Memories of Indian time on the rez
These essays are about fiestas with frybread and beans, storytelling, dancing, snow cones, dogfights, and sometimes human fights. They are about sweat lodges and funerals and the dangers of “commod bod” (obesity caused by eating government surplus food). They are also about puppy love and the love of rock ’n’ roll.
From the game of peon to reminiscences about grandparents, Gordon Johnson captures the spirit of reservation life with the skill of a modern journalist and the sensitivity of one who has lived life on Indian time.
Gordon Johnson is a Cahuilla/Cupeño from the Pala Indian Reservation in San Diego County, California. A former columnist and feature writer for the Riverside Press-Enterprise, he is the author of a book of collected columns, Rez Dogs Eat Beans, which was translated and published in the Czech Republic. He is also a contributor to the recent anthology of Inland Empire writers published by Heyday Books, Inlandia. Johnson lives in Pala and is working on his master of fine arts degree at Antioch University, Los Angeles.