It Ain’t Easy Being Indian: Gramma Rose

By Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country 3-09

Just the other afternoon, I took my Gramma Rose to a Kenny Rogers concert. Yup. You read that right, in the afternoon, Kenny Rogers, aka “The Gambler.” How appropriate that he should perform at the Risky Raccoon Resort!

On my own, I would never have wanted to go see Kenny, but my Gramma Rose did, and she made it very clear in subtle and sideways ways. You know what I’m sayin? Delicate hints, gusty sighs, and asking me if I knew the song “Lucille.”

OhhOhhhooo (said nasally). Got it Gram. What I don’t have is wampum. Lucky for me, I got friends in high places and no shame or reluctance to ask for what I want, on my Gramma Rose’s behalf. So, thanks to that very special person, Rose, who is elderly AND full of life and fun, got to meet Kenny Rogers backstage, and she was the first in line! Yes, yes, my Gramma is a groupie. (I tell you I never had a chance.

Now, even though I would not have gone to see Kenny on my own, I had a really good time. That old dude has had a long career, and sang songs I didn't even know were his, that I knew the words to! Heya! In his concert he busted out a Coolio “Gambler” film clip, and I was the only person in the audience to holla! and raise the roof. After the clip, Kenny thanked Coolio and said he wanted to “keep it real.”

Now I am a bonafide Kenny Rogers fan. Moi!


This all got me wondering, not for the first time of course. When I am a legally documented elder, what famous musicians or acts will I want to see? Which ones will still be alive? I kinda sorta remember the first time I heard ‘Muzak’ of an Earth, Wind & Fire song in an elevator.

There are CD’s out now that have compilations of my old school music that bring me to my feet dancing and to tears remembering when I was young and still had delusions of hope.

First of all there’s the Rolling Stones, the icons of rock n roll icons. I worship Keith Richards for still holding it up, falling out of palm trees and such at his age, I so wanna hang out with him!

I giggle when I think of the Stones’ on stage, my tri-polar imagination pulls up a picture of a bunch of dried up ole beef jerkys dancing around! Very disrespectful I know, that’s just what I see. Hopefully, they will be at the Risky Raccoon someday, I just betcha, being wheeled in on gurneys with Granny’s XXX rheumatizz medicine in their I.V.s.

The one major performer I have gotten to see most often is Prince. I was there when he first flashed his butt cheeks at First Avenue in Minneapolis, long before he ever did the cutout pants thing. They were adorable, both of them.

I could never choose. Anywayz, Prince is an entity unto himself, and I totally ‘got’ him until he did a 180 and became a Jehovah’s Witness. (Did they pull into Paisley Park and preach and leave Watchtowers? I still wonder how that came about. So Sad. I do so love the old Prince, so much betta than this so-called holy one).

Ahem! Anywayz, how could Prince, who is going to be 5-1 this year, possibly twist and dance like he has in five inch high heels? How will he do the splits in say, five, ten, twenty years without being taken off stage nightly in a stretcher? All the while singing in soft sweet falsetto? Sigh. So many wonderments. I guess the whole point of the issue is this: who’s gonna last?

I laugh! Yanno why? Cuz it’s your dad, yer grandad, your unks and cuz’z, your bro, your sons, nephews and a whole lotta of other frybreaders who sit around the drum.

Yeah, they show their buns too, not meaning to (I hope!) but no matter how they look, they will always sound good and sing a good song to dance to. I wonder now if they can be identified by their butt prints? Oh! Disrespectful me again. I’m just saying. C’mon! Yooz know what I’m talking about.

(Where's Chubby? Oh there he is! I recognize his... drawers!).