Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Injustice of History

Mural on the Stevens County Court House.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

A mural stands at the entrance of the Court House in Colville, Washington honoring the pioneers of Stevens County, but I'm assuming it primarily honors the white pioneers of Stevens County, while generally ignoring the Native American pioneers who established this country more than 10,000 years ago. I find the depiction quite ironic, especially since it shows an image of a Native American looking on as white settlers flood the land; but then it goes on to say:

"To the beautiful Colville Valley in 1825 came those hardy pioneers who through their fortitude, perseverance, and industry have wrought from the earth its vast mineral wealth, have hewn from the forests the lumber with which to build and from the soil have reaped an abundant livelihood, making this a thriving, prosperous, progressive community.

"Honor to the pioneers who broke the sod that men to come might live."

This statement, while worthy of respect in its own limited way, fails to acknowledge an entire nation of people who pioneered this land many millenia before 1825; kind of like Columbus when he "discovered" a continent already inhabited by millions of people.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

My mother-in-law purchased a copy of Close Encounters of the Third Kind for my birthday (upcoming next week). I have to say this was one of my favorite childhood movies. It became engraved on my memory when I saw the little boy carried away by the aliens, and I saw the boy's mother running across a field screaming, "Barry! Baaaarry!" I was just a litte boy myself when I first saw this film, and so the boy sharing my namesake had a deep impact on my psyche. All these years later, I still find myself moved by this scene, and especially the scene of their tearful reunion at the end of the movie.

My children and I watched this movie together for the first time yesterday evening, and they were equally intrigued by the little boy named after their father. So there you have it; this was a total retro experience for me, and another generation of Close Encounter fans for my kids.

Colville, Washington

LDS Church in Colville.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

South Elm Street in Colville.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

I made a long and solitary drive this morning north to my work site in Colville, through the morning fog and occasional showers. Winter snow is still visible in nearby mountain tops, but the morning drizzle brings a message from the coming spring, though I have a feeling the border between winter and spring this year will be hazy at best, with no clear way to differentiate winter rains from the proverbial spring showers.

When I arrive at the community college in Colville, I park in the faculty lot across the street and take a moment to remember the LDS Church just a stone's throw away. I find a certain amount of irony that I'm now working across the street from a place with so many memories from my past. When I was still in high school, my father lived in Kettle Falls, only 8 miles north of Colville, and on Sundays I used to catch a ride into town and attend services in the Colville Ward. The people were so amazing and friendly. I have so many warm memories of that place.

My father never really appreciated my membership in the LDS Church. He used to ridicule me brutally, and somehow confused Mormonism from something out of the Holy Roller movement. If he would have ever attended he would have seen Mormons share very little in common with anything remotely Pentocostal. I would characterize "Holy Rollers" as the rock stars of Christendom, and Mormons as the librarians. Of course, my father never let reality deflate his one man comedy act. I'd come home on Sunday from attending LDS services and the jokes would start, peppered with shouts of "Hallelujah!" and fervent hand-waving.

I think most of my family regarded my membership in the LDS Church as some kind of joke, until I announced after 6 years that I was going to serve a full-time mission. When I left for Guatemala, my family's attitude shifted dramatically. It was like they finally said, "Wow. He was serious about this religion thing." After that, my father befriended the missionaries and developed a whole new respect for me as his son. My mission changed the way my family views me.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Jehovah's Witnesses

Publication from the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society.

I thought about making a surprise visit to the Brentwood Ward at the LDS Church down the street; a cameo appearance of sorts, but I was feeling sort of under the weather and two of my children were also not feeling well. Three of us stayed home and watched movies instead of going to church.

God must have sensed our absence because he sent a messenger with words from the Bible. About half way through our movie, we heard a knock at the door. Dakota answered the door and then said a man wanted to talk with me. I didn't want to respond; I was still wearing pajamas at 1:00 in the afternoon, my hair was still unkempt from the night before, but I felt obligated.

