I really enjoyed my interview with Kent Ogle who now anchors Oklahoma s News Channel 4’s weekday morning show. Previously, when he was with OETA where he hosted and produced the feature, “On the Oklahoma Road” he contacted me for an interview in my studio. The interview, which took place and was aired sometime in the early 90’s, was an absolute pleasure to do. Kent is such a classy, nice guy and immediately put me at ease. (I am rather camera shy!)
Oklahoman Cheryl Davis is a self taught artist. She creates art from experiences and first-hand knowledge of images that have left their impressions upon her. Both mystical and defined, Cheryl’s style expresses the beauty of a moment.
An historian of sorts, she records how she feels about what she sees around her. The fine lines and detail of Davis’ art are created with colored pencil, watercolor and acrylic. The watercolor washes her work with feeling and mood, and the faces and emotion of the paintings tell the story.
Of Cherokee, Choctaw & Delaware descent, Cheryl was born to art, raised in rural Oklahoma in an environment surrounded by artistic people. She embraced artistic excellence and individualism as by-words of her life.
Painting traditional American Indian people of today as they interpret their living heritage, Cheryl’s desire is for her audience to feel the movement of the dancers, to see the never ending beauty of the people and their rich heritage.
Cheryl’s art has been a progression of growth from an interest held since an early age. One of her earliest memories is finger painting before an easel in pre-school at about the age of three. And many more of her early memories involve art, drawing and museums. Her professional art career began about 1986. Since that time she has developed a complete line that includes note cards, bookmarks, artwear and jewelry in addition to originals & prints. Always striving to expand, she is currently developing her skills with mosaic work. She has worked with the Hamilton Collection in the past and designed jewelry and other items for national and internationally distributed catalogs.
Her art is displayed in private collections throughout the U.S. and has also been accepted in many national and international competitions. Among those competitions, her work was selected for the “Grand Award” in the rekindled “AIHC 1994 Annual Oklahoma Indian Art Competition” hosted by the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Davis’ work has been exported and international appeal of Davis’ work often calls for the artist to travel to Europe. Her work has also appeared in several Native American Indian Art Calendars throughout the years.
George “Woogie” Watchetaker
Active: ’30s, ’40s – Genre: World
A performer of powwow music as a vocalist, drummer, and award-winning fancy dancer, George “Woogie” Watchetaker was above all a spiritual leader for Comanche people. Watchetaker was a five-time world-champion fancy dancer, a style of American Indian dances regularly performed at powwows throughout the Indian nations. He was often involved in effective lobbying for recognition of Native Americans within his community, and in the ’90s, he helped spearhead the Crowell, OK, Chamber of Commerce decision to change the name of its annual spring festival to Cynthia Ann Parker Days in honor of the great female Comanche chief Cynthia Ann Parker, or Qanah Parker.
~ By Eugene Chadbourne, All Music Guide
February 13, 2007
Medicine man heals New Yorkers
A fragrant mix of smoky sage and red willow bark filled an Upper West Side meeting room that’s windows were covered with blankets and plastic sheeting and whose door jams were sealed with duct tape. Standing near the center of the room, an American Indian chief and medicine man, Harold “White Horse” Thompson, chanted and waved stone-filled rattles that pierce the darkness with streaks of light. About 30 men and women who had come to the Children of Life interfaith center sat around the chief. They had come to participate in an American Indian healing ceremony called a Lowampi.
A small but growing number of New Yorkers are embracing Mr. Thompson’s holistic healing philosophy and making periodic trips to meet with him in South Dakota. In November, some of his adherents paid for him to travel to New York City, and last week they brought him back for another two-week stint. “It’s not about slowing down the pace of New York but bringing a different perspective on life and how we make decisions,” a resident of the East New York section of Brooklyn who is studying to become a Lakota medicine man, Omar Miller, said on Sunday. “New York needs this kind of energy.” posted by Rob at 10:59 AM
- writerfella said…
- Writerfella here —
Ordinarily, writerfella impugns no one’s faith or belief system, save for Tom Cruise’s slavish devotion to Scientology as writerfella is a science fiction writer and knows fully well the scam perpetrated by the Technocrat L. Ron Hubbard. But the ‘Native medicine on demand’ racket is nothing new. True Native healers accept no money or other recompense other than meals, lodging, and transport. This is a prime example of Rob’s stating that Americans do not regard contemporary Native Americans as real people but rather as mystical and ethereal creatures of past history. The ones that writerfella knows as genuine perform their rites and ceremonials for the benefit of all, not merely for an enclave and a paying one, at that. George ‘Woogie’ Watchetaker, a Comanche healer, made quite a name for himself in the 1960s and ’70s by traveling nationwide to do his Comanche rain ceremonies. It seemed a grand show and it attracted people by the hundreds to witness the ceremonials. But what history and news cameras recorded was that ‘Woogie’ never failed to draw rain, no matter how long it had been since it had rained in a given area. Yet, ‘Woogie’ never accepted payment but merely asked for his meals, travel, and lodging.He was a close friend of writerfella’s parents and, before he went on his first such personal appearance, he came to the Bates Motel to speak with writerfella’s mother. “Agatha,” he said, “I want to do this, but am I doing wrong or hurt to the beliefs of our people?” Agatha laughed and said, “No, if for no more reason than you will find out what the White man believes and what he disbelieves. And you’ll get to see parts of our land that you might not see otherwise. Just stay true to what you know and believe, and it will all come out right.” Thus counseled, ‘Woogie’ became a Native man in demand and, surely enough, he saw many parts of the United States that he might have been unable to see on his own.
Sometime soon, writerfella may relate how he brought rain and thunderstorms to Seattle in the summer of 1973, using the same Native knowledge as did ‘Woogie’.
Examine any such reports with those criteria in mind, and then you will know. Yeagley’s gonna be jealous because he picked the wrong game to pursue…
- 10:07 PM
- AJ CHIBITTY said…
- ALL DO RESPECT TO YOU ROB, BUT A TRUE NATIVE MEDICINE MAN NEVER CHARGES TO HEAL. THAT IN OUR CULTURE IS LIKE GOD CHARGING TO LET THE BLIND SEE IT JUST DON’T HAPPEN. OUR BENEFITS ARE TO SEE THE JOY AND POSITIVE OUTCOME AFTER A HEALING.
- MY GRANDFATHER THE LATE GEORGE WOOGIE WATCHETAKER NEVER HAD THE PEOPLE PAY FOR HIS SERVICES. ALSO BEING A MEDICINE MAN ISN’T FOR A SHOW AND TELL PARTY IT IS TO BE TAKEN SERIOUS AND USED FOR ONLY THE HEALING OF A PERSON(S) OR THE HEALING OF OUR MOTHER EARTH.
- SEE MY GRANDPA WAS TAUGHT AND LEARNED THE WAYS OF A MEDICINE MAN ALSO HE HAD TO MAKE SACRIFICE TOWARD THIS HONOR. I REMEMBER HIM TELLING STORIES A RELATIVE RECORDED, HE SAID HIS LIFE WAS AT A POINT WHEN HE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT HE WANTED TO DO WITH IT. HE DRANK AND SMOKE A LOT ACTUALLY TOO MUCH. WELL ONE DAY HE ASKED THE GREAT SPIRIT TO GUIDE HIM TO HIS DESTINY AND SHOW HIM HIS PURPOSE. WELL THAT NIGHT MY GRANDPA SEEN A SPIRIT AND HE ASKED HIM WHAT HE WANTED. THIS SPIRIT TOLD HIM HE WAS TO BE A MEDICINE MAN BUT BEFORE HE COULD DO THIS HE HAD TO HEAL HIMSELF. MY GRANDPA ASKED WHAT DO I DO TO ACCOMPLISH THAT. THE SPIRIT TOLD HIM HE HAD TO GIVE UP SMOKING AND STOP DRINKING. THAT ONE NIGHT MY GRANDPA COLD TURKEYED. HE BROKE ALL HIS CIGARETTES AND THREW THEM AWAY. HE POURED OUT THE REST OF HIS LIQUOR AND TRASHED THE BOTTLES. HE THEN SET OUT ON THE FIRST VISION QUEST OF THIS NEW CENTURY. HE SAID TO HIS MOM I WILL NOT SHAME MY TRIBE ON THIS QUEST IF I DO NOT SEE ANYTHING I WILL NOT RETURN, BUT IF I DO HAVE MYSELF A VISION I WILL RETURN AND SHARE IT WITH MY TRIBESMAN. HE SET OUT ON THIS VISION QUEST AND HE WAS GONE FOR THREE NIGHTS AND YET DIDN’T HAVE NO VISION. ON THE FOURTH DAY HE SAID IF I DON’T HAVE MYSELF A VISION TONIGHT I WILL START MY TRACK AWAY FROM THIS PLACE AND AWAY FROM MY TRIBE COME DAY BREAK TOMORROW. WELL THAT NIGHT HE SEEN THAT NIGHT MY GRANDPA SEEN A VISION THAT TOLD HIM HE WAITED LONGER THAN ANYONE ELSE MEANING HE WAS DETERMINED. SEE USUALLY MEN WHO GO ON A VISION QUEST WAIT THREE DAYS BUT NO MY GRANDPA WAITED FOUR. WELL HE SAW HIMSELF AN OLDER GENTLEMAN HEALING. HE SAID I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WAS HEALING OR WHO BUT I KNEW I HAD TO BE A MEDICINE MAN. SO HE CAME BACK AND TALKED TO THE ELDERS. HE TOLD THE ELDERS WHAT HE HAD SEEN. THE ELDERS ALL AGREED THAT HE SEEN THE VISION OF A VISIONARY THAT THESE ISION’S CAN NOT BE MADE UP. THEY ALLOWED HIM TO LEARN AND SACRIFICE WITH THE ELDEST OF THE TRIBES MEDICINE MEN. YOU SEE ROB MY GRANDPA WENT THROUGH AL OT JUST TO BECOME A MEDICINE MAN AND FOR SOME PERSON TO TRY TO MAKE THIS A WHITMAN’S SHOW AND TELL PARTY IS A LITTLE DEGRADING AND VERY UNETHICAL TOO. I DON’T ASK FOR YOU TO APOLOGIZE OR FOR SYMPATHY JUST I ASK FOR STORIES LIKE THIS TO NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY CAUSE MANY NATIVES WILL READ THIS STORY AND BOYCOTT BUSINESS’ NAMED IN THE STORY.
- TO YOU MISTER WRITERFELLA MY GRANDFATHER BROUGHT RAIN TO WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS TWICE ONCE IN 1971 AND ANOTHER IN 1982 AS WELL AS MANY OTHER PLACES IN THE USA. I JUST THOUGHT FOR FUTURE REFERENCE YOU MAY FIND IT USEFUL TO SLAP SOMEONE WITH THIS PIECE OF INFO TOO.
WELL PUT, AJ Chibitty!
