400 years ago this November — whatever you feel about it — there occurred the event that is traditionally known in America as the “First Thanksgiving.” (1621, right? The Pilgrims had only just gotten off the boat in 1620. There was no harvest to celebrate until a year later). Many in America have taken to referring to this holiday as the National Day of Mourning. But it is a day of significance whether you choose to celebrate or rue it. As a descendant of several of the folks who started all this ruckus, I’ve spent the last five years researching and writing, trying to wrap my arms around our current dark period in history and how we got here, and what place me and mine have in the scheme of it all. Surprising things came out of the process, some of it seemingly tangential, but only deceptively so. It’s frequently funny, sometimes shocking (don’t say I didn’t warn ya), and deeply historical (don’t say I didn’t warn ya about that, either.)
I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be presenting the premium sections as a stand-alone solo piece in Frigid New York’s Storytelling Festival this November 11 and 13. I’ll be performing it live at the Kraine theatre (to a vaxed, masked, and socially distanced audience, you bet) and it will also be live-streamed for your home delectation. It’s called The Pilgrim’s Progess (some of you who have been following the evolution of the project over the years may recall that at a certain point I was calling it Son of Paleface.)
In conjunction with the show, I will also be posting what I call my “Appendix” — numerous essays and audio pieces that illuminate aspects of the story I will tell in the main show, mostly revolving around the topic of Euro and Native American relations, pop culture, and my own family over the past four centuries. I am endeavoring to have that additional material online here on Travalanche by November 1, at the beginning of Native American History Month. And as dessert, I’ll be adding one additional piece to the mix on November 25 (that fraught, contentious day, but whatever I drop that day is likely to be funny and fluffy).
But mostly, I really, really hope you can attend or tune in to that show on either the November 11 and 13, which I believe to contain some of my best and most honest writing, without neglecting what we in vaudeville call “the Wow Factor”. It would mean more than I can say to have you there. It’s pretty much my life’s work. Also tickets are on a sliding scale — it’s Pay-What-You-Can. Tickets and info here.