Remembering My Friend, Glen Douglas

Glen Douglas, February 1, 1927 – May 22, 2011

I miss my friend, Glen Douglas. I danced at the local (Spokane area) pow wows with him for many years. He was a special person and a good friend to many. Glen was always there with a helping hand, kindness, and words of wisdom to show support, and even guidance to his friends.

Many years ago, when my grandson, Joey Nania was a young teenager, I was able to introduce him to Glen. Joey often accompanied me to the local pow wows and he became quite a good dancer. This particular pow wow was the Gathering at The Falls Pow Wow, and is a night I will always remember as being very special. Glen was impressed with Joey and took an instant liking to him. He put his hands on Joey’s shoulders and softly said to him, “Keep doing what you are doing, I am honored to meet you.” Joey and I danced the next song and after it was over, Joey said to me, “Grandpa, when Glen put his hands on my shoulders, I felt a warm feeling go through my body and I knew he had blessed me in a special way, and I also know that he didn’t mean just for me to keep dancing! I feel empowered to know that I have a special path ahead of me.” The moon was full that night, making the experience seem even more magical. We both reflected on what a special evening we had experienced together, and that it was a night we would always remember.

Joey has since truly chosen his path wisely. He pursed his life-long passion for fishing and has become a successful Professional Bass Fisherman. He moved to Alabama to be closer to his fishing opportunities. There, he met and married the love of his life, a wonderful young woman named Jessica. They now have two delightful little boys and continue to work together to build a good life for their family. He is also now co-hosting his own fishing show, called Sweetwater Fishing TV. Joey is very happy and that makes me very happy.

Another memory of Glen’s goodness stands out in my mind. I had been to the sweat lodge for Native Americans at our local Veterans Hospital with a close friend of mine named Tom. Like Glen, Tom had also been through the Vietnam war. Tom came back from the war with a lot of stress and regret, and suffered trauma because of it. Glen helped him so much! He took an eagle feather, prayed over it, and lightly brushed it over Tom’s head, saying, “The Creator has taken away the negative energy that you have been carrying, and now the pain from the past memories will leave you.”

Glen was always surrounded by friends.

I will never forget how in his wise and gentle manor, Glen was able to help so many people who had suffered through the same kinds of experiences that he had in the war. He was a true warrior who was blessed with the ability and character to overcome adversity and help others who had experienced the trauma of war because of it. Many of the wounds of war are carried for years within the minds of warriors, and Glen used his Creator-Given gifts to help his fellow Veterans. He loved his country and was a true Patriot.

In May of 2011, at the age of 84, Glen Douglas passed away and went to live with our Creator. Many of his native friends and relatives came to his funeral. I felt truly honored to be there and be included as one of his friends. We gathered at the graveside together to honor him and wish him farewell. Part of the native custom is to take a handful of Mother Earth and place it in the grave with a prayer. As we did this, we heard a familiar loud chirping above us, as a Bald Eagle circled the grave and flew away high in the sky. There was not a dry eye among us at that moment. We all knew it was his final farewell to us. It was an incredible experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Thanks, Glen!