Woogie (George Smith) Watchetaker, Comanche, 1916 – 1993
Eagle Dancers, n.d., Tempera on board
21 1/2 x 29 1/2″
Purchase, Richard H. and Adeline J. Fleischaker Collection, 1996
REMEMBERING A MOMENT IN HISTORY…
Allan Houser’s monumental tribute to Native Americans, As Long As the Waters Flow, was dedicated on June 4, 1989. Among those in attendance was legendary Comanche medicine man George Woogee Watchetaker, traditional Indian flute players Doc Tate Nevaquaya and Woodrow Haney, as well as Governor Henry Bellmon. Watchetaker led a prayer of dedication and conducted a native ritual by use of smoke from burning cedar chips and sage. The traditional elements of the dedication held true to the powerful meaning of legacy within the statue. As Long As the Waters Flow refers to President Andrew Jackson’s vow to Native Americans that they shall posses their land “as long as the grass grows and the rivers run.” The fifteen-foot bronze statue exudes Houser’s artistic style. Lacking intricate representative detailing, the large solid planes among the surface denote strength within an everlasting presence. Her traditional attire is complete with an eagle feather fan, which is considered a sacred symbol among Native American cultures.
Allan (far right) at 1989 dedication of “As Long as the Waters Flow” at the Oklahoma State Capitol Building.
I had the great honor of drawing a portrait of Oscar G. Johnson, Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 363rd infantry, 91st infantry Division, and recipient of the Medal of Honor for Valor. He is one of many who have chosen a path of great personal sacrifice so that we can live in a free country, and I honor them all and thank them for all they and their families have given.
The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
JOHNSON, OSCAR G.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 363rd Infantry, 91st Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Scarperia, Italy, 1618 September 1944. Entered service at: Foster City, Mich. Birth: Foster City, Mich. G.O. No.: 58, 19 July 1945.
Citation: (then Pfc.) He practically single-handed protected the left flank of his company’s position in the offensive to break the German’s gothic line. Company B was the extreme left assault unit of the corps. The advance was stopped by heavy fire from Monticelli Ridge, and the company took cover behind an embankment. Sgt. Johnson, a mortar gunner, having expended his ammunition, assumed the duties of a rifleman. As leader of a squad of 7 men he was ordered to establish a combat post 50 yards to the left of the company to cover its exposed flank. Repeated enemy counterattacks, supported by artillery, mortar, and machine gun fire from the high ground to his front, had by the afternoon of 16 September killed or wounded all his men. Collecting weapons and ammunition from his fallen comrades, in the face of hostile fire, he held his exposed position and inflicted heavy casualties upon the enemy, who several times came close enough to throw hand grenades. On the night of 1617 September, the enemy launched his heaviest attack on Company B, putting his greatest pressure against the lone defender of the left flank. In spite of mortar fire which crashed about him and machine gun bullets which whipped the crest of his shallow trench, Sgt. Johnson stood erect and repulsed the attack with grenades and small arms fire. He remained awake and on the alert throughout the night, frustrating all attempts at infiltration. On 17 September, 25 German soldiers surrendered to him. Two men, sent to reinforce him that afternoon, were caught in a devastating mortar and artillery barrage. With no thought of his own safety, Sgt. Johnson rushed to the shell hole where they lay half buried and seriously wounded, covered their position by his fire, and assisted a Medical Corpsman in rendering aid. That night he secured their removal to the rear and remained on watch until his company was relieved. Five companies of a German paratroop regiment had been repeatedly committed to the attack on Company B without success. Twenty dead Germans were found in front of his position. By his heroic stand and utter disregard for personal safety, Sgt. Johnson was in a large measure responsible for defeating the enemy’s attempts to turn the exposed left flank.
Upon completion and presentation of the artwork, I was made “Honorary Colonel Cheryl Davis” by the 91st Infantry Division, The Powder River Division, Army of the United States, WWII, an elite infantry combat unit, second to none! (Friends of the 91st Division). An Honorary Colonel of Infantry & Honorary Member! What a great honor.
Thank you 91st!
These guys are my heroes!
Thank you for your service & sacrifices!
MEMORIAL DAY – 2007
Volunteers place flags on veteran’s graves at Riverside National Cemetery
12:13 PM PDT on Sunday, May 27, 2007
The Press-Enterprise RIVERSIDE – When Brenda Johnson went to visit her husband’s grave at Riverside National Cemetery on Saturday, she did not expect to see a flag on his grave site and thousands more waving in the wind.“I just think this is so great. It makes it so beautiful,” Johnson said. “It’s a nice surprise.”With the help of friends, retired Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Bob Markham, of Redlands, placed about 3,000 flags in a section of the cemetery where Johnson’s husband, Oscar Johnson, is buried. It is the same section where Markham’s wife, Winona, was interred after her death in 2002.
Other people, including Daughters of the American Revolution member Mary Spangler, of Riverside, were also out Saturday placing flags on the graves of loved ones in preparation for Memorial Day. On Monday, Riverside National Cemetery will hold a Memorial Day ceremony to honor the men and women who have served and continue to serve in the military. Riverside Concert Band will open the event with a musical presentation at 10:30 a.m. Keynote speaker at this year’s ceremony will be Naval Reserve Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike Vanderwood. Vanderwood was stationed in Iraq and Kuwait, cemetery spokesman James Rich said Riverside National Cemetery has the nation’s second largest Memorial Day ceremony with about 10,000 people attending each year. The only other cemetery with a larger turnout is Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.Markham started a Saturday tradition of putting a flag on his wife’s grave site about four years ago. He also places flags on the graves of friends and 51 military men and women who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. In all, he places about 80 flags each Saturday, he said.
Before major military holidays including Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day, Markham pulls out every flag he owns and enlists the help of friends and others to place them at the head of many markers in section 57a, where about 4,000 people are interred, he said.
“Every one of the flags you see here is privately donated. They don’t come from the government,” Markham said.
Darren Harden, of Menifee, his wife, Michele, and 14-year-old daughter, Jasmine, were among the volunteers helping Markham set out his flags. They came in memory of the sailors Harden knew in the Navy who did not return from war, he said.
“This is our first time doing this, but there will be many more to come,” Michele Harden said.
Some facts about the 91st Div.:
Medals of Honor: 6
Thousands of Lesser Awards for Valor
Presidential Unit Citations: 3
Division Citations: 1
WWI: Killed in Action 1,134
WWII: Killed in Action 1400
WWI: WIA: 4,974
WWII: WIA: 7,344
WWI: Total: 6,108
WWII: Total: 8,744
This was a rendering, drawn in art class by my youngest son, Kyle. A portrait of his mom! In case you haven’t figured it out, it’s me sitting at my easel, painting! My favorite all-time piece of art “ever” created! (Of course, each piece of art created by either of my sons or my two beautiful granddaughters are, of course extra special and my favorite.) It was graded as “Excellent A+“ in spite of the spelling errors (his teacher must have been a mom!) and she made sure that I saw it.
This is what it says:
My mom is famus becaus shes a good artest!
I love her more than anything.
Sometimes I sit down with her and watch her paint.
She almost skipt colige, but she changed her mind.
I keep on saying that I won’t trade anything for her.
By Kyle Davis
Dated: March 31, 1994
Right to left:
Sonny Tate Nevaquaya; Edmond Tate Nevaquaya; Monica Hansen; David Eveningthunder; Dana Tiger; David Kaskaske; Mrs. “Doc” Tate Nevaquaya; Jerome Bushyhead; Vanessa Jennings; Brooks Henson; Cheryl Davis; Harvey Pratt; Merlin Little Thunder; R. W. Geionety; Gary Harrington, Calendar producer (front center).
Photo taken at Penn Square Mall during the annual calendar signing.
One of the most meaningful honors I have ever received was the plaque given to me by my fellow high school classmates. I received it at a class reunion. It took me by surprise and greatly touched me that they recognized me in that way. I went to a great school with some awesome people; I have so many good memories of my school days. Growing up in a small town had some great advantages. It was a special time in which we grew up too. Perhaps time makes one idealize things a bit, but I remember our world being much safer than it is now. Parents not worrying so much about their kids. People trusting in each other. Most of my friends parents being MARRIED, not divorced (a sharp contract to my sons’ friends). Neighbors knowing neighbors and watching after each other (that included their kids). You knew everyone from their parents and grandparents all the way down to their little brothers and sisters. It being almost impossible to get away with skipping school because your parents would know before you even got home!; there being nothing like walking “up-town” to get a moon pie and a Dr. Pepper after lunch with friends; or “dragging main” (still not sure what the thrill was in that…but lots of us took part!); Rock, Paper, Scissors; George Jones… and “I Tiger by the Tail” by Buck Owens (my dad would play it to irritate my mother…); My Three Sons; writing notes with invisible ink or writing messages “in code“; writing notes “in code“; the foreign language my sister spoke with her friends (so I couldn’t understand what they were talking about)… it was called “Pig Latin”; writing the “What I did on my summer vacation” paper when school started every year; gas wars taking gas down to sometimes 14-15 cents a gallon (I think it was sometimes lower than that!); playing jump rope at recess; Cracker Jacks (and the prize you always got inside); making a “What I want for Christmas” list while going through the Montgomery Wards or Sears catalog; platform shoes; rayon shirts; shag haircuts; Farrah Fawcett; shag haircuts; Tony Orlando and Dawn (who can forget…); bowling alley dates; catching lightening bugs in a jar; climbing trees; rubber band guns (didn’t everyone’s dad make them one?); The Lone Ranger; my black horse, Midnight, that was coal black & beautiful; my German Shepard, Bandit; who was the perfect guard dog & friend; my little white dog, Peanut, who was an incredible snake dog; leaving little notes on the counter for mom and dad; playing in the sprinkler; super bubble gum; big bubble blowing contests (and then trying to scrape it off your face when it popped!); trap keepers; marbles; bandannas; Bonanza (…named my son after Little Joe); polyester pants (Guess what! They’re BACK!); learning to say and sing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious; Dairy Queen Ice Cream; my brother getting a cool, long handled Schwinn Sting Ray bicycle with a banana seat and wanting a pink bicycle with a basket; Mohawk Park & the old skating rink and “just watching” during the “couples only” song (no sympathy needed… I’ve recovered from the trauma!); Cinderella; my dad giving my brothers a “Mohawk” haircut; all the boys liking that new girl named Char and wishing (each time any new girl moved into town) that the boys would make the same kind of fuss over you; Tarzan and Jane; the Betty Boyd show; Butch Cassidy; selling candy bars for fund raisers (and eating more than you sold); seeing Elvis in concert at Oral Roberts in Tulsa; the class getting treated to a movie as a reward for good behavior; Casa