" 47 1/2 MINUTES IN WHITECLAY: 10/30/2015".... just another stop by to pick up mail at Whiteclay grocery. Here's the breakdown -
11:32 am - entered the store
11:34 - got mail, walking out to truck, hear commotion across the street. A drunken Lakota woman is crawling on hands and knees to the center of the busy road/State Hwy 87, guys drinking on side of road yell out 'just run her over', repeatedly, laughing
11:35 - her friend/partner struggles to get her up and with a little help drag her back to the gutter.... back on hands and knees she crawls back to centerline of road, cars barely miss her, beeping horns, temporary delays...
11:36 - again, she is helped back to the gutter, and again, she crawls back out into the street...
11:37 - several bystanders manage to get her a few feet off the road completely and onto the sidewalk, one friend stays with her, consoling her and holding her tight preventing another desperate crawl, I call 911 to get her help and am informed they had just received a call right before mine.... so I wait across the street for 20 minutes... no help arrives
11:39 - the 'crawler' moves down the street, collapses on the porch of a building
11:54 - she comes to and starts to crawl back onto the street, she is crying out, 'just get me a knife so I can kill myself' (repeatedly)... it takes myself and 2 big, strong Lakota men to get her up out of the gutter and back up onto the porch, again a friend stays with her to keep her safe, she continues to cry out, 'just let me kill myself''.... I quickly drive home to check on my wife who is sick... I promise to come back in 15 minutes to check on situation
12:15 pm - I return to scene, talk with her friend who says that a deputy drove through town but didn't stop to check on her
12:17 - I drive through town and see her standing up, leaning against a beer store... she has given up, doesn't want help... waits for the next beer, and 'death goes on'.... in Whiteclay
12:20 - I return home and pray.
Atypical circumstance in Whiteclay? Not by a long shot. This type of thing happens all the time....
What I didn't mention was that while I waiting for an ambulance, deputy, somebody to help I was witness (and participant) in a couple of other local street scene 'dramas'.
A car drives into the Whiteclay grocery store parking lot, parks 15 feet away from me. Four women and a man (all Lakota) get out. The oldest woman (60'ish) is drunk and begins yelling at the others, "give me back my money, give me back my money..." They respond, 'we're getting food'... the Lakota elder runs over to me and asks me to hold onto her wad of cash - about $200 in 50's and 20's. "keep it for me, they'll steal it.." in about 5 minutes the others come out of the store with a tube of ground beef and a couple bags. They get in the car. Yelling starts up again... and the elder starts punching the driver... they speed off. "Granny" (her street name) Elder takes her cash and heads down the street.....
then, a couple of minutes later.... one of the "Risen Warriors" (Lakota regulars on the street) who has been drinking across the street comes walking over... I know the man well. He has a sweet 'spirit' when he is sober, when not, he can easily become argumentative and physically threatening. We talk a few minutes and when he begins to fall back into his usual rant and gets agitated, I speak to his Spirit, the one that God, His Creator, gave him. The one that is always there, pushed down by the 'spirits' that torment him. He immediately calms down - a supernatural peace, literally, comes over him and takes control.... we communicate, peacefully and lovingly, for a minute... it is good. He extends his hand, smiles and heads down the road... 'til next we meet.
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS EVERYDAY on the street in Whiteclay. People continue to suffer, physically and emotionally. Please keep praying... it truly is making a difference. THINGS ARE BEGINNING TO CHANGE... Read the accompanying article when you've got a few more minutes.... and pray that God's will is done - that 'good men and good women' will no longer turn a deaf ear and look away... THANK YOU VERY MUCH.