As soon as I looked out onto my front porch, I recognized my visitor as a representative from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, also known as the Jehovah's Witnesses. He wore a suit and carried a small, black briefcase. He held a Bible and several pamphlets in the other hand.

Right away I informed him we were feeling sick in our home, but I would welcome any literature he cared to share with us. He offered me the pamphlet you see above about life in a peaceful new world.

You can always identify literature from the Jehovah's Witnesses by its idyllic scenes from a paradisiacal world; lions lying down with lambs, children of various ethnic backgrounds are playing with bears, someone carrying a basket of fruit, snow-capped mountains in the distance. They promise peace and deliverance from the chaotic, violent world we see around us today. Truly, I find their message faintly appealing, if it weren't for the socially rigid and dogmatic system I know follows if a person joins their movement.

My grandmother is Jehovah's Witness, and several of my closest friends from high school. In fact, most Jehovah's Witnesses I know make ardently loyal friends if you take the time to get to know them individually; and fierce opponents if you dare compete with them for souls (as I did as an LDS missionary in Guatemala). I almost became Jehovah's Witness at one point, but something deep inside me convinced me otherwise. It's quite ironic that I once felt drawn to deeply conservative religions, like Mormonism or the Jehovah's Witnesses, and now I find myself at the complete opposite extreme of the conservative-liberal scale.

Despite differences in opinion regarding doctrine and biblical interpretation, I still find a soft spot in my heart for those who preach the word of God door to door. If I hadn't been feeling sick, I probably would have invited the man to stay a while, if nothing more than to give him a brief moment's rest and a little friendly encouragement.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Deep Creek

A Centennial Trail bridge crosses Deep Creek.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

A large stone trapped in the roots of a fallen tree.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

My sister Michelle suggested we visit Deep Creek to take pictures for our blogs, so we took off in her car, heading north past Seven Mile Road. At first I thought she was going the wrong way. "Isn't Deep Creek in Airway Heights?" I asked, but as we arrived, the signs indicated we arrived at the correct location. After a few minutes hike, we ran into a couple of guys who said this is indeed the same Deep Creek. We were both right.

There was no water in the creek; apprently it all gets diverted for farming further upstream. Even so, the scenery was amazing. The water cut deep channels through the basalt and left towering rock formations, caves, and natural tunnels. I never knew such a place existed in the Spokane area. I really want to go back on a sunny day and bring my little family.

We got a few pictures, but the sky was overcast and didn't lend itself to effective photography.

Eagle Spirit

Eagle Statue on Dishman and Appleway.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses
Ever since I received an eagle knife during the dance, I've been meditating on the possible meanings behind that animal. I've been seeing eagles all over the place; for example, I saw some real eagles flying over the highway near Colville, others depicted in art, and still others formed from patterns on the rocks in the sweat fire, or the bark of a tree, like some people report apparitions of the Virgin Mary. What can it mean?

I saw this eagle on the corner of Dishman and Appleway. I was in the valley yesterday afternoon to meet our former foster son, but his new family must have forgotten our appointment. We waited for more than an hour before I finally left. I was feeling kind of sad, but I felt suddenly impressed to drive a different route, and then I saw this eagle. I know it must seem overly simplistic or trite to find meaning in the chance meeting of a statue on the road, but seeing that eagle cheered me up considerably. It made me feel like someone was still watching out for us, even in the midst of sadness.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Addy, Washington

An old barn in Addy, Washington.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Abandoned Buildings in Addy, Washington.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

I stopped in beautiful Addy, Washington on my way home from work today. Actually, the town is kind of pleasant. Though it is obviously not a tourist destination by any means, I kind of like small towns. It reminds me of what you might expect of a backwoods sort of place; a main street with false-fronted buildings, a grange, a family diner, several abandoned buildings, and good, down-to-earth people.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Meeting at the MAC (Again)

Buildings in downtown Spokane.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Division Street at Sunset.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

I met with Kris Major of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) to discuss an upcoming internship with the museum. I plan to develop curriculum to address Native American cultures, while supporting state standards. This project will serve as a graduation requirement for my master's at Whitworth College.

