The noun “calumet” and the David White for Mayor Town Hall TONIGHT at the Calumet Club, 6:00 p.m.


I hate having to miss this forum. It’s in my neighborhood, and as such, we’re in desperate need of an antidote to ward off the pervasive Kool-Aid-drinking proclivities therein.

But alas, I have a previous engagement. Please consider coming out and talking to the candidate, all the while trying to imagine Deaf Gahan looking at you and saying: “Ask me anything.”

You just can’t imagine that, can you?

Meanwhile here’s a smidgen of background on the actual word “calumet” (kalyuh-met, kal-yuhmet), as posted here three years ago.

Many readers already know about the Calumet Club in New Albany. There are also Calumet rivers, regions and towns. But what is a calumet as a noun? It’s a Native American pipe.

Tobacco, indigenous to North America, followed Indian trade routes throughout the continent long before Columbus arrived, and pipe smoking took on a ritual and religious importance in many tribes. Naturally, the crafting of pipes became equally important.

The most famous Native American pipes are the long calumets or “peace pipes” of the Sioux and other Plains Indian tribes, which were made by attaching a wooden stem to a bowl carved from catlinite or “pipestone.” (Pipestone is native to Minnesota, but due to intertribal trade was available throughout Native North America.) Other native pipe-making traditions included the smaller one-piece stone and ceramic pipes of the Iroquois and Cherokee tribes, wood and antler pipes of the Southwest Indians, and the post-Columbian tomahawk pipes with a metal pipe bowl and hatchet on opposite ends of the stem.

Calumet Club Dates in History, courtesy of the Calumet Club, illustrate that it was a thriving social institution on post-WWI New Albany. Finally, from the library’s Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room comes this memento of times long gone.

Democratic mayoral candidate David White understands that change begins with a whole lotta scrubbing, and NA Confidential advocates just such a deep civic cleansing. 

After eight years on the job, Mayor Jeff Gahan’s list of stunning “achievements” is long, indeed: tax increasesbudgetary hide ‘n’ seekself-deificationdaily hypocrisy, public housing takeovernon-transparencypay-to-play for no-bid contracts, bullying city residents and bullying city employees. Eight years is enough. It’s time to drain Gahan’s swamp, flush his ruling clique and take this city back from Gahan’s Indy-based special interest donors. 

NA Confidential supports David White for Mayor in the Democratic Party primary, with voting now through May 7