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American History

HeawathaSeven o'clock in the morning was early for young people, teenagers, in one way. In another way it wasn't early at all for them to be found lining up in front of their choir teacher's upright piano.

They filed into the room singly, in two and three's and sometimes larger groups. They were through with the biggest part of their morning. The waking early, standing in line for showers, getting their rooms inspection ready, completing a building cleaning detail, and getting to breakfast only to stand in line again, all was done. The same faces, same places, same vocal exercises, and same music were dutifully a part of their life. There was Booger Red, Sandy, Grimmet, Charlotte, Heawatha, Ross, Craig, and more, many more students there.

Up the scale, lah-lah-lah-lah and back down lah-lah-lah or new-new-new-new and back down. Enunciation was not only an exercise but a necessity as the soft accents of the Native American often came through in the English language they spoke. The development to bring the control of perfect diction was a way the children could come into the mainstream of the American lifestyle.

Maybe the songs of Rogers and Hammerstein were fun but, they became a tool in the hands of their gifted teacher. If regularity and determination were the answers to learning there was certainly everything in the instructors will on that order. Every morning, every occasion, on campus and off they sang their songs. Some of the songs they sang so often, really they probably could have performed without any thought or searching for words. There were small dinners, banquets, church on Sunday, school assemblies, invitations to off campus club meetings, Colleges, and other high school assemblies.

The double octet sang, Lolly Too Dum so often it was almost a part of their vocabulary. The students who were not shy and were willing to do a solo certainly were given the opportunity. To memorize a song, a gospel, or a part of the octet one only had to perform over and over until the stage was as easy as brushing their teeth or combing their hair.

"Sit Down Servant" the soprano would sing out, "I can't sit down." There came the reply from the boys.

"Sit Down Servant" the soprano cautioned. "My soul is so happy, that I can't sit down." The tenors would answer. The rhythm and happy sound of the spiritual pushed them to get into the music.

Heawatha.There is always a quartet but, the double quartet was a more effective way of getting a performance across. If one of the girls of alto, second soprano, or soprano was shy and shaky the other one who was stronger would give her the support she needed and together they would get their part across.

All the girls of the double quartet had the joy on their face to come with youth and good health. However, there was one who stood out above the rest. This was Heawatha. She was tall and always stood on the second row because of this. Her dark shining long softly curled hair was always a soft flowing frame around her face. The fairness of her skin along with the dark hair stood out as well. There was something else about her though. It couldn't be described really. Was it just the calm pleasant way she had about her personality? Maybe it was her willingness to always stop a moment. She would take time to hear out a request, or listen to a problem. Whatever it was it won her the place as the Chilocco school princess along with the selection of princess and brave.

Her full white buckskin dress only accented the dark hair and fair clear skin. Because of her way, gentle and quiet, with only a matter of fact friendliness there was never any jealousy of the vote she received. The students, boys and girls, all were proud to have her in the front, since there was no question as to her depth of spirit and attractiveness. Memories fade before us as we grow mature and removed from the times of our youth. Still, the mind can and will always remember the delicate touch this girl, Heawatha, contributed simply by just being what she was, beautiful. This whether she was performing while they sang their songs, or for the other activities in which she took part.

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