Heroine Interview from A Sky Without Stars by Linda Clare

» Posted on Feb 14, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on Heroine Interview from A Sky Without Stars by Linda Clare

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!

This week I’m hosting Marta Perry with Susanna’s Dream, Veronica Heley with False Diamond (pdf file for giveaway) and Linda Clare with A Sky Without Stars. If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (Feb. 16th) evening.

A Sky Without StarsInterview with the heroine, Frankie Chasing Bear, of A Sky Without Stars by Linda Clare:

1. Frankie Chasing Bear, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

I am Lakota Sioux, originally from the Pine Ridge, South Dakota Indian Reservation. I came to Phoenix, Arizona due to the Federal Relocation Program, which promised Indians training and good jobs if they would relocate to major cities. In the early 1950s, the federal government was looking for ways to cut down on payments to Indians on reservations. Unfortunately, the program wasn’t successful for most Indian participants—including Hank, my late husband and father to our son Harold. After Hank’s death, we were stranded in Arizona.

 2. What do you do for fun?

I work on quilts. Presently I am finishing a Lakota Star quilt for my son Harold. In Lakota culture, we use these quilts as treasured gifts in naming ceremonies, marriages and other ceremonies. Recipients think of their quilts as expressions of love from their tribe. I want Harold to understand his Native heritage and this quilt will wrap him in Lakota ways, lore and history.

3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?

I keep putting off doing maintenance on our old pickup truck. Seems like I can’t say no to quilting supplies and fabrics.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

I’m afraid Harold won’t get the education he’ll need to overcome the poverty, ignorance and addiction so prevalent in reservation life.

5. What do you want out of life?

I also want to further my education so that I can support my son and make something of myself. I’m pretty smart, but I know education is the key to getting ahead in life.

6. What is the most important thing to you?

The most important thing to me is to teach my son how to stand in two worlds: the American world of the white man as well as the Native world. One way we do this is to accept a God who is bigger than whites or natives, a God who sees past our shortcomings and offers forgiveness and grace. Sometimes this faith gets me into trouble with other Indians, but I honor Grandmother, who stood in two worlds and showed me how to have faith in God. The Lakota Star pattern is important to our heritage, but at the same it is also called Star of Bethlehem.

7. Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?

(Laughs) Harold is making a reader out of me! He loves to read and the bookmobile that comes to our neighborhood is the highlight of Harold’s week. He even knows the librarian by name! Mr. Ashley lets Harold check out as many book as he can carry. Right now, he’s finishing up the classic novel, The Robe.

8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Lakota women are traditionally very soft-spoken and we tend to talk from behind our hands. In modern society, this isn’t helpful, so I’m trying to break the habit of speaking while a hand hovers in front of my mouth.

9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

We can barely feed ourselves, so we don’t have a pet just yet. If we did, we’d have a dog with long legs so Harold could run with him. Harold’s a top notch sprinter.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I’d visit our people before the white man came, to see how peaceful and beautiful our way of life was at one time. Grandmother used to tell me stories of how the plains teemed with plant and animal life and everything we needed for a simple but meaningful life. Grandmother told me of this life, and its symbols are preserved in the Lakota Star pattern. The rays of the sun can also symbolize the feathers of the chief’s bonnet or even the rays of the Star, which hovered over Christ’s birthplace in the stable long ago.