I met Rolling Thunder at Bob Weir’s house in 1970. Frankie was really ill and her doctor’s diagnosis wasn’t something she could agree with. I don’t know how Rolling Thunder and his people were contacted, I just remember one evening he arrived with Grandfather Semu (medicine man for the Chumash people) and their warriors. After acting as hostess, I brought Rolling Thunder to Frankie’s room, left him to check her out and returned to the living room. Grandfather Semu was requesting one of the women accompanying the warriors to put out her cigarette. She declined. He asked again. She again refused. He pointed his finger in her direction from across the room (about 10 feet away) and the ciggie flamed up several inches causing the young lady to drop it rather abruptly.
Just then, the bedroom door opened and Rolling Thunder asked for the people who were to be present during the healing ceremony to come into the room. He asked me to assist him. I later found out this was because I was not ‘on my moon’ and was perceived by him to be sincere in my desire to help Frankie. During the ceremony, he admonished one of the skeptics in our midst and asked that no one sit at Frankie’s feet warning of the danger in a subtle way. One guy, who didn’t listen or hear very well, did just that and as soon as he did, the locked windows at the foot of the bed flew open and he became quite ill himself.
Rolling Thunder was a Cherokee and a born medicine man. When he married Spotted Fawn, Clan Mother for the Western Shoshone he became the medicine man for her tribe. In addition to the healing of Frankie, talked about on this page (and copied below for those of you with ‘senior’ eyes), he came to heal and provide spiritual guidance to many of us through the years. He was a regular visitor at Mickey’s ranch with his warriors and while he was in residence, we got up for a sunrise ceremony every morning. He was a wonderful teacher and I learned about medicinal plants while helping him gather what he needed to do his healing. -Jerilyn
Digital Remix New Content (not seen in printed book)
GRANDFATHERS ROLLING THUNDER, SEMU HUAUTE, DAVID MONONGUE AND THE GREAT “MEDICINE SQUARE GARDENS” SHOW IN NEW YORK CITY
All of us traditional Natives, and non-Native as well, have a teacher. I was blessed to have three all at once in the late 1960’s:
• Grandpa David Monongue, Hopi – spiritual leader for many medicine people and the Hopi Nation at the time of his being and presence;
• Grandfather Semu Huaute, Chunash – Medicine Man and founder of RedWind Intertribal Medicine Camp, San Luis Obispo County;
• Rolling Thunder (RT), Cherokee – Medicine Man and founder of the Meta Tantay Intertribal Medicine Camp in Carlin Nevada.
The Native medicine people were always around and busy with ceremony, healing and giving spiritual thanks, as well as prayer for “all my relations.” They were instructed to come out and help and interact with the children of the times that were receptive to the medicine way. It was prophesied that the sons and daughters of the Whiteman would grow their hair long like Indians and would be ready to receive and respect Native ways and instructions in spiritual life. Hence great meeting and working with the Grateful Dead Family….. Hopi life Plan, huh!……
In this picture of my friends and mentors they were discussing the itinerary and travel plans to fulfill the instructions given Grandfather David Monongue in his youth: When the stars in the heavens cross and align there will be a harvest moon and you will go to the house of “mica” that will be on the shores where the water meets the eastern sunrise (the United Nations building, New York City). There you will tell the leaders of the many countries of Mother Earth, the prophecies of the Hopi Life Plan and the Gourd of Ashes
This time was right for Grandfather David, who was then blind and 107 years of age, to fulfill his teacher’s instructions from his Elders in his youth. Rolling Thunder would accompany him to New York City. Grandfather Semu would “hold down the fort” at RedWind.
There was also the invitation to the Conference of World Spiritual Leaders being held at St. Peters Church in New York City at that very time….which we attended, warrioring for RT, and with Grandfather David.
Too, the Bob Dylan Rolling Thunder Revue Tour was starting at that time. Rambling Jack and Chesley Millikin had helped Zimmy with the naming of the tour, using RT’s name. RT opened the “Medicine Square Gardens” show on stage w/ a prayer. Spotted Fawn, Shoshone spiritual healer, Clan Mother of Meta Tantay and wife of Rolling Thunder sat up stage left in support and I as Warrior for RT.
There are many great times and stories related to this photo about the Harvest Moon travels to New York City with Rolling Thunder and Grandfather David Monongue: Mad Bear Anderson, John Fire Lame Deer, young Lakota healer and Medicine man Leonard Crow Dog, young warrior Joseph Chasing Horse with Thomas Banakya, Hopi translator; the Shinto Priests’ gifts to Grandfather; the return ceremony at the Hudson (at the Fugawe tribe); tales of the Conference of World Spiritual Leaders….
Good tales to relate on the Rolling Thunder Revue Tour, to be told another time. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Huh…lol
All my relations
– Bob Sewana, 2015
Photos: Main – Paul Cazaux; Grandfathers – unknown