Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Up and at em! Pow wow photos taken on May 15th

A photo taken by Judy, of my good friend (Kenneth - KP- Poole) and I at
the Comanche Little Ponies Pow Wow, in Lawton, OK, May 7, 2011 in Lawton, OK.

KP is wearing the black baseball cap and there is a young man between us.

We are Gourd Dancers ( http://library.thinkquest.org/3081/gourd.htm )

My first outing since surgery last year.

The black shoulder strap is for a "wound vac" that helps heal from

It was a good weekend.



I'm still standing!

Hello from the depths of my Heart,

Pre surgery photos at the Kwahadi Kiva, Sept. 2010, Amarillo, TX.

I'm a Gourd Dancer and so very Proud to still being one.

Thanks to so many and their prayers I'm Still Kicking n Raising Hell!

Life IS GOOD !


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thank you!

A final posting to thank so many.

* Philip Sheeran, in Calway (this is where my family original came from, I was very happy to be there and had hoped to find Madden coat of arms pins, patches and anything else having to do with the Madden name - just didn't work out that way). for the use of his house for my update. He gave me time to figure out what I was going to do, gave me a snack to make it through the night, and took me back to the Scout Hut. This was my first experience that WiFi was not everywhere and I would need the help of wonderful people/Scouters like Philip.

* Tim Shaw (Group leader of 2nd Davylme Scouts - we stayed at their headquarters) for his wonderful email, kind words, offer to help me get a Manhester replica player's shirt with Wayne Rooney's (MVP) name on it for my grandson Harrison, and his friendship.

* Carol Thompson (Quinn?), for her technical help in trying to upload a posting, her email to my good friend, Steve Douglas, in Amarillo with the photos I couldn't get sent; her magical personaility; working on the photos I wanted to get to Steve, from her home; her kind words (May i send best wishes from us all at The East Centre! You were a breath of fresh air for us all! and HUGE MEGA HUGS TO YOU ALL); her humor (Crikey I am tired!); the great food and wonderful people who helped her.

* Chas from Manchester and his email (Way back in September 2007, I got an email ....... Wednesday 29th July 2009 was the magical result.

As one of Bob Spoors band of merry men and women (AKA idiots) I think I can speak for all of us - THANK YOU ALL for a wonderful evening.

There are more thanks due to you for the exemplary attitude and behaviour of the young people who portrayed "the Scouting way" to perfection. We felt greatly honoured to have you among us.

If young people are the future of the world, then our world will be in good hands. Thank you, again.

B....R....A...V....O....BRAVO! )

* Carol from Prudhoe email (Saw the dancers last night in Prudhoe, they were amazing. The energy!!! and those fabulaous costumes. Just looked at their itinerary and see that they are going to WINGS, so am I so will try to say Hi).

Ben Hodgkiss from Carlisle sent us a newspaper article; (Hi from Carlisle!!

Thought you might want to see the newspaper articles (if you haven't already seen it!)

Thanks for a great show!

* Linda Covington's email (To bad you did not take any beautiful pic's NOT.. wish I had been there too, so thanks for letting me in on the great trip.

* Kara Gibbs and her humorous email (I have patiently waiting all day for this. I needed to see a picure of Truett to make sure you still had him.

Thanks John)

* Steve Douglass, whom this blog would not have been possible had he not taken my idea and made it a reality. (Great post John! Glad to hear from you. Seems like you are getting your second wind. Great snaps too!)

See some of his photography at Panhandleskies.blogspot.com. He's working on publishing a book and I wish him all the success and luck.

* Dr. David Hutchison, our host in Belfast who provided the Belfast Opera House as our stage. It's magnificently beautiful.

* Amarillo Globe-News: Margaret Meyers, Features Editor and Brad Newman, Reporter for their story and notices to watch our blog.

* ProNews 7, The Panhandle Spirit: Steve Pair, News Director and Lucas Jefferson, Assignment Editor for two telephone interviews.

** There were numerous emails sent to Kwahadi.com with wonderful comments and we thank each and everyone one of them.

We had so many host, Scouters and new friends,

The words "Thank You" just aren't enough, but they are deeply felt, meant, and appreciated.

Pat Hollings was our host in Dublin.

Brian Mulvihill was our host at Mount Melleary.

Brain, thank you for the fast trip to the Monastery.

His staff and helpers treated us like we were special.

The staff at National Scout Campsite near Crawforsborn, outside Belfast, for the use of their facilities so I could post an update; got NO sleep that night, ate their snacks, drank their juice and enjoyed the comfort of their building.

Don McCutheon in Galway, England and our performance at the Ratlingate Campsite. A special thank you to Don and his Mother for giving the gift of a artist package of pencils and supplies to one of our dancers.

