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Paddle Your Own Canoe
Chapter 33


Filtering down through time were the old stories of the terrible struggles the men in the family had in order to settle unconquered land.  Dad's grandfather was the first lawman who  worked for the federal government. He was an agent who delivered food to the Osage. The Indians had been transplanted from Missouri to the tight quarters of the hard rock hills around Bartlesville, Oklahoma. They were in desperate circumstances because this had placed them in an area which was foreign to them. The attitude of the population was going to the quote, “the only good Indian is a dead Indian.”

Through these circumstances Dad's grandfather had to work in order to deliver food to them via a wagon. His son's and brothers rode shotgun on the wagon with him. One brother, Seaborn Jack, and a son, Seberno (Seib) was shot and killed.  Another brother of great grandfather was hung by a mob of ranchers who didn't want the Indians on the land.  Great granddad's daughter, Dora, was doused with kerosene and torched. Seib's wife was so traumatized she ran with the baby to Texas and family. There she was suffering from poverty and hardship. Our own grandfather, Joe, who was Seib's  brother, and Uncle to Dee,  walked to Texas and walked back to Bartlesville.  He carried the small child, Dee,  on his shoulders all the way back.

Dee grew up and became listed as one of Oklahoma's early day jockeys. He was a tiny little person. They were small people but evidently his earliest days of near starvation had stunted his growth. Never mind that. He made lemonade out of lemons.

When some of those around  get to fidgeting because they don't have the easy money coming down the tube from the oil companies, right away it is time to get rid of more of the luxuries around. Once it was such a battle she went to the driving of an old pick up truck a rancher friend had willed to her. “Sometimes, it works, sometimes, it doesn't.  Sooner or later the message comes through.”  Dee muttered to Chelsea, her friend.

These were the things Chelsea and Dee were discussing while they tried to even out the erratic push pull of the world upon them during the day by enjoying some time over coffee and conversation.

“I'll be blast if I move an inch from some of the yeah-yeah stuff going around.”   Dee was relaxed and could easily drop into Oklahoma slang with her friend.

“Oh well.”  Chelsea always had her mind on something more productive. “What do you think of the new paint job on my old house?”

“It is lovely.  White, white it is.  I love those dark foliage plants and the bright lime green plants on the porch.  What are those bright green one's called?”

“Would you believe that is a variety of sweet potato?”

“Well!  Is it really?  Who would have thought of using something like that for ornamentals?”  Dee loved to see new and different things being done in any field but especially with landscaping.

“Jimbo started one of those pony tail plants from just a sprig.  It grew too big for his house and we put it on my patio.  Today, I put it in a larger pot, moved it to the corner of the entry room and it looks so elegant.  Probably, would cost around three hundred for a exotic plant like that, and he did it with just patience and tender loving care.”

“Really, there is no paying for what Jimbo does for us as a family.  How did we heir such a wonderful friend?”

“Treat him well.  Believe me, maintenance is an issue.”  Chelsea signed.

Dee knew the woman  was well acquainted with that issue too as she went about her daily regimen in caring for the sprawling apartment complex.

“Wonder what Great grand Dad would think of our not being able to cope with our piddly mundane daily goings on?”  Dee had to chuckle at some of the things they struggled through which were just that.

“Not much!  I'm sure.  Especially, since we don't have to have someone ride shotgun while we do our job.”


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