On my drive home, the sun was setting and cast a warm glow over the streets and buildings. A couple of those pictures appear above.

Toothless McKenna

Whitney and McKenna pose with toothless smiles. :)
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses
McKenna finally lost her two front teeth. Her teeth were loose for almost four months, but she refused to wiggle them, or let anyone touch them at all. Rhonda threatened to pull them against her will, and I sometimes teased her that I wiggled them in her sleep, but in the end, we allowed her teeth to fall out naturally. You know, she always hated any kind of pain, or even threat of pain. It's a wonder her teeth fell out at all.
Of course, now she matches Whitney, who lost her front teeth more than a year ago. Of course, they are quite cute together with their toothless grins.

An Unusual Gift

My cousin gave me a knife with an eagle carving on the handle.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

During the winter dance I received an unusual gift from my cousin Gabby Corral, a decorative knife with a beautiful eagle carving on the handle. Usually people give away things like blankets or scarves, so I was a little surprised to receive a weapon. Nevertheless, I'm very intrigued by the potential spiritual implications of his gift.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Winter Ceremonies

The Green House at Wellpinit
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Those of you who follow my blog faithfully know I post almost every daily, and no doubt notice I missed the last week. My family holds winter ceremonies every President's Day weekend in what we call the "Green House." It's an ancient ritual and requires a complete consecration of time and attention. In fact, it seems time does not exist when the spirits and the visible world come together.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

1998 Ford Ranger

1998 Ford Ranger
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

My wife bought me a used Ford Ranger yesterday, well, the money was in our joint account from unexpected funds I received a while back, but she did write the check and claimed it was my Valentine's Day present. Happy Valentine's Day indeed! Needless to say, I was quite pleased, but of course, nothing I do for her will ever compare to this.

Canadian Money on SpoVegas

Copyright © 2006 Bank of Canada/Banque du Canada.

A recent post I wrote caught the attention of local blogger SpoVegas. He said I wrote a "neat little entry [...] about neatly colored Canadian moola." His post goes on to tell a humorous story about exchanging U.S. currency for Canadian Loonies. Of course, I find the story more satisfying than usual because it's always flattering to get noticed in a positive way. His blog presents further evidence I'm not simply writing into the ethers. ;)

Canadian Money: It's Colorful


Monday, February 13, 2006

Changing Fortunes

Faceted Glass Beads from the Czech Republic.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses
Oh what a day we had! My daughter Whitney woke up every hour on the hour last night crying about a killer ear ache. I'm not sure I got any sleep at all. I worried about falling asleep at the wheel during my drive to Colville, so I called in sick. Besides, I needed to take Whitney to the doctor. Before I had even called to make an appointment, Dakota came upstairs coughing up a lung. Ah the joys of parenthood! It turns out both Whitney and Dakota have bronchitis, and Whitney has a severe ear infection. Fortunately they received the treatment they needed and are now sleeping soundly for the first time in days.
I didn't get much of a chance to do anything, but I did buy beads for give-away items at the dance this year. I'm very excited to see the beads sparkling with all my prayers.
My sister and I talked lately about my changing fortunes. What makes bad things happen to people? On the other hand, why have things suddenly gotten better for me? Does it really matter what we pray for? Has it really made a difference for me to take my thoughts and feelings to the lodge? I think it must, and preparing these items to give away makes me feel just how blessed my family has been in the last few months.

A Spiritual Connection

The moon rising over Radium Hot Springs.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

A picture of me with the Columbia Valley in the background.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Several times during our trip, I took the time to meditate alone in the mountain trails and hills. I feel a spiritual connection to this land I cannot quite explain. It feels as though I have some kind of ancestral connection to this place, or at least a connection to the spiritual ancestors of my religion. Sometimes my dreams bring me back and connect me to the spirits of this land.

