Another Gaz and Ann Show

I saw Sue this morning. She was returning from a walk with Pip and Maud. It was lovely seeing them all. It’s been a long time. Later, I suggested to Mirinda that we go around for afternoon tea, or something similar.

I met her while on my way to the shops.

We have The Peaches coming for lunch tomorrow, so I had a big shop to do. I was also on a bit of a tight schedule because of the FATN recording at 10:30. And, everyone wanted to chat. Even Luna.

Luna was walking with Vivienne’s husband this morning when she saw me. She was on the lead because they were walking up Park Row at the time. She spotted me and started pulling and straining.

Vivienne’s husband thought she was just overly interested in whatever was in my trolley but I assured him that she knew me very well. He relaxed his grip on her lead, and she came straight over for a pat and a fuss. It must be quite odd taking your dog for a walk and finding out there are people in the park who know her but not you.

And the woman on the check-out wanted to talk about cheese. And Pamela on the fish counter wanted to discuss fish. Everyone, it seemed, was intent on making me late.

But they failed.

I managed to get back with half an hour to spare which was coffee and organising time.

By the time 10:30 rolled around I was happy and ready to roll.

Our engineer this week was Mike. He’s only just started with the remote recordings and this was his first time with Ann and me. And he thoroughly enjoyed it. I know because he said so afterwards. He even suggested that we should try and do the same sort of thing in the studio, which Ann and I agree with but not sure how it would be implemented with four readers.

It does feel that the ‘chatty’ style that Ann and I have, works really well with just the two. Still, it’s definitely worth looking into. As long as the listeners like it, of course.

Anyway, the recording went off very well (though long at just over 2 hours), the only sad bit being the announcement of Alistar Jaffray’s death. Alistar read for me on many occasions and, although quite deaf and prone to falling asleep, he was always reliable with a dry wit which sometimes had me in stitches. He was great value.

He managed to get himself to the studio right up until the beginning of this year even though his legs didn’t want to. He was 94 after all and I reckon they felt due a rest. Ann gave him a lovely eulogy as she knew him far better than I. A lovely, lovely man.

Mike had the recording live on the site by the time I served dinner so Mirinda and I listened to the first few stories over Brazilian fish. Mirinda loved it. The recording AND the Brazilian fish.

Speaking of loving things…I meant to post this photo on Wednesday. It was in Nutshell Lane, on my way to Kate’s place. I love the gradual change from Summer to Autumn.

This will get very red, very soon.

Today, this happened

187 years ago, today, at the Grand Pawnee Village on the River Platte, the US Government signed a treaty with four tribes of the Pawnee Nation. It was all a bit difficult though not necessarily for the reasons you’d think.

Unfortunately, there were no Pawnee natives who spoke English and there were no non-native Americans who spoke Pawnee. Apparently, though, there were a couple of French people who spoke English and Pawnee. They stood as translators which must have been interesting.

One of the things that the Treaty hoped to establish was the boundaries of Pawnee land. A map was drawn up which both sides were happy with. The map had an odd island of land in the middle which was ceded by the Pawnee.

The Pawnee was a nation of people who liked to mull over decisions rather than just go with the first thing that someone said. This didn’t sit well with the American government which wanted them to just sign it and be done.

Part of the Treaty deal was that the government would give four tribes of the Pawnee nation various things. One of them was a farmer for five years. This farmer would teach them how to grow crops and genetically modify strains of corn…I assume. Another part of the deal was to let them have $1,000 worth of stock. However, this would only be delivered after the president was sure they wouldn’t just eat the stock rather than breed from it.

The government also said they’d spend $1,000 a year for ten years for schools to be established. I can only imagine these schools would be teaching the Pawnee the white man’s ways rather than any useful native skills.

The whole reason the Treaty was created, as far as the US Government was concerned, was because the early 19th century, non-native expansion across the states, was in need of more land and the Pawnee Nation had the best.

And the Pawnee loved their land, having lived on it for considerably longer than the invaders had been around. They loved it so much that they tended to kill any white settlers who dared to move across it.

Clearly, the government had to do something about that. Thus, the Treaty of 1833.

And it didn’t end with the Treaty of 1833. In 1857, a second Treaty was signed limiting the Pawnee to a reservation of much smaller size.

Here’s what happened as a consequence of white colonialism:

“After the treaty of 1833, however, the Pawnee gave up their weapons, renounced warfare, and agreed to take up new lives as agrarians, ostensibly to be protected by the federal government. The effect of this new life of dependency, combined with severe population loss from disease, left the Pawnee vulnerable to their enemies, primarily the Sioux, who vowed a war of extermination. For forty years after that treaty the weaponless and unprotected Pawnee endured constant attacks by Sioux war parties that inflicted a major loss of life.”

Parks, Douglas R. (ND) Oklahoma Historical Society, available online at:

You have to feel sorry for the Pawnee. They figured the non-native government was doing them a favour but all they did was make them easy pickings for a bunch of genocidal maniacs. Not that it should have come as a surprise. The Pawnee and the Sioux had been enemies for centuries.

The enmity between the two culminated in what became known as the Massacre Canyon battle of 1873. A load of Pawnee were out getting buffalo when they were attacked by around 1,500 Sioux. It was definitely a massacre. (I don’t know if it was called Massacre Canyon before or as a result of, the actual massacre.)

Eventually the two tribes sat down and smoked the peace pipe but that wasn’t until 1925.

Meanwhile, the US Government saw the massacre and continuing bad blood between the tribes as an excuse to reduce the native American lands even more, keeping them all safely on reservations.

At this point it would be nice to say they all lived happily ever after…except we know they didn’t.

Actually, it’s worth reading Douglas Parks’ piece on the Pawnee Nation. It’s a fascinating read.

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