November 20, 2011

Ted Danson inspired by Indians

Danson's nephew wrote a book about Danson's father to raise money for the Museum of Northern Arizona's Edward B. Danson Chair of Anthropology Fund.

Ted Danson and wife raise money for archeology chair

Museum chair to help preserve American Indian culture

By Rae Owen
Danson's father Edward was the second director of the MNA, and the book is a outline of his life and how when he came to this area he and his family fell in love. While it is hard to guess at why a person loves something Danson imagines it was the beauty and history of the area the drew his father in.

"I think he loved if for the same thing that many people love, its dark beauty," said Danson. "Even from the scientist point-of-view you can go from above timberline, to the one of the deepest places on earth in just about an hour. So you have every plant life and geological formation, you have all the different indigenous people, and it's this gold mine of history. From the heart point-of-view you get to, if your lucky, to rub shoulders with people that have been here for centuries. Like the Hopi have been there on those mesas in those houses and danced in those plazas for centuries. So you get to see a people relate to their spiritual life as they have for centuries and that's astounding."

Danson's father was very involved with the many cultures that surround the area, but it wasn't just him that fell in love, his wife Jessica felt the same.

"My father was the director of the museum, and that's a strenuous job, my mother was the hostess to the museum which was an overwhelmingly huge job," said Danson. "So I think what she considered her reward for all the dinner and cocktail parties she had to throw was going out to the mesas. To be able to go on the collecting trips for the Hopi and Navajo and to visit the villages and to go into the homes and see the friends they had made, that was her treat."

Ted's parents were not the only one effected by the area and the people, but Ted became moved as well.

"I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go out and play in the villages with some of my friends as a little boy in amongst the dances," said Danson. "I got to be exposed to so many different cultures and ways to express spiritually and it obviously had a huge impact on me."
Comment:  When you go beyond the well-known celebrities like Marlon Brandon, Johnny Cash, and Kevin Costner, you find people like Gary Cooper, Bea Arthur, and Beau Bridges were touched by Indians in some way. They work behind the scenes or leave money to help Native people.

Then you get people like Miley Cyrus, Paris Hilton, and the Kardashians, who are inspired to wear headdresses and feather outfits. Who apparently know nothing else and don't care to do anything except parade their ignorance. That's the difference between inspiration and "inspiration."

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

Below:  "Ted Danson and his wife Mary Steenburgen held an event at The Orpheum to raise money for the Museum of Northern Arizona."

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