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Victor Swallow: She didn't have much but she made Kool-Aid for us

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: native sun news, oglala sioux, south dakota, victor swallow

A tree in Custer, South Dakota. Photo: See Jane Travel

She didn’t have much, but she made Kool-Aid for us
By Victor D. Swallow
Native Sun News Today Columnist

I’m thankful for this opportunity to tell these stories that I remember and so grateful that my mother was willing to pass down these stories to me.

I have been getting emails from various readers telling me thanks for writing in while others want more information. I truly appreciate the interest in these stories which all happened during a time where people were good hearted, simple, hard-working, and easy accepting of their current situation.

Some of us elders are crabby, grumbly and have become judgmental maybe because growing up we didn’t have the luxuries of indoor plumbing and other fancy electronics that are available today. We elders are now living in a fast-paced ever changing society that we don’t completely understand and that makes us more confused and helpless, but that is reality for us elders.

I try real hard to remember the good times and different happenings that made an impact on me. The following story is back when life was simple and when acts of kindness were the norm.

Around 1950 my father started going with our family to different celebrations starting with the Gold Discovery Days in Custer. About that time a family from Oglala came to our house in a team and wagon. I remember other people had team and wagons for hauling wood and plowing gardens while they were using there’s for traveling.

They were headed for Custer which was about 80 miles from Oglala; their names Asa and Lizzie Walks Out. My mother knew them and while they stopped for a break she fed them. A few days later we drove to Custer my dad went to the Rodeo and us kids went to the carnival.

After a while we went to a hill over-looking the rodeo grounds. My mother was there visiting with Lizzie Walks Out and she had a daughter about my age. She told her daughter to go get some cold water and make Kool-Aid for these folks. I remember it was orange Kool-Aid.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: She didn’t have much, but she made Kool-Aid for us

(Victor D. Swallow was born in 1939, Oglala Lakota, U. S. Navy Veteran, 50 year member of Bricklayers Union, Optimistic realist and fair. Victor can be reached at his daughter’s email address at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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