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American History
Chilocco - Today and Yesterday


Letter from a Former Student

Here is a letter from one of the students from the years, 1969-70. I thought every one would enjoy.

Donna,

Gosh!  You are making me lonesome for those good times at Chilocco.  I have to say that my parents were having a rough time, and my grandparents became my guardians in 1969 - after asking me my thoughts (they gave me a choice!), they sent me to Chilocco.  The first night I was there, I cried - as I lay on the top bunk, staring out over that internal courtyard, I have to admit, I cried myself to sleep. But in the end, after graduation, I hated to leave.  All the wonderful staff there, the kids I met, some of whom I have been able to connect with now and again, from NY, AK, FL, AZ and all points in between - what a wonderful time - the memories of which I cherish.  Had it not been for my grandparents, I do not know where I would be now.  Going to Chilocco opened up my eyes to the world, I gained independence, and I learned there were more Indians in this world than my Pawnees, the Poncas, Otoes and Osages!!  I was reading just now on your website about the McGilbra's.... Grace was one of our matrons at Home 5 - and she was the most darling person I have ever known.  She had a quiet elegance, but was she ever tough when she had to be!  Fortunately, I never had to find that out.  And Carriasco, to me, was a big ol' bear!  I loved them both....Mom Grace and Dad C.  Thanks, Donna, for all that you do. Something needs to be done about the buildings!  I am hoping to go to the Chilocco reunion that is being held in ABQ.

It is, after all, a piece of history.  I don't mind you adding it (Irene's note) to the site.  You know, I almost got tossed into the fountain - somehow managed to stay out of it!  Boy, could I tell some stories about 1969-70!

Later,
Irene


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