Radium Hot Springs

The entrance to Kootenay National Park passes through an opening in the mountainside.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Radium Hot Springs is within the boundaries of Kootenay National Park.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Frost and ice form above the heated water at Radium Hot Springs.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Rhonda and the kids in the heated pools.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Rhonda and Whitney bathing at Radium.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Radium Hot Springs was by far the most significant stop for me during our entire trip. Of course, the natural beauty is absolutely stunning with its sheer cliffs covered with evergreen trees, but more importantly, my father and I visited these pools many years ago and created a warm memory I will not soon forget.

Official literature made available to tourists states simply that the pools were used by First Nations people more than two centuries ago for healing, but I always sensed a spiritual presence in this area. I may never know the true meaning of this place, but I find clues from time to time in my dreams. The spirits of this land remain with me, even when I travel a great distance away. Every year I feel drawn back, but only this once did I actually succeed in returning.

I'm so glad to have this chance to visit this place again and share this memory with my wife and children.

As sort of a novelty, I found out they named this place Radium Hot Springs because the water contains higher levels of radiation than any other spring in Canada. Fortunately, the radiation does not rise to a high enough level to be harmful to humans.

Charter Flight

Dakota on board the Cessna.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Our pilot John.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

A view of the valley from above.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

An aerial view of the Shuswap Indian Reserve.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Dakota and I chartered a small, 3 passenger Cessna out of Invermere with a pilot named John. It was really a touristy thing to do, but we really enjoyed it. The flight lasted about a half an hour and took us over both Fairmont Hot Springs and Radium Hot Springs.

Lake Windermere

A massive sheet of ice pushes upward at the north shore of Lake Windermere.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

McKenna and a sunny day at the beach on Lake Windermere.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Dakota walking on water.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses


Rhonda and the kids at Invermere, British Columbia.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Indian Baths

The so-called Indian Baths near Fairmont Hot Springs.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

The natural springs literally flow from the hillside.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Just before we arrived at the hot pools at Fairmont Hot Springs, we stopped at a small stone structure overlooking the entire valley. They call this place the "Indian Baths," or the "Historic Pools." The water literally springs out of the hillside and drips into several tubs inside this building. The Indian Baths are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round. They are free to the public, but considerably less maintained than the commercial site. We didn't bathe in the pools here, but we did enjoy the hike, as well as the magnificent views of the water emerging from the mountain, causing steam to rise into the air.

Moonrise over the Rockies

The moon rises over the Rocky Mountains...
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses
Every night we watched the moon rise over the Rocky Mountains to the East. The sky was unusually sunny and clear for this part of the season, which we readily enjoyed. Even though the temperature was relatively cold, it felt like springtime to us. It was a wonderful cure to the seasonal affective disorder I mentioned earlier.

Big Horn Sheep

Big Horn Sheep grazing near the resort at Fairmont.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses
When we arrived at the pools at Fairmont Hot Springs, we saw three big horn sheep grazing in a grassy area near the resort. They stood calmly as people passed, some taking pictures (as I did). They seemed totally unconcerned for the activity of humans. In fact, they remained in that little field for the entire time we swam in the pools; a little over 3 hours.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Hot Pools at Fairmont

The Hot Pools at Fairmont.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Sunset over Fairmont Hot Springs.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses
During our first full day in Canada, Rhonda and I took the kids to the hot pools at Fairmont, which are reportedly the largest in Canada, with divided sections of varying temperatures. The kids liked this particular hot spring becuase it had a cooler section for them to swim in. I enjoyed it because it had a hot section for relaxation. As we sat in the hot water, we watched an amazing sunset cast against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.

