NORTH FORK – First, we would like to clarify right off the bat that the item in question is not a totem pole. However, since the locals refer to it as such, we want everyone to know what we’re talking about.
Residents are accustomed to seeing the beautifully designed and painted cultural monument at the intersection of Roads 274 and 225, and when it disappeared several weeks ago, people started asking.
Good news – it has not been stolen. The monument, we are told, is undergoing some much needed repairs.
After it was discovered that the termites had gotten to it, the monument was loaded up and taken to the Mono Rancheria’s Transportation Building at the Old Mill Site where James “Brother” Bethel is working to restore and repair it — in his “spare time” between his other jobs. That requires rebar and epoxy and lots of work to hoist the thing up to where damaged areas can be easily accessed.
No estimated date has yet been given for its return, but when repairs have been completed, the monument will be transported back to its spot at the intersection near the Mono Museum.
The monument also “disappeared” almost exactly one year ago when the wooden base suffered deterioration, and it was repaired and set onto a concrete slab.