“The Rain Dance”
It was April 1, 1965. I remember it well. I was in my first chow line at Lackland AFB Texas. Yup, day one April Fool’s Day, my first day of training. I wasn’t always so inept; you would have thought maybe I would have looked at the calendar before signing up. Oh well, back to the chow line. The morning had been ominous with the dark clouds hanging over the base. Someone mentioned they wished it would start raining, so we could go inside. Being ¼ part Cherokee, I called on my ancestors through a rain dance. I began to jump around and hoot and holler. Everyone thought it was funny and that just fueled my fire.
All of a sudden I felt a tap on my shoulder. A rough looking Sergeant asked, “Are you a clown, airman?”
“No, sir,” I responded.
“Well you look like a clown. I think you are a clown. Tell everyone you’re a clown.”
I stood there not just sure of the correct response.
“I’m waiting airman. Tell everyone you’re a clown.”
“I’m a clown, sir,” I said.
“I– can’t—hear– you,“ the sergeant said.
“I’M A CLOWN,” I couldn’t believe what was happening.
“Do your dance and tell everyone you’re a clown, airman.”
I danced and yelled “I’M A CLOWN, I’M A CLOWN.”
It was then that one of my ancestors spit on him, and we all ran for cover. Oh happy day.