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American History
News for August 28, 2006

Note: This is a message that is NOT associated with the National Chilocco Alumni Associate:

August 28, 2006

There is still nothing obviously going on with the grounds around the old school. The buildings stand in total neglect and, in fact, some have been condemned, I was told, yesterday, by a member of the Kaw tribe.

People of the State Historical Society, Jim Gabbert at Oklahoma City and Bret Carter from here must be still working to get the finishing manuscript and application to the National Historical Society. I’ve had several notes and invitations to meetings at Oklahoma City so I am sure they still have the work in process. It would be nice to get this done because it, hopefully, will help to save the buildings from destruction.

There was vandalism going to the tearing out of copper wire to resell. I understand those four men have been apprehended and are awaiting sentencing. It still is a federal institution or what is left of one so it is said this will have to go through federal court.

During the Chilocco Alumni Meeting at Tulsa, this summer, it was understood the gates would be open for Alumni members to drive through the campus. However, they had to sit in a line of cars and no one showed up to open the gates. I’m told that was a disappointment to the members who only wanted to see, one more time, their old alma mater that made such a difference in their lives. The five tribes owning the grounds are all bogged down with their own problems and concerns, so it is hard for them to take on one more unsolvable problem, it seems. I understand.

At this time the Alumni Society is planning a float for the Arkansas City Arkalalah. I have been asked to call the Arkansas City Chamber for instructions and on that and I will beg off. My time is too precious with loved ones and family. Actually, I didn’t participate in those extra curricular activities when I was at the school. There are those who did and I think they will have to be the ones to get involved in this.

The Tonkawas have built a good sized casino right before the gate at Chilocco and I’m told it is nice, for any of those who like to gamble.

My brother is on the roads commission for the Ponca and he showed a projected plan which would clean up the trees from off the roads as well as put new roads down. However, this is only a plan to be presented to the counsel and, if I understood correctly, was a twenty year proposal. I, frankly, do not see any of this happening at this time, but who knows?

The money for the cemetery is in the bank (some 1000.00) awaiting further plans to get the fence up around it. There was some money collected, about 75 dollars for membership and that was used for porta-potti and food to serve to the crew from the historical group who did the very distasteful work of measuring, evaluating a recording data on the buildings while tromping through chigger, tick infested, poison ivy overgrowth and surely snakes around the lake and on the grounds. Some of the food was donated by the ones who wanted the work done so badly.

My interest in Chilocco is purely personal and this is not with the Alumni in any way. The work they are doing is in connection with the student body, which is commendable. I just don’t have enough time to get involved in the social joys they are able to squeeze into their own schedules. The load here is too heavy, and I’m not complaining. Mother used to say, “We love our worries and problems.”

In working with the Chilocco Alumni, the president, of the Northern Chapter, Garland Kent, seems to be pleasured with the possible instead of all the so-impossible and that is worth everything. I'm happy to see the old Garland brandishing a new spirit that wishes to meet these problems, head-on.

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