OREGON-L ArchivesArchiver > OREGON > 2007-03 > 1174088579
From: "Earline Wasser" <>
Subject: [OREGON] Youthful Memories part 9
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 16:42:59 -0700
Johnny's bobby soxers, raging river mark Indian life
The Dalles Chronicle March 12, 2007 Page A7
By George W. Aguilar Sr.
For these river people, life was easy. They worked hard to secure and
maintain their supplies, but for them the natural world was kind. They
wove complicated decorated sally bags, basketry with designs from
dogbane and bear grass.
The upper Eastern Kiksht Peoples were regarded as a gathering place for
spiritual sings, guardian spirit inaugurations, and winter ceremonials,
as well as the spring and summer trade mart of the Pacific Northwest. As
had been the case for thousands of years, this was wholly an Indian
land. Then came silence.
The backwaters of The Dalles Dam are now called Lake Celilo. The lake
consumes all the prized fishing stations. A ghastly silence has remained
and reigned at this place for half a century.
Nowadays a deathly stillness hangs around; the laughter and joyful
expression of the native children of the Wascopum, Wishram and Celilo
during the fish season are no more.
The hand waving, body language and sign gestures to other fishermen
across the inaudible river are no longer seen.
Half a century ago, river icons the likes of James Palmer, Albert Stahi,
Samson Tullie, Johnny Tanawash, Chinky Johnson, Chief Jobe Charley and
other Wishram residents had family-owned fishing stations on the
northern bank of the Five Mile Rapids. Today they live only in my mind's
Today, my travels up Interstate 84 bring back many memories of when the
river rumbled. With a choked testimonial, I tell my grandson, pointing
out where we camped when we fished the boulder-spitting Five Mile
The old J.C. Penney clothing store, near the new J.C. Penney store in
The Dalles, is where I was born 77 years ago. While traveling through
The Dalles one day, I shout, "Hey! That's Washington Street, where my
grandparents came to visit me when I was then a recent born grandchild;
born on George Washington's birthday, Feb. 22, 1930." When my
grandparents came, they brought me a stuffed Peter Rabbit.
George Washington Aguilar Sr.
Tribal enrollment No. 0008
Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs of Oregon.
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|[OREGON] Youthful Memories part 9 by "Earline Wasser" <>|