Uncasville, Connecticut, Friday, August 7, 2009. "Elvis has left the building." That is what the announcer said after an Elvis concert, as Elvis was whisked out of the building, into a car and on his way.
Today, Dr. Jeffrey Bendremer, the Mohegan Tribe's Archaeologist, leaves the building (the government building), hopefully not forever.
He is being let go allegedly, because of budget cuts. Allegedly, the good doctor, was asked about how he missed his family by a member of the Council of Elders. He allegedly told them that he missed his family.
It has been reported, to Brokenwing Editorials, that allegedly the next day or a few days later, Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum, and other members of the Tribal Council met with the Council of Elders, Bozsum allegedly said, "Jeff has to go." Robert Sopher, allegedly said, "Okay." Nobody on the Council of Elders or the Tribal Council allegedly tried to save his job.
Allegedly, some of the Council of Elders, took Dr. Bendremer, out to dinners and lunches, telling him how they supported him and wished him well. Was it because they felt guilty of their alleged actions? Were they trying to ease their consciences? Were they promising him that maybe they would let him run future field schools on the Mohegan Reservation? Were they figuratively putting a carrot in front of a rabbit's face? Did they harm him? What do you think?
Could it be that he was let go because his boss or bosses didn't appreciate him? Was it politics?
Could it be that his bosses didn't understand what he did for the Mohegan Tribe and what he meant to us? Could people have been afraid, that he could do their jobs?
Could it be that the Mohegan Tribe only has an Archaeology Department to look legitimate? If an archaeological site were found, would it be saved if the government needed to build something? Is history or progress more important? The bulldozer or the trowel?
Whoever heard of an Archaeology Department without an archaeologist? The department will survive without him, if the government doesn't cut the department even more. What will the government do? What do you think?
Jeff Bendremer, spent five (5) years, doing field schools for the Mohegan people. He then was hired as the tribe's archaeologist, serving us for the last the ten (10) years. This man has given us (the Mohegan People) his soul serving us faithfully and professionally. He is a kind, honest, hard working man. Fifteen (15) years of service. Think about it folks.
I believe Jeff had a dream to spend his life working for the Mohegan Tribe, and making a difference for us. I believe, he wanted to retire leaving us a legacy of important historical information about our history. That dream was shattered. This is how we treat him? This is how we repay him? This is how we show our gratitude? We let him go. Hello?
Dr. Jeff Bendremer, leaves us (the Mohegan Tribe) today. It is his last day. Jeff will travel to Montana to be with his family. His wife was offered a good position, that would help her career, taking a job in Montana. He has spent the last one (1) year serving us, while his family is away. A tremendous sacrifice. I think he needs to be with his family.
I think, he was grateful for being able to work the extra six (6) months, until the end of the field school. I think he was glad for the extra income, too.
Maybe, what is happening is a blessing in disguise. Some Mohegans will miss him. He needs to be with his wife and children. Our loss, is his gain. Be happy, Jeff.
Dr. Bendremer, we wish you well. You will be missed. You served us well. You were a good employee and a good friend. You will always be in our hearts and minds. Good luck in your future endeavors. Keep in touch. God speed.
No "Elvis has not left the building," Dr. Jeff Bendremer has left the building.