I have known brotherhood….I have been strengthened by an Eagle’s claw.”

 

“And that has made all the difference.”

Friday, 27 June 2014 09:30

Darrell Jones

 

 

Featured Tribesman

Darrell Jones, Chieftain Short Fire

I arrived late to the Tribal Feast this year due to church related responsibilities.  Lunch was over before I finally met up with fellow Tribal Council members, many of whom I've had as friends for over 30 years; we've grown up together in Mic-O-Say and I always enjoy the Feast as the start of my summer fun!  In that moment, l had no idea just how much fun this summer would be!  Frankly, I still find it unbelievable that mine was the name called by DMM Walks Tall for elevation to Chieftain... I mean really, think about it... No matter what your Tribal rank or paint station say out loud the word "Chieftain" followed by your Tribal name.  See what I mean, it just seems like you've said something naughty!  When my long time friend Chief Little Pack Rock said those unspeakable words, I was humbled and honored.

I was escorted around Ceremonial Grounds during the elevation by Chieftain Boy Helper.  My first summer as a Camper at Camp Geiger, then Sachem Boy Helper was on the Sr. Camp Staff and one of my role models.  Having him walk me through this new season of my Geiger experience seemed appropriate.  As he walked me around the fire I listened to script that I've heard many times on the ridge and have even spoken many times when I was a KSB.  But on this night, I appreciated again the significance of the words as they were spoken to me.  I found it quite humbling to receive gifts from representatives of the Tribe.  Several representatives were youth with whom I have worked on the Make Talk Now Staff; others were adults with whom I have worked on various Tribal Council committees.  Each of these relationships have been important to me, and their involvement in the ceremony I found very meaningful.  At some point in the evening I noticed my Dad, Honorary Warrior Big Short Fire in attendance sitting right beside my son-in-law Honorary Warrior Strikes Fire.  My son-in-law had never been present when I was elevated, and the only other elevation that my Dad was able to witness was the night I went from Fire Builder to Tom-Tom Beater!  Having them in attendance, along with several Tribesmen from the church that I pastor, added to the special tenor of the evening for me.  Many thanks to those who made those special touches possible!

June 1, 2013 is a night that I'm sure I'll remember for the rest of my life.  The night I joined the Council of Chieftains and was elevated for the 9th, and final time at 4F.

Throughout the summer, everything about my Chieftain experience was very enjoyable.  I told Ed Stroud during first session that I was really looking forward to watching tapping from inside the circle.  The only other time I had been inside the circle, as a Tribesman, I was carrying a torch and tomahawk and not paying much attention to the view. Each week this summer I enjoyed congratulating the new candidates, thanking Camper Coup recipients, and especially having the opportunity to speak from my heart to new Braves, and Warriors.

My heartfelt congratulations to each Tribesman who in 2013 assumed new responsibility via new claw, claws, paint, or coup.  The summer certainly went by quickly, and before we know it, we'll be gathering together again for the elevation of another Chieftain.  Indeed, many moons have come and gone and the Tribe of Mic-O-Say remains unbroken in spirit... but the summer of 2013 will be the season I will rewind in my mind over and over for the rest of my life.  Thanks to each one who contributed to my experience.

 

Darrell Jones

Chieftain Short Fire

Friday, 27 June 2014 09:25

Fred Mercer

 

Featured Tribesman

Fred Mercer, Sachem White Patch

I RECEIVED A CALL REMINDING ME THAT THIS SUMMER’S CAMPING SEASON WILL BE MY 50TH YEAR AS A TRIBESMAN OF MIC-O-SAY. AS I REFLECT BACK ON MY MEMORIES, TAKING ME BACK TO THAT NIGHT OF MY FIRST CAMPFIRE, AND THE FOUR ITEM’S THAT I WAS TO THINK ABOUT. THOSE 4 THINGS HAVE MADE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN MY LIFE.

