Shirley Stahi: Always “Making Them Laugh” in the Longhouse

Shirley Stahi recalls working in the longhouse and the teamwork that existed there. 2:02

Transcription: And so, getting to the longhouse when I was working there with Jerry Blotchet Louise Dryer, she used to be Louise Helda and I’d tell them I’ll do all the fish and we’d work as team, us three ladies were a team. You do so many and you leave some for Jerry, and you leave some for me. Well alright, so I would do that. Now it’s getting to where it’s hard for people to work that way. They can’t work that way no more and those were kind of like the good days, you know, working with the old people. And so I learned a lot from those ladies. And I learned a lot when I was growing up in Celilo, I had a real good teacher in that longhouse. And she was kind of like, she took me under her wing, she showed me how to, her job was to show me how to do the meat. So she showed me how to cut meat and take care of things in the kitchen. And she was a Warm Springs lady, her name was Kathryn Cushinway. And she was a very jovial person, she was always joking and laughing. And that’s what she used to tell me; you never get mad when you’re in the kitchen. You always got to be happy, laughing. And so I kind of carried that when I was working in the kitchen at Samnasho. I’d always be joking with the ladies, you know, making them laugh. And sometimes Louise would tell me, I’ll choke from you making us laugh too much.

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