I visited Shipshewana, Indiana, on Tuesday to specifically be there when the flea market was open. On my previous visit, not only was it raining but I missed the flea market by a day. The flea market has little of the flavor the local shop owners pervade, however, as flea markets go it is excellent! It was a very hot, sunny day and I only made it three quarters of the way through before I was just worn down. I got my truck from the flea market parking lot, drove over to the restaurant and had a very nice late lunch.
Returning to my truck I saw the “It’s A Masterpiece” shop across the street. I had enjoyed swopping stories with the son of the artist, and hoped to see him again. I got another treat this time, I got to meet the artist, Mary Master.
As with her son we talked about her husband’s Alzheimer’s, and the heavy burden this terrible disease puts upon the victim’s families. And the incredible sadness it brings.
She looked younger than I imagined, but time and worry was still etched upon her face. She had a wonderful smile, and so unjudgmental, as her son had been, when we spoke about our cultures and the differences. Kevin had told me about “the trail of death” and she and I spoke about the local controversy regarding renaming the Goshen High School from “Red Skins” to something more ethnically sensitive.
She asked if I knew what “Red Skins” really meant, and I said “No.” She said it refers to a time when the government offered a bounty for Indian Scalps. The Scalps of men, women and children would still be bloody when the whites took them in to collect their bounty, hence the term “Red Skins.”
The mental image was so appalling, and all I could say was, “I’m sorry, never knew.”