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Sweeter Than Elderberry Wine
And The Love We Exchanged Mid The Flowers

‘How far back the relationship with the Osage Zona’s family went has not been proven. The circumstances involved must be what tells the story. Zona’s Mother, Elizabeth Ann Brewer’s family lived at Bolivar, Missouri before they went to Arkansas. Elizabeth Ann’s mother was a Hunter, Mary Amerika (pronounced Am-mare-eek-ah) Hunter. At the time the family lived in Bolivar, records show the Osage in camp along that river. This would have been before their removal to first of all parts of Missouri and then on to Bartlesville, Oklahoma lands. Zona’s grandfather, John Brewer, died after he mustered out from the civil war at Cape Girardeau. Records from the Civil War describe him as dark complexioned with black hair and blue eyes. This was in the year of 1865. It almost seems there were some ties with the Osage from a farther time back than just the events and association between the tribal members and Zona in and around Bartlesville. Just as Zona obviously accepts those of the Osage, they are comfortable with her as well. Sharing photographs, which she saved, and tidbits of their culture told they trusted and liked her. None of that is important now but does give the reader an understanding of how Zona was able to be protected by these women of Osage blood.’

“There’s an opening at Thackerville for a postmaster, Zona.” John felt the need to go to work so he could have a salary. The birth of his child made him realize that his life was moving right along for him.

John, Zona and their child made the trip from Bartlesville to the little town close to the Red River on the border between Oklahoma and Texas. John was now employed by the United State Government. He was thankful to have work. If the lure of free land had not been so strong this may have been the home place of his descendants and not on the prairie lands of the Osage.

Zona loaded the wagon with all their worldly goods and she was excited to think they were moving forward to the goals John had set for himself which involved land. Zona hummed a song as she poked their things into every nick and cranny of the little wagon.

‘The song she might have hummed could have been the following .’

From this valley they say you are going
We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile
For they say you are taking the sunshine
That has brightened our path for a while

Come and sit by my side if you love me
Do not hasten to bid me adieu
But remember the Red River Valley
And the cowboy who loved you so true

Won't you think of the valley you're leaving
Oh how lonely, how sad it will be?
Oh think of the fond heart you're breaking
And the grief you are causing to me

As you go to your home by the ocean
May you never forget those sweet hours
That we spent in the Red River Valley
And the love we exchanged mid the flowers

Gramma Bell and Minnie Smith
Zona and her friend, He kah Mon Kah, Sas A Chief, Osage woman

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