Mark Little Owl

Nov 11, 2015

All text and audio copyright, 2015 by the Native American Development Center ©

Mark Little Owl: My name is Mark Charles Little Owl. I am from the Three Affiliated Tribes, the Mandan, the Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation on the Fort Berthold Reservation. I am from the Twin Buttes segment, home of the Mandan or the Nuweta people. My Indian name in English is The Last One. I don't know how to say it in Mandan. I don't want to mess it up. I currently live in Bismarck, North Dakota in the Bismarck Mandan area. I've been back now for about a couple of years.

                        I have four children, four boys. Gabriel is 17. Silas is 11. Phillip is nine. My little guy Lazarus, he's six years old. I have all boys. Actually, I grew up here in Bismarck from preschool to sixth grade. Then, half of my sixth grade I went back to New Town to live on the reservation from sixth grade to my senior year in high school. Halfway though my senior year I moved back to Bismarck and graduated from Bismarck High School in 1997.

                        I worked for a few years and I went to college at the University Of North Dakota. Before that, I went about a year and a half at United Tribes Technical College. My major was small business management. Getting my generals out of the way, I was able to transfer to Grand Forks at UND. I went to school there and got a bachelor's degree in social work and continued on for two more years to get a master's degree in social work. That is my alumni, is UND.

                        After graduating from college, one of my dreams or goals was always to get educated or get an education and come back and help my tribe or my people in some way. I was able to work for a clinic. At the time, it was called the Minne-Tohe Health Center in New Town. I worked as our behavior health director for our tribe for a little over three years. My last year we actually got moved into the brand new building, the Elbowoods Memorial Health Center.

                        I was working there. It was a really good job. As the director of behavioral health, it was helping the department with getting staff, and creating policy procedures, and just getting it started. There was always was a behavioral health unit, but it was maybe one or two people. We were trying to get it a lot bigger and get it going.

                        From there, I actually went to work at Spirit Lake Fort Totten Reservation in Spirit Lake Nation as the director of social services over there for almost a year. I guess political things, personal things were happening. I ended up leaving there and coming back to Bismarck here and that was about a couple years ago. I worked at the Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation. I worked with Tracy Potter. I helped him with him Mandan library some of his research. I did some part time stuff there.

                        I eventually started working at the MHA Nation Satellite Office here in Bismarck. It's the tribe's outreach satellite office here. I was working underneath the Twin Buttes segment representative councilman Barry Benson at the time. With the new election this past November, I actually was appointed as acting director for the satellite office in November. Since then to presently or currently now I have been the acting director of the Bismarck Satellite Office. 

Lorraine Davis:  Thanks Mark. Now, just share with us a little bit about where you grew up. First, in your childhood you said Fort Berthold and then what that experience was like leading up to your teenage years and through to your adolescent years.

Little Owl:       Like I said, I was born in Hazen, North Dakota. My mom and dad lived in Twin Buttes, North Dakota on the reservation, which is our south segment of the reservation, probably the smallest segment of our reservation out of the six segments. I lived there until I was about four years old. My dad was a council member back in '78, '79, '80, and '81. He served on the Twin Buttes Council.

                        His name was Willard Little Owl Senior and my mom was Mary Young Eagle Little Owl. She was from the Cannon Ball Standing Rock Reservation. My grandfather is Ralph Little Owl. My grandma was Claire Grinnell and my great grandmother was Mattie Grinnell. She was the last full-blooded Mandan that was alive. She's in the Heritage Center in the capital. I like to think I come from good stock. That's my family, my father, and grandparents, and my mom.

                        I lived in Twin Buttes until I was about four years old. Unfortunately, my father had passed away when I was four years old. My mom, she was from Cannon Ball so she decided to put up residency here in Mandan, North Dakota. Unfortunately, she took the loss of our father, her husband, pretty difficult. Unfortunately, she turned to drinking, alcoholism, and stuff for coping. She was a young mom in her mid-30s, late 30s of five children.

                        It was tough on her. We had different aunties and uncles helping my mother watch us. Unfortunately, we had gotten removed from my mom through social services or child protection. We were removed. I am the youngest of the five. I have three older brothers and one older sister. I remember quite vividly having the police show up and having these white, I guess. I was four.

                        I had never really seen a white person that I can remember, besides the grocery store man in Twin Buttes or in Halliday. I lived out in the country. I will never forget this social worker guy. He had red hair, red beard, and glasses. He was really white. He was like, "Come on little guy. Come on now." All of us were running around screaming, fighting because we had strangers in our home.

