Tootsie served in the Marines Corps from 1961-66, the Vietnam era. He didn’t make it to Vietnam as he served in the states and Okinawa. He is a member of the Black Creek Gourd Society of Ft. Defiance. This is an organization to promote gourd dancing.
Tootsie noted that Navajo Councilman Larry Anderson runs the Black Creek Gourd Society and initiated him into it.
“If a pow wow is close to home and if I have time to travel then I’ll go,” Tootsie said. “Going to pow wows is an honor and it makes me feel good.”
Tootsie said sometimes people he doesn’t know ask him to gourd dance.
“I get to meet people and it builds a lot of pride,” he said. “I would like to invite more Hopis to pow wows, especially the gourd dancers.”
Tootsie said the young servicemen should come out so they could be recognized.
“They should let people see who they are because once they come home they often aren’t recognized,” he said.
“It’s one event that recognizes those who served in the military.”