Condominium at Fairmont Hot Springs

The moon rises over our condo at Fairmont Hot Springs, BC.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Several years ago my wife and I purchased a timeshare (with what money, I don't know). We've held onto our humble little share through thick and thin with hopes of one day realizing our dream of traveling with our children. Well, we finally decided to use it for a much needed vacation to British Columbia. We drove north into Canada through Sand Point and stayed near Fairmont Hot Springs. It was absolutely wonderful! I hope to post several photos from our trip as soon as I get a chance.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Fairmont Hot Springs

Sunset over the hot pools at Fairmont Hot Springs.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses
I'm sending tis post from Fairmont Hot Springs, British Columbia. I haven't been here since I was about 18 years old. I forgot just how magnificent it all is. I'll post pictures when we get back to the States.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Gold Fever

This is the largest chunk of gold we found in comparison to a penny.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Several weeks ago, I dreamed the spiritual powers told me to give away five small chunks of gold at the winter dance. I might not usually talk about these things publicly, except for the interesting lessons I've learned already in the process of obtaining gold.

At first I struggled to think where a person might obtain gold in raw chunks as I saw them in my dream, but only two or three days later, I met a guy in Colville who pans for gold as a hobby. He told me a guy in Alaska sells dirt from a gold mine guaranteed to have at least a few nuggets. He showed me the website, and I put down my money.

This afternoon I came home from work and saw my package from Alaska arrived by Fed Ex.

Dakota and I followed the instructions and literally panned for gold in our bath tub, and would you know it, we actually found a few small chunks! We got to experience the thrill of the gold rush from so many years ago, at least on a limited scale. But we also got to experience the stress associated with that peculiar yellow rock. It takes a lot of tedious work to gather all the little flakes out of the pan, and on at least two different points, both Dakota and Whitney dumped the vial and lost some of the chunks. I got mad at first until I stopped and thought about the insanity of it all. When I really stopped to think about it, the words popped into my head, "This is the little yellow rock that makes men crazy."

Then I felt a little troubled; I mean, why did the spirits tell me to gather this thing, much less give it away to the people, especially if it distorts common sense and reason? I'm going to have to pray about this a little more before I finish...

Canadian Currency

Image Source: Bank of Canada.

I went to the bank in Colville to obtain Canadian currency for our trip to Fairmont Hot Springs this weekend. Of course, I always enjoy holding foreign money in my hands; it's so much more attractive than the U.S. dollar. I brought it home and showed my kids. I must say they were equally fascinated by the novelty of holding relatively large Canadian bills. Well, I decided to post a casual comment about the money on my blog, and post a picture of Queen Elizabeth II from the $20 bill. I'll be damned if the scanner didn't send me to a website about making counterfeit money! It also refused to make the copy (which I suppose ultimately saves me a lot of hassle later if someone decides to bother me about it). It was such an innocent novelty to me, and yet after I made the futile attempt to copy the queen's picture, I realized just how serious a matter it is in today's world; kind of like the time I took a picture of the U.S. Federal Building in Spokane and got stopped by a federal officer. I'm sure my sister is laughing her head off as she reads this, because in my naivite I tend to attract these kind of awkward situations.

In the age of domestic spying, I thought I'd better make a public repudiation of copying bank notes of any kind, even for benign purposes (just in case the nice folks in Canada are reading this). The moral of the story is: don't copy money.

Just to prove my sincere repentence (even though I never actually succeeded in copying the money), I include an approved photograph from the Bank of Canada, complete with instructions for legal use:

Conditions for use of photographs in image gallery

Images in this gallery can be used or reproduced for personal or public non-commercial use, free of charge, as long as the following conditions are met:
  • the photographs are reproduced accurately and without alterations,
  • the Bank of Canada is identified as the source,
  • it is not implied that your particular use of the photographs is done in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of, the Bank of Canada.

You must obtain the Bank’s written permission to reproduce any other images of bank notes, regardless of how these images are obtained, by submitting a request.

To learn more about the laws and policy that govern the creation and use of images of bank notes, please consult the Bank of Canada Policy on the Reproduction of Bank Note Images.

