7:00 – 9:00 pm Monday, November 25, 2019
“High Holidays” and “Old Indian Trick”

by Craig Johnson

There aren’t too many writers who have an annual festival in their honor but Craig Johnson, the author of 21 novels and collections of short stories about Sheriff Walt Longmire of Absaroka County, Wyoming does. The venerable sheriff has good relations with most of the residents of his territory, including Indians on the nearby reservation, especially his occasional tracker, sidekick, and nature guru Henry Standing Bear. Some of you may have seen the Netflix movie series “Longmire” based on Johnson’s works.

Why do we get drawn to Sheriff Longmire? He’s insightful, loyal, trustworthy, clever, experienced, good at his job and more worldly than you might credit a fellow from backwater Wyoming to be. In the short story collection “Wait for Signs”, published in 2014, I was delighted to find the tale “High Holidays” that gave me the excuse to bring Johnson and Sheriff Longmire to the Jewish Story Club. As you’ll see, the Sheriff knows enough about Judaism to realize something’s not kosher with a group of Hasidim who come through his town.

Our second Longmire story, “Old Indian Trick”, brings us the homespun wisdom of Lonnie Little Bird, an elder on the Tribal Council who confirms his opinion about anything in the world with the phrase, “Yes, it is so”. A kid robbed a restaurant on a Montana rez just before the Sheriff and Lonnie stopped there for supper. In almost no time Lonnie leads Longmire to the culprit, astounding the local Montana police force. How’d Lonnie do it? Did he see the robber in a vision? Did the old ones give Lonnie secret knowledge? … or was this an “OIT”… an Old Indian Trick?

Discussion Leader: Alan Liebman

Host: This month’s meeting will be at the home of Francine Gray in Reno.

RSVP Required: To reserve your seat(s), receive a PDF copy of this month’s stories and get travel directions, please e-mail your name(s) to RenoJewishStory@AmericanSuperior.ORG before sundown, Friday, November 22nd.

For this meeting, the Club can accommodate 15 attendees and will have a social time with refreshments after the discussion.

Next Club Meeting: Monday, January 27, 2020, 7:00 – 9:00 pm