 

EVEN NOW, WHAT A BETTER PLACE TO REMEMBER THAN TO BUILD A SMALL FIRE AND THINK ABOUT ALL THOSE YOUNG MEN THAT I GREW UP WITH. MY FIRE TONIGHT IS A LOT BRIGHTER BUT NOT ANY MORE MEANINGFUL THAN THAT FIRE, FROM ALL THOSE YEARS AGE.

 

THAT SUMMER, I HAD COMPLETED THE EAGLE BOARD OF REVIEW THE WEEK BEFORE CAMP. I WAS SURE I HAD THE WORLD BY THE TAIL. LITTLE DID I KNOW WHAT WAS AHEAD IN MY LIFE? THE LATE 60’S WERE FUN WORKING MY WAY TO WARRIOR AT CAMP AND ON THRU THE PAINT STATIONS.

 

AS TIME WENT ON, I MEET MY FUTURE WIFE, WENT TO TRADE SCHOOL, STARTED TO WORK FOR TRANS WORLD AIRLINES. TRANSFERRED TO SAN FRANSCIO IN 1970, RETURNED TO KANSAS CITY VIA ST LOUIS MO IN 1973. WORKED FOR SAUDI ARABIAN AIRLINES 1982 & 83. I WORKED IN KANSAS CITY, FOR AMERICAN AIRLINES AFTER THE PURCHASE OF TWA IN 2003, UNTIL THEY CLOSED THE OVERHAHAUL BASE IN 2010 WHEN I TRANSFERRED TO ST LOUIS TO CONTINUE WORKING AS A CREW CHIEF FOR AMERICAN AIRLINES. I CONTINUED TO ATTEND A WEEK OF CAMP EACH SUMMER WHEN POSSIBLE. AS MY DAD CONTINUED TO ATTEND A WEEK EVERY YEAR WITH ALBANY’S TROOP, MY YOUNGER BROTHERS WERE ALSO THERE FOR NUMEROUS YEARS, EVENTUALLY MY OWN SONS, AND NOW MY GRANDSONS. THINKING BACK NOW, I’M NOT SURE I REALIZED WHAT A GREAT TIME I WAS HAVING. I MADE A LOT OF GOOD FRIENDS, SOME FOR A WEEK, SOME FOR A LIFE TIME,

 

CAMP HAS CHANGED A LOT WITH NEW CAMP SITES, OLD ONES NO LONGER USED JUST LIKE THE OLD TRAILES THAT ARE GROWN OVER AND EXIST ONLY IN MY MEMORIES OF CAMP AND ACTIVITIES OFSO LONG AGO. EVEN NOW, WHILE SEATED ON THE BENCHES BESIDE THE PARKING LOT, I’VE WATCHED A MANY FRIEND COME AND GO BUT I STILL HAVE SO MANY RICH MEMORIES THAT I WILL CARRY WITH ME ALWAYS.

 

I WISH I COULD THANK THE ENTIRE GREAT TRIBESMAN THAT HAS MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO HAVE HAD SO MANYOF MY EXPERIENCES. SOME OF THESE SCOUTS ARE NO LONGER TRAVELING THE HILLS AND VALLEY’S OF CAMP. AND WE ALL HAVE STORIES ABOUT THESE TRIBESMAN AND CAMP THAT ARE NEAR AND DEAR TO US.

 

I’M VERY PROUD OF MY FAMILY, INCLUDING 2 SON THAT ARE EAGLE SCOUTS AND KEEPERS, 3 GRANDSONS IN THE TRIBE, ALSO MY WIFE, A DAUGHTER AND 2 SON INLAWS ARE TRIBESMAN.

IT HAS BEEN VERY HARD TO WRITE ABOUT MYSELF. SO MANY THINGS ID LIKE TO PASS ON TO THESE NEW MEMBERS, AND THE OLDEST TRIBESMAN.

