SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 360: “Happy Belly Button Day”

At a pace that is difficult to keep up with, The Chief talks of medicine, his spiritual reference for prayers, of his outlook toward his fellow human beings, of his years living on Venice beach, the importance of parenting, the environment and of his wishes for a more loving world.

“There was a lot of anger, a lot of hate, a lot of drugs… sex, drugs and rock and roll on this beach ten years ago… it was a horrible place to visit. I was born and bred and raised out her… and I didn’t want to be here… and this is my home.

I was here in the sixties… the civil rights movement, the peace movement, all the movements… I was very pro-active. Not pro-politician, not pro-religion, but pro-active because I felt that we are born into the world with nothing… right… everybody is born into this world with nothing. Now when you get into the world… it’s a cold cruel world, and unless someone gets the right nurturing from a mother and a father, they are going to go haywire.

We need to teach people what is going on in the world… the truth, not the innuendo’s that we are all doing great… America is the big number one, big brother of all… we help everybody in the world… that’s why we are in trouble. At this point nobody really cares.

When I last heard we all have freedom of speech… I’ve practiced that. So nobody has the right to tell me to shut up… from here to DC… if you’re making a point. Now I could be screaming, or ranting, or raving, that is me doing it to me… throwing it in the air. But if I welcome you, with love and peace… bingo, see what I’m saying.”

And here is what the Chief is saying, “’We are all born, everybody, into this world with nothing… and we leave with nothing. I know other people have said that… but you’ve got to realize what I am saying. I put nothing above a human being… NOTHING.

I don’t care what it is… a car, a plane, money, anything… I don’t put nothing above a human being. Because you (the Chief points to me) are just as sacred of a human being, as you (he point to my friend, Buddy), are as sacred of a human being, as I (points to himself) am as a human being. And nobody has the right to take anybody to where they do not want to go… to kick anybody… or to tell anybody what the have to do. You can explain to people what they should do… but you have no right to tell nobody nothing.

So I make everything as equal. The biggest joke out there is that I am sort of like the town, friar… the town messenger. And I come out and say, ‘Happy belly button day! Does everybody have their belly buttons on!’ Well of course, if you are walking on two legs everybody as a belly button, all belly buttons being equal. Now, from the new little belly buttons in their strollers all the way up to the old haggidy man walking down the street, we are born into the world with nothing, and we take nothing with us when we leave, what messes us up is this right here…’” The Chief point to his head, “…it always wants to explore.”

I interrupt, “So with that brain, and looking towards the future, what do you see, or where should we head?”

The Chief resumes his pace, “I see it like this, if we continue to derogate our planet, cutting down our rain forests and creating more nuclear waste, we are going to have big problems.

And we have to eliminate to hate, and replace it with love.”

“Do you think we can have a loving future?” I ask.

“I’m in love… I love everything walking above the Earth on two legs. I don’t care what race they are… color… creed. I don’t care what religion they are. I don’t care if they have warts on their nose. They deserve to breathe the air, just as everybody else does. Nobody asked nobody to show up, and now that we are here…we have to hold firm to the sacredness of life, of other humans, and then realize that we are OK.

Funny how timing works out, we end our interview, and as we do, and in proving of The Chiefs integrity, a witness to his works surprisingly joins us, when up walks a stranger, and to the Chief, she smilingly says, “Happy belly button day!”

I’ll never look at anyone’s navel the same again! Chief, thanks for your inspiration!