Uncle George on the right
On the day they laid my Uncle George Hancock to rest I went to my first Pow Wow. The interment was in Martinsburg, West Virginia and the Pow Wow was on the grounds of the Stanford University Palo Alto, California.
My uncle drove himself to the hospital so he could have his heart attack there. The day before he didn't show up for church and told folks not to visit.
Uncle George indicated to his minister that he wanted the life-support equipment turned off. Two days in the hospital was enough. At 91 years old, Uncle George was as deliberate as he's been all his life.
My buddies Curtis, Richard and I were out for a day of picture taking. We happened upon a gathering of 40 nations of indigeneous people. Surprised and delighted, we took many pictures, ate fry bread, and joined in prayer giving thanks.
We stayed for the Grand Entry and were treated with such a colorful pageantry of costumes and dance that kept us clicking furiously until sundown and the chill chased us away.
On the drive back to Oakland we marveled that it was the first Pow Wow for each of us. Curtis pointed out that the real PowWow probably begins long after dark. Richard said that we'll miss the really good stuff.
At a quiet moment in the ride, Uncle George came to me; glad that I enjoyed myself with friends and new acquaintances. We had our time together for a week in November of 2003. We savored every moment. Deliberately.