Fond du Lac follies: My turn to fondle and probe

By Jim Northrup
January 2011

Continued from last month:

Then I had an airport choice, radiation or fondling. I joined the opt out line. Guilty until proven innocent? At the end of the TSA fondling I wanted to say...Okay, my turn now.

While waiting to be fondled I noticed a third choice. Passengers were choosing a third line; this line was between the other two choices. We just walked between both of them and went to our gates to wait to get on the airplanes.

In Bristol, Tennessee I met Tonya Stansberry and her daughter Hannah. They were Southern Hospitality personified. They made me feel welcome by taking me to Bristol Motor Speedway for a tour.

I got to ride around the track in the pace car, a blue and white Mustang. I asked my host if I could drive, he said no. My host drove us around and his tires began to slip on the rain soaked track, Oh Oh. That part almost tickled a little moo out of me. We parked by the 33 degree angle banked track. I climbed up to the top of the race track. I looked around then carefully, using baby steps, walked back down. I was worried about taking a tumble down to the pace car. We toured the owner’s sky box and oohed and ahhed over that place. It looked like about a hundred NASCAR fans could have watched the races from there. We then went for a ride down the quarter mile of the Thunder Valley drag strip. It was a fun tour. Of course I was wondering what my Corvette would have done there.

I went back to the motel and slept fast because the next day looked like it was going to be a busy one.

I did a reading in an auditorium, then an interview in a TV Studio, a quick lunch then I visited an English Composition class.

There was a feast prepared by the members of the English Department. The meal was topped off with a huge orange cake that had Welcome Jim Northrup lettered on the top.

I then did an evening campus-wide reading and answered a few questions from the audience.

Once again I slept fast because I could go home in the morning. At the airport I didn’t have to make a choice between back scatter radiation or fondling. I went through the normal screening and got on the airplane. I changed planes in Chicago and was back in Sawyer by noon. It was a quick visit to Tennessee but I made some new friends who will be coming up for our Ojibwe language immersion camp in June.


I guess it ain’t bragging if you done it but I heard from a very good source that the video LZ Lambeau won an Emmy. I am proud to say I had a small part in the production. I spoke in Ojibwe to introduce myself and then recited three poems. So, Congrats to Patty Loew of Wisconsin Public Television and the rest of the crew that made LZ Lambeau, Wisconsin’s salute to Vietnam Veterans.

In a related video note, I also learned that the movie shot at the Fond du Lac Reservation called Older Than America is now available for purchase from and a few other places. I liked Georgina’s movie because they had my wife and son, my house, my fire pit and my Corvette and friends in that movie. I heard myself reciting my one line. I rehearsed that line for weeks and I think I nailed it. : “Why, you got a crime to report or are the cops looking for you, too?” It was good to see Wes , Adam , Georgina, Tantoo and Ray Earley on the big screen again.


Fond du Lac Follies motored to the Seven Clans Casino and Hotel for a meeting of those who are interested in compiling an online Ojibwemowin dictionary. Unlike the printed dictionary now it use which has about 7,000 Ojibwe words, the new online dictionary will have more than 30,000 words and phrases. There will be still pictures and videos.

This effort is a collaboration between academics like Dr. John D. Nichols, Dr. Brenda Childs, interns, and Marcia Anderson of the Minnesota Historical Society plus Anishinaabe from the United States and Canada.

I heard June as the date when the dictionary will be available online.


Anishinaabe Syndicated, a new book, will be out on January 15 according to folks at the Minnesota Historical Society Press.

This is all from the Fond du Lac Follies starting in August of 1989 until the end of 2001. This is what Dr. Margaret Noori and I have spent years editing. This will be my third book.


Mii ‘iw
Mii sa ‘iw


The views expressed in this column belong to the writer alone. They are not meant to represent this newspaper, anyone from Tennessee, or anyone else. Comments and bingo packs can be sent to FdL Follies, PO Box 16, Sawyer, MN 55789 email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. also Facebook.