                        We didn't know they were the police or we didn't know they were social workers removing us from my mom's home. It was a three bedroom apartment. They took us. They took me and my sister into one foster home, my brother, Wade, to another foster home and my older brothers, Milton and Willard Junior, to another foster home. We all got split up in three different foster homes.

                        That was just living in the reservation until I was four years old, just a few memories here and there, not too much. Moving here to the Bismarck Mandan area was rude welcoming I guess you could say, from what I can remember. I'd been taken away from my mom and put into foster care. Unfortunately after, my mom did pass away when I was seven due to a car accident. Unfortunately, it involved drinking and things like that. She passed away when I was seven.

                        To lose my father at four and to lose my mom at seven was really tragic. For a little boy, I was at a loss and didn't really know what to do or who was going to take care of us. My dad's older sister, Lois Little Owl, she lived here in Bismarck and she took us all in. She wanted all of us to be together. We had a lot of family who wanted to take care of us.

                        It was like I can take my sister and my brother or I can take the oldest, but they all wanted us to live separate lives. My aunt was pretty adamant about having us all live together and being raised together. That's another story with my aunt because she was really old school. She grew up in the boarding school days. She was really strict. We had to start doing chores at a very young age and we had to listen or else we were disciplined.

                        Like I said, she was from back in the day when spanking was, I don't know if it was legal, but it happened a lot, belts, fly, swatters, whatever was close. If we misbehaved or weren't listening or being disrespectful, you sure got spanked. At a young age, I learned right away to listen and to be respectful of the things that she taught us to do. Then, different aunties got after us.

                        We had a few uncles get after us verbally and physically like spanking or maybe a belt, or something once in a great while, more or less to intimidate. You learned to respect your elders right away. Someone tells us to do something, you do it right away. Growing up here in Bismarck until sixth grade, most of my friends were nonnative. They were white and stuff.

                        I know sometimes I could see myself as, being different in color, treated differently I thought by many different classmates. Or maybe by teachers I thought. I was picked on more. I would have friends who goofed off a lot in school and they would never get in trouble. If I tried to goof off or say something, I always got disciplined or sent to the principal's office or I had to have a conference with my aunt and the teacher and stuff like that.

                        Then when we played sometimes we ran into kids that weren't nice or kids we didn't like or they didn't like us. We would get called names, but when it came to me they would call me furry nigger or something. I was like, "Furry nigger? I'm not black!" In the summertime, I get really dark, but that's when I first heard those names. We ran into, at a young age, some older college kids or young men that were nonnative who were drinking would see us.

                        Our family would be riding bikes or raising heck or whatever and they would call us Paiute. To them, they thought that was insulting, but there was a Paiute tribe down south or southwest. They were trying to insult us and call us names and they were calling us Paiute, but we're not Paiute. We're Three Affiliated. That happened throughout growing up here in Bismarck, they talk about racism more, and being treated differently and stuff like that as a kid.

                        My aunt was really against that. She always really spoke up if she ever saw that stuff happen. When we were in school or out in public, she would really stand up against that. She would really get upset. After sixth grade, I ended up moving back to the reservation, not Twin Buttes, but to New Town. I lived with an aunt and uncle, Delban Driver Senior and his wife, Kay, and their children when I was in sixth grade, half my sixth grade year.

                        Initially, they were like foster parents, but they were relatives of mine down the line. I took them in as aunt and uncle. Eventually, I ended up calling them mom and dad because I lived with them for so long. I got to ride horse. We lived 20 miles south of New Town, really out in the country. We didn't have a phone. We had a TV, but we had a few channels. On good days, we might have two or three channels.

                        We had to haul our water in a water truck, our old pickup truck. We had to haul water. We had to be really conserving of our water. Of course, we still took showers and everything, but we had to not be wasteful and stuff like that. We had horses. Delban had horses and cows. We would do the chores, like feeding the horses, feeding the cows, branding. We'd go hunting a lot, fishing a lot. I learned a lot of the country. I loved horses, loved to ride horses.

                        In my high school time in New Town, I was actually on the high school rodeo team. We were bull riding and we actually rode bulls, normal bulls like in rodeos today. They weren't as good, but some of them looked pretty scary with their horns and their humps. For a couple years, I did that. I was a bull rider in high school rodeo. Not too many people know that about me, but I did that. I did end up getting hurt in Dickinson one year.

