May a neighbor and Herald subscriber weigh in on “The Chief” sign?
My memories of The Chief diner and its iconic sign are less than happy. In the mid-1950s, my entire family came down with food poisoning after eating at there. The diner closed but the sign remained to remind us of that experience.
Since the “Chief” resembles present-day Ute and Navajo people about as much as Cleveland’s Chief Wahoo looks like the Wyandotte people, one might think Durango would have scrapped the tacky old thing long ago. Instead, a gallery that claims to uphold and promote fine Native American art keeps it as a draw for clueless tourists and their quaint notions about the Wild West.
Durango and the Four Corners have far more serious issues of race and class to address. Why waste time, energy and tax dollars wrangling over a goofy sign? I, too, have been around since the 1950s, so I know that not everything old is worth preserving. The “Chief” sign has outlasted its value.
It is long past time for him to join Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, the Cream of Wheat chef and many others at The Home for Retired Racist Stereotypes.