Driving fast, slow and hard on the Rez

Lately I have been getting passed by speeding cars, no matter the road. The speed limit on the Rez is above the norm, say from about 15 years ago.

Right now I’m driving a classic Rez beast — a 1986’ E-350 van. It’s 34 years old with New Mexico plates. I call the van Moby Dick cause it’s so old.

You know, after the whale and of the course the famous novel from like the 19th century. I imagine I’m Captain Ahab—it’s a long whale story but I digress. My Moby Dick must look like a visitor waiting for the powwow to start.

New Mexico is pretty relaxed place you know. Like, mañana means tomorrow in Spanish. It’s kind of a mañana culture. Put off today what you can do tomorrow. Been living there for a few years — you really learn to relax more naturally of course if you can live at an altitude of 8000 feet in my mountain community.

I find coming home to the east coast and these large cities — I can’t help but wonder why or where everyone is going so fast.  It makes me laugh really. Everyone is jetting around going to take the kids to practice or picking up someone to go shopping, and going to work of course.

Anyways, I either slow down to allow them to pass or actually pull over and let them pass. Many drivers seemed stressed and or angry at you for being in their way. Of course, I have no idea cause you never have anyone like say anything bad to you as they pass, but sometimes they speak with the roar of their speed when they go by or how hard they might cut back into your lane. There are always ways to express your feelings driving a car. I feel you! I hear you!

Here down the bush people seem to respect my New Mexico plates. They’re probably thinking, “oh there are lots of Indians down there and it’s probably a powwow family!” But out in Toronto or Burlington — I might as well be Donald Trump in the flesh with my American plates. They want to pass you and beat you down. Even so, you still get those curious looks like ‘wow, you drove far’ with a thumbs up.

I really do hate being in the way. I’m one of those drivers who looks in the rearview mirror as much as going ahead but can drive badly with the best of them — texting and radio station finding going on.

I couldn’t help from thinking why has the speed picked up on our locals roads here on New Credit and Six Nations.

Our roads get real crowded on Friday nights especially in the summer when we’ve got maybe a playoff lacrosse game, a ball tournament, the roar of Ohsweken Speedway. And our nightly jackpot bingo. Now with the upcoming 40th anniversary powwow and ancillary events the roads will be packed! We never planned for this much traffic.

But that’s alright we need to keep our over 50 gas stations with two new ones about to open up, busy. We need to burn a lot of fuel to keep our local economy going.

Attending this weeks speedway events to watch my lil’ buddy run in the crate class of racers—ones with the wings that go up to about 105 mph in this week’s program at Ohsweken Speedway. Which by the way, has gone national on a live broadcast of events starting at 9 pm EST on MAV-TV. You can watch the preliminary rounds on www.ohswekenspeedway.ca and is probably one of  the most extraordinary events that takes place down here on the Rez.

I was not a race fan till i went to Ohsweken Speedway. It’s the best event for $10 every Friday night. If you haven’t yet checked it out — sit in the grandstands one time and hang on tight. One of the most fascinating facts is that the fastest class of winged warriors ripping around the oval travel up to 120 miles an hour around the 1/3 mile flinging mud everywhere. The kings of our track are Six Nations women they appear fearless to me.

What amazes me is the team work and sub culture of mechanics, drivers and builders of these cars and their modifications to the racing rules. Like there are a couple hundred of our people deeply involved in this fledgling Rez industry. The driving and the mechanics of the set up to adjust to track conditions and the power house families in our community who are involved both on a hobby level and a commitment to a professional national circuit championship is amazing. The investment of time, energy and resources is somewhat mind boggling but amazing to witness any Friday night at the races.

Enjoy your summer time — when the living is easy.

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