Saturday, January 8, 2011
Merle Thunder Hawk
I could not have asked for a better older brother than Merle. Merle, as the eldest male child, had the privilege of spending a part of his early childhood with my grandfather and grandmother in their home along the Little White river in the Grass Mountain community. That experience immersed him, quite early, into the traditional Lakhota culture and gave him a unique insight that later inspired the artwork that he created as an adult.
When he returned home, after his time with my grandparents, I relied on Merle to lead the way on the path through a wonderful childhood that we shared together growing up on the Rosebud Sioux Indian reservation in South Dakota. When our family left the reservation for Dallas, Texas, in the mid-sixties, he helped me to adjust to the bewildering demands of city life.
Now, he has led the way for me again by consecrating another path that waits for me, too, and I know that I will be able to rely on him there as well. Gathered together in the warmth and glow of the reflections cast by our memories of Merle, this particular occasion now is another blessing and a gift that he has offered for each of us to share with each other.