Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

Klamath Basin Kids--we grow a special kind, KBC story 6/4/04.


TULELAKE KP: Driving by my old high school I just had to stop.  For decades this rural town's tradition has survived...it's just what you do on the day before graduation. Some towns have graffiti. In Tulelake the graduating seniors decorate the streets with art from their souls.

The first song I heard was country western, about being proud to be an American. The next one was in Spanish. The music kept alternating.

An old neighbor and school employee brought it to my attention that the girl on the right was painting her picture...a combination of an American Flag and a Mexican Flag.  She posed with pride...she carefully was painting who she is.

Then I was approached by Josh Deeton, photo on the left.  He explained who was painting the American Flag; "My three friends painting this flag are going in to the Marines after graduation." He said that since they were going to serve their country, the flag was appropriate. Another graduate, Sean Sein, came up and explained that he wants to go into the military too but it will be awhile before he is able to.

It was hard to walk away.  As parents and grandparents and farmers and caretakers of our environment, there is nothing we are prouder of than our youth.

They know who they are...they don't have identity crises.

They grew up with responsibilities.

They know about land and freedom and economy. Their fathers and/or neighbors till the soil. They see the dirt, the sprouts and the harvest.

They know the wildlife...there isn't a bus ride that they don't see a sky filled with geese, fields with antelope and deer and coyotes, and ditches filled with birds and frogs and snakes.

And they have lived through a year without freedom. They remember 2001, what their government did to our wildlife, our farms, our businesses and our schools.  They remember the auctions, the dirt blowing away with no crops, their parents crying and their grandparents crying. Their friends, especially their Hispanic friends, had to move away before graduating from high school.  They remember the suicides and divorces and bankruptcies.

Today I was so very proud to be part of this community...a community with young adults who know and understand what freedom means. They plan to give their lives so you and I can be free.

Thank you.









Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:15 AM  Pacific

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