Pat Shingleton: "Native Americans, Firewood and Rising Creeks..."
Firewood sales may finally be on the increase with a return to seasonable temperatures. I scanned the archives to forward this message from our old friend Joe Macaluso...On a reservation in South Dakota, Native Americans asked their chief if the winter was going to be cold? Unaware of ancient forecasting secrets he visited the National Weather Service. The meteorologist verified it was going to be cold and the chief ordered his tribe to collect wood. A week later he called the local N.W.S. office asking again if the winter would be cold? Another meteorologist responded that it would. He ordered the collection of more wood and two weeks later questioned the N.W.S. folks to be sure it would be a cold winter. “Absolutely,” the meteorologist replied, “the coldest ever!” The chief asked, “How can you be sure?” The weatherman replied (here it comes)…”The Native Americans are collecting a lot of firewood.” Adding to that one, my favorite brother-in-law, Frank Kean forwarded an interesting historical trivia expression that is also timely, concerning the levels of the Mississippi River. In Frank’s e-mail, the “saying” was discovered by Benny Lopoo. Recognizing this column is devoted to “Weather News;” you may have heard the expression, “God willing the creeks don’t rise;” referring to an episode of flooding. Benjamin Hawkins was a politician and diplomat who handled “Indian Affairs.” His encounters with a particular tribe of Native Americans, is the basis for this expression. When the President of the United States abruptly ordered Hawkins to Washington, during an Indian rebellion, Hawkins relayed the saying to his wife and expecting safe passage through hostile territory he capitalized the word “Creek.” Hawkins was referring to the Creek Indian tribe not a possible episode of rising water and flooding.