The heart of the narrow river was filled with fish. Flashes of ruby and black speckled spines darted over rocks and rapids alike. The Yakama, the Waptailmim, had long cast their nets and lines into the river’s cool waters. They fished, they celebrated, and they cared for the river and its bounty. Ambrose Amos Andy Jr. was one of the “people of the narrow river” in both body and spirit. Since his birth on March 3, 1962 he had cared for the fish. He spent long hours on the river, waiting patiently for his catch, and listening to the music of the water as it tumbled and fell over itself in an unending symphony. When the call to care for the salmon came, as it had to many before him, he started work at the local fish hatchery. When he was playing games, berry picking, cooking, or making his family laugh, he heard the music of the river. Even when the music of the pow-wow filled his head and his heart, the songs of the water played within him. Perhaps like Old Man Rattlesnake, Ambrose has given himself up to the salmon and the river. Perhaps his parents Amos and Shirley; his siblings Moses, Sam, Barbara, William, Jo, and Rebecca; and his nephew Vincent have found these same waters and are there to welcome him home. The river knows this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday. Those waiting for this new someday, to see him again and share his laughter, are his children Kristina Andy, Ambrosia Andy, Celilo Andy, Rachael Andy, Rosalyn Corral, Shannon Mack-Andy, Collin Ambrose Andy, Liam Andy, Truke Andy, Elicia Benado, Yaunna Sneatlum, and Michelle Steik; his siblings Stanley Andy, Charles Andy, David Andy, Ceceilia Andy, Sharon Andy and Mike Andy; many nieces and nephews; and his many beloved grandchildren.
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