Monday, November 2, 2009


I'll be talking ghosts Friday and Saturday at the Red Dirt Literary Festival in the Sooner State, where I was born and went to high school.

I'll also find time to visit my favorite graveyard. It's a small hidden meadow on tribal land near Quapaw. The exsiting graves are simple coffin hollows (depressions in the ground) now, but they are special in other ways.

"Breathing" pipes extend from underground into the air at each gave site.


Anonymous said...

A road trip, darn it! Enjoy every mile, and every memory. See you on the other side (I mean of your trip)!

FARfetched said...

I heard about that rockslide, good thing you've got a way around it. Enjoy your homebound ghosts as much as you can, and keep us posted…

Gordon Jerome said...

Oklahoma. Interesting. My wife is a Cherokee. Her Father lives in Oklahoma as did her grandmother, and grandfather, and great grandfather who was named Big Feather. According to her grandmother who passed away in her nineties, they never lived on the reservation, but always had a farm. We don't know if that farm is still in the family or not. Her brother died a short time ago, and the Cherokee Nation paid for his funeral.

My wife, Michelle is a rather remarkable artist. She paints in oil. She paints in the style of classical realism. As an Indian, everyone seems to expect her to make pottery or some damn thing. But she's a classical realist.

We tend to get a chuckle at all the white people who look for Indian spiritual religions. Her family were all Baptists.

There is the idea of the American Indian, and then there is the reality. said...

Gordon, my great grandmother was Cherokee and she lived on scrub hill land in SW Missouri claimed by her g-parents during the Trail of Tears.

The group they "traveled" with hit deep mud in SW Mo and for several days could go no further. Some of The People climbed up into the Ozark foothills and just stayed there, although the majority was herded into Indian Territory.

I grew up surrounded by Indian friends, but outside the culture. In fact, I was told my g-grandmother was half-black. Research proved otherwise.

In my adulthood, I purposefully moved to western North Carolina (near the location of the my g-grandmother's people) and, honestly, felt instantly at home in the mountains outside Cherokee, North Carolina.

It may be a trick of the heart, but this is where I feel comfortable. The climate, the trees, and the hills -- all of that -- seem just right to me. It feels as if this is the original "place."

Ask Michelle if she has ever heard any stories of Cherokee witches for me. :-) The Cherokee I know, including Davy Arch (an international spokesman and "story" keeper for the Eastern Band), have all heard of witches among their people but know very little about them.

Apparently, a "practicing" Cherokee witch tended to be male. A witch who became known as a witch was ostracized and so they never admitted being such. One or two of the known healers in a community might be suspected of darker arts, but to claim so out loud was to risk one's own well-being. Etc.

As a kid, budding Indian artists I knew among the 5-C Tribes were ecnouraged to pursue Indian crafts
by tribal council and federally funded programs. It was silly. But, if they didn't paint pictures of stereoytypical culture and figures (of usually Plains Indians, btw), they didn't get their pieces in the tourist gift shops and tribal museums. said...

Farf: The rocklisde has closed I-40 in both directions and the word is it will take MONTHS to open the interstate again. The rockslide is at NC mile marker 3 (just inside the Tennessee state line). I don't know if this is the route you use to motorcycle up to the Parkway in NC, but be sure to check before starting out on the Harley.

Beach Baby Beth: Yeah, I have a box of 40 CDs (I am as yet un-I-podded) all sorted for amount of highway weariness the music is meant to overcome. First up is Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell. That always gets me going.

Hey, Beth, next thing you know I'll be naming my car. Why not? I already talk to it after a day or two of steady driving.

annerallen said...

Road trip. Meatloaf. Ghosts. Doesn't get any better than that. Maybe you should have a car-naming contest?

Me going off topic here: I'm so glad you took the time to go to my blog to comment on my Nathan B. post. It is kind of my philosophy of writing: "To be a good writer, you need to be a good LISTENER." Amazing how many writers don't figure that out.

As long as I'm going wayyy off-topic: Anybody out there who writes genre fiction for adults--good news today about a major new e-publisher. On my blog at said...

Anne, this is fascinating. Esepcially their apparent interest in out-of-print stuff.

I don't, on the other hand, understand a single thing about e-publishing other than it looks like I would have to keyboard the entire texts of my o.p. novels to put them on Kindle... and, geez, you know what would happen?

I would rewrite the darn things. Entirely.