stood there staring at the beautiful woman, he knew this was the woman of
his dreams. Her skin was dark and her hair was like the golden sun
and hung in Indian braids. She had the cutest red, white and
blue pants on, kind of like an American tourist.
Her skin was dark but her hair was golden blonde, really struck him
as strange, he could see her cheek bones were high and she looked as if
she had Indian heritage in her. He wondered why she was here, she
look as if she belonged yet she didnít. He had seen a lot of
tourist come into town but none had drawn his attention like her. The city
was crowded because of the rodeo.
the girl didnít know they were going to become real close, as a matter
of fact she didnít even know he existed. Well, he was going to
change this as soon as he could.
was looking in the window and he was curious as to what she was staring
at, he walked over and looked. ĒExcuse me", he said.
She turned, startled that he was so close. She didnít even hear
him walk up. "What
is so interesting in that window"? She looked at him and said,
"well sir, I donít see where it is of any concern of yours".
smiled, "didnít mean to offend you but you just looked so
intense", then she smiled, "Iím sorry" she said, my
goodness he was so handsome, there was such a sweetness about him, he had
those cowboy boots on and his hat in his hand.
she said, "that picture, the one in the window with the Mother and
child, that is the picture my Mother has and she told me that her Mother
painted it and she did two just alike , one for her and one for my Mother.
I have never seen my
Grandmother, I knew she lived in
, but donít
know where. I was just thinking it could be that it belonged to her.
was so strange talking to a stranger like this but he seemed nice enough.
said , "well there is only one thing to do, lets go ask the man where
he got the picture, maybe he can help you". She looked at Joey
and said, "by the way my name is Marie and yours is"?
"Joey" he said, "Joey Mantenya and I am from here so maybe
I can help you".
asked him if he was born here and he said yes, Iím a full blooded Indian
and tourist come from all around to stare at me and he laughed. ďNo,
seriously the reason they stare is Iím really popular and youíll find
out why later on", and he walked inside with her. She looked at
him kind of strange wondering who he was.
said Marie, "I hate to be trouble to a person so popular
and I really donít even know you but Iíd appreciate it if you
would help me" . "I
am just here for the summer, I came to look at some art pieces for where I
work and I just happen to see this. I know I have seen the picture there
for a long time like it's waiting on someone. I come here four or five
times a year. I live in the upper part of the city and work there except
in the summer and then I just run from circuit to circuit". She
didnít really understand what he meant about circuit to circuit but she
was soon to find out.
they went inside, the shopkeeper was Indian Mexican and could not speak
very good English so Joey had to interpret most of what he said.
store manager looked at Joey and smiled and talked to him like he knew him
very well, he asked Joey how he was doing in his Indian dialect.
Mr. Mandeza, how are you"? "Hey Joseph, you riding in
rodeo this weekend"? "Yes Sir, I am" he said
"and hoping to win". They both laughed, "you
have good chance but be
careful, that bull is the
meanest one" . Marie stood there hearing this, she
looked at him, "you ride Bulls"?, she asked.
"Yes", he said "it's what I do in the summer months, Iím
a rodeo man". Marie was impressed, as a matter of fact very
impressed. Not only was he smart and handsome and had a job, but
rode bulls. What more could a girl ask for in a real cowboy..
back to the business at hand. Please
ask him about the picture she said.
Mandeza, we need to ask you something". ďYes" he
said. "Where did you get that picture? The one in the window
with the Indian woman and the baby girl"?
told him it had belonged to an old lady, she was an American . As he told
the story in broken English, Joey helped Maria to understand.
As he stood there he said, "quite a story behind
picture my boy. Over 60
years ago, young beautiful lady came, open
shop from United
States, she wanted to open painting
shop, bring art here, she hired young
Indian boy to help in shop.
This handsome young Indian man's name Taiwan Morning Dew,
caused quite stir back
then. But she strong willed
and determined. A love between them people could no break apart like
Indian beads tied with buffalo hair, no break. Not set well with
people in town but not matter to her. After they married on
reservation Indian style, she began dress in the tradition Indian
outfits and from then on that she wore.
so beautiful, all hand paint ,
people love, so she still do good,
drew a lot of tourist for us. Had this one daughter, named
her Morning Dew. They call
her Morning, she sent package
with her, looked like painting
of some kind, story goes , was of her Mother and her so she not forget
her, she put daughter on
wagon and send her to city,
stay with family for schooling.
After daughter left she
not do so well, real sick,
she painted picture of
her and her daughter as she remembered her,
one last picture, one she sent with daughter and
one for herself. This one, well it in an old house on
outskirts of town. No one lived there many years so
bought land off
land company and got old
house with it.
stood and listened as the old man told the story and Joey explained some
of the words in English and it was the same one her Mother had told her.
she asked, "do you know what happened to the old lady or her
certain but man left town
go back to reservation, so
leave lady alone, after it
rumored she also went
live on reservation, not
accepted among Indianís so she
returned to town, was rumored she
died of broken heart, think sheís
buried there on hill in old cemetery but no headstones so
canít tell where, think
maybe he died after, not know for
sure, maybe be on the reservation still".
thought her heart would stop as she listen to his story, after all
these years she may get to see her Grand father. She looked at
the painting and knew she had to have it. She told the old
store keeper her full name Marie Morning Dew, but it had been
changed to Morndew when she moved to the city.
as she did this he stood back and stared at her. He looked at Joey
and said something . Joey said he wants to ask you something.