At Prudhoe our host was Sue Charlesworth.

I was so busy trying to post an update that I didn't see our performance but I did get a photo of this youngman Sue is attached with.

Thank you both for the cots. They were great and extremely appreciated.

I didn't get this Scouters name. He was at Brownsea Island and told us the history of the Brownsea. He was very informative and we enjoyed his knowledge of this historical site.

At the Davyhulme Scout Hut Bob Spoora was our host.

His helpers treated us to wonderful meals and again, we were treated special. We can not thank all these people enough.

Alistar Henderson was our host at Brownsea Island and church service at St. Mary church.

Paula Memory was our host at the Mount Tamar School.

Our performance was outside the building and the evening was wonderfully cool.

Bet you didn't know it's HUMID in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK!

Very HUMID and WET.


Camp Fryland's Wood was another attempt to do the WiFi (everywhere or at least internet - however the internet was down). This kind couple of Barry and Penny, invited me into their home to try the internet and again the kindness we met on our tour, expect Paris.

That's Penny with their baby.

Kent Jamboree.

We thank all the wonderful Scouters who jumped in and picked up the ball to get us a place to sleep, perform, transport us to and from, get us fed and on our way.

Bob Spokes was our host at the Wings Jamboree.

It rained and rained but we still had a good crowd.

Thank you Jo (again I hope this is her name) who provided me access to their internet (another almost totally sleepless night) at Site Services.

By the way, she loaded me up with Oreo cookies and chocolate that I gave to Dennis. My question is. What happened to all those Oreo cookies? I got a piece or two of the chocolate, once we were on the way, but never got any Oreo cookies.

Just wondering. Have wanted Oreo cookies ever since.

Radlette Center was our last performance.

Verify MacLachian was our host and I did not get a photo of her. I apologize.

And our final "Thank You" goes to "Backup Tony."

He hauled us all over Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England. He's a British Gentleman, a friend, very safe driver and a lot of fun. Thank you Tony.

Herd Mug shots seen in the MW (Most Wonderful) section of any Post Office.
Caution, they'll give you a dance performance that you'll enjoy, so approach with caution.

Thank you from me to all of you, our hosts, new friends, parents, Scouters, drivers, guides, fellow tour members, Kosa Dancers, Sahawe Indian Daners, Big Red, Charles Ritchie, all the Kwahadi Dancers and finally my lovely wife, Judy, for a once-in-a-life-time experience.

Quoting the words of that world famous duck, Daffy Duck:

Thats, thats, thats, thats all folks.

John Madden

Himself in me Irish Madden, hertiage Kilt and Scotish bonnett representing my Scottish (can not believe no one from Scotland wanted us heritage and my Masonic membership.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thank you coming up

Ă…fter rehab in Ruidoso, NW playing 18 holes of golf for two days, eating great food at Cornerstone Bakery (359 Sudderth Drive, in Ruidoso) several times. The food is wonderful but the pies are to die for. The crust! Out of the world.

Okay, back to my train of thought.

The more I think about it our tour would not be complete without a "Thank You" to and our hosts and the nameless helpers that gave us places to sleep, eat, shower (yes, that was a wonderful experience when it happened) and meals to go.

Might even throw in a few other thanks.

I'm in the process, be it ever so slow, of going back and putting a Thank You together for and to them.

Hope you are are rested, happy and our health is great.

Coming soon.

"Thank You"

John Madden

Tuesday, August 25, 2009



This trip has been a ball and I would like to mention to some of the things, people and events that have stayed with me.

In hindsight this blog was more difficult to pull off than I expected, much more time consuming, WiFi (McDonalds has Free WiFi- so I learned) was not as much a reality as I had been told, and thus generated considerable loss of sleep.

My goal from the get go was to:

A: Allow parents to make the trip with us thereby keeping up with what their children were doing;

B: Hoping people (in the countries we were going to) would find out about it and travel with us; giving people who didn't know about the Kwahadi Dancers the opportunity to find out and maybe want us to come there for them.

C: Generate some media awareness out there so maybe other Boy and Girl Scouts in our area would be interested in becoming a Kwahadi; and creating a journal of the trip for the Kwahadis.

That said,

First and foremost I want to thank Charles Ritchie.

He spend a couple of years putting this together by sending out more emails than most of us will ever know about. From what I understand, it started out with a parent/Big Red meeting two years ago discussing the idea of the trip.

As we moved from place to place and week to week, Charles would announce (to himself or anyone who might be listening/awake)what booked event we were going to next.

Everyday and everything was scheduled.

We can never say "thank you" enough to Charles and he wouldn't wanted us to (I learned he doesn't like the limelight or attention zeroed in on him).

Time provided schedules were made to be broken, but provided a backbone to build out tour on.

