Sadly I have belatedly learned of one of my great mentor’s death. He lives on within me, in my mind and in my heart. Leonard Bruguier was a great friend, first and foremost. He was my professor at the University of South Dakota during the early 1990s. I spent many a morning or afternoon in his office discussing history, life, and family. We kept in touch off and on. I would stop by to visit when in South Dakota. I later found him in Mexico (Thanks to the www). Leonard was a descendant of the great Yankton Sioux leaders Struck by the Ree and Chief War Eagle. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War and a decorated Marine. I admired Leonard and respected his counsel so much. I will dearly miss him.
The following are Leonard’s words to me a few years ago as I faced a new change and challenge in my life. It is just as he typed it, and they are valuable words of wisdom from one of the greatest men I have ever known. God be with you until we meet again.
“well, your occupation tale sounds like another adventure best taken and not rued forever. i might have ants in my pants and happy feet but one thing i do practice is memories, and i carry them brightly in mind. i try to remember all those places and maybe that’s why i am able to smile today. working with other people in enclosed places with mucho politica is difficult, and as your ancestors know, who knows what’s over the horizon. us sioux b dat way!!!! the onliest thing i can say about that is always try to go and be where you can have a loving relationship with yourself and your family. but, never forget, somebody has to assign the stall cleaning details. that is sometimes an aggravating task, so make sure your heart is part of the equation on the next move. it would please me no end and continue to make me smile to see you finish your doctorate. that’s my biased opinion from the cloistered ranks of academia.” Leonard Bruguier March 16, 2007