                        That ended my early career in bull riding. I still practice with our friends and with different cows and bulls and bucking machines, but I never went after that because I got into my senior year in high school. Of course, back home was more accepting. We were the majority. We had a few nonnatives that went to school there and I didn't treat them any different. They were a lot of rancher's and farmer's and stuff kids. I got along great with everybody.

                        Color wasn't a really big thing to me or whatever. Definitely coming back to Bismarck after high school, I graduated in Bismarck here. My senior year in New Town I left to come back to Bismarck. Half of my senior year was over with, but I came back to Bismarck and I graduated from Bismarck High School, from BHS, in 1997. Since when I graduated high school I lived in seven different foster homes from when my parents passed away.

                        From when we were taken and moved and put into foster care until I graduated, I counted it a number of times, but seven different foster homes before graduating high school. That's what I think of my younger years or adolescent years or elementary, high school times. It gave me that passion to go into social work because I thought it would be great to have. It's still pretty tragic and I still remember that day like it wasn't too long ago.

                        Having this nonnative social worker who had red hair and a red beard, which I'd never seen before in my life, when I was four, I was like, "This is crazy." He was like an alien to me. I was like, "What the heck?" I always remembered growing up, everyone was some color. If it was a Mexican person or if it was an African American or Asian, just somebody minority, somebody with color, it wouldn't have been so scary. It was pretty scary to work with him.

                        Again, this is my mindset as a four year old. I thought it was really scary to get picked up and taken out of a home. Being the youngest and seeing your older siblings running and fighting and crying and screaming at these people, it was really traumatic. That's something I'll never forget. As I got older, I started to realize what was going on. They were Child Protective Services looking out for our best interests because our mom wasn't there to take care of us.

                        At the time, she might have been drinking or left us. My older brother was watching over us at that time. As I've been getting older, I understand that. Of course, being in the profession now, I understand what was going on. It was for our best interests and our well-being because our mom, she was coping, unfortunately, negatively with drinking to cope with the loss of our father, her husband.

                        That's what helped me actually go into social work for college. I really wanted to help people. I wanted to help kids going through something similar throughout my lifetime, growing up K through 12, just the different foster home, the different placements and things like that. I really wanted to help out. That was my passion, to help out not only Native American kids or American Indian kids, but other minority kids as well.

Davis:              You mentioned, talked about family, childhood. What were some of the teachings that were taught? You had exposure to different families. Did you see a lot of different teachings, values?

Little Owl:       I did. Like I said, my aunt, when we were at a younger age, it was really to be respectful to elders and to help, just how to act. If elders come, give your chair, give your seat, give them water. Don't ask. Just give it to them or give them coffee and try to help them out. My aunt was an older elderly lady and she had a lot of elders come to visit her for church things and stuff. We'd help clean up. She wanted us to just be respectful to make them comfortable here.

                        When they came in, help them with their bags and things like that, help clean up. She also instilled into us about, like I said, at a young age I was doing laundry when I was in first grade. I remember in first grade I was mopping the floor, doing dishes, taking out trash, mowing the lawn at a very young age. These are the things we'd do.

                        We'd clean out our cat box, getting our laundry ready to go into the laundry room or whatever, sorting them out, colors and whites, and things like that. Making our bed, we had to make our bed all the time. This is something I remember in first grade doing pretty regularly. If we didn't do a good job, we had to do the dishes over again. Maybe we were assigned to doing yard work for a few more days.

                        Or, "Okay, you're going to mop the floor for the rest of the week because you're not doing a good job." There were times when I did do that at a young age and I was having to learn that. Now, I have boys of my own. Just telling them, "Take out the trash," or, "Vacuum your room," it's like, "Oh my God, it's going to kill them." They're older now. I remember when I was a young boy. I couldn't talk back. I couldn't complain or else I'd get disciplined after.

                        For my aunt, at a young age she trained me just to do basic cleaning stuff like I do now. I do dishes. I cook and clean. It's no biggie to do laundry. It's always been like that since I was at a young age, first grade, second grade. I know some of my friends nowadays really have a tough time doing dishes. They don't do that because their wife or somebody does it. They think it's crazy that I do all that stuff.

                        I'm like, "Well, doesn't everybody? Doesn't everybody do dishes and clean and take out trash?" I don't know. That's something I'm grateful that my aunt did because it's easy to me. I just do it. It's just something I remember doing as a young kid. My other grandpa, Ralph Woodlaw, he lived to be an older man, a really old elder. He outlived a lot of his children. He had a lot of respect in the community. He was a dancer.