Still I had high hopes of finding something "golf" to take back to a friend (maybe that's not the right word as he's the bum who got me started playing golf after fending the fix until my sixty-fourth birthday). We drove past a couple "pitch and putt" courses (three hole par courses). That's about a close as I would get and we were in Scotland where it all started.

Did I mention no one in Scotland wanted us?

A reality we soon learned was "lines would become a way of tour life."

Taking the Kwahadi Dancers, their dances, talent, dedication, skill and numbers on a trip that will allow thousands to see something they've probably never seen and never would.

On a trip like this or any trip there are opportunities, adventures, challenges, ups and downs, personalities, schedules, schedules changes due to unseen events, sites to see, things to do, places to go, history to learn, history to make, time constraints, desires to see or do more, free time, not enough free time, and experiences of a life time all generated by long term and time planning.

While I'm thinking about it, the plane ride across the Atlantic waa long, tiring and very interesting. One the seats, in front of us, there was a screen. You could watch movies, listen to music and watch via a GPS our flight.

I've flown a lot but this was a first for me. Maybe it's a trans ocean thing. I've flown across both oceans, no not just before planes had jet engines.

Take a look.

Neat isn't it?

I'm more of a watcher, sit-back-and-observe person (a lot of it
comes from being raised in a military family and being in the military myself). I don't talk a lot, but enjoy what I'm doing now. Putting my thoughts, observations, experiences and life in writing (talk about my high school English teacher not believing this).

The people, things, and places following are not in any order than when and how they came to my mind.

Sign honoring Baden Powell first campsite.

A happy herd returns from Brownsea Island.

The sign explains the Wall of suitcases, we saw in museum.

Scouting for adults (18 years and older) is different in England. Don't know if it's the same in Ireland, Northern Ireland or Scotland. I do know, from growing up in Germany, that Europe looks upon drinking much different than we do. German scouts we camped with thought nothing of dranking wine or beer. It was no big thing.

The Scouter I talked to, talked about teaching moderation and being responsibile. He had coaster that boasted a ale called "Amarillo." I told him I was from Amarillo, asked for it and he gave it to me. Cool.

Manchester United arena. I still can't get over not being able to find a t-shirt for my grandson, size 6.

Thatched roof. We saw numerous of these and they are such a part of history.

Signs made me laugh and look forward to the next laugh.

Most of us have come under the "talk - as I refer to call it" from Janet Janzen. Those talks have not always left me with warm fuzzy feelings. On this endurance tour I saw her in a different light filled with respect and glad I wasn't having to do what she had to do. She's a wonderful cornerstone that supports the Kwahadis, Charles and everyone on tour.

Don't get me wrong, she still can deliver a "talk" that will let you know just what whats.

This was my first time to meet and be around Loy Halley. I like this Lady. She always had smile, was quick witted, fast on comebacks and ready to do what ever she could for anyone.

These two Ladies will move mountains if needed. They'll do what needs to be done. Theirs is a value that does more than most people ever see or know.

Denys Sanders is one of the strong right hands of Charles. I don/t know how long he’s been active but I know he’s part of the glue that holds it all together. He drives the bus (I voe for someone else to count antelope). He’s one of several right hands for Charles (he overseas so many aspects of a trip I wonder how he ever keeps them all straight in his mind). He always has a smile and kind word close by.

Jolene Sanders (Denys better half) is a lady who has raised a family of strong, talented and gifted children. Her quite strength reminds me of my Grandmother, who was extremely influencial in my rasing. Like my Mama, as I called her, Joylene is a tower of strength that bends with the wind but never breaks. She’s always there, solid, quite, strong, and with a helping hand. A neat Lady!

David, Dustin and Doanh are three uniquely different individuals who add their skills, talent and dancing to the Kwahadiis.

David is outgoing, quite strength and a past Head Chief.

I really like this shot. Talked to David before hand as I had tried to get one previously.

Dustin works hard at being Head Chief and takes it very seriously. This is not an easy responsibility. Being Head Chief is an honor, as it comes from a vote of the Kwahadi Dancers. He does the captured eagle dance as a result of being head chief and does an outstanding dance.

Doanh overseas the difficult task of herd accountability, food distribution and is a Shawl Dancer. She also gave me a friendly, hard time, trying to get a photo of her sticking her tongue out at me. One of these days, one of these days.

Neat young lady.

Judy Dahl and Linda Wislon are two other cornerstones of the Kwahadis via the Big Red. Not only are they Mothers to talented dancers, they are positive forces silently, but constantly, supporting and defining that unseen spirit that is the blood line of the Kwahadi Dancers.

They have smiles that light up any room they enter. These Ladies are tops in my book.

