School Short Stories
Chilocco Five Dimensions
mentality, employee's world, personal life and my parent's dual, cultural
background gave me at least five dimensions out of Einstein's ten while
working on the grounds of the ancient school. A girl who was grounded in
Christianity only vaguely knew how many tracks on Chilocco soil had been
left by so many different tribes. Looking back, it makes me wonder how
any unification existed at all. As Native people began to become
educated, they took their roles in positions. These folks each had their
own tribal affiliations, too. Eventually, it was this disunity, which
allowed stronger forces to come onto the grounds like Vikings pillaging
and plundering. When the former superintendent, Mr. Lawrence Correll,
held the school in his hands, this was not allowed to happen. He made it
strong and clear, the school was on federal grounds loyal to the United
States Government and anyone crossing boundary lines did so at the risk of
looking at federal prison. There was no shilly-shallying on the issue.
Personally, I saw Mr. Correll's stance on it. This was the unity he
created but was lost gradually from after his retirement while I was
The snow crunched
beneath our feet as my fiancee and I walked up the wide steps going to a
porch circling the big stone residence. In my mind I knew the night
watchman was out there somewhere and was ever vigilant. No comment would I
make about it though. It was almost two o'clock. The holiday season had
made me want to attend services in the city and the drive home on icy
roads made the hour late. An owl cried loud and long from above our heads.
Before I thought
about my fiancee's strong German background I said, Oh dear! Owl is a
What? He was quick
to pick up on the statement.
Oh nothing, nothing.
It is just a silly superstition. I tried to excuse my observation about
the owl. After all, what could a boy who was on leave from the Marine's
and who was a strong Catholic with a full German grandmother know about an
owl being a messenger?
At this time it was
more important to me that I get into the house away from the ever present
eyes of the night watchman.
I was shuddering cold
from walking across the snow in the light high heel shoes on my feet and
did not want to linger at the door.
Got to get inside,
I told him. I'm freezing from these shoes!
Speaking of silly!
The bright street
light and the long, lighted front porch made me aware we were probably
much like on stage, and I was anxious to leave.
I have to go to
work tomorrow. It is late. I will be half dead and blind from lack of
sleep. One after another excuses were not working to push my need to get
into the house.
You will survive!
My lingering companion didn't seem to mind the cold. His wool uniform gave
him much more protection than my shoes, light hose and coat gave me.
Yes, but you won't
if the night watchman comes barreling out of no- where with his
twelve-cell flashlight. These were the magic words and with a grin and
quick military turn he was off the steps and back to his car.
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