Bonita was NEW and you were excited when your date took you there! (back in the day before you had to worry about “indigestion!”); using finger nail polish to stop the run in your hose; Cindy T.’s birthday party; skipping (not skipping school… because I didn’t do that… just plain ole skipping!); wearing your boyfriend’s letter jacket; kids playin’ hooky; pigs-in-a-blanket; school plays; hop-scotch; singing the anthem and saying the Pledge of Allegiance at school assemblies with your hand over your heart and singing patriotic and religious songs without anyone getting offended, suspended or sued; prayer in school; “meet you at the pole” mornings; having Christmas Specials where we sang Christmas carols and other religious songs (that… yes… mentioned Jesus and God and Mary and Joseph… without anyone taking it to the Supreme Court!); troll dolls; homeroom parties; having faith that Kathy & Paul would always be together; go-carts; the armory dances and that cute little Kevin, the drummer (who’s probably a grandpa by now… but will forever be 16 in my mind – on stage at the dance, drumming his heart out! He was so cute.); never going anywhere without a “hairbrush” in your hand; the Air Shows; knowing your school janitors; signing and handing out class valentines and decorating the box for receiving them with hearts & stuff; kite flying; wearing the “rouge” that you rubbed on with your finger (it was either before the brush-on kind, or it was just cheaper…); paper airplanes (with the wind-up rubber band propellers); pea shooters; the hokey poky; cartwheels; going from “pink foam rollers” to “steam rollers” to “orange juice cans“; bobby pins; hair bands; baked fish sticks with crinkled fries; Bobby McGee; 45s and my phonograph; Monty Python; Yahtzee; Tracy Park that had the elephant slides, those tall, tall swings, the pony swings and those crazy merry-go-rounds where you get so dizzy after going around 20 or 30 times; Lee Woodward and King Lionel on Channel 6; “dial” telephones; summer Slurpees at Quick Trip and brain freeze; fried spam; pet rocks; all the fun us girls had in Mrs. Hedgecock’s Home-EC class (in spite of her! Ha. Actually, she wasn’t much fun, but we did learn a lot in there); fresh eggs (and I don’t mean they had a long expiration date! I mean “fresh” eggs!); PTA; baby-doll dresses; beggin’ Walter to come to church with me; the dreaded report card (low grades meant being grounded….); knock-knock jokes; giant sweet tarts; the A & W Root-Beer stand on Admiral; cinnamon toast or cinnamon rolls for breakfast (Mmmmmm!); dodge ball; Gusty, the cartoon guy drawn by Don Woods, the weather man; patent leather Go-Go boots (I really wanted white ones like Nancy Sinatra but mom bought me black ones because they were easier to keep clean!); easy goin’ Lonnie; riding in the back of your dad’s truck (…and nobody ever fell out!); never using a seat belt; monopoly; riding on the handlebars of your friend’s bike; FFA; pedal pushers; practicing cheers; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band; board games; long walks by myself across the pastures, hills & valleys of home (now mostly underwater, below the lake!); playing in caves and climbing trees with my brothers (I was such a tomboy); peanut butter and apple sandwiches; washing dishes (the old fashioned way); seeing my teachers all week and then seeing them again on Sunday at church; learning new tricky ways to fold up notes; passing notes in class; Art Linkletter’s House Party and “Kids Say the Darndest Things“; Bill Cosby Himself and turtle heads in the bed; signing yearbooks; culotte pants; telephone party-lines; telephones you “really did” dial numbers on; milking cows; mom & mamaw’s canned strawberry jelly and canned tomatoes (Mmmmmm!); televisions with rabbit ears that had cable alright… (the cable was so you could plug it into the wall and make it work); trying to stay on our donkey more than 8 seconds before he took off at a full run and then lowered his front down after a sudden stop so we would slide down his neck and off his back; slumber parties (that were “not” mixed company!); phone calls to see if “our refridgerator was running” and being advised that if it was, we had better go catch it or asking if we had Prince Albert in a can and being advised that if we did, we had better let him out; baking cookies or scratch biscuits in Home Ec; clothes lines; cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye; mood rings; Brookside; Sonic Drive-In, ordering a #2 hamburger, onion rings and a cherry-vanilla coke (Thank God some things never change!); Mary Tyler Moore; All in the Family; flip-flops; mom going to the beauty shop once a week (… to the same one she still goes to); transistor radios with ear phones; practicing (now the lost art of…) penmanship, learning to write cursive; dad going to the barber shop (…he is too manly to ever go to a “stylist”); slicing into an ice cold watermelon on a hot summer day; the wooden roller coaster at Skyline Amusement Park (Indian Nations Amusement Park); my brothers getting a “burr” or a “mohawk” haircut; baton lessons; shopping at Frougs; skipping rocks; long hair (on guys!); the Aqua Velva man (…there’s just something about an Aqua Velva man!); fishing in the pond; yo-yos; a cherry mash; the monster mash; moms spending hours & hours ironing the clothes (who used dry cleaners except for drapes, bed spreads and winter coats!); The Ed Sullivan show; William Center’s Ice Skating Rink and ice-skating dates; double dates; the Saturday Night races at the Speedway on 169; fish net panty hose; going to the library to find the “short version” of the “required reading” books so you can write that book report in a hurry; hitchin’ rides with friends before I got my driver’s license so I wouldn’t have to ride the bus anymore; the bikini; not being able to wait until I got “curves” and now wishing I didn’t have them…ha!; Love Story; Protein 21 shampoo; playing tic-tack-toe; Boot’s Drive-In; the ice-cream truck; Dance Party; tube tops and scooter skirts; rubberband man; Gaddy’s store; spelling bees; the traveling BookMobile and summer reading program; navy blouses with sailercollars; stamp collecting; Charlie Chaplin; pleated skirts; penny loafers with a shiny, new penny inserted; wading pools; playing outside until 10 o’clock (and my parents not worrying about whether or not I was ok…); the sacks full of sprinklers, stink bombs, pop-bottle rockets shot out of coke bottles and the “very safe” hand-held roman candles mom & dad would buy us to celebrate the 4th of July; cotton candy and caramel apples at the fair; learning to run a 10-key; learning shorthand (…well… trying anyway…); the traditional church songs we sang in church every Sunday… like Amazing Grace, Love Lifted Me, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Rock of Ages, When the Roll is Called Up Yonder…. songs our children and grandchildren probably won’t know because they sadly don’t often sing the good old songs any more these days; Mr. Childers Vo. Ag.; class-time when the teacher would read sections of a great book to the class; when almost everyone’smom didn’t work and was there to greet them when they got home from school; showing respect to teachers; the girls ratting their hair with “rat combs”; lemonade stands; the mesh donuts we used to make a hair bun on top of our head; Mrs. Simerly; Mrs. Crites; Mrs. Sloan; Mr. Hendrex; the whole family sitting down to watch “The Wizard of Oz” & “The Ten Commandments” once a year; having two or three “best friends“; teeter-totters; not locking your house or your car; mom’s bowling league; jacks; when having a weapon in school meant you got caught with a sling shot or pea shooter; rock, paper, scissors; throwing snowballs; the dreaded stinging “wooden, hickory-hard paddle” licks from the principal and nobody to report it to… and which your parents supported (…now, I didn’t say I got one…!); going steady; breaking up & getting your heart broke (Walter was always breaking up with me to go steady with someone else… so I just briefly experienced the “going steady” part and heavily experienced the “breaking up-broken heart”part! Ha!); instead of just passing kids because they did bad, teachers threatened to hold kids back and meant it!; going out for dinner was a big treat and not something that happened very often (and sometimes when it happened, and if it was a drive-in, we took our own pop to save money!); Roy, Dale & Trigger; Howdy Dowdy time; The Hardy Boys; Laurel & Hardy; The Three Stooges; Casper; Peanut; Heckle & Jeckle; getting in trouble with Mr. Echolsor Mr. Brooks and wondering all the way home what was waiting for me at home; my brother’s baseball games; playing baseball withfriends (with no adults to set the rules); the new IBM Selectric typewriters; pill bottles didn’t have safety caps and they came that way from the store because no idiots had ever tried to poison people; the cute little mascot cheerleader; the Christmas cantata; student-teacher day; table-side jute boxes in restaurants; laying in the grass with my brothers staring up at the sky and playing the… that cloud looks like…..game; Hi-Fis, 78RPM records and 45 RPM records; Candid Camera (my absolute favorite!); on long trips playing the eye-spy game or looking for one-eyed cars; you never looked for your car keys because they were always in the ignition of the car; when you filled up withgas, they checked the fluids in your car, pumped your gas and cleaned your windshield for free! Air was free too! Who would have ever thought they would charge for AIR!; the 5 & 10 store; black jack gum; trying to keep track of my roller skate key (…life was so complicated!); candy corn; having to drink warm sweet tea because someone forgot to fill up the metal ice cube trays withlevers for ice; believing with everything I had that I could really run faster in my P.F. Flyers; cigarette machines were everywhere and a lot of parents smoked (…thankfully my parents didn’t!); it took 5 minutes for the old tube in the black and white tv to warm up; tvchannels “signed off” at night withthe Indian Chief and the Indian Chief with the tear; missing the bus and mom getting upset that she had to get dressed and take us to school); Jiffy Pop Popcorn; haunted house dates; my sister having to wear a gym suit; trying to get perfect attendance; the web being what the spiders wove; having to wear a rubber swim cap and nose plug for swimming lessons; the Tulsa Drillers; my black glasses (choices of frames were pitiful…. and mom wouldn’t buy the wire frames because she said I would bend them…); the Flintstones; sling shots; playing twister; science experiments that went bad; close-up toothpaste; corduroy pant suits; growing bean sprouts in styrofoam cups in class; ant farms; play dough; crazy eights; getting my first glasses & being amazed that I could see the leaves on trees; our biblical art drawings in 5thgrade (I drew Joseph and still have it) of which there were no law suits, protests, school board or community meetings about it; our telephone having a word as a prefix (WE #-### which was short for Webster); mom wearing stocking hose with a garter belt (and yes… I did too…); Ronco product tv commercials; penny candy (can’t buy anything for a penny now!); air guns; getting a dollar for every A on your report card; hating having to get sweaty because I had gym class early in the day; physical ed was a requirement; storing your school supplies in cigar boxes; Mr. Green Jeans; me and my brothers shooting each other with our cork pop guns (now they use real guns!); the hula hoop I got that rattled; 15 cent McDonald hamburgers; the Fuller Brush man; Red Skelton’s Fuller Brush act; the wonderful invention of the pantyhose; playing with fuzzy, green caterpillars and granddaddy long legs; finding a lucky penny; Avon calling; reel to reel tape recorders; being taught by female teachers who wore dresses withheels and had their hair done every week at the local beauty shop and male teachers who wore ties (..and now it could actually be the reverse); teachers were not political nor afraid to express their personal faith; always being so careful about stepping on the sidewalk crack to avoid breaking our mamma’s back; where almost nobody owned a pure-bred dog (everyone had a mut!); trick-or-treating with very