And then there was the egregious idea of Indians-- excuse me, Native Americans-- making forts. In this case, Busi was the first to remind me that "his kind" don't build forts in trees or anywhere else because of the bad memories it brings them re an association with a genocidal past where Uncle Sam had a nasty habit of stealing their lands, building forts on them, and then imprisoning them inside or riding out from them to "kill us all."
Although that was a few years ago before I had learned the swamp politics of the NS, when it was still a threat to big bad Uncle Sam and most of us were still alive, I still love this song. It reminds me of my life as a kid growing up in trees and building tree forts. And it makes me think of our little girl Haalie. I wonder if she will ever experience such fun. According to Greta the Great, we only have eleven years to curb global warming, otherwise we can kiss our collective asses goodbye.
Now with Haalie walking between us, holding our hands as we walk along the Ave of the Indians somewhere in the Everglades, I narrow my eyes and try to see that tree house up ahead, undulating in the heat waves rising up from the pavement. I want it to be there for her so she can dream and laugh.
*Susan Cowsill is the youngest member of The Cowsills, a group of brothers, one sister, and a mom who had a few hits back in the day. And believe it or not, if you read my books, you know big bad Busi Osceola loved them. Said the Flower Girl was his kind of woman, someone with flowers in her hair who kept on smiling while sitting in the rain. On the other hand, Mrs. O, aka my Cuban mother-in-law, thought the girl was an idiot for sitting in the rain.