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A Church Picnic in Choctaw, Oklahoma and A Discussion of Indians

After church is morning, everyone was invited to go to Choctaw Creek Park. One of my cousins said she was coming with her husband, but the other cousin thought he couldn’t come because he had to help his son. However, it turned out that his son didn’t need him, so I was able to have lunch with my daughter, two of my cousins, and my cousins’ husband at a picnic table among the church members of the Choctaw church of Christ. There were games, good company, and good food.

This was the sign at the entrance to the park.

I don’t think that the park was in Choctaw when I was in high school there, but Choctaw has grown a lot since I was in high school. As you come out of Midwst City, to get to the park, you would go toward Choctaw on Reno Rd., then turn left on Henney, and then right on tenth, and I can’t remember the name of the next road, but you don’t stay on tenth long. It may be the first or second left off of tenth, so past the houses, and then the next entrances are to the park. It is a really nice park.

There is a playground close to the entrance where we went in.

As you enter the park, there is a play ground on the left, and we went to the right. The road meanders around through the park, and we followed it as my daughter was giving directions, and taking pictures.

The road just meanders around.
We went past a big windmill.
The place was full of cars and people.

We knew we had found the spot when we came upon a bunch of cars parked on the grass. I am not used to parking on the grass, and I wasn’t so sure about parking on the grass, but everyone else’s cars seemsed to be fine, so we parked on the grass.

The volley ball game

As we approached, we saw they had a volleyball game going. It looked like fun, but I haven’t played volleyball for a long time, and I was hungry.

The place where the people were

We approached and found there were a lot of picnic tables under the big gazebo or awning, whatever you want to call it. It smelled great because they were grilling hamburgers and hot dogs on an outdoor grill. We took a seat at a picnic table. Soon after we arrived, they asked anyone who was hungry to put their hands, up, so I put my hand up, and so did most of the people there. It was a huge crowd. They had a prayer thanking God for the food and then they had us all line up. There was a long table off to one side that was full of hot dog buns, hamburger buns, chips, vegetables to put on the hamburgers, and hot dogs and hamburgers. They were serving it cafeteria style.

As we got into line, we ran into my cousin, Hal. I said, “I thought you weren’t coming.” He replied that he had planned to help his son, but his son said he didn’t need his help. We all got in line to get our hamburgers and hot dogs. A little girl got between us and Hal, and a lady stood next to Hal talking to him. We talked to the little girl who stood by us. She was eleven years old, and she went to the Choctaw schools, and she said her name was Allysa. She told us how much fun it was to go to Choctaw schools, and I told her I was glad to hear that since I had graduated from Choctaw high school, and I had fun when I was there too. We had a pleasant conversation with the little girl while we were standing in line.

After we got through the line, Hal came and sat with us at the picnic table. Shortly after that, Dena and Preston showed up. Dena is Hal’s sister, my other cousin. They wanted to visit with me, and they wanted to get to know my daughter a little since they really hadn’t had a chance to get to know her. We talked about family and friends we went to school with. I learned that one of my good friends in school was related to Dena’s husband.

Dena and Hal told me that they had had genetic testing done, and that it came back that they weren’t Indian as they thought. We had all been told we were Indians. They said it came back they were Scandinavian and black. My daughter had been studying up on the genetic testing thing, and it made sense. She said that she had read that the genetic testing was not an exact Science at all. The people who do the genetic testing were comparing the blood to blood samples they had, and the only blood they had from Indians was from South American Indians, and we are not South American. We are North American.

I also told them that since we were Cherokee, it made sense that they tested Scandinavian because they had recently found bones in Florida they said were from the Cherokee tribe, and they tested them and figured out they were Norsemen. The Norsemen had mixed with the Cherokees. It cleared up the confusion.

As for the black, I can explain that too. We have a fourth cousin named Loy Burch who did some checking into our family background. He went to court houses, etc., and checked all the records. It seems that one of our early presidents, Thomas Jefferson, had a black wife before he went into politics. He lived on the east coast, where the Cherokees are from. When he went into politics, he was told that when he left that area, no one would accept his black wife. They also had a baby. To rectify the situation, his wife went along with him as a slave, and they placed the baby in the home of a Cherokee family to be raised as a Cherokee. That family happened to be our family. That is why they tested as part black.

We began having an amusing conversation about speaking languages and being mistaken for being from other places. My cousins have an uncle on the other side of the family who is from the Creek Indian tribe, but he looks like us, light skin with dark hair and eyes. He could speak Creek. His dog came up missing, and he went to a fortune teller who told him where his dog was. Dena let us know as she told the story that she didn’t approve of going to fortune tellers. However, the fortune teller told her uncle where his dog was. He went up into the yard, and the dog was tied to the porch. There were two men there speaking to one another in the Creek language. They didn’t realize that the man coming after his dog was Creek. They thought he was white. They were talking about how much they could cheat this white man out of for giving his dog back. He understood what they were saying, but he didn’t tell them. He offered them money for his dog. They took the money and gave his dog back. Before he got back in his pickup truck, he spoke to them in Creek. It embarrassed them because they realized he was also Creek Indian. They tried to give the money back saying they wouldn’t have done it had they known he was their Indian brother. He refused to take the money back telling them they should be ashamed of themselves because even if he was a white man, they shouldn’t have done what they did. He also suspected the Fortune Teller of being in on it, and it being a scam.

It reminded me of some of the things that had happened as I was traveling around overseas. You can find a blog about Big Foot in Japan and about when a horse was stolen in Romania that are similar to the story she told us that I told them next. The story in Japan was about an American who spoke Japanese, and the Japanese didn’t know it, and said lots of things they shouldn’t have. The one in Romana was about the people trying to practice witchcraft to find the missing horse. They are among my blogs if you are interested, you can find them.

After that, we began talking about how people were always mistaking us for being from different place. My cousin Hal has been mistaken for a Mexican many times. I have been mistaken for Mexican, Romanian, Pakistani, Japanese, and even part Korean. They agreed that we have a kind of international look to us. Dena said people have actually made friends with her because they felt more comfortable because of her coloring. She worked in one place where a blond couldn’t make friends for many, many years, but they took my cousin right in and acted like they were old friends from the beginning, and they figured out that the people felt like the blond looked strange but they were extremely comfortable with Dena’s looks, and she looks a lot like me. I think God gave us a gift because I have actually had people tell me the same thing in my travels. I understand why I have confused people because besides what I look like, I speak several languages. Evidently, lots and lots of people have mistaken Hal for a Mexican. When I lived in Texas, it paid for my language that the Mexicans mistook me as Mexican because they spoke Spanish to me and gave me lots of practice, and made my Spanish better. I think it is just fine that our background is all genetically mixed up. I knew a guy in Texas named Black Bear who was 100% American Indian from Oklahoma, and he said the Mexicans were always speaking Spanish to him too.

Well we had a nice lunch and a interesting conversation. After a bit, we all needed to go for different reasons. My daughter had a job interview this afternoon, and she got the job. She is now a hostess at Applebee’s, a nice restaurant that is about five minutes from where we are living. I am glad to know where the park is in Choctaw.

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