large grocery sacks and getting tons & tons. The only thing we had to worry about was whether or not someone put a razor blade in one of the pieces of candy. And we went all over the neighborhood and our parents never gave it a thought!; scrabble; when a quarter was a decent allowance and you would do almost anything your mom asked to earn one; taping like 5 or 6 pencils together at the perfect angle so that I could do several lines at once & quickly write, “I will not talk in class” or “I will not chew gum in class” 400,000 times to avoid those licks…(I guess you are realizing that I must have gotten in trouble a few times to have developed a “method” for writing those sentences…); climbing trees; getting baseball cards in the bubble gum packs; thinking guys had cooties!; putting baseball cards in the spokes of your bike to turn it into a motorcycle; go fish; watching Bugs Bunny cartoons on Saturday morning (when it didn’t have 30 minutes of commercials for action figures!); Ken, Barbie and their awesome pink convertible; consistently having two things always check-marked on my report cards: “Talks too much” & “Does not participate in class!” and let me -at this time- take this opportunity to apologize to all my teachers! I really did actually learn something! I just pretended not to listen; the YMCA (the place & the song….); banana splits; merry-go-rounds and teeter totters; macrame belts, letter jackets (never got one…but I always dreamed of it!); the Tiki Hut hamburger drive-in; Skelly Stadium; packin’ a lunch for field trips; knowing your neighbors and having them bring over food when they knew you had out-of-town company; summertime… fishin’ or swimmin’ in the ponds & creeks; getting to pick out a new Easter dress and white patent leather shoes every year and wear it on Easter Sunday along with a pretty white straw hat, and white gloves; frog legs and wild rabbit; hauling our trash to the city dump on Saturday mornings; the family pictures we snapped on Easter Sunday, when everyone dressed in their “best”; cleaning your patent leather shoes with Vaseline and a rag to get the scuff marks off; Mrs. Hudson’s amazing homemade yeast rolls that melted in your mouth; Ruby’s chocolate pies; eating “uptown” at the town diner; riding horses in the hot summers with my cousins; shootin’ cans with a BB gun; cameras having flash bulbs; hauling hay and riding on top of the hay all the way home (couldn’t do that anymore!); the hair nets the lunch ladies wore; my cousin, Dawn’s horse being in heat and my horse took action “with US on them”…now that was scary. I will spare you the details; midnight movies on TV; my brother and I meeting my cousins or the Coyles at the creek to swim, spotting a water moccasin swimming in the water and then throwing rocks at it until it disappeared so we could jump in and swim…. (this proves that children have guardian angels!); pulling weeds in our garden; Mom never, ever going out without a head scarf; raking leaves for a quarter (…allowances have CHANGED); getting checked for ticks after playing outside; wrap-around skirts; the big collars on all the guys’ shirts; plaid was in for guys and gals (remember those plaid bell-bottom pants, guys? WOW! Would you put them on now? Double-Dog Dare you!); building a snowman or making snow angels; real malts and shakes at Purnell’s; scooters; scooter skirts; the “sock hop” dance and “poodle skirts & bobby socks”; our tree swing and playing a game that involved one person swinging and one throwing rocks… and the two front teeth I lost playing it…; my brother begging me not to tell mom when he threw that rock, breaking my teeth in half…. and the awful silver caps I had to wear FOREVER…(they call that a “grill” now…and actually cap teeth on purpose! Ha.); the head scarves mom made me to match “every” dress; headbands; can-can slips (some of them had an inner tube that ran all the way around the bottom and you could blow it up to keep your skirt nice and full); car coats; the May pole; Aqua Net hair spray (mom still uses it) and Old Spice cologne (and yes, my dad still uses that!); super bells; flower pulls to make the homecoming floats; jumping off the hay in the hay barn; eating those really good, greasy hamburgers and fries at the cafe uptown; Beeman’s Gum; stilts; class field trips; pogo sticks; Griff’s Burger Bar on 21st St. just west of Sheridan on the hilltop. Mom & dad would load us kids up in the blue station wagon and we’d go buy their 25 cent jumbo burgers that were as big as dinner plates. I can still smell & taste those burgers! They were incredible. And on real special occasions, we got to share french fries (I think we took our own cokes to save money… excuse me, I mean Shastas!) The cheeseburgers were like 3 cents extra! They say the little A-frame building that housed Griff’s is still there today but it’s a car repair or rental business; a free towel or drinking glass in the powdered soap boxes; steam rollers; penny loafers; watching them track Santa on the news at Christmas time; turtlenecks; sex ed (…the boys and the girls were separated for it…); pin-the-tail-on-the donkey (before we got too cool); mom putting Vick’s Vapor Rub on me when I was sick; Jaws; the spooklight; Cinderella; conditioning our hair withmayo; pitchin’ a tent in the front yard and camping out; the cheap vanilla cream cookies from the dollar store that mom bought for snacks; scalping my shin the first time I shaved my legs and thinking I was going to bleed to death(I think I still bear the scar…); Charlie Brown’s Halloween & Christmas specials; USO shows withBob Hope; Ed Sullivan; crossword puzzles; Press-On nails (that you kept having to “press back on”); Smokey the Bear preventing forest fires; the magic ball that gave you answers to all those burning questions about the future; The Munsters; The Adams Family; ankle strapped shoes (withthose 6″ heels that I would not be able to wear for even 5 minutes now…); short shorts; princess phones; Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show with Ed McMann; the big green dinosaur at the Sinclair station; the Marlboro man; cruisin’ Peoria; being in “hog-heaven” because I was able to pick any kind of horse I wanted to ride because a guy who rented pasture from my dad would bring in over 500 horses to keep there at a time; the car load of McClain cheerleaders who died way too young; craving Pennington Drive-In’s shrimp; foosball; Atari; white frosted lipstick (remember that girls? It was HORRIBLE! What were we thinking?); those fancy new electric typewriters & word processors in “Office Practice” class (yes… that’s pre-computers, folks!); typing speed drills; trying to do the splits and never mastering it; Bird Creek flooding the world; Zepplin; the bump; Janis Joplin; Mr. Phipps psychology class (which I absolutely LOVED – he was an awesome teacher!); beggin’ mom for a banana split and usually only getting a single cone; Blackjack and Clove gum; the wonderful “snow days”; my sister’s “up-do” which must have been at least 7 inches tall (… you think I am kidding…); track meets; ‘Sun-In’; soaking toothpicks to make them hot with cinnamon flavor; when homecoming Queens actually got kissed on the lips (and it was encouraged); ripping my pants out when I ran for Rodeo Queen and not being able to get off my horse all day; Mr. Bryan, who was not only our teacher but also our bus driver; Will Tom Harrison, Robert Watts & Fred Hardie, some really nice men who I remember driving our school buses (and I especially liked the ones who would let me sit on the heater at the front of the bus!) – oh, and some of them were also our custodians! Everyone had multiple roles in our small school; glee club; striving to make the Honor Roll; Dairy Queen twisty ice cream cones; being an office attendant; the crazy class clown, James Juby; riding our horses down to the farrier college to get trimmed and shewed; the amazingly cute farrier that took me out one summer….and then rode away in the sunset back to his hometown in another state and (temporarily) broke my heart; patouli or vanilla oil; Tabu perfume (I still have mine…and it is POTENT! A little goes a long way); girls hand-games; missing the school bus and having to bum a ride home; pajama parties (aka sleep-overs, slumber parties or “spending the night with…”), pillow fights and ghost stories (…where’s my golden finger….); polka dots; Clik Clak click clackers; Fantastic Theater, the scary show on after Mazeppa; tightingup my roller skates with my skate key; buying a 3-pack of comic books for a quarter; collecting marbles in a coffee can; making a hundred pot holders for mom, whether she needed them or not; working mathproblems with mom, watching her erase and sweep away the crumbs from the paper as she patiently showed me the correct way to find the answer; watching dad polish and shine his shoes like he most likely did a thousand times in the Navy; getting a nickle for being the quietest in the car; bubble gum blowing contests for who could blow the biggest bubble; knock-knock jokes; setting up a card table to work a puzzle; taking our shoes to the cobbler to get new soles put on them because we wore the heal down; living in the stickswhere “when it’s night, it’s dark” and you can count every star in the sky; the school bell; turning all the lights out at the football game so that the twirlers could actually twirl real “fire” batons that were soaked for more than 24 hours in a mixture of kerosene and gasoline and then lit with a match… that was safe. GEEZ!; cuttin’ a fresh, cold watermelon from the garden; fresh tomatoes and cucumbers (yummmm! The store just doesn’t make them that good…); sock-it-to-me, sock-it-to-me, sock-it-to-me; roastin’ hot dogs over an open bonfire; our senior parties; homeroom; getting in trouble in class and having to stand in the hall next to the door (…did I ever have to do that? It’s none of your “Bees Wax”… ha!); The Doors; copperheads to greet you on the porch when you came home; Get Smart; snakes in the house and scorpions in my bed; acquiring my fear of bees and wasps from getting stung so many times; making clover necklaces; pulling weeds in the garden; half-frozen… looking for a lost calf withmy dad in the snow and him being so proud of me when I found it – he called me ‘eagle eye’; cow tippin’ (something I never did… but heard folks talk about); wax lips at Halloween and those little wax bottles that had sweet liquid in them; candy cigarettes with the little red tip and came in a little box that looked just like real cigarettes (they definitely looked real from a distance and were pure sugar and I loved them); making a birdhouse; rollerskating in the basement; riding bikes, skateboarding and bowling in the basement (if you can believe that one…. our basement was 2,000 square feet… couldn’t beat it on rainy or hot days!); Sergeant Pepper’s Lonley Hearts Club Band; trying to avoid class and getting caught & written up by the hall monitor; making extremely L O N Ggum wrapper chains; my brother and I cooking rocks in our cave and catching the entire hillside on fire. All the neighbors came to help us put it out; little red boxes of animal crackers withthe little shoe-string handle; having the wolf hunt gathering with a live band and all our friends and neighbors in our basement one year (a total blast!); sandlewood incense; the VietNam M.I.A. bracelets and thinking about those boys who never got to come home; picking up rocks on the ‘dirt road’ we lived on for my dad; patchouli oil (still my favorite); always being careful to turn a rock over with just a finger to make sure there weren’t scorpions or cennipedes hiding underneath; playing jacks and playing pick-up-sticks; pixie-stick candy… and giant pixie-sticks; repairing a broken shoe lace with a knot; bobby socks; knee-highs; HeeHaw; Lewis Meyer Bookshelf; giant boxes of Corn Flakes (…we didn’t have the choices of cereal we do now…); packs of coyotes howling, crickets, locusts, hoot owls and all the other sounds of the night; going to the feed store withmy dad; learning to sew with my mom; playing in knee-high deep fall leaves in the stillness of the valley; sitting, thinking… all alone in my thoughts up on my big rock on the hill overlooking what seemed to be the whole wide world (my secret place of inspiration where I still go in my