Essays: The Missed Moment

This is a true story. It happened way back in the Nineties when America was just starting to be apprehensive about the looming Y2K. I was skimming the news and saw where there was a protest up in the Navajo Nation. Seems some folks were upset with the actions of Peterson Zah.

Peterson Zah was and is a respected elder of the Navajo Nation. At that time he was their political president. From 1991 to 1995 he ruled the ancient homeland of his people, which occupies a large part of northeastern Arizona and parts of Utah and New Mexico. Seems there was a dispute concerning some logging trucks or something and they thought President Zah had made some unwise decisions that caused a group of them to lose their jobs. Some wanted him out. It’s not that important now, really.

As I was reading about it I conjured up an image of the unruly crowd outside the council chambers. Signs and shouts and a lot of stern looks. Then I thought about a magic moment when someone would come in with a sign that would have made perfect sense at the time, but would have another meaning out of context.

I’ve always loved that – when all of the planets line up just so and one topic gets to cross over to the other side in a sort of cosmically ordained pun. 

(It works better as a voice recall rather than written, but you get the idea.) 

So this person walks into the protest with a sign that reads, TAKE OUT PETE ZAH.

I wish I was that person.