Past Meetup

Day Trip to Indio: Powwow, Native American Food and General Patton Museum

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Please Note: Read the directions carefully below BEFORE you RSVP 'Yes' for this event.

1) I am hosting this event for both Gay Foodies and Pleasure Palate.

2) This is a day trip that involves couple of stops in the Indio area. So keep that in mind. I will be arranging for a carpool that will meet at 9 AM in the Macy's parking lot in Sherman Oaks. The address is: 14000 Riverside Drive, Sherman Oaks, 91423

3) If you carpool, please give at least $25 in CA$H to your designated driver.

4) We will most likely have lunch at the Powwow where they will be serving Native American food like fry bread. So bring about $20 to $30 in CA$H for food. If for some reason the food is not adequate at the Powwow, then we will eat at one of the casino restaurants.

5) Admission to the Powwow and General Patton Museum is FREE, but I suggest donating $5 to the General Patton Museum because is a non profit. Please don't be a cheapskate.

6) I estimate we will arrive at the Powwow around 11 AM. We will hang around, eat, and see the Grand Entry that starts at 1 PM. We will will leave the Powwow around 2 PM to head to the General Patton Museum. The museum closes at 4:30 PM, o after that we head back to LA and arrive back at Macy's parking lot around 6:30 PM.

I have been wanting to attend powwows now for several years. A powwwow is a sacred ceremony among Native Ameircans. They originally meant a gathering of different tribes to get together and compete in a friendly way and forge ties instead of going to war during pre-Columbus days. Now they are still a gathering of various tribes but to celebrate their heritage and culture. The largest powwow that takes place in Southern California is the one held every November in Indio. So I figured if I'm going to a powwow, I might as well go to the largest one. I also found out through a Meetup member that there is a war museum in Indio as, specifically the General Patton Museum. I figure if we are going to drive all the way to Indio, we might as well kill two birds with one stone and experience both the powwow and the General Patton Memorial Museum.

First Stop: Indio Powwow at Fantasy Springs Resort

In addition to the powwow, they will have Native American food and arts and crafts for sale.

Check out the flyer for more details...

Second Stop: General Patton Museum

62510 Chiriaco Rd

Indio, CA 92201

From their website:


"The museum concept first began when the BLM enacted a small triangular rock monument with an American flag with information about the DTC/CAMA and General Young for whom the Camp was named. (Prior to the construction of the triangular memorial, there had been an article in the LA Times about the DTC and this article had generated such a huge response to the BLM that the idea of a permanent monument in an area that was close to the headquarters of General Patton should be erected and easy access for the public was a bonus.)

At this time there was a lot of enthusiasm and a real sense of renewed patriotism again in America so the idea to build a facility, museum that would house the history and information of the Desert Training Center and would also serve as a repository for the artifacts that people had gathered over the years from the desert lands. This happened in 1985 and a small committee consisting of the BLM representative, Leslie Cone and myself, Margit F. Chiriaco Rusche put a team together that would evolve into the General Patton Memorial Museum, Inc., a non-profit in association with the Bureau of Land Management, a 501-C3.

The name General Patton was selected because of the name ID and because he had actually handpicked the site and was the first commander of the DTC with Camp Young as the headquarters for the Desert Training Center, eventually training over a million men to go into the WWII effort. This became the world’s largest military installation both in size and population stretching from Arizona to Nevada to California. Leslie continues to work for the BLM and resides now in Colorado. Margit lives at the Chiriaco site and continues to serve as an active supporter of the museum.

The first year was spent organizing and trying to find locations to house and process the artifacts that began to come to the address. The BLM had a mobile home that became the first office and repository for information and artifacts. Senator Presley helped the museum to obtain the old Coachella DMV office which was moved to the site at Chiriaco Summit. The land was donated by Joseph L. Chiriaco and Ruth E. Chiriaco, pioneers of the area. In 1986 five more modules were purchased creating a 7000 square foot area to serve as the museum building. Construction began in earnest in 1987 with a solid team of retirees from SCE headed by Jerry Rusche. This group of men worked long and hard creating the interior spaces of the museum, cleaning up and modifying the spaces, installing new electrical, refrigeration, heating and everything else that went into the interior space, as well as overseeing the exterior plastering of the building. The rock was donated by the Whitewater Rock and the Sea Bees were the volunteers, who installed the rock one summer.

The foundations were constructed and donated by Modern Alloy. The engineering for the facility was donated by the firm of Krieger and Stewart, and the legal work was done by Joe Aklufi. Corky Larson, Riverside County Supervisor also played an important role in the project. Our first really professional exhibit was the MWD topo map that was donated to the museum. The map shows the vast regions of Southern California where the massive aqueduct was installed bringing the much needed water to Los Angeles.

The availability of water to the DTC is the main reason that Patton selected the area for the DTC and placed the camps accordingly. This is aside from the fact that this desert area so mimicked the areas of North Africa and he could train the men in these harsh conditions preparing them for their eventual service in the war. There were so many individuals and corporations that helped make this museum a reality, through donations of money, time and their own brand of support. I am forgetting important folks which need to be identified, but will attempt to list later.

During the building process, personalized engraved bricks were sold to finance parts of the project that just could not be donated. Today there is a large wall area covered with bricks, both large and small which are still being sold and installed. The museum was beginning to look like a large building and with fervent prayers and many hours of volunteer service to the project in terms of begging and cajoling for donations, the museum was about to open on November 11,1988 at 11 in the morning, and coincidentally Patton’s one hundredth birthday. A crowd of over 5000 attended the opening, the outdoor concrete area barely dry."

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