                        He did doctoring to people, helped people, prayed for people. I thought, "Wow, he was my grandfather." I really wanted to make him proud. He would talk to us. He would want to make sure we were doing good and always hear good things that we're doing. I always wanted to be a good boy. I didn't want to ever disappoint him because he was really well-respected. He treated me and my family really well, his grandchildren.

                        I didn't want to do anything to ever hurt his feelings or make him not proud of me. He always helped me to do better in things when I was younger, when he was alive. Also, with Delban Driver that I lived with from sixth grade to my senior year in high school, elementary to high school, elementary, middle, high school. He's a well-known elder that does prayers and stuff for the Hidatsa because he's Hidatsa. He speaks fluent Hidatsa.

                        He does a lot of ceremonies and prays for people too. He was an after care counselor at Circle Of Life for a number of years. We know he was teaching the Hidatsa language at the college up in New Town at Fort Berthold Community College. Very highly respected man, he was an old cowboy, a saddle Bronc rider just like my dad. Right away, I really took him as a father figure as I started getting older. I wanted to make him proud.

                        He was always against drugs and alcohol and stuff like that. To this day, as old as I am, I can honestly say that I've never gotten drunk. I've never gotten buzzed. I've never gotten high with anything, with drugs or alcohol. That was a lot for us growing up. A lot of it, I owe it to Delban Driver Senior. I take him as my father, as a dad. I call him Dad today. I wanted to make him proud.

                        That's something that's really rare among my own family, my relatives, to say that. That's not to say I didn't have other bad habits. I used to eat a lot. I used to like the buffets and Golden Corrals and the China Buffets or whatever. That was my only bad habit before. It was to eat. Those teachings were great. Like I said, I really wanted to make Delban proud. We did sweats and things.

                        He was willing to help people even though he was tired after work or from a long trip he would go on. When people wanted prayer for their families, for whatever reason, I'd go with him to help him carry his things. Sometimes we had to have the coals lighted up for his medicines and stuff like that. I still love that he'd go and help people even though he was dead tired or didn't have much money. He wouldn't ask for anything.

                        People would try to give him stuff and he would just say, "Well, you know, I'll do it for a handshake or a cup of coffee." He didn't really want to set a dollar limit. He'd say, "I'll do it. If a penny is all you can give, I'll do it for a penny or I'll do it for a cup of coffee or a handshake or even a hug," for the older ones.

                        Of course, that's what he would tell people. He never ever advertised what he did. People knew that if they had certain issues, they would go to him and ask him with tobacco and different things, or give him blankets or food. He would go help a lot of families even when he was tired or didn't have much gas money, but he would never tell nobody that.

                        He always seemed to help people or whatever and they would give him food, blankets. Sometimes they'd give him some coffee change or some gas money or whatever. A lot of times it was more than enough, but he said thank you. He never asked for a certain amount. He was really humble that way. I always liked his demeanor. I always wanted to help people too.

                        When I got older I thought maybe in social work it'd be helping families and helping kids and stuff like that and never taking credit for anything, just giving credit away, and always just willing to help all the time, even if you were tired or if you were broke. I just want to help people. That's what I do today. I really am helping people. It makes me feel really good. It's an all natural high for me.

Davis:              That's rewarding, right?

Little Owl:       Rewarding.

Davis:              That's awesome. You mentioned something. Some of the stories I do, it's usually about addiction. Yours is foster care. How did you turn into a man? You had a father figure in your life and that's what helped you, lead you into adulthood and to be successful. Was there somebody that encouraged you to go to college?

Mark:              There was a program called the KC Family Program. They had an office in New Town and they had an office here in Bismarck. I was a KC Family kid. I was in my teenage years. I was 15 when I got into KC Family Program. I got assigned a worker. Her name was Rose Negal. This was when I was back in New Town. She was a relative of mine, as I understand. She was helping me to learn. I had joined the IKP Youth Program. It was the Three Tribe Youth Council.

                        That was through Jared Baker and John Moran and Jason Two Crow. Susan Paulson, she had the peer leadership group. I joined those when I was in high school there. It was all about advocacy against drug or alcohol, peer pressure from adolescents doing, whether it's smoking or drinking or having sex or just stealing. It to help you prepare for that, help you help your other students to be more positive. They brought culture into it too.