mind); giant pixie sticks; jaw breakers; Mr. Whipple (Please don’t squeeze the Charmin); the Osmunds; Derwienerschnitzel; K-E-L-I radio station; Mad Magazines; Tinker Toys; Lincoln Logs; wishing you could expand your Erector Set; Merv Griffin; Lea’s Pizzeria; Reed’s BBQ on NorthPeoria; the high school rivalries; every summer, after Bible School (no matter which church you belonged to in town) walking with your class up to Purnell’sDrugstore where he presented each child with a free vanilla ice cream cone (a major big deal!); forgetting to take your gum out before class and sticking it under your chair before you got caught chewing it; great shakes; Ovaltene; Leave It to Beaver; My Three Sons; The Rifleman; Wagon Train; Uncle Zeb; Big Bill and Oo-ma-gog; Lee & Lionel; Big Chief writing pads; big leaded pencils; guys offering to carry your books to class (…a rare event); using the pencil sharpener as an excuse to get up in class or flirt with a guy; baked fish sticks and crinkled fries for dinner; Miss Cooper’s awesome science class; a late Saturday night TV show called “Creature Feature” hosted by a guy called Sherman Oaks; Tarzan; the little metal clickers we used at the football games (you could use them to whistle too! I still have mine!); ZZ; learning how to develop film in Ms. Cooper’s Science class; bonfires; my great pastor who would have done anything for me; Rowan and Martin; Niles; Crazy Foam; Silly String; Silly Putty; Hula Hoops; the field trip where Sammy kicked me in the shin, causing a massive blood clot that “could have killed me” (I was only following him because I had a crush on him…); turning Sammy down for a date after graduation because he kicked me in the shin in the 5th grade and hurt my leg and my feelings (I forgive you, Sammy!); Here’s Lucy; Here’s Johnny; playing hop-scotch; jump-rope; Eastland Mall was the NEW mall!; giant sweet tarts; the Zoo, the paddle boats and the big black locomotive; playing tag; coloring Easter eggs; new Easter clothes every year; a place in the old Southland mall called Mikes where you ordered from a phone at your booth and when your phone rang, your order was ready at the window! You just picked it up! ; playing “Old Maid“; go-fish; our Tulsa phone number that started out with the letters WE (that stood for Webster); the 25 cent matinee movies in Collinsville; Harper Valley PTA; Mr. & Mrs. Dean hollering for their sons at the football games (I love them…); Green Acres; Beverly Hillbillies; having sweaty, stinky gym class my first hour; stilts; McClain H.S. boys coming to town looking for trouble; taking a big brown grocery bag full of home-popped popcorn to the drive-in with an ice chest full of Shasta; 60-Minutes; The Jeffersons; Dallas; The Partridge Family; homemade sweet tea and fighting my brother for the last glass (… the pitcher we made it in was enough for a glass for everyone, plus just one more glass…); teasing newly enrolled “city” kids, explaining to them the art of “snipe hunting” and asking them if they want to go (I never did that… nor did I EVER t.p. anyone’s house! Promise – cross my heart! I probably would have been spanked with a tree switch!); playin’ jacks; summer speed reading; movies coming out in STEREO withsurround sound; watching the first man on the moon in class; crazy, wacky Cecil on the school bus; watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom; Three’s Company; Hawaii Five-0; Here’s Lucy; Iron Side; Barbie dolls; Candid Camera; promise rings; eating fried spam (the mystery meat of our childhood) and sour kraut; mom saving up books of Green Stamps for free stuff; church revivals; slinky; hay rides; Dean Martin; FM converters; Leon Russell; Shotgun Sam’s with the stage; easy-bake ovens; making and then taking cup cakes to school for parties; cake walks and how nervous they made me as I walked around the chairs hoping to get a chair… and hoping I could pick my mom’s Chocolate Coke Cake if I survived; little bitty ice-cold bottles of coke out of the coke machine for a quarter; fights after school; strawberry and grape soda pops; playing in the Coyles’ hay barn; swimming in the creek; Neil Diamond; The Sound of Music; Mary Poplins; The Addam’s Family and Lurch; Hogan’s Heroes and Schultz knowing nothing; The Dating Game; This Is Your Life; The Newlywed Game; Batman; Petticoat Junction; Wagon Train; picking tons of pecans up to buy a new coat; watching Gilligan’s Island after school on Channel 8; Glenn Campbell Goodtime Hour; peanut butter and banana sandwiches; girls ironing their hair; T, G & Y, Woolco, Anthony’s & Otasco’s; dad grilling burgers on the little round black grill after an hour of trying to trying to get the charcoal hot (we had to blow it to hurry the process); Flipper; The Smothers Brothers; Dragnet (…Just the facts ma’am!); 8-Track tape players; Road Runner, and Mr. Magoo; the little paperback books we would order through the year that were so fun to read; My Three Sons; The Johnny Cash show; The Mod Squad; Doris Day; Jim Nabors; Carol Burnett; getting a certificate for reading the most books in the summer; Marcus Welby M.D.; Flip Wilson (The Devil made him do it!); The Waltons; The Rookies; Kojak; Maude; Sonny & Char (I Got You Babe); Baretta; we can’t forget Cheech & Chong; Charlie’s Angels; Fantasy Island; Mork and Mindy; dangle ear rings; mood rings; false eyelashes; Daniel Boone; feeling very sorry and embarrassed for a girl “who I won’t name when her toilet paper fell out of her bra in the hallway and everyone saw it; Molly Murphy’s House of Fine Repute; making flower Indian bead necklaces for me and all my friends (and placing in the hands of my dear cousin…one of those hand-made necklaces… in his favorite colors as he had requested earlier from me… as we laid him to rest at too young of age… rest in peace, Michael…); the big water slide (and trying not to lose your swim suit on the way down it); the slip-n-slide; putt-putt golf dates; Billy Graham; Mazeppa Pompazoidi and his “Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting”; Robyn’s baby blue mustang; my baby blue “tank” …my four-door LTD (…hey, it was “wheels” and I wasn’t complaining! ); no prom date; sitting on the hood or on the tailgate of the station wagon at the Airview, Apache or Admiral Twin Drive-In watching a double-feature on a nice summer night; going to the drive in withyour parents and them letting you walk down to the playground at the front to play at the drive-in “across the dark parking lot – past all the cars full of strangers – in the dark – without parental supervision” while they stayed in their car to watch the movie and never thinking a thing about it (oh, I forgot… they would have me and my brothers hold hands… well now, that made us safe!); Z-Z; the smell of the Y-indoor swimming pool; picking up coke bottles to cash them in to collect the deposit; scorpions, centipedes, rattlesnakes and copperheads being commonly seen; playing with granddaddy long-legs; those rubber cushions that made awful noises…; laughing boxes; spin-the-bottle at Dwight’s birthday party; knowing there were scorpions, rattlesnakes and copperheads and making tunnels and playing in hay barns anyway (How did I not get bit by a snake?);Alan Alda & M*A*S*H; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; Dick Van Dyke; Diamond; bible verse competitions; my cousin, Sharon, being elected Pow Wow Princess; babysitting for extra money; terry cloth car seat covers; bead curtains; summertime getting dropped off at the pool (so our parents could get some peace and quiet!); pep rallies; the thrill of ringing the intercom at the front gate to Leon Russell’s Tulsa home to talk to whomever would answer and talk to us; our church’s Valentine’s Day dinner (that Walter actually -finally- took me to one year, as painful as it was for him…); Fall’s Creek Church Camp; messy lockers; heavy books; tons of homework; Laugh In (…the old man who rode the tri-cycle playing moon gotcha with Ruth Buzzi; Goldie’s stupid knock-knock jokes; the Jetsons; Gilligan’s Island; 20th Century Electric Company & John Travolta’s “Stayin’ Alive” and my brother who looked just like him (and could dance like him too!); screen doors and attic fans; kool-aid; freezing kool-aid in the Tupperware to make home-made popsicles; twisty cones; summer salts; storm shelters; practicing fire drills; being a flag girl in the band (for a very short period of time… one day maybe? Can’t remember if I quit or got fired! Don’t think I was very good.); school practice drills where where you were instructed to tuck your head down against your knees as you hid under your desk or as you sat with your back to the lockers in the hallway in preparation for any future nuclear attacks… (…are we going to have to start that up again? I sure hope not…); our Senior trip to 6-Flags (..now they go to exotic islands); Skiatook’s stomp dances; Gun Smoke; Lost in Space; that very distinct smell of school; all the vans that used to park at Woodward Park, open up their doors and “hang out” together and all the folks playing frisbi with their dogs in the park; giant bubble gum; giant bubble wands; teachers making me spit my gum out in class; the spit wads the guys used to put up on the ceiling of the classrooms (usually study hall…); Mrs. Ford spanking me in the middle of class in the 5thgrade withmy notebookbecause she thought I was writing a note (and I was only twirling my pencil… yes, it traumatized me!) She didn’t like me but I finally “sorta” won her over withmy mother’s urging to kill her with kindness… one of those great life lessons; Walter’s long side-burns, stripped bow tie and that crazy plaid jacket he took his senior picture in – WOW! (you gotta love him…); my moccasins; hall monitors; dusting erasers; sticking gum under your desk so I wouldn’t get caught chewing gum; demerit points; gold stars; the Passion Play at the park; getting more demerits than gold stars it seemed (I wasn’t a bad kid… they just didn’t understand me); Rubber Band Man; sitting on the steps of the high school (which we sadly lost to fire); our baccalaureate, being held at my church across the street from the school (which we also lost to fire…); the feeling of being on top of the world when we graduated; my lunch meal ticket getting punched as I silently wished I was eating “uptown” instead with everybody else; Kathy M. wanting to fight me over a boy that didn’t even like me (…we were JUST FRIENDS! I thought she was my friend too!); Bewitched; Girl Scout cookies (I like the Thin Mints! Chocolate, of course!); tanning on a hot day with tons of baby oil and iodine (…who worried about skin cancer!); Gunsmoke; double dates; Dizzy; Yummy, Yummy, Yummy; Chewy, Chewy Chewy; seeing how milk is actually processed “from the milking the cow to the bottle” at Sherry’s dad’s little dairy and discovering that I like “store” milk; late slips for class; flipping through all the Senior pictures of past years that used to hang in the old high school; having to sit in the hot car with my brothers while mom bought groceries (and my parents not being arrested for leaving us there); Wolfman; Viet Nam and Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree; Leave It To Beaver; spelling bees; summer swimming lessons; summer school (yuk!); drive-in movies; inagodadavida; “take me out to the ballgame” song always sung at the Drillers ball games; my front caps coming off and sticking in the caramel when I bit into a candy apple at the fair; using the pink hair tape to keep your bangs from flipping up; the school nurse calling your mom to come get you when you were sick and laying down in the sick room until she got there witha thermometer in your mouth; the feel of the cold rag mom would use to rub my forehead when I was sick; Happy Days; Elenor Rigby; playing monopoly for hours and hours and hours with my brothers; working puzzles; the invention of the blow dryer which looked a lot like a vacuum cleaner at that time, having a long hose that you attached to a hair cap (not a good system for straightening the hair); George, George, George of the Jungle; the tilt steering wheel (something Barbara was very thankful for due to her shortness); rabbit and fake fur coats; the scary snow days when the school bus had to try and make it up our very, very steep driveway to let us off the bus and which was