Caitlin Clark, Rez Ball, and the Pros

Caitlin Clark will play her first pro basketball game tonight for the Indiana Fever of the Women’s National Basketball Association. In her four years at the University of Iowa she had already broken records and helped create a storm of interest in the women’s game. And she already has endorsements—now legal for college player—which make her a millionaire, but her starting salary as a WNBA rookie number one draft pick is set at $76,000.

This—and the millions of dollars that the men receive as rookies, and the hundreds of millions they receive as stars—is cause for conversation in the world of women’s sports. So too is the fact that Caitlin Clark is white in a game of African-American stars. The press is comparing this to the coming of Larry Bird—another white Midwesterner—into men’s professional basketball more than four decades ago. Bird and his rivalry and friendship with Magic Johnson vaulted professional basketball into the mainstream of men’s professional sports. Until then the NBA was an afterthought to major league baseball and football. Some see Caitlin Clark doing the same for the women’s game.Read Rich’s Post →

A Good Wallowa County New Year’s Story

About twenty years ago, a group of us started swimming at the foot of Wallowa Lake in June. We swam almost every day, some with wet suits, some bare-skinned. I was always the slowest swimmer in the group, and my distances didn’t match those of my friends. But I was relentless, and soon gave up the wobbly wet suit and still get in over 60 days of summer swims each year!Read Rich’s Post →

Lillian Bounds Disney–Lapwai, Idaho

I recently had a fascinating discussion with Steven Branting, Institutional Historian at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. As a result, he sent this wonderful photo of Lillian Bounds Disney as a member of the Ft. Lapwai Rural High School basketball team. He says the following:

“Date: 1916-1917 is listed in some credits, but the ball seems to say “1914, when Lillian was a sophomore. Two other girls in the photo graduated in the class of 1917 with Lillian, who is standing on the far left.”Read Rich’s Post →

more on co-management with tribes

I received a response to my blog post about Deb Haaland and cooperative management of government lands. The writer was Roger Amerman, currently “USFS Native American Outreach and Recruitment Specialist” on the Clearwater and Nez Perce National Forests.

Roger is enrolled Choctaw, but married to a Nez Perce woman and living on the Nez Perce Reservation. He tells me that in his (Choctaw) culture, children are raised in the culture of the mother. Roger is dutifully raising their son a Nez Perce man.Read Rich’s Post →

December 2022

How could my 80th year have been so good when the world went reeling with craziness and self-destruction? Do I need to list the events? The famines, droughts, floods, fires– volcanoes! And then, in the words of that old Kingston Trio song from the 50s, the human-caused tragedies.

“They’re rioting in Africa, there’s strife in Iran/ What nature doesn’t do to us/ Will be done by our fellow man.” Read Rich’s Post →

Indigenous Peoples Day, General Howard and the Mountain

Columbus Day has not been an important holiday in my life. Maybe we got out of school. Maybe friends of Italian ancestry celebrated—and I laughed or applauded. Even now, as I think about all the negative things we have learned about Columbus, and think about the nation-wide effort that has made this day “Indigenous Peoples Day,” I have a soft spot for the descendants of Italian immigrants. They have often been mistreated by immigrants who came on earlier boats. And Italians were Catholics—the Republic, formed on lands stolen from Native tribes, was built by Enlightenment free thinkers, deists, and some from various Protestant denominations. Christianity was not written into our founding documents, and Catholics were a further minority from the outset.Read Rich’s Post →