• March 29, 2010
  • Posted by Marc

Red Lake


“I’m exhausted, but i want to get this out.  I pasted Red Lake today.

I woke up late this morning, around 10:30 or so.  Stumbled out of bed thinking “...no, I’m not up for pasting today afterall.”  Around noon I wandered outside for a moment and thought “...Shit!  The weather is perfect.  It’s warm and there’s very little wind.  I’ve got to go paste.”  I’d thought I was going to collaborate with someone this weekend, but she pulled a no show (leaving me alone to hang a 14.5 foot piece in 4 parts).  On the 30 mile drive over to Red Lake I rethought through hanging this piece alone but hoping all the while I’d be able to find someone at the old trading post to help me.

Once I got there I connected with Lorenzo who runs the place.  I learned later that he lives above the trading post.  He said he’d run the place since 1991 and thinks the lower part was built in 1891.  (Dig that.)  I love old trading posts.  The inside of this one is totally old school. 

Lorenzo was super nice.  Upon seeing me, he started cracking jokes and giving me shit for not knowing more Navajo after 23 years.  We have a deal going.  I’m going to find a hot, young nurse for him at the clinic where I work and in return, he’s going to find for me a hot, young, sheep herder.  (This was all his idea.)  I’d told him I’d try to get there last weekend to hang this piece.  He greeted me today with “....I had four young sheepherders waiting for you last weekend.”  I thought “...great.  I’ve no idea why I didn’t come last weekend but really wish I had.”

Lorenzo and his three grandsons (by clan), along with the cashier from the trading post, all helped me. And here I thought I’d be installing alone and I ended up having 5 people help me.  Gotta love it.  I asked Lorenzo to document the process with my camera.  These are his photos. 

Once we were done, Lorenzo invited me to join them in a sweat. It was a most incredible end to a day when I thought I woundn’t paste.  In addition to the teachings from the wise ones and his own life observations, Lorenzo gave me the name “Hosteen James.”  He said “...Chip just doesn’t sound right.” 

They went a full 4 rounds.  I loved the songs and sharing of the 2 rounds I experienced.

What a day.”... Chip Thomas

More photos here.