So he spoke slow so she could understand him.
old womanís Granddaughter. Come child,
look, bottom of picture. As
Marie read the name it was signed in the most beautiful penmanship she had
Dew was written on it. She began to cry and told him she had to have
the picture no matter the cost, it was her Grand Mothers painting. He handed it to her and said, "this
picture been waiting for you
that time she looked around and she had forgotten all about Joey, she was
just touching the painting with her fingers and knowing how happy her Mom
was going to be. He stood there with a smile on his face.
he said, "seems like your trip was well worth while". He
tipped his hat and said "it was nice meeting you" and started to
spoke and said, "when will you be riding the bulls"? He
smiled and turned around and said, "tomorrow". "Can I
come and watch"? she asked, "After all, we have made
a special memory here and you were a great big help".
was a smile all over his face. "Iíd love it", he said
"and then if you want, weíll go and see if we can find your
Grand Father, you see part of my family still lives on the
reservation and Iíll take you there. I can tell you right now I donít
think there is anyone there with the name
, not very
many people left there at all. Just the ones that donít want to
change their tradition. But Iíll be glad to take you there".
The next day couldnít come fast enough for
Marie, she didnít sleep at all. The sun came up early and she rose up
and got dressed to go and see Joey ride or rope the bulls, what ever
her surprise it was very exciting, all the crowds of people and the
cheering and yelling and Joey was right,
he was good and he won the prize. That was the biggest bull she had
ever seen but Joey sat straight and proud and looked right at her.
was hot and sweaty and still looked great. He came over, tipped his
hat and handed her the ribbon and said "here, this will help you
remember this day".
smiled and thought, like Iíd ever forget this time in my life or this
day. As he reached it to her and their hands touched, she thought
for a moment, is this what my Grand Mother felt when her man touched her
hand, was it love at first sight, was it something meant to be, was she
supposed to come here and meet Joey, Was history repeating it self?
looked at her and his dark brown eyes lit up and he said, "I need to
go and freshen up and Iíll take you out to the reservation".
It couldnít be too soon for her, she had two kinds of excitement going
was talking a shower and getting dressed and he was thinking about her
hand and her face and he couldnít get it out of his head. He
thought, its only been 24 hours, how could you feel this way about someone
in such a short time, but he wasnít going to argue with fate.
picked up Marie and off they went. He tried to tell her not to get
excited because he was pretty sure her Grand father wasnít there.
But the look in her eyes, he sure hoped the old man was there for her.
pulled into the reservation site, it was dry and dusty and there were
still teepeeís around but mostly there were small buildings that had
been built by the government to house the Indians that didnít want to
they entered the reservation Joey saw a very old man sitting and he
thought the best person to ask would be him. He didnít know who he
was and had not seen him out before. It had been awhile since he had
been there. He thought he knew everyone but this one man he had not
seen. Sometimes the older oneís didnít come out or sit on the
outside. He noticed some of the other men and women on the
reservation stood around and talked among themselves as they got out of
the truck. When they started to talk to the old Indian man they sat
down around him and listened to every word that was spoken.
talked to him in his own language. As Joey talked to the old Indian
and told him the story. Marie noticed he looked so strange as Joey
spoke. A tear rolled down his cheek and he stared at her, never took
his eyes off of her. Then he spoke with a sadness in his voice. Maria
couldnít understand but then Joey turned to her with a sad look and
explained to her what he said, that the young man had gone on many years
ago. As the Indian man talked he rose to his feet slowly and left to
go inside of his teepee, many others followed after him and no one was
allowed inside. He laid down and fell asleep to go to his fathers.
of the young men came out, and told them how he had said he had seen it in
the clouds four moons back, a child floating on the wind and coming to
him, he had been sitting for days in the same spot and said when his child
returned he could have rest
and now he was gone.
cried but she could not go to him, it was a resting place and no one was
felt so lost, he wanted to hold her, he moved closer and she laid her
head on his shoulder. She then pulled away and said ďIím
sorry, itís just so sad to lose a part of you
that you never met, he was my Grandfather and Iím sad yet I feel
now my life is complete also. I
would have loved to have known him better, to hear of the stories of his
life. They must have been loving people to give up their child for a
please take me back to town and weíll talk later, right now I need to be
alone and just think for while, this is something I had not
understood, so he drove her back to town. They said nothing till he pulled
up in front of the hotel. "Hereís
my number, call me later" he said "and Iíll take you out for a
bite to eat". Marie smile a weak smile and said "okay".
As Joey drove off he looked back and as he did, she looked at him and he
knew something was going come out of this, it wasnít just a meeting by
chance it was a meeting that was meant to be.
© By Harriett Dash 2004