 

I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT TIME WAS A PREDITOR, STALKING ME. NEVER HAVING ENOUGH TIME, FOR THE GREAT THINGS I WANTED TO DO WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS. BUT AS I LOOK BACK THE LAST 50 YEARS, I’VE COME TO RELIZE THAT TIME HAD ME ON A GREAT JOURNEY. I’M HOPING THAT TIME WILL KEEP ME ON THIS JOURNEY FOR MANY MORE CAMPING SEASONS. 

 

SACHAM WHITE PATCH

 

FRED J MERCER

 

YOU’RE FRIEND IN SCOUTING.

Saturday, 21 September 2013 10:42

My Experience as Chieftain

I arrived late to the Tribal Feast this year due to church related responsibilities.  Lunch was over before I finally met up with fellow Tribal Council members, many of whom I've had as friends for over 30 years; we've grown up together in Mic-O-Say and I always enjoy the Feast as the start of my summer fun!  In that moment, l had no idea just how much fun this summer would be!  Frankly, I still find it unbelievable that mine was the name called by DMM Walks Tall for elevation to Chieftain... I mean really, think about it... No matter what your Tribal rank or paint station say out loud the word "Chieftain" followed by your Tribal name.  See what I mean, it just seems like you've said something naughty!  When my long time friend Chief Little Pack Rock said those unspeakable words, I was humbled and honored.

I was escorted around Ceremonial Grounds during the elevation by Chieftain Boy Helper.  My first summer as a Camper at Camp Geiger, then Sachem Boy Helper was on the Sr. Camp Staff and one of my role models.  Having him walk me through this new season of my Geiger experience seemed appropriate.  As he walked me around the fire I listened to script that I've heard many times on the ridge and have even spoken many times when I was a KSB.  But on this night, I appreciated again the significance of the words as they were spoken to me.  I found it quite humbling to receive gifts from representatives of the Tribe.  Several representatives were youth with whom I have worked on the Make Talk Now Staff; others were adults with whom I have worked on various Tribal Council committees.  Each of these relationships have been important to me, and their involvement in the ceremony I found very meaningful.  At some point in the evening I noticed my Dad, Honorary Warrior Big Short Fire in attendance sitting right beside my son-in-law Honorary Warrior Strikes Fire.  My son-in-law had never been present when I was elevated, and the only other elevation that my Dad was able to witness was the night I went from Fire Builder to Tom-Tom Beater!  Having them in attendance, along with several Tribesmen from the church that I pastor, added to the special tenor of the evening for me.  Many thanks to those who made those special touches possible!

June 1, 2013 is a night that I'm sure I'll remember for the rest of my life.  The night I joined the Council of Chieftains and was elevated for the 9th, and final time at 4F.

Throughout the summer, everything about my Chieftain experience was very enjoyable.  I told Ed Stroud during first session that I was really looking forward to watching tapping from inside the circle.  The only other time I had been inside the circle, as a Tribesman, I was carrying a torch and tomahawk and not paying much attention to the view. Each week this summer I enjoyed congratulating the new candidates, thanking Camper Coup recipients, and especially having the opportunity to speak from my heart to new Braves, and Warriors.

My heartfelt congratulations to each Tribesman who in 2013 assumed new responsibility via new claw, claws, paint, or coup.  The summer certainly went by quickly, and before we know it, we'll be gathering together again for the elevation of another Chieftain.  Indeed, many moons have come and gone and the Tribe of Mic-O-Say remains unbroken in spirit... but the summer of 2013 will be the season I will rewind in my mind over and over for the rest of my life.  Thanks to each one who contributed to my experience.

Darrell Jones
Chieftain Short Fire

Sunday, 30 June 2013 15:23

Ken Paden

 

Featured Tribesmen

Ken Paden, Senior MM Least Red Clock

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.

Ken Paden

Senior Medicine Man Least Red Clock

Sunday, 30 June 2013 15:19

Lon E. Edwards



Lon E. Edwards, MM Little Willing Talker
 

My 50 years in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say began on July 4, 1963 and over this period of time I have made hundreds of friends and been witness to many bazaar events and personalities. But those stories can wait to be recounted until my 100th anniversary.

