Since I grew up on the U.S./Mexico border, I learned both English and Spanish as I was growing up. The advantage is that I can mess up more then one language.
I, like others, believe that where I grew up was the best place in the world. Because of my heritage (Choctaw) and travels later in life,
I went from 1st grade to a senior in high school in the same school building. My senior class had 7 people in it. Not only were the town and school small but also I come from a small family. I have 8 sisters and 2 brothers.
We grew up in ranch country riding about anything we could get on. My first horse was not a horse but a donkey. My father gave it to me when I was four said if I could ride that donkey that would never be a horse stubborn enough to give me problems.
One of the nice things about growing up in the country is that it gave me a love for nature and the benefits we can get from plants and herbs. I have spent the last 40 years as an herbalist trying to learn as much as I can.
After a brief stay in college I wanted to see the world so I didn’t wait to get drafted, I joined the Marine Corp where I served as a door gunner on a helicopter. While there, I found out two things. One that there were to many people shooting at me and two that I was not very good at ducking. So when they told me I had to many holes in me and that I could go home I took them up on the offer.
After getting out of the Marine Corp, I spent a few years on the pro rodeo circuit and worked as a rodeo clown. After an argument with a bull, that I lost, once again I decided that I needed something safer so I got a job as a deputy sheriff on the United States/Mexico Border chasing drug smugglers.
During this time, I was able to learn how to fly airplanes. I also got to learn how to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. I discovered that parachuting is not like the movies where you jump out of the plane and scream something. You actually scream all the way to the ground. After many mishaps, bumps, bruises and once again not being able to duck when people shot at me the old body wouldn’t take it any more so it was time for another career change.
Since the desire to travel was once again on me, I bought a couple of trucks and started my own trucking business. Very shortly with my experience in law enforcement and trucking, I was also able to work as a consultant helping trucking companies. While doing this, I traveled to all 50 states, Mexico, Central America and South America. The best part was someone else paid for the traveling.
At the young age of 49, I went back to college to finish a degree 30 years after I started it. Since I went to college and only took 35 years to get through. I now have a couple of pieces of paper to hang on the wall saying I know a little bit about Creative Writing and a little bit about Anthropology. I know that the two fields often times do not go together but when I grow up, I want to be a Creative Anthropologist. Besides, anyone that has seen some of what I write knows that I know only a little bit about spelling.
Because of what I have done earlier in my life, I am now able to spend my time teaching others about not only the Choctaw culture but also the wonderful and diverse history of other Native American nations. In my family from as early as I can remember we were taught to be proud of our Native American Heritage no matter what people around us said. The respect that we were taught to have for others and their beliefs are something that I have cherished all my life. I hope to be able to pass some of the teachings of my elders on to the next generation.
Through programs at schools and other groups, I am able to help others understand the history, economics, music, dress, and lifestyle of past and current Native Americans. I enjoy sharing with others traditions and history that as Native Americans we take as a natural part of our life.
By using traditional dress and Native American Instruments and stories, I am able to help children and adults understand a little more about a culture that we as Native Americans are proud of. In addition, it helps them understand that there is not one Native American culture but many nations with their own traditions and history.
I thought that I would never leave the Southwestern United States but r I have moved to and live in beautiful Kentucky. I have to learned to appreciate and love the beautiful woods, the creatures who share them with us, the water ways, the rain and so much more that makes up Kentucky. I am thankful that I ended up here. What a beautiful place..
Creator has blessed us with a piece of land near Cecilia, KY which we are able to use to hold ceremonies and for people to come to spend time with Mother Earth and draw close to her. We are in the process of reintroducing plants native to Kentucky and helping the wildlife return to the area in a good way.
I hope you know a little bit more about me then before you read this. The only thing I ask is that you remember of all these words is that to succeed we must help others to succeed and life is a wonderful adventure, enjoy it to the fullest.