not very “driver friendly” for friends learning to drive a stick shift; Drive Friendly and Buckle-Up highway signs; the pep club and our silly little theme song (which I will spare you the pain of hearing); Craig stereos (..if you had one of those… man, you were “groovin‘); Born to be Wild; Thumbelina dolls; the apron we made in Mrs. Hedgecock’s home-economics class (I still have it… gosh I was LITTLE!); our church revivals; Brylcreem (…didn’t everyone’s dad use it?); riding the bus to away football games; the lunch ladies were your friends’ moms; I.D. bracelets (Yes, Walter, I still have your bracelet… and I think I deserve to keep it after all the times you were so mean to me, always breaking up with me for absolutely no good reason, and no, you can’t have it back…although I might consider giving it to one of your daughters someday! ;=)… but I do forgive you; everything being “groovy” (before “bad” became “good“); halter-tops, hip-huggersand those white leather belts with holes in them; watching old movies on a black & white TV that had aluminum foil on the antenna to help get better reception and “having to get up off the floor and walk all the way across the room and actually turn the dial” if I wanted to change the channel to one of the other “two stations” (yes, we had the big total choice of three! Well… depending on if you selected UHF or VHF. Sometimes you could find a dog show or something… but usually all you could find was a sewing or cooking show.); “cable” being something dad had in the back of the pickup to pull people out of ditches; remote meant you didn’t live in town, but lived out in the sticks (which we did…); lovin’ the new tiny cassette tapes that were so much easier to carry around than the 8-track tapes; can openers that were not electric; fringe vests (Sherry had the best one! Do you remember hers, girls? The leather one?She got to wear eye shadow & eye liner too…); box fans in the hot classrooms (because we didn’t have air condition in school…); all the bus windows down because we didn’t have air conditioned buses either!; congregating under the bleachers at the football games; hot dogs at the concession stand; leather skirts; macrame plant holders, rain lamps and lava lamps; parent’s day at school; pot pies; the Beatles; The (creepy) Exorcist movie; head bands; the flowers I painted around the border of my bedroom window; the very ugly, very huge, very heavy black rimmed eye-glasses a lot of us had to wear and the heavenly, light-weight, more attractive wire-rimmed eye-glasses that slowly took their place (thank goodness!); Brown Eyed Girl; “One” is the Loneliest Number…; scarf shirts; measles; peanut butter and marshmallow cream sandwiches; trying out for cheerleader every year and never ever making it (and realizing now that there is a possibility it was because nobody can ever hear me when I speak because my voice doesn’t carry, I don’t like to raise my voice or holler, I can’t jump, I am not that coordinated and have very little rhythm… but other than those few little minor things, I just don’t understand why I didn’t get picked…but it’s ok…I’m good with it now!); Beatle boots; Roper boots (…if you didn’t own a pair of boots in the town where I grew up, they would give you a pair! j.k.); Edgar & Johnny Winters; excitement when the school added a hamburger & french fries to the menu and I didn’t have to eat that “other yucky stuff” anymore; sun dresses; family picnic days on the Verdigris River or lake; going to the Prom with my best friend, Barbara, because my “boyfriend” took someone else (my husband says he would have taken me had he known me…isn’t that sweet?); making homemade ice cream in the summertime, taking turns with my brothers or sister on which one sat on the ice cream maker (…a very cold job) and which one had to turn the crank (…a very tiring job); jean jackets; adding silver studs to your jeans and jean jackets; the excitement of getting an “electric” ice cream maker that “went all by itself!“; making pudding and fighting with my brothers on who got to lick the spoon and bowl; the peace sign; using commodity flour in home-economics class to make cookies (…but Mrs. Hedgecock having us pick the weevils out of it first…YUK! I wouldn’t eat them!); clip-on sunglasses; making “snow ice cream” in the winter (and yes, eating it!); The Doors; getting my milk money from mom every day for lunch (a nickle & a dime or a quarter, I think!); running for rodeo queen and after losing, having to watch my boyfriend crown and kiss the girl who won (…he was always crowning or kissin’ somebody else!… I guess you can tell by now that I had boyfriend problems! Ha!); turtle necks; body suits with snaps (you had to have worn one to know what I’m talking about); Meathead, Archie, Edithand Victoria; plastic drink holders hooked to your door (before cars were made with a place to put your drink); not seeing Rhoda without Rose; seeing the principal, Mr. Brooks, “with ruler in hand” motioning to me in the hallway so he could measure my skirt to make sure it was only 6 inches above my knee (Did they look short because my legs were short? No, they were probably just too short!); floating around in an inner tube in the pond with friends; the old fashioned county fair held at my dentist’s house; there being no such thing as a cell phone (…if you would have told me that someday I would carry a phone in my purse, I would have thought you were crazy); tether ball; Walter’s sweet grandmother inspiring me with her painting and encouragement; Bazooka Joe comics with the horoscope; being voted “best-dressed runner-up” (yes, Barbara, I remember that you beat me! Ha.) but winning “biggest flirt” hands down (…maybe that’s why I had boyfriend problems! Ha!); wishin’ my parents had named me something cool like Dedra or Marsha or Nicole…; Woolaroc trips; summer films on the lawn of the Philbrook Museum; The Weekly Reader; The Brady Bunch (…why I liked the name Marsha! Didn’t all girls wish they were Marsha back then?); dodge ball (before they did away with it because the experts determined it hurts children’s’ self-esteem! geez!); small town rodeos & greased pig contests; the movie, Earthquake; stomp dances; clip boards; study hall; climbin’ trees; the “annual wolf hunt” with big vats of boiling coffee over the fire and open pit barbecues at the John Zink ranch or the Tiblow’s; Mr. Zing & Tuffy; kids getting caught withcheat sheets; spending the day at Woodward Park with dates; hair “falls” (yes, wigs!); Boonsfarm being the “fine wine” of choice and the beer was Coors… for those who drank… (YUK!); butterflies in my stomach the first day of high school; finally becoming an “upper classman”; pictures of all us kids lined up outside, before the bus came, to take the annual “first day of school” picture; doin’ the “swim“…the “jerk” and the “bump” (…well actually watching others do it… I didn’t really dance too well…); the huge console stereo/TV sitting in everyone’s living room that had a radio & played records; bell bottoms; extra-wide bells; being surprised to see Pam, from my old Brownie Troupe move to town; Bell Amusement Park, the Zingo and the Mad Mouse; Cain’s Ballroom; unpasteurized buttermilk (that had a big layer of cream on top) and watching in horror as my dad would pour it over his sweet cornbread (yuk!); Bewitched; Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.; school dances at the armory and dad picking me up no later than 11:00 no matter how much I begged him; bead rings; dangle bracelets; watch necklaces; Peyton Place; the school paper; slow dancing with Gary; Crazy Brad; Iron Butterfly; John Horner’s smile and how sad I felt when we lost him (…how tragic is it when young people die and get robbed of being able to live out their lives…); Ring, Ring by Abba (…which instantly brings John’s smile to mind); good times with Carla & Sherry in chorus; collecting marbles; Girl Scouts; art class, in spite of the art teacher (whom I will not name…) that didn’t seem to like me or my artwork and who I didn’t think was going to pass me (…isn’t that supposed to be an “easy, no-sweat” class?); water coolers; painting the pirate or the tiger on the big hoop and holding it on Friday night so the football guys could run through it; our vivacious cheerleaders, Mike Robinson, Marshall Hampton, Mike Moore, Mike Sherrill, Gregg Swartz, Scott Carpenter and Bill King … all spice and everything nice at the powderpuff game (what a sight!) and our twirlers, Alan Downing, Rusty Miller and Gene Burnell (..nice legs, Alan… and what a figure Rusty had! WOW! Was that a Victoria Secret push-up bra you had on? It did wonders for your figure!); did I mention our beautiful “very hairy” homecoming queen, James Watson, and his lovely attendants, Dick Morrow and Rusty Miller (…nice mustache, James!); David Flud, the drum major; Coach Kopp; the teachers who took the time to “invest in me” who I will never forget… like Mrs. Sigle& Mrs. Keith to name a few; the psychology class that I absolutely LOVED; applying stickers you bought from the Weekly Reader or drawing pictures on your 3-ring binders and other folders; Math and English, which I absolutely hated; gregg shorthand; Janis Joplin; Jerry Jeff Walker; talking my dad into taking us to The Library to eat when it first went in because it was supposed to be the “in” place to go and then having to listen to my parents talk about all the “hippies” the entire time; “when groovy turned to cool”; those loud, stripped pants (whoa!); learning to drive a stick shift in the pasture; using hydrogen peroxide to lighten my hair; “sun-in”; NOT wearing safety belts; the Double-Mint gum twins; Nancy Drew mysteries; fearing Coach House; Mexican jumping beans; Mr. Palmer; Mrs. Sloan; making crystal gardens; Mrs. Faulkenberry; the dreaded school picture day; signing and exchanging school pictures; Sadie Hawkins day and one-legged sack races; powder-puff football that I never got to play because mom thought I would get hurt (and now I know she was probably right….Jo Lynn would have run over me!); The Ides of March and Indoor Fun Fairs; riding the school bus and being able to sit on the heater at the front because I was the driver’s pet student (Now that was SAFE!); Barbara’s “Rambler”; Max’s white “Mach 1″; Gary’s awesome bright orange “Goat”(I’m an OU fan now…and I don’t like anything orange. All shades! Boomer Sooner!); What’s My Line; saying the School Pledge at the start of the day; always being the last one picked in gym for the basketball team because I was the absolute all-time worst and incredibly intimidated by Jo Lynn who was so athletic and could just whoop it up on me (Jo Lynn, you were an awesome athlete! I always envied that ability!); Rawhide; Dennis the Menace; Lord of the Flies being required reading; Mohawk Park pow wows; Mr. Bubbles; Milk Duds; To Tell the Truth; Cherry Mashes; Root Beer floats; Danny Thomas; Perry Mason; 77 Sunset Strip; The Flintstones; Have Gun Will Travel; caramel apples and cotton candy at the fair; Mike drawing me the Iron Butterfly picture (still have it~! He had talent!); caulk boards; Alfred Hitchcock Presents; riding my horse to school occasionally on the first or last day of school (…folks, that was like 4 to 6 miles one way…); sitting at the bar of the old fashioned “soda fountain” drug store that Mr. Purnell ran “uptown“; homecoming parades down main street; being proud to be the first girl to be allowed to take drafting in high school (I had to fight to get in there!); leather work class and making leather clogs; fun times shared with Barbara; Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color; My Favorite Martian; Mr. Ed the talking horse; Lassie; The Patty Duke show; Shirley Temple movies; John Wayne movies; McHale’s Navy; Jackie Gleason; my cousin, Doug, dressing up like a girl (…uh, I should clarify… it was not on a regular basis. It was homecoming or something and he did it to be silly! ha!); trying to live up to the legacy my sister left after she graduated and having teachers who were initially pleased that I was her sister come to the realization that I was absolutely not the avid, attentive student that she was…. lots of good memories.
Thank you guys for the plaque, but especially for the memories. I wouldn’t take anything for those years nor the people I spent them with!