                        Delban did a lot of sweats and things like that. They would ask him to do some cultural things with those programs. Those helped out. I don't know how many skits I did or how many plays I did against drinking and smoking and using other drugs. We were even having these kids at a young age, in middle school or high school, doing those skits and stuff. That was fun because we got to travel in the region to do those plays.

                        I was actually fortunate to go to Washington DC a couple times. One time I went with Mike Cross to meet the president of the United States, Bill Clinton. I actually got to be in the White House and shake his hand and take pictures. I got to have Delban Driver Senior come with me as my chaperone or my guest. That was really great to have him come. We got to see the president. We got to shake the hand that shook the world. We got pictures of that too.

                        Through the IKP project through Jared and Charlie and Jason's program, we got to travel to Albuquerque to do some youth conferences, like the Future In Leadership program. We got to go to Traverse, Michigan and do some other conferences. We traveled a lot during middle school and high school for all these different peer leadership programs and stuff like that.

                        Susie Paulson, Jared Baker, John Moran, and Jason Two Crow, and of course my, I call him dad, Delban Driver Senior. There was a big influence in my life to be like him. He was a healthy person and a good person to the community and stuff like that. Then, just making Delban proud, making my aunt proud here in Bismarck, and then thinking of my grandpa, my dad, and parents.

                        I always wanted to do things that if my dad was alive, I hope he'd be proud of me if I did these things or whatever. Now, as I got older and out of high school, my aunt really pushed me to go to college, even though she wasn't happy with me having a child at 19 years old. I wasn't going to be a typical, like some of my family and some of my relatives. The typical stereotype is leaving the mother and you can go off and run.

                        I didn't want to be like that. I wasn't brought up like that. To me, I couldn't. When I seen my son being born and a little baby, I just was like, "He means the world to me." I couldn't see myself not being with him and taking care of him. That's crazy. I don't know how people can do that. I ended up working. Actually, when he was born I got two jobs.

                        One job was at Target doing janitorial work from 10:00 at night to 6:00 in the morning. Then from 11:30 in the morning to 8:00 at night I would do telemarketing, doing sales and stuff to be one of the top sellers to get more money so I could take care of my little guy and his mom. That was for a summer and I worked at this place for four and a half years.

                        I was getting money, paying bills, actually getting money to buy a TV and VCR and stereo and stuff we needed. It was cool because you actually worked for that stuff like furniture. It was really neat to see that. After a while, unfortunately, my oldest son's mom didn't work out. She started to go to drinking and stuff like that. That's how we separated.

                        Me and Gabriel left to go to Grand Forks where I decided to get away from Bismarck and just start a whole new life in Grand Forks. I didn't know anybody. I just knew there was a big university up there that helped out Native Americans a lot, the American Indian students service program. Me, different professors and teachers, there was a gentleman who's a director of the American Indian Student Service Center, Dr. Lee Jeanotte.

                        He was an immediate mentor reminding me very much of Delban Driver Senior. Lee, his staff sure encouraged us. Today, I talk with him all the time. He's a huge mentor for me in my college years at UND. Then I was meeting some other professors that were very influential and, of course, made some really good friends that shared my path. Some of them didn't drink or smoke. Some of them were single families. Some of them were married.

                        To be with other American Indians, Native Americans from other tribes that were closely knit, I made friends for life with about six or eight of them. We have a couple, one from Cameroon, Africa, one from Sudan, Africa. We had a lady who was Mexican from Texas who came to go to school. She was a single mom. We just had some really good friends. We had each nationality except for somebody who was Asian.

                        We had all the other nationalities. We even had a few nonnative Americans, like some white people, Caucasians. There was about six or eight of us that went through undergrad together and we went to graduate school together and just made friends for life. They're almost like family. Having that positive peer leadership, as far as education, they were all tough.

                        I don't know how many times I thought, "I want to quit college and quit because of my kids and stuff. It's too rough. I got to get the money." I made it work by being there for one another and KC Family programs too. I had another worker when I moved to Bismarck. Her name was Jessica Cantrell. She really helped me apply to go to UND and stuff too. All these positive people helped me, these professionals.

                        Some of the foster parents that I had here in Mandan actually, Jim and Joyce Swanson, were very influential in me as far as taking care of my kids and family and working hard. You want them to have a good life and have something. Unfortunately, it was out of your control. When I was little, I grew up really poor without commodities, thrift store clothes and things like that. We lived really real poor, real poverty. I didn't want that for my boys.

