Johnny Standing Elk’s family was normal, except for his father, Joseph Standing Elk. He was an elderly full-blooded Teton Sioux, stubborn as a mule and ornery as his ailing body would allow. He was not well and hadn’t been for some time, but he was one man not about to go quietly into the hereafter. In his late seventies, he seemed determined to raise as much hell as an invalid could do before his spirit returned to the Creator.
Joseph was never happy about wasichu and even less so as time went on. He was raised in the reservation era, and he initially believed that some wasichu, or white people, were greedy, selfish people, but some were good people. After Johnny’s first white wife died, her wealthy father came after Johnny. That was the final blow. He despised these awful humans and all unredeemable.
As things transpired, he had no choice but to go live with Johnny. He went to his place only because of his family, but not willingly. He didn’t and wasn’t about to like it. When he learned that Johnny was going to marry another wasichu, the poor man was distraught, but would not give up. It was his duty to teach his son how to live.