Instead Of Money–Two Bologna Sandwiches

Starwalker is a friend of mine
You’ve seen him looking fine
He’s a straight talker, he’s a Starwalker
Don’t drink no wine
Ah way hey o hey…

The Pow Wow

June 27, `77

Herb never did get gas, so we caught him at another gas station as he
was, once again, filling his tank. This time the bike stayed upright,
and because Lenny was in the bathroom, I ended up paying the $2.50 for his gas. When we finally reached Yarmouth, nobody knew the directions to the Pow Wow. I began to wonder if the Pow Wow even existed. We never did find the place, but in our wonderings, Herb’s wife finally found us. We followed her to our final destination.

The Pow Wow was located at the dead end of a gravel road on the
Indian Reserve. There were five houses scattered along the road, one
of which belonged to a very unfriendly Indian. There were no
trespassing signs everywhere, and he was sitting on his porch with a
rifle in his lap. The Indians at the Pow Wow itself, which was
supposed to be filled with Indians from all across Canada, looked to
be of the local variety and numbered about forty. Herb showed no
interest. At first I thought he was disappointed in the turnout, but
after we found a place to set up camp, I got the real story. Alcohol
was not allowed on the Reserve, and we were camped on the Reserve.

After I pulled my bike from the back of the truck, I was ready to
leave. But I had come so far and at such a cost that I couldn’t make
myself leave without at least checking out the Indians. I walked right
into the middle of the Pow Wow. There were some young Indians off to the side playing Lacrosse, but a large black kettle with a woman
standing over it marked the center space, so that’s where I headed. As I walked up to the lady stirring the kettle, all eyes were on me and
they weren’t of the welcoming variety. It didn’t take long to find out
I was not at a Pow Wow, I was at an Indian Unity Meeting. The lady
stirring the pot came all the way from Cape Cod, and in as nice a way
as possible she told me that I was not supposed to be there. That was
not what I wanted to hear. Actually I felt more Indian than the
Indians that I came with, but I really couldn’t tell the lady that. I
was about to say goodbye when a not so nice Indian, the Chief maybe,
came up to me and in non-flowery speech informed me that I was not an Indian. I could have argued the point, but I was well aware that this day had run its course and what was left of my energy had to be
directed over the horizon.

I went back to the Herb family to bid adieux, get my bike, and ride
off into the sunset. So as not to be seen drinking, they were camped
on the other side of the swamp from the Pow Wow, errr, Unity Meeting. Ma Herb had stopped at the liquor store and packed Herb’s cooler. I was handed one last beer. Conversation never got around to the Pow Wow, but I did find out where Herb got his money. The new motorcycles and truck were bought with the $25,000 that he had just won in the lottery. Herb was one rich, drunk, Indian. Before leaving I asked for the money I had spent on the family during the trip down to Yarmouth. Herb replied, “On Monday, when I get to the bank, I’ll give you the money.” I was offered two bologna sandwiches, instead. I accepted them without a second thought.

I just ate them. They were good. I’m presently thirty miles from
Digby, and the ferry over to New Brunswick, heading for home. I am not depressed from this day’s events. Actually, when I think about it, I have to smile. It had been insane, but at least now, I’m headed for
home. I can’t continue this trip. I’m tired of biking, tired of being
dirty, tired of eating shity food, tired of everything, but most of
all, I’m tired of looking for a campsite when its going to rain at any


About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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4 Responses to Instead Of Money–Two Bologna Sandwiches

  1. starbear says:

    Hello, my friend – I feel like an old friend following this journey – just caught up on a week’s worth of your blog. Enjoyed it all and laughed with you… aaaaccck! No-seums, and you brought back fond memories of my time in Nova Scotia… and I once took a motorcycle trip from Michigan to Maine… where the black flies were voracious and we were camping in rain every day… Thank you so much… for this wonderful sharing… Your quote : “Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now.” speaks loudly right now. Love your personal insights, inserted so deftly into the travelogue… 🙂

  2. Mèo Lười Việt says:


  3. Mèo Lười Việt says:

    Hard experience teachs you more than a smooth one does. 😀

  4. bwinwnbwi says:

    Thanks so much for the nice comments. I’m glad this post provoked a few smiles and yucks. It’s one of my favorites also, a favorite to read and remember, but not to relive. Take care.

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