                        Of course, the idea is to get a good job, to get a good education, to get a degree in something. I didn't think I was going to get a college degree in anything before I started. I didn't think I was really smart. I barely graduated high school with some Cs, maybe a couple Bs. I wasn't an A student or whatever. What really motivated me was my little guy.

                        When I was 19 having a boy, he was my one motivation to do better for myself because I wanted him not to suffer or to live my life. Growing up poor, I want him to have nice things. I want him to have a nice home, the best I could, just more better than me when I was growing up. I'm not encouraging people to go have kids when they're 18, 19. I'm just telling you my story. That was my motivation.

                        When I was in college and I didn't want to finish my work or I was tired or getting lazy and didn't want to do it, I'd look at my little guy and it was like, "I have to because if I don't this is going to affect. If I get a poor grade, it's going to affect my financial aid. It's going to affect the money that we receive to help me take care of him, take care of our bills and stuff like that. I can't go easy. I can't be like that because I've got to take care of this little guy."

                        That was the big motivation for me through college and stuff. I was up at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 in the morning, 4:00 in the morning getting a paper done that was due the next day, studying, and stuff like that. I had to do it. Like I said, I wanted him to have a good life, the best I could do, better than I did.

Davis:              It sounds like you're talking about the need to break the cycles of poverty. Basically, you've seen that you wanted to bring financial security to your kids and to your family. Do you see the benefits of having concern and focus on financial security services to Native Americans?

Little Owl:       I would say that and I would say mentorship, to give mentorship. When I was growing up in Bismarck, I was part of the Big Sister Big Brother program, growing up here in Bismarck with my aunt. I got to know two gentlemen that were really. My older siblings when we were younger, we all took part in this program and it was great because we had some really good big brothers and actually one that we still have contact with today.

                        I still remember his name, Paul Brewers. He was in the military. He was a sergeant in the military or the Marines. We actually talked to him last Christmas and that was when I was six, seven years old. I don't know how many years now, but 30 some years, we're still in contact with him. That was a huge program and just people like that always encouraging us.

                        Even though we didn't have our father physically, we had a lot of aunts and we have a lot of uncles that filled in for that, and people who mentored us, whatever. The way it is for Native American families is aunts and uncles can help out a lot. They took on those roles for us or whatever when we were growing up. Our aunt was and elderly lady. When I was four she was getting up there in age, and she was elderly. It was a lot tougher for her to do some things for us.

                        I'll always remember my elementary school in Bismarck. We were doing Mother's Day gifts and stuff for our moms and everybody had these cool hearts and confetti and stuff. We were making them. For me, I had aunt. Instead of mom, I had spelled aunt, A-U-N-T. Every Mother's Day activity when I was in elementary school, that was for my Aunt Lois.

Davis:              She was okay about that?

Little Owl:       She was okay about that. Of course, my aunt passed away, but that's what I did. She served both my mother and father figure because she raised us from when I was four until she passed away pretty much. Even if I wasn't living with her in my high school years, I would always come back and visit her on the holidays or for the summers just to check on her.

                        After a while, she started getting older and sicker and stuff. I always wanted to come back and check on her and be with her. That my whole motivation for living in the Bismarck area. It was around my aunt, just to make sure she was okay.

Davis:              Now, you've been living here in Bismarck how long?

Little Owl:       I've been back now for two years.

Davis:              Two years? Do you foresee staying here? Or do you foresee-

Little Owl:       I do actually. I'm actually thinking about purchasing a house. I want to get a home here. My oldest graduates next year from BHS and I can't believe that. He makes me feel old. I'm like, "Holy crap." I still like to watch cartoons with them. I eat cereal with them in the mornings, the good cereal. I can't believe my oldest boy is graduating next year from high school. It just went by so fast. I can't believe it.

                        I still remember when he was hiding in the kitchen cupboards. And he still had his big sleep pamper on. It didn't seem long ago. Holy smokes, how fast time flew. He'll be graduating next year, this coming year, from BHS. That's going to be exciting to see him graduate. I can't believe it. That's fast. The other boys, my second oldest is going to be in sixth grade. My other boy is going to be a fourth grader. My little guy, Laz, is in first grade.

                        Wow, time is going by fast. I'm actually planning to stay here in Bismarck and to get a home here and probably stay here. Eventually, when I get older and stuff, it may seem more wiser and grayer, but I want to actually go back to Twin Buttes and get a home built out on my land and live out there. I may possibly run for council too like my father.

Davis:              That's great Mark. Thanks for sharing. You have a really great story and had a lot to contribute. Thank you.

Little Owl:       You're welcome.