October 30, 2014

Return of the Dreamer Fundraiser, Dec. 15 at Mimosa

 

Help bring an old friend back to Topanga.

Aagii Clement was born to be a woman of vision; a dreamer. She pursued this vocation on the Ojibwa-Cree reservation on the Upper Peninsula (the U.P.) in Michigan.

She also worked with Tribal at Risk Youth, was a teacher and came up with, implemented, and ran most of the programs and camp for the younger members of the tribe.

However, when Aagii had dreams— and visions—everyone paid attention. Then Aagii had a dream about a place called ‘Topango.’

The Creator was telling her to go there and give a manifesto that she had written to Viggo Mortenson. What? Where was this place called ‘Topango’?

No matter how hard she searched, the illusive ‘Topango’ refused to be found. That is until she spoke with a Native American actor friend of hers.

“It’s Topanga.”

Six days later, there she was, parked on the corner in front of Fire Station Engine 69, standing next to her huge, old, white van.

Aagii had started her journey at a big pow-wow, where everyone had painted her van with tribal symbols and sent her on her way.

Standing next to her was a very large white shepherd type dog, who looked a lot more like a Tundra wolf than a pet that would welcome you home after work. She was trying to sell jewelry that she had crafted herself.

“Great looking dog,” I said.

“Thanks,” Aagi anserwed. “Do you live here?” “Sure do”, I said.

“Would you know about any places to rent, or jobs,” Aagii said. “I could sure use one of each; I’m honest and trustworthy, I can do a lot of things pretty well, and I learn fast, that’s for sure!”

Two weeks later Aagii was living in one of the cabins at Camp Wildwood, had two part-time jobs (one at Curves, one at Human Dynamics) was hanging out on the deck at Mimosa; it seemed like she had always been there.

Time passed. Aagii had become one of my dearest friends (you don’t even want to know how crazy we got) when Aagii found out that she had profound and major heart problems.

The only possible thing to do was for her to to return to the reservation for free medical care. I think it took more than one operation, but they fixed her.

Aagii had always been a BIG girl, but now she was determined to change her life. As of this date, she has lost 162 pounds, is running in marathons and triathlons and has become a grandmother.

She is 51 years of age. DON’T TELL HER I SAID THAT! She was beautiful before—she must be drop dead gorgeous now.

But she never stopped missing ‘Topango,’ and all her friends and wanting to come back and see us.

She and I call each other a lot, always trying to figure out a way she could visit.

The time was never right, something always got in the way. We were trying for September or October, but in October she got laid off.

On the morning of November 29, a Thursday, I was suddenly compelled to call her.

“You must be psychic,” Aagii said. “I’m having lunch with my mom. The last word I said as the phone rang was your name”.

WAIT! I’ll make a too long story shorter, before Flavia kills me.

I’m throwing a benefit for Aagii at Mimosa on Saturday, December 15 from 6 p.m.. to 9 p.m.

There will be great music, a raffle for some wonderful art, a donation of $1 to $5 at the door, and please, anything else you wish to contribute.

We’re trying to raise round-trip Greyhound bus fare to bring our friend back to her other home to Topanga. Besides, it’s ten below zero there now.

If you want to help in any way…call Stephanie @310-403-4897. Thanks.