Prueba en Español

Yo quería saber si se puede escribir artículos en español usando los medios disponibles en Blogspot y Windows XP. En mi pantalla de computadora, se ve las letras muy bien, completas con acentos y tildes, pero muchas veces me he dado cuenta de que los email que escribo en español me regresan con marcas muy extrañas en lugar de los acentos. Vamos a ver lo que pasa.

Monday, February 06, 2006

History of the Chewelah Tribe

The Catholic Church in Chewelah with the
mountains in the background.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Driving through Chewelah, Washington three days a week carries my mind back to matters of personal family history. Many of my ancestors came from the Chewelah Band of Indians, which some historians claim was really an off-shoot from the Kalispel Tribe of Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho, and Western Montana. Alice Sherwood Abrahamson of the Chewelah Band gave a fascinating history of her tribe, with a direct connection to my family tree.

Alice Sherwood Abrahamson recounts the story of her grandfather Paul Sheshetah and his immediate family members. He lived with his parents, three brothers, and one sister on the banks of the Pend Orielle River near modern day Cusick, Washington. By the time she committed her story to writing, she had already forgotten the names of Sheshetah’s family; or perhaps she never knew the names to begin with. We may never know for sure.

Apparently one of Sheshetah’s brothers was mistaken as the offender in an incident involving a young woman, and the other young men of the tribe killed him before the family could bring the matter to council. The brothers intended to seek revenge, but Sheshetah’s father removed his family before the matter escalated into further violence. They left the Cusick area and settled in a swampy valley to the west, the site of present day Chewelah, Washington. They were among the first people to settle in the area.

Originally, Sheshetah was known only by his Indian name, but on September 24, 1841 Father Jean Pierre DeSmet established a mission nearby and baptized many of the local people. Sheshetah received the Christian name Paul. While he adopted the Catholic religion, he apparently continued to practice many of the ancient indigenous forms of spirituality. Alice said he had a song and held healing rituals at winter ceremonies. She said he was also a Blue Jay, but claimed no memory of the meaning behind the ritual.

Old Man Camille and Paul Sheshetah

The final resting place of Sophia and Paul Sheshetah.Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Alice went on to explain many other details of daily life among the Chewelah Indians, and even described many of the families living among her people. She mentioned my ancestors Steven and Joseph Moses, among others; however, she never explicitly offered a direct link between her family and mine.

I discovered the link between our families several years after I first read Alice’s family history.

The Spokane Agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs maintains a record of real estate transactions from the founding of the Spokane Indian Reservation in the 1880s to the present. It especially keeps track of the original allotments given under the Dawes Act. Most tribal members died without leaving any kind of last will and testament, so the real estate records almost always ended up in probate court to determine any and all eligible heirs to the original allotments. These records are an untapped genealogical treasure.

Some years ago, I spent the afternoon at the BIA looking up case files from those of my ancestors I had already identified. Many times I found nothing of interest in the files, but sometimes I found written documentation of “new” ancestral lines. The Ellen Moses file (#241) was perhaps the most exciting of all, and provided the missing link between Alice Abrahamson and my family line.

According to documents found in her file, Ellen Moses described her husband’s family tree through a translator to the probate judge (her husband was my ancestor Joseph Moses). Joseph’s grandfather was named Ch-oll-kin. He had five children: Sol-low-stew (Joseph’s father), Stutlemetz, Sheshetah (who married Sophia), Ch-a-sal-ea-wha, and Quil-quil-cha-a-nee.

It took a moment for this new information to really sink in. I knew from documents I had already received from Father Connolly that Joseph’s father was named Sulustu (Sol-low-stew). I also knew from Alice Abrahamson’s family record that Sheshetah indeed married a woman named Sophia. Suddenly I realized I found the link. The whole family Alice described in her paper was in fact MY family! Even the number and genders of the children match.

Of course, this new information explained why my family lived among the Chewelah Band of Indians. We were originally Kalispel and only later absorbed into the Spokane Tribe (this was common in those days).

