Jim and I were a mere 15 miles away from the Crazy Horse Memorial when we visited Mount Rushmore and yet we didn’t plan ahead, didn’t discuss visiting this tribute to the Lakota Indians, to all the Indian tribes that have lived and still live in the Black Hills of South Dakota
and beyond. Don’t ask me why. Neither Jim nor I want to go there again. Suffice it to say, I have no pictures, no memories and no story to tell. All I have is the voice of experience,
which as I mentioned earlier is stuck like a broken record right now on the refrain coulda, shoulda, woulda! Fortunately you won't have to sing the same sad song when your turn comes around once I get through belting out a few bars of my ballad.
It’s a proud piece of work initiated by Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear in 1939 and sculpted by Polish-American designer and sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski without federal or state funds (he twice turned down grants totaling $10 million) or interference. When Ziolkowski died in 1982, some thought his one man monument would die with him, but in the years since, his widow and seven of his ten children have dedicated their lives to the completion of Korczak’s monument, including the onsite Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Cultural Center. His work has not been without controversy from the Native American community.
Some feel the monument is as much an environmental and spiritual violation of the Native lands as was Borglum’s work on Mount Rushmore. Some say Chief Henry Standing Bear’s decision to go forth with his monument lacked the family consensus culture dictates. And then there’s the money, millions of private donations benefiting not only the Crazy Horse Memorial but the Ziolkowski family as well.
I ‘shoulda’ done my homework, shoulda planned better. I shoulda used more sun screen too; exercised daily; eaten less red meat and more vegetables. I certainly ‘shoulda’ invested every
penny I had in Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway stock too. I'd be sitting as pretty as Crazy Horse.
I ‘woulda’ then had the means to temper my regret for my latest didn’t into one sweet memorable did!