No one is ever all they yearn to be,
for dreams outshine the sun.
Far greater things we will always see,
beyond the heights that we have won.
HEY, you have a school memory you want to add?
Please email me or add it via the comments window!
The Tulsa Zoo…and those first troll dolls!
…the old phones
Kids getting together to play baseball…
Writing on the chalk board… or getting to dust the erasers.
The entire family fixing Jiffy Pop popcorn & watching a movie together.
Playing with Lincoln Logs & catching June bugs in a jar!
Reel-to-reel & wearing hose with a garter belt for the first time!
Pop Guns… Cap Guns… B B guns… something we all played with!
Expanding your Erector set!
The whole family watching Red Skelton
Table-top juke boxes
Roy, Dale & Trigger
Clik Clak Click Clackers
Struggling to get the ice out of the metal ice trays…
Coke machines…and little bottles of coke for a dime.
Gas station attendants who would fill ‘er up & check your fluids!
This was created as a tribute to three great men who not only touched my life but continue to touch the lives of many others through their works, words, and gifts.
George “Woogie” Watchetaker
2/29/1916 – 5/27/1993 Comanche
(Coyote Walks By)
9/12/1929 – 4/15/2000 Cheyenne
Joyce Lee “Doc” Tate Nevaquaya
7/3/1932 – 3/5/1996 Comanche
“Woogie” was known as a spiritual leader, world champion dancer, rainmaker and artist. He danced before Congress, Presidents Roosevelt, President Truman and the Queen. He had a unique style, impacting all who saw him dance. His art told the “old stories.”
“Jerome” touched our world as a lecturer, a radio and television producer/host and director of the State Fair Indian Program. As “a voice” for Native Americans, he helped to fight for feather rights in 1974. His gift of painting was nationally recognized.
“Doc” blessed our world with his flute music, paintings, dance, lectures and prayers. Declared an Oklahoma and National Treasure, Doc gave much to help others. His music and art touched the soul. In 1970 Doc and Woogie danced before the Queen of England.
They were always ready to share themselves with “all” people. Their spirits live on and their examples remind us to always be giving of ourselves. “If you were blessed to know them, please share your special memories of them, so they can continue to bless others as they remain in our hearts and bless us.“
More Stories Posted Soon!
Woogie and I traveled together to a show in Florida! This one will make you laugh! Story will be posted soon!
Story Coming Soon! Check back!
Within Each Sunset by Cheryl Davis
I created “Within Each Sunset” to honor my dear Comanche friend and fellow artist, George “Woogie” Watchetaker. I wrote the following as a companion to the painting:
His path was not without struggle.
But his keen-eyed spirit always saw the better parts.
My friend is seeing a new dawn now.
He dances before the creator.
I catch glimpses of him in the brilliant colors of every sunset…
and in the midst of every grand scene of nature and life.
And I look to my own new dawn, when we will once again dance together.
Woogie was of the Comanche Tribe and was a Chief, not by election but by stature; he was a Spiritual Leader; he was a medicine man; rain maker; Indian flute maker and flute player; artist; a seven-time national champion and three-time world champion Fancy War Dancer; singer and a good friend to all who met or knew him.
Woogie had a very distinct style as a dancer. He once told me he didn’t go for all the modern “fancy feathers & frills” that a lot of young dancers wear. He said he liked to stay more traditional and that he danced “strong.” He flexed as he spoke. Woogie liked to impress the ladies. Many say to this day that Woogie was the best dancer they had ever seen. He was certainly the best I ever saw. He was so quick on his feet and danced with great power, but it was the way Woogie would glide around the dance arena that kept those who watched in awe. Woogie always encouraged the young Indian people to dance and practice their culture because the are the ones who will be called upon to carry the Indian culture on. Woogie was the first Native American to dance before Congress at the United States Capital in Washington, DC. He danced for two (2) United States Presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. In 1970 Woogie, along with is friend and Comanche brother, Doc Tate Nevequaya, toured Europe. They gave a Royal Command Performance before the Queen of England. She was so impressed by them, that she knighted them.
In addition to dancing, Woogie was an artist. He began painting in the 1930’s. He never went to art school but was encouraged by other Native Americans and their art. Woogie painted the old two dimensional style with his paintings reflecting Comanche stories. Painting was Woogie’s way of leaving the Comanche history with us for years to come. He was one of the few traditional artists left and his style of painting has become a lost art today. His paintings hang in many galleries and private collections around the world.
Woogie was a man who respected Mother Earth and as a medicine man found his cures for everything from her. He used plants, roots and herbs to help the people who would come from long distances. There is an old saying that the farther you travel, the stronger the medicine. Woogie’s medicine was powerful but it had nothing to do with the distance you traveled. The power came from deep within him. He was a very spiritual man. Woogie loved the creatures of this earth as well. He had the rare ability to communicate with the creatures of the earth, which is and will remain a mystery to many.
In 1971 Woogie was called to Wichita Falls, Texas to bring rain to drought stricken areas and rain always came within minutes after his dance and tobacco ceremony. In the summer of 1982, one of the hottest, driest summers on record, he broke a drought in Pompano Beach, Florida where it had not rained for two months. The temperature had soared into the hundreds day after day. An eye-witness recalled:
We were all getting pretty edgy. The merchants at the Sher-Den Mall decided to seize the moment. They hired a rainmaker in Oklahoma to come down and do a rain dance. They publicized it in the newspaper and on TV: “come to Sher-Den Mall this Saturday morning at 11:00 o’clock and see Mr. Woogie Watchetaker perform an authentic Indian rain dance.” When the time came the parking lot was full! There was a carnival atmosphere in the air. Most doubted and did not believe the old Comanche Indian could make it rain. They laughed at the thought. Sure enough, at 11:00 o’clock Woogie Watchetaker made his way through the crowd. He was dressed to the nines, I guess you could say. He had more feathers and beads; and the finest pair of moccasins you could imagine. When he got to the center of the crowd, he stopped. The folks backed away to give him plenty of room.
He mumbled some sort of incantation, then started to dance. He sang as he danced, twisting and turning as he moved about in a circle. Every once in a while he looked up at the heavens and gestured but, for the most part, he kept his head bowed to the ground in reverence. His feet never stopped moving. I don’t know how long the dance lasted, as we were all mesmerized – maybe ten to fifteen minutes. We gave him a polite round of applause and went home. As far as we were concerned it was back to business as usual. Only continued drought conditions were forecast, with no rain in sight. And yet, that night we heard the sound of thunder. And it started to rain… and rain it did for three days.
In 1993 Woogie returned to South Florida to bless a Powwow. While there, it rained for four days which prompted the Seminoles to say that all Woogie had to do was raise his arms to the heavens because he was so close to the Great Spirit and the Great Spirit would make it rain. Charles Banks Wilson, a great artist who authored “In Search of the Pure Bloods” did a sketch of Woogie and called him “The Rain Maker.” He also sketched Eva, Woogie’s wife, and called her “The Woman Who Sings the Old Songs.” When Woogie would show up at Powwows and it would start raining, with tongue in cheek and a smile they would always say, “Woogie, GO HOME!”
Many people have said that Woogie was one who had a special connection to the Great Spirit; all he had to do was raise his arms to the heavens and the Spirit would listen. In his latter years he became the spiritual leader of the Comanche Tribe. With his Eagle Feathers and his Sacred Smoke he was called on from around the country to bless many activities and participators.
In 1993 Woogie passed on and five days later his bride, Eva Tooahimpah, joined him at his side.
Woogie’s name means “hide-real-good,” which his paternal great-grandmother earned when she hid from soldiers by staying beneath a buffalo robe to escape certain death.
The Watchetakers were members of what was knows as the wildest band of Comanches in the pre-reservation days, and the last band to surrender the Kwee-ha-ree-nee or “Antelope” band. However, Woogie’s mother was a member of what was the most numerous and northernmost band of Comanches, the Yamparika or “root-eaters.” They were the last group to break off from the parent Shoshone nation in Colorado.
The Comanches named their bands for their preferences in food. Woogie’s wife, Eva, was a member of the Penatakes or “Honey-Eaters.” They were in the cross timbers and upper Texas hill country, the closest Comanches to white settlement.
- George “Woogie” Watchetaker (March 1, 1916 – May 27, 1993)
- Eva (Tooahimpah) Watchetaker (December 15, 1905 – June 3, 1993)
Buried together at: Otipoby Cemetery, Fort Sill, Oklahoma
Jerome, at a healthier time in his life.
(Taken at his Western Expo, I believe…)
This photo was taken at Jerome’s house in El Reno, shortly before he passed on.
Jerome & I, along with our families, shared so many good times through the years during personal time and while set up at shows such as Red Earth, gallery shows, the yearly art calendar signings, the Western Expo he directed and coordinated, and shows like the Seminole Tribe’s “Native America ’93” week-long show in Hialeah, Florida which I will be sharing stories about later. He was such a genuine and gentle, kind spirited man. He seemed to take me under his wing shortly after I began showing my art and was a steadfast adviser and friend, soon becoming family to me, my husband and children.
After many of the art shows, we would all go out for dinner. Jerome had such a powerful presence about him. It seemed as though a silence would fall over the room and everyone there would turn to observe this massive, captivating man each time we walked into a restaurant. You could tell that “they knew he was someone special” the moment he walked in. And indeed he was. I remember one particular man who sat at the table behind him. This man could not take his eyes off of Jerome, staring at him and his huge hand thrown over the back of the chair, bearing a turquoise ring “that would have almost fit most people’s wrists.” Laura, his wife, made a light-hearted comment that night about being jealous with all the attention he was getting (not just from the women…but from all the men in the room). But that was the way it always was with Jerome. People were drawn to him. Of course, this suited Jerome. He liked people and was always warm, approachable and his presence and words were always powerful and welcomed.
Jerome had an incredible speaking voice. He had a gift for speaking and a comfortable ease about him that kept your attention. When he spoke, people listened. His words were full of substance because he spoke from the heart and from a place of wisdom. And conversation was always easy with Jerome. I looked up to him and learned so much from him. So many gifts he gave me…
He is never far away these days. I have a very large, lone coyote that visits me. He travels alone. I always know when he is there. He has a special presence about him as Jerome always had and he exhibits that quiet strength I saw in Jerome. One day he approached the door of the barn and looked inside as I was feeding our horses (…as witnessed from a distance by my husband). Often, he will quietly walk across our front or back yard… very near the house, throwing me a curious glance through the window as he slowly passes through. He is never in a hurry. And I always get that warm, comforting feeling that I had any time I was around Jerome. So, as the Coyote Walks By… I know it is Jerome – keeping a watchful eye… checking on me. Saying hello. He lets me know he is well… and still there for me.
Jerome Bushyhead (9/13/1929 – 4/15/2000)
More on Jerome Bushyhead: The English meaning of Jerome Bushyhead’s Cheyenne name is “Coyote Walks By.” As well as being a fellow artist, Jerome became my adopted Cheyenne dad and was a dear friend. Jerome Bushyhead was born in Calumet, Oklahoma September 13, 1929. He passed on in El Reno, Oklahoma April 15, 2000.
