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American History
Chilocco Bus Tour, March 10, 2005


Dear Reader,
     The bus tour and program afterward in the highschool auditorium went off very well. The auditorium was fairly filled and the audience stayed connected and attentive as Heather from the Historical Preservation Office at Oklahoma City spoke. She is a tiny woman but held everyone with a powerful presence. It was refreshing to see her strength and commitment to landmarks over Oklahoma. She brought out the economic value of having jobs made available through restoration  of buildings and thus saving the history of our state. There are ways for doing this and these were  pointed out,  too.  Binding together of communities in a united effort through fund raising projects gives citizens a purpose and will to control their own environment through working for their area's prosperity. She advised that waiting on grants was not always the right thing to do because this can be a long drawn out process.

      These are notes of my part of the program:

Greetings Fellow Chiloccoans and Lovers of History

INTRODUCTIONS

I'm Donna Jones Flood, class of '55

First I'd like you to meet Bret Carter. Bret has a great dedication to the work of saving history. He has had the leadership skills to bring us together here today. Bret respects the efforts of our ancestors and works hard to save the memory of their work. Can we have a round of applause for Bret.

I would like to introduce my cousin Charmaine Billy, who is the vice President of the alumni chapter here.

Garland Kent, please stand up. Garland is the President. He was with the Class of '58.

Alice Sheeter, are you here?  Please stand up? Alice is the treasurer of this chapter's alumnae.

We want to say a special thank you to the five tribes who own the Chilocco campus and who have graciously given us their attention. The Kaws: The Tonkawas' The Pawnee's, Ponca's and Otoes.

I really don't know what I am doing up here. I've been a house wife for almost fifty years and I know so many of you have done so much more. All I ever wanted was to have a family.

I worked at night studying my art, showing and exhibiting all around Dallas just so I could see the inside of some of their places. Then all at once I was exhibiting at the Kennedy Performing Arts Center. That didn't mean a thing either.  It was just to entertain the folks up on the hill with Indian art. I'm sure they didn't have a clue as to why I showed a painting of a half Cherokee and Non-Indian girl. She was as blond as my grandkids but she was a horse women extra ordinaire. She died of cancer and I just wanted to remember her. As the Ponca's say, “She was “Sas-Su-Way” Half blood.

Then I was all at once so angry that all our hard work at our school, Chilocco, was just lost. No one knew anything about how we hung in there, struggled so hard to get through our own issues. However, it wasn't just Chilocco, it was the whole family background. My kids had no idea the hardships our ancestors endured. I couldn't talk to them and tell them. They were too busy with soccer, school activities, homework.....dating, etc..and then they were married with even more responsibilities. I couldn't talk to them and tell them sooooooo I wrote a book, and I guess that is why I'm up here. “How To Keep Up With The Joneses” are stories about my ancestors who struggled even harder than we did to fit into the world around them.

There is work to be done and it isn't just about Chilocco. It is about so many other things around us. So let's begin with the slides Bret has worked so hard to bring to us on this power point presentation.

2. (large print) Condensed  notes, Chilocco (pronounced Shuh-lock-o) Yesterday and Today, March 10, 2005

1910-Slide number 1.

1. You might ask why I'm showing this picture? This woman, Anna Schoenholz, obviously isn't Indian so how is she involved in Chilocco. Anna came to Ellis Island  from Germany, circa 1910. George Schoenholz, also an immigrant, sent for her from Germany. He went to New York and married her there before he brought her home to these prairie lands outside of Foraker and Grainola. She was a widow with two children, Emma and Bill. These children, her grandchildren are my half brothers, Arnold and Paul Jones, children of my father's first marriage.

The 1910's were a decade of great change for America. It was the decade when the United States was first considered a world leader. World War 1-the first 'war to end all wars' raged. 1910 was the decade America came to age. It was the decade which began with America's efforts to reform itself and ended with its efforts to reform the world.

Slide 2

1910- Elizabeth Little Cook, Pensoneau, Hernandez my grandmother is the first short story in my book, “How To Keep Up With The Joneses.”. She is full Ponca but dressed here in the costume of the day, 1910.  It was the last year of the “Gibson Girl Look.” Elizabeth for all her academic life was schooled in institutions. First in the government school out of White Eagle and then at Chilocco. She worked at Chilocco as a housemother over 200 boys in Home Two. She was a court clerk here at Newkirk taking notes in the court room with short hand. She worked in the A.W. Comstock, Attorney at Law, Law office as a secretary and a interpretor. This time period enjoyed, BALL ROOM DANCING,   GEORGE GERSHWIN, THEATERS, COLE PORTER  and songs like, “ HINKY DINK PARLAY VOUS.”   The first MODEL T for 345 dollars rolled off new assembly lines. The Titanic sunk in 1912.

All of us remember how we became skilled ballroom dancers at Chilocco. We danced every night at the Flaming Arrow. In later years I was dancing at a party. Someone said, “Why Donna, I thought you lived in such a “straight laced family.”  They obviously thought I had learned to dance at the public dance houses. I just let it go, how could I explain about Chilocco and our socials.

Slide 3

1920-My father, Lee Otis Jones,  on the right, his sister, Gertrude Jones in the middle, and his brother, Dennis Homer Flynn Jones on the left. This decade is often characterized by a period of American optimism and prosperity. The nation became urban and commercial. It is seen by historians as a decade of serious cultural conflict.

Hitler was coming into place in 1921. He capitalized on our economic depression in 1929. Because we as a nation had become frivolous with our good times in and around the prohibition era we were weakened so that he did come to power. The nation had been practicing isolationism.

Like the concentration camps saved today as museums it is my plea to the people of this great  nation that Chilocco should be saved for the same reason.  OF course, we were NOT imprisoned in a concentration camp, quite the opposite. Most of us as alumnae agree it was a wonderful time.

We enjoyed:

1. LOVING TEACHERS  WHO WERE DEDICATED TO THEIR MISSION
2. CLEAN HOUSING (no matter that we did the cleaning).
3. GOOD FOOD (until we got tired of it)
4. FELLOWSHIP WITH TRIBES FROM ALL OVER THE NATION (and some of us married.)
5. SOCIAL ACTIVITIES WITH GRACEFULNESS WE COULD HAVE HAD NOWHERE ELSE
6. THE SPORT OF OUR CHOICE (and this wasn't night hawking)

We are proud that a difficult problem was addressed and implemented by the fathers of our country. We as American Indians were educated and learned how to survive in the White man's world for that I am thankful. Of course, we have all had our own trials and struggles but because we could read and write we all have been able to accomplish. Do we want institutions for our children? No, we do not. However, this is the freedom we enjoy to make that choice.

Make mention of my book. Buy my book, read about Lizzie, my grandmother. Open floor to questions & comments


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