Myron Pyawasit / Menominee from Zoar, Wisconsin
Zoar is a small town east of Rhinelander, Wisconsin on a road that, at this time of year, is golden with fall colors and the deer are everywhere. Myron Pyawasit and his wife, Doris, are of the Menominee tribe and live in Zoar in a small house beside a Presbyterian Church that looks a little like a barn. We are still only in the first week of a month-long trip and we arrive at their house about 7:00 at night.
While Milt is setting up the equipment, Doris and I break the ice by exchanging stories about the magnificence of grandsons. Myron and Doris have a large family and are very involved in the traditional lifestyle of the Menominee people. Myron's drum group, The Smokeytown Singers, is well known on the pow wow circuit and he and Milt talk for quite awhile about the "music industry".
Myron has learned, sometimes from difficult experience, to avoid the pitfalls of the often-exploitive music business. During the pow wow season, Myron and his drum group travel nationally to perform at some of the nation's greatest events. The Menominee tribe has a casino in Keshena and Myron works there also.
As we pack up to leave, the precious recordings tucked away once again, we prepare to climb back into our poor van and continue this journey of 12,000 miles into Canada. As we leave, Myron stands in the door of his house with the kids surrounding him like a gilded picture frame, he smiles at us and says "Keep in touch. I always need new friends."
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Doris and Myron Pyawasit