Below are some of his many accomplishments:
His education was at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana; His art subject matter of specialty was Cheyenne and Plains Indian Beliefs & Traditions. These included spiritual topics and the path traveled by the warrior. He was recognized for his excellent interpretation of the life of the plains Indians, exhibiting his work and speaking extensively throughout the U.S. and throughout Germany, Switzerland, France and Austria. His original works hang in private collections all over the world.He was a producer and host of his own television show “Unity” on Channel 4, KTVY, in Oklahoma City for eight years; He was Director of the Oklahoma State Fair Indian Program since 1976; He hosted a radio program on Station KELR, El Reno Oklahoma, entitled “The Indian Nation Hour” for five years; He founded the Cheyenne Nation Arts and Crafts Show and Inter-Tribal Pow-Wow in 1972, which has become a National Event; He was Co-Founder of the Oklahoma Indian Art League, Inc.; His Painting, “The Worshiping Warrior”, appeared on the cover of the 1974 summer issue of the “Chronicles of Oklahoma” magazine published by the Oklahoma Historical Society; He is noted for being the spokesman for all Indians charged in April 1974 with “Feather Violations” by the U.S. Wildlife Commission. Jerome was the primary force in the Indians fight to retain the right to use the feathers. He appeared on both local and national TV in his efforts to ensure the right was restored to the Indian people; He worked with the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma as the Public Information Director; He worked with the Pacific International Enterprises Movie Company on “Wind Walker” from 1980- 81; He lectured at schools, colleges, organizations, communities and had been involved with charitable work such as providing a painting to the Los Angeles Indian Actors Association for a raffle to provide funds for a National Tour.
JEROME GILBERT BUSHYHEAD
Wake service for widely-known Cheyenne artist Jerome Gilbert BUSHYHEAD (Coyote Walks By), 70, will be at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 19, at Benson Memorial Chapel, 100 S. Barker, El Reno. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m., Thursday, April 20, at Jenks Simmons Field House, El Reno. The Rev. Robert Pinezaddleby, the Rev. Jerry Ervin and the Rev. Robin Tiger will officiate. Burial in Concho Cemetery will be directed by Huber-Benson Funeral Home.
He was born Sept. 13, 1929, at Calumet to Fred and Dulcie (WHITEBIRD) BUSHYHEAD and died Saturday, April 15, 2000, at his home in El Reno.
He graduated from El Reno High School in 1948 and was all-state in basketball. He attended Centenary College, Shreveport, La., on a basketball scholarship. A veteran of the US Air Force, he became a full-time artist in 1970.
He traveled extensively throughout the US and Europe with his artwork and was selected as featured artist for the "96 Native American Festival" in Europe. In 1971 he founded the Cheyenne Nation Powwow in El Reno and from 1973-81 hosted an "Indian Nation Hour" program on two El Reno radio stations and from 1976-81 hosted his own Native American TV program on Channel 4 in Oklahoma City. In 1973 he co-founded the Oklahoma Indian Art League.
In 1981, as Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes PIO, he worked with production staff on the movie, "Windwalker." Since 1976 he had directed Indian dance programs for the State Fair of Oklahoma and in 1992 became director of the Western Expo in Oklahoma City.
He also was active in tribal politics and in 1974 was instrumental in obtaining legal protection for Native American craftspersons working with feathers.
Survivors include a daughter, a brother and a daughter whom he adopted in the Indian way and six grandchildren.
Source: The Watonga Republican, Wednesday, April 19, 2000
I was very honored to be asked to create the2nd Choctaw Language book cover titled: Choctaw Language and Culture: Chahta Anumpa Volume 2 (Paperback) by Marcia Haag (Author), Henry Willis (Author). The subjects are the Mississippi Choctaw.
The relationship I had with my grandparents has always been very important to me and I wanted to reflect that important relationship between grandparents and grandchildren (also, between elders and children in general) in this piece of art. Grandparents (and all our elders) give us such “gifts” and it is our duty to pass those gifts on to the next generations. It is said that our life will impact 4 generations after us by how we choose to live our life and by what influences we choose to leave behind… positive or negative.
I was also blessed to have known many of my very special great-aunts and great-uncles in addition to my wonderful aunts and uncles; and also knew two of my great-grandmothers, both of whom lived to be almost 100 years old. Their wisdom was beyond measure and the privilege of knowing them… a treasure. So inspiration for this piece of art was abounding.
More on the Choctaw People & Language:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
The Choctaws, or Chahtas, are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States (Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana) of the Muskogean linguistic group. In the nineteenth century, they were known as one of the “Five Civilized Tribes,” because they had integrated numerous cultural and technological practices of their European American neighbors. They are also remembered for their generosity in providing humanitarian relief during the Irish Potato Famine decades before the red cross was created. The Choctaw are of two distinct groups, the tribe (in Mississippi) and the nation (in Oklahoma). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choctaw)
The Choctaw language is an essential element of the Tribal culture, tradition and identity. The language links modern Choctaws to their ancestors, offering a common vocabulary and way of looking at the world. Many of today’s Choctaw adults and elders learned to speak Choctaw before they learned English. Many grew up with grandparents and other relatives who spoke Choctaw most of the time. Their earliest memories are likely to include stories in Choctaw, the sound of Choctaw hymns, and the cadences of Choctaw speech and laughter as the family gathered in the evening to discuss the day’s events.
A part of daily life on the Reservation, the Choctaw language may be heard in Tribal schools and administrative offices. It is in the Choctaw communities and homes, though, where the language is most deeply rooted. While they encourage their children to hone their communications skills in English, most Choctaw parents also make sure that their sons and daughters speak Choctaw as well.
Potential Threats to Choctaw Language Maintenance
Our Choctaw children today, for various reasons, are speaking mostly English. Language loss is usually caused by a number of things such as mixed marriages, modern technology, the environment, etc. In some instances, parents who speak English all day at work do not shift back to Choctaw when they get home. Because English is every where, there is no danger that children will not learn English. However, there is suddenly a critical danger that they will not learn their Native language, Choctaw.
Choctaw (Chahta Anumpa)
Source: Omniglot Writing Systems & Languages of the World (http://www.omniglot.com/writing/choctaw.htm)Choctaw is a Muskegon language closely related to Chickasaw. There are about 7,000 speakers of Choctaw, most of whom live in the south east Oklahoma. There are also Choctaws in east central Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. Oklahoma is a Choctaw word meaning “red people.”
The majority of Choctaw speakers are over 45, though in Mississippi efforts are being made to pass the language on to the younger generation & some children are being raised with Choctaw as their first language. Imagine that!
“Lh” can also be written “hl”, “ʊ” can also be written “u”, and “u” can also be written “v.”
Sample text in Choctaw
Hattak yuka keyu hokʊtto yakohmit itibachʊfat hieli kʊt, nan isht imaiʊlhpiesa atokmʊt itilawashke; yohmi ha hattak nana hohkia, keyukmʊt kanohmi hohkia okla moma nana isht aim aiʊlhpiesa, micha isht aimaiʊlhtoba he aima ka kanohmi bano hosh isht ik imaiʊlhpieso kashke. Amba moma kʊt nana isht imachukma chi ho tuksʊli hokmakashke.
(Atikel I, Aiʊlhepiesa Makosh Ʊlhpisa)
That all free men, when they form a special compact, are equal in rights, and that no man or set of men are entitled to exclusive, separate public emolument or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services.
(Article I Choctaw Declaration of Rights)
The information on this page was provided by Daniel Lapinski
Choctaw lessons, phrases and grammar
Choctaw language courses, dictionaries and other materials are available from
Information about the Choctaw people
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (offical site)
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
(Source: Answers.com) The Choctaw language, traditionally spoken by the Native American Choctaw people of the southeastern United States, is a member of the Muskogean family. The Choctaw language was well known as a lingua franca of the frontiersmen of the early 19th Century, including eventual American Presidents Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison. The language is very closely related to Chickasaw and some linguists consider the two dialects of a single language, although recent reports indicate that speakers of Choctaw find Chickasaw to be unintelligible.
There are three dialects of Choctaw (Mithun 1999):
- “Native” Choctaw on the Choctaw Nation in southeastern Oklahoma
- Chickasaw Nation of south central Oklahoma (near Durwood) of Oklahoma on
- Choctaw of Mississippi near Philadelphia
Some orthographies use <š> and <č> for /ʃ/ and /ʧ/; others use the digraphs <sh> and <ch>. /j/ is spelled <y>, and most modern orthographies use <lh> to represent the lateral fricative.
|Close||i, iː, ĩː|
|Close-mid||o, oː, õː|
|Open||a, aː, ãː|
In closed syllables, [ɪ], [ʊ], and [ə] occur as allophonic variants of /i/, /o/, and /a/. In the orthography, nasalized vowels are usually indicated by underlining the vowel (e.g., o̱ represents /õː/), and the allophonic [ʊ] is often written <u>. Some orthographies use <v> and <u> to represent the lax allophones of short /a/ and /o/–that is, [ə] and [ʊ]. These orthographies also use <e> to represent some cases of /iː/, and <i> for others, and also use <a>, <i>, and <o> to represent both the long and short phonemes of /a/, /i/, and /o/.
Some common Choctaw phrases:
- Choctaw: Chahta
- Hello!: Halito!
- See you later!: Chi pisa la chike!
- number: hohltina/hohltini
- Thank you: Yokoke
- What is your name?: Chi hohchifo yut nanta?
- My name is…: Sa hohchifo yut…
- yes: a̱
- no: keyu
- okay: omi
- today: himak nittak
- tomorrow: onnakma
- yesterday: yushkololi
- month: hushi
- year/2007: affami/tahlepa sipokni tuklo akohcha untuklo
- I don’t understand.: Ak akostinincho.
- I don’t know.: Akkikano.
- Do you speak Choctaw?: Chahta imanumpa ish anumpola hinla ho̱?
- What is that?: Yummut nanta?
- house: chukka
- school: holisso apisa
- cat: katos
- dog: ofi
- cow: wak
- horse: issuba/suba
Counting to fifteen:
- one: achuffa
- two: tuklo
- three: tuchina
- four: ushta
- five: tahlapi
- six: hannali
- seven: untuklo
- eight: untuchina
- nine: chakkali
- ten: pokkoli
- eleven: auahachuffa
- twelve: auahtuklo
- thirteen: auahtuchina
- fourteen: auahushta
- fifteen: auahtahlapi
This is the book cover I was selected to create for the Choctaw Language and Culture: Chahta Anumpa (Paperback), Volume One by Marcia Haag (Author), Henry Willis (Author), Grayson Noley (Foreword). It was an absolute pleasure and honor to be a part of this project. I enjoy studying the Choctaw Language and was able to take Choctaw Language I, II & III at OU, taught by Marcia Haag, and Henry Willis, speaker. (I took Choctaw I with my oldest son. It helped taking it with someone so you could practice speaking & study together.) I need a refresher!
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