Roundup: May 14, 2014
Almansor Court – 700 S. Almansor, Alhambra, CA.
Social Hour: 5:00 PM
Dinner: 6:00 PM
Speaker: Elk Whistle Bill Neal
Subject: History of Native American Flutes
Click here to view photos from the event.
By the latter half of the 20th century, the Native flute, indigenous only to North America, was in danger of becoming nothing more than a museum exhibit. However, through the efforts of a few individuals like Elk Whistle Bill Neal, this unique and beautifully-voiced instrument has come back alive to enchant all those who hear its music.
This program will describe the flute’s history, its traditional construction, as well as its contemporary form. Elk Whistle Bill Neal will demonstrate cedar flutes of the Lakota of the northern plains and the Kiowa and Comanche of the southern plains as well as river reed and cane flutes of the Choctaw and the Cherokee.
He will explain how beautiful songs of the flute address Native American cultural values that have become increasingly important to all of the two-leggeds on Turtle Island.
Elk Whistle Bill Neal is a master Native American flute player and storyteller of Cherokee ancestry who began playing this instrument almost 24 years ago while a singer in a traditional powwow drum group.
He has worked in environmental engineering for 22 years, including 10 years with the U. S. Forest Service; taught forestry, wildland fire management, and natural resource management in college; and co-founded and served as general manager of a biomass energy fuel supply company.
He has performed in numerous venues: museums and libraries, cathedrals and temples, powwows and festivals, before the smallest audiences to almost 10,000. He has served as the Native American spiritual leader in a California state prison, and powwow coordinator for the 2nd Annual Powwow at Pomona College in Claremont which took place on April 5th as well as the 3rd Annual Intertribal Eagle and Condor Powwow set for May 17th and 18th in DeAnza Park in Ontario.
Click here to view photos from the event.
Dinners cost $35 each and the reservation deadline is May 8, 2014. Late reservations can be accepted, but you won’t be able to choose your entrée and you will pay $40. Please mail your reservation and your check—payable to “Westerners, Los Angeles Corral”—to Pete Fries, Registrar of Marks & Brands, 28160 Newbird Drive, Santa Clarita, CA 91350-1836. You may also call Pete at 661-296-7713 with questions or late reservations.
PAYPAL is now available
Instead of sending in your check, now you can make your dinner reservations online. Just log on to our website www.lawesterners.org and go to the members tab (enter the password) and click on the pay option. Instructions are there. Call Joe Cavallo 626 372 5126 with any questions.
Saturday, June 14th Fandango
This year’s Fandango will (probably) be held at the historic Rains House in Rancho Cucamonga, the point of origin for a spectacular 1862 murder, which docents will tell us more about during tours both before and after our High Noon lunch. Remember the Fandango is our June meeting, so there will be no second-Wednesday-evening Roundup that month. We suggest that you take Route 66, aka Foothill Blvd., for at least a few miles either to or from the Fandango in order to magically transport yourself to an earlier era. The Wine Tailor, just down the street, will provide a cozy retreat for those who want just a skosh more vino before heading home. We’ll have more information about cost and reservations soon. Mark your calendars. 80 maximum.
Wednesday, July 9th Roundup
Our esteemed former Sheriff Eric Nelson is arranging July’s program by our Autry Fellow Kiara Maria Vigil, an Assistant Professor of American Studies at Amherst College in Massachusetts. She is completing research for her first book, North American Indian Intellectuals and the American Imagination, 1880-1930, Cambridge University Press. With no topic announced, we wondered what Eric thought about the program. Tater Totter, the mind-reading cowboy, said that Eric was thinking, “This program’s gonna be so danged good that I’d pull my plow over a stump to git there.” If that’s what Eric thinks, then we’d all better pack the barn.
Wednesday, August 13th Roundup
At the August Roundup, Geraldine Knatz, past managing director of the Port of Long Beach for several years and recently retired as the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, will speak about the “Lost Communities of Terminal Island.” She earned a master’s in environmental engineering and doctorate in biological sciences at USC. She oversaw a $2.3 billion capital improvement program at the 7,500 acre port, which sits on 43 miles of waterfront, handled more than $273 billion in cargo last year, and is responsible for three million jobs.
Friday, August 15th Tour
Two days after Geraldine Knatz’s Roundup program on Terminal Island, we have planned a boat tour of Los Angeles Harbor. This will be a free educational tour rather than the standard tourist outing, thus it is on a weekday instead of a weekend. Check-in will be at 12:45 p.m.; the boat will sail at 1 p.m.; and if you arrive late, we’ll wave to you as we sail away. After returning to shore, we should have plenty of time to vamoose before rush hour hits. We’ll have more information about the excursion soon. Mark your calendars. 35 maximum.