We finally arrived at our destination. I was breathless. My eyes and ears were taking in all the joyful sights and sounds of the carnival-type festivities. The various food smells were heavenly, and people shared willingly with one another. There was food in cups, food on plates, food on sticks, and all kinds of dips to stuff it all into. People spread colorful blankets everywhere for covering, sitting, and even just decorating. Among the craft tents, young and old alike were beading necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Others were weaving things of beauty to wear or display. It was the colors that dazzled my child eyes more than what their hands were making. There were many displays of different types of rocks of all colors and shapes. I even saw fossils of dinosaurs and petrified trees. I had never seen so many things in one place.
But it was the depth of compassion in the eyes of the quiet Native American merchants that seemed to float into my soul—especially the eyes of the old women. I can close my eyes and recall the smells of sage and sweet-grass, and the sight of the many textures of silver, turquoise, and leather on display in open booths.
There was one old woman in particular whose eyes seemed to penetrate right into me with beams of warmth and wisdom. Her gaze somehow seemed to weave something protective around my spirit. I still feel that warmth when I think of her.
For several days, I had a glorious time. One night, a Native American tribe did a rain dance while dressed in their traditional clothes. Later that night it rained. I was so impacted by the power I believe emanated from that dance, that I think I became a believer in the strength of prayer and willful intention that very night.
Doc drank beer constantly, except when he was passed out. Toward the end of our stay, he seemed to get drunk and pass out more often. One night, as I lay in my twin bed in the tiny camper, he called to me.
He said, quite pleasantly at first, “Come and get into bed with me, Honey.” I was an extremely affectionate child at that time, but remember feeling such foreboding in my stomach that I didn’t want to answer him and pretended to be asleep. His beckoning became more intense each time that he called me, until finally, losing patience, he said, “God damn it, Dawn, I said get over here now.” By the tone of his voice, I knew that I had to go or he would hurt me. To be continued…..
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Ragdoll Redeemed: Growing up in the Shadow of Marilyn Monroe at www.Amazon.com