Mike Atkinson was another first time person for me, to met. A smile was his hello. He took care of all the gifts we gave and received. I enjoyed watching him interacting with people. He's an asset that is the backbone of Scouting and adds that strength to the Kwahadi Dancers.

David Adler is a former Kwahadi Dancer who Charles says has made every overseas tour with him. He quietly went about watching and silently honoring those he saw doing for others. He told and showed how the Comanches honor someone, especially at Pow Wows. They drop money or a gift in front of a person/dancer and that gift is then picked up by someone, not the one being honored. It is then given to the one honored.

I was privileged to get "The Archer" as I took so many shots (photos). It sits in one of my glass cabinets. Thank you David.

Chris Redmon carried a box for the whole tour. It was full of gift he gave everyone, honoring the tour. He's also a former Kwahadi Dancer and has carried the Kwahadi of visiting Pueblos in New Mexico. His gift was more than the present, it was his love, experience and knowledge of Native American traditions.

In addition to their gifts and personalities both David and Chris were singers.

Jim Fletcher was/is one of my favorite people. He always had smile, "hello John how are you?", and a quite strength. Get to know this man and you'll understand.

I've mentioned Neal before. Just from first glimpse, he reminded me of some one who might be full of himself. I was so wrong! Instead he's a fun loving, confident, extremely considerate, outgoing and full of life young man. I told him if he ever needed a letter of recommendation to let me know.

Nick Wilson is one of the best dancers I've seen. He puts himself totally into the dance.

He's a fancy dancer but also does the hoop dance. Many people look at a dancer like Nick and think he tries to steal the show. Not ture. He reminds me of a dancer called Comanche John. When you see Comanche John dance he's out front and you realize he's in a world of his own. It's not boasting when you are a dancer of that quailty.

Reed Wetmore is another outstanding dancer. He's also a fancy dancer. He puts his whole self into his dance and like Comanche John and Nick he's in a world of his own. He's not as out front as Nick, but he's of the same spirit. Not boasting, but being the spirit of the dance.

I really enjoy it when they dance at each other. Theirs is a dance of challenge and respect as they jump up and high five each other, with their chests. Pride and confidence are important no matter what one does in life.

Over the years I've been honored to judge dancers at Pow Wows and both Nick and Reed can dance with the best.

Collin Wilson is another dancer that brings his all to the dance. He's the yell you hear above the singers, the drum and the other dancers. He's good a painting his face and sharing that with any other dancer who wants their face painted.

Dylan Evans is the Head Chief of the Kossa Dancers. He's also a fancy dancer who gives his all. He's full of energy and his jumps are great. I never got a good shot of one of his jumps, but not from trying.

It's good to see so many young men, like him, in leadership roles.

Two exceptional young men are Matt Visel and Colin Lawson from Ulvalde, Texas and the Sahawe Dancers.

Caitlin Dahl is the head of the Maiden Society and an award winning Fancy Shawl Dancer. She's also going to Texas A & M this year. My wife, Judy, and I love to watch her dance.

A tower of strength and tons of possibility is Daniel Rigsby. He's chief of the Souix clan (traditional dancers) and an outstanding fluete player. This young man will go as far as he decides in life.

Dr Glenn Henderson.

One of the most interesting individuals I've ever met is Dr. Glenn Harrison. He's so full of that line of baloney, knowledge, wisdom, calm, tidbits, humor, questioning and a proud husband, father and grandfather. He spend many years in the Navy as a Dentist and as well as many years in Scouting. He made the trip more enjoyable just by being around him. I would like to introduce him to many of my friends so they would know a man of such great qualities.

He's a long time friend of Charles. If I remember right they were college room mates and his son was a Kwahadi. If I'm wrong, it's "sum-timers."

Steven Johnson is Mr. Quiet.

Steven is often in a world of his own, but when it comes to dancing he's all Kwahadi. He has that cowboy silence about him and having been a cowboy as well as Cherokee/Irish I notice it.

We danced before 6,291 folks.I know because I was the counter and had to use every ones toes and fingers many times.

We danced with so many.

My travel partners, Billie Jo Pettigrew (caution: do not sit next to or near Billie if she has a fresh cup of HOT coffee and you have new white sneakers on-trust me on this) and Melinda Wells. These ladies put up with me, worried about me and made my trip more interesting.

Thank you Ladies.

We danced for so many.

A smiling Charles at a successful tour.

Quoting his own words "check into rehab."

People (John Wayne use to say that in his movies) - it's been fun, it's been great and till our next adventure.

Thank you and enjoy the memories from my English Scouter friends, Tim, Simon (who stayed with Judy and I ten years ago when their Boy Scout troop came from England to summer camp in the USA. Their parents, Uncle David and Linda (both whom Judy and I have spent time with when they were in Texas) and Simon's girlfriend.

John Madden


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