It is because of a series of “divine” circumstances soon after a Brave’s Claw was placed about my neck that I was even able to celebrate my 1st anniversary in the Tribe.

Starting the very day after returning from Camp as Brave Little Willing Talker, I had already begun dreaming about how I would construct my Brave’s costume. I had to decide the primary color of my bustle. Since I was now quite knowledgeable in Indian Lore…after all, I was a BRAVE in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say, I knew that there were several possibilities. Just then! OH MY! WAIT!!! What KIND of bustle must be decided first. Whew! Nearly a fatal mistake! Such decisions could not be entered into lightly. Why, “…the Hills and Valleys” of my Reservation must surely be littered with the frame-work carcasses of bustles that didn’t pass muster!

Now in the summer of 1963, my father, Honorary Warrior Willing Talker, was the general Traffic Manager at the Regional Headquarters of MFA. (3rd & Cherokee Streets in South St Joseph). One evening, Dad came home from work and delivered some very somber news to the family. MFA Regional Headquarters had announced that they were “packing it in” and moving the Regional HQ to Columbia, Missouri. Dad was to be transferred to Columbia, Missouri, which in my mind must surely be somewhere between Carson City, Nevada and Timbuktu.

WHAT?? WHAT’S THIS?? Thoughts of my Brave’s costume were immediately crushed by the weight of this disturbing news. Would I be relegated to being a (gulp!) Brave forever? How was I to become the fiercest Runner on the planet?

Mom tried to mitigate. “Lonnie, I’m sure that Columbia, Missouri has a Boy Scout Troop and a Boy Scout Camp!”. AAARRGGHHH!!!! HAS MY OWN MOTHER GONE DAFT? There may be Troops and Camps BUT…no Mic-O-Say! I began the search for a bamboo Harakiri mat.

Let me add a footnote here. Times and protocols were much different in the 1960s. There were no Out-of-Council Troops camping at Geiger. There were no Out -of-Council folk (…to my knowledge) who came back to serve on Camp Staff or advance in Tribal Rank and Paint Station. In those days, you joined a Troop close to where you lived and your BSA summer camping experience was done at YOUR Council Camp. To do otherwise would be…well, it just wasn’t done!

The drama surrounding my moping for the next few weeks knew no bounds. Undeterred, Mom and Dad went off one weekend to look for housing in Columbia. I needed a plan and needed one quick! I wonder if I could stow-away on a river barge for a few years? I wonder if there would be enough sunlight penetrating into a river barge to build a bustle?

Though a complicated man, I could read my Dad like a book! I had long ago broken the code to figure out how his day had gone at any point in time. Upon the folks return from house hunting, I immediately put my sensory perception to work.

“…can you believe how *&%^(#@ expensive it is? Why we could live in St Joseph $*@#%$ for *#@)*& half what those %#!(#@ thieves…those *(#$%+=! pirates want in *(#@)*^! Columbia!”.

Considering that this one-sided conversation had likely been going on non-stop from Columbia to St Joseph, I figured that this was no time for my trivialities. I retired to the backyard where Dad’s verbal account of the trip could still be monitored.

So to “fast-forward”, ultimately, it was because of my parent’s frugal tendencies as well as the inflated college town cost-of-living that kept them in St Joseph for just a bit longer…long enough that by Thanksgiving, Dad had secured a position with Walnut Products in St Joseph as their general Traffic Manager.

At any rate, my Mic-O-Say career continued and I learned early on that the things we love to do the most can be taken from us without warning. I suppose that this is why it isn’t much work for me to enjoy every minute while at Camp Geiger and I relish every moment as a member of “…the great and mighty Mic-O-Say”.

lwt

 

Lon E. Edwards
Medicine Man Little Willing Talker

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