This was a weird day: not quite a work day, not quite a holiday. Half of each, since the office closed at noon. Five people were out anyway, which in a small company amounts to almost half the office. I’d be lying if I said it was the most productive day in the world, but I did zip over to a Lutheran church a couple of miles down the street to take photos. I’d interviewed a local artist a couple of weeks ago for an upcoming feature in Black Hills Visitor, but midway through our chat a truck pulled up right in front of the mural we were talking about and I was unable to get a picture. This morning, there were no vehicles blocking the building, so I was able to get some good photos.
The mural was designed as a memorial to the MMIW (Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women) movement that deeply affects so many Native American families, and helps to bring a small bit of closure. Derek, the artist, talked about all the symbolism in the painting, from the red handprint to the “crosses” that represent stars in the Lakota culture and appear on much of their beadwork. It was fascinating to learn all this, and I walked away impressed with Derek’s passion and heart. He is Lakota himself, and so obviously this mural touched him deeply. I have a deep respect for the Lakota culture, and will do all I can to help spread their message.
Here’s another one he painted on an apartment building next to the church. It represents the racing magpie, a key figure in the Native American Great Race legend. Fun fact that Derek shared: the Black Hills appear in all his work. You can see them painted in blue and purple on both buildings.
Talking to such interesting individuals and learning about the history and culture of the region is hands-down my favorite part of my job. I’ll link to the story when it goes live online.
After leaving the office, I made a liquor store run (priorities!) and then picked up sushi for lunch. One of our most pleasant surprises upon moving here was discovering that, contrary to what you might think, you can find good sushi in the Midwest. I came home, lowered the A/C because it was hot again, puttered around for a bit before deciding to head out to the patio, heat be damned.
And then I almost came back inside, because holy shit, it was hot. 98º. But I powered through, catching up on blogs and drinking gin. At one point it started raining, quite unexpectedly, and Sydney—our calico cat—freaked out. She demanded to be let inside (a first for her!), but 10 minutes later it was hot and humid again and I let her back out.
Not much else of note happened. The evening was a bit of a blur. I guess fireworks occurred at Mount Rushmore, but I wanted no part of that.
Tara begins her long drive home tomorrow. Can’t wait to see her.