As I put the pieces together, I realize my ancestor Sulustu most likely received baptism the same day as Paul Sheshetah and was named Moses by Father DeSmet.

So as I drive through Chewelah, I remember my family history, and I realize how much I still need to do to make this information available to my family. This entry is my first attempt in this direction.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Superbowl of the End Times

Those of you who know me on a personal level will be surprised to learn I watched the Seahawks play the Steelers in Superbowl XL. Yes, I'm sure more than a few people would have paid money to see Barry Moses watching football. Others would regard this as a sign of the end times; but before you cash in on the great apocalypse, just remember I grew up surrounded by football, and while I resisted it all these years, I just couldn't escape the gravitational pull of my home team playing the mother of all games (I lived in Seattle for 8 years during my childhood, so if I had to claim allegiance to any team, I would have to claim Seattle).

To be quite honest, I even surprised myself. Since my earliest childhood, football represented everything I hated about American males; the beer, the aggression, the cursing. It represented everything I was NOT. I was always quite the sensitive, artistic, and creative young man, and I always assumed footballers were some kind of alien species, or at least a foreign race.

And yet there I was, watching the Seahawks lose the ultimate game, jumping up and down from my seat and wanting to curse out loud. We were guests in our friend's home, so I managed to refrain myself (their pastor was also a guest in their home), but it was like the energy of the moment reached through the television and took control of my body. By the time the game ended and I finally accepted the defeat of Seattle's team, I found myself pacing around the house wondering what the hell just happened to me. Had I really just watched the first football game in over 20 years? Did I actually enjoy the game? The answer to these questions may very well shatter my cherished self-perceptions and cause me to re-think my assumptions about what it means to be ME.

Wow! Maybe these really are the end times after all! ;)

Old Friends Meet in Guatemala

Adam Wiltse with his parents in 2004.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

As many of you know, I once served a mission for the LDS Church in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. My religious affiliations changed, but I still hold many fond memories of friendships and experiences from that time in my life.

About a year and a half ago, Adam Wiltse (Rhonda is best friends with Adam's mom Madonna) received his mission call to the Guatemala City Central Mission. Of course, I was very excited to know he was going to the same country. His mission call inspired me to gather all my pictures and create an album. We had Adam and his parents over for dinner and told stories about Guatemala.

Since then, I received a couple of letters from Adam, and then I got word a couple days ago that Adam is now serving in the same ward where Juan Carlos Samayoa currently serves as bishop. Samayoa was my first greeny. I always had a lot of respect for him because of his dedication to what he believed. We only worked together for about a month, but we became fast friends for the rest of the mission. How interesting for them to meet, especially after not seeing Samayoa for over 12 years. I wonder what they'll say about me. I'm sure it's all good!

Juan Carlos Samayoa
(Photograph from Noti Xela, 1992)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Chris at the Airport

Chris Lammer.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

At the end of my day, just before driving to Wellpinit, I received a telephone call from my old friend Chris Lammer of Boise, Idaho. I met him years ago when I was actively involved with Spectrum Trainings, Inc. Since then, we fell out of touch and had not seen each other in about 5 years. As it turns out, he was waiting for a flight at the Spokane Airport and asked if I could stop in for a brief visit. I just happened to be heading that way, so I agreed.

As we visited, he told me about all the twists and turns of his life and asked me how I'm doing. Then I realized how much changed for me in the last 5 years since I saw him last. How could I rightfully tell the story before he had to board his plane? More than anything, I realized just how far we've come...and that felt good.

Spokane International Airport.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

After I left Chris to board his plane, I got a few photographs of the airport terminal from the parking garage. I probably would have taken more pictures, but I suddenly got a creepy feeling that some Homeland Security guy was watching me from a closed circuit television screen in a seedy office someplace in the underbelly of the airport and was at that moment dispatching officers to question me. Yeah, I guess airports are not good places to take lots of pictures. It could be construed as suspicious activity, like the time I took pictures of the federal building at night, or photographed my son in the Social Security Office. Hmmm.