Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Thought or Two


When downsizing or weeding, there are so many things that just don’t fall into a clear cut category. I look around and wonder what I can do without…and often think nothing, think it is all so important. In the small hut sits a plate that was an advertising promotion and a calendar for the year 1908. This was the year my Granny was born. How could I ever let it go although it is meaningless to probably almost any other human right now?



I don’t know how I ended up with the plate, but of course, got it when her house was broken up after she died. It doesn’t look like anything else I own, and when I was younger I tended to not keep anything that didn’t function for me in some way. However, I guess even I recognized the uniqueness of a plate marked with Chelsea, I.T. This would have been the Indian Territory my Gran was born in. Family story says she was Cherokee, but I can’t find paper proof. At this late date in life, I wonder if she could have been Choctaw. She had an aunt named Tishamingo which was a Choctaw chief’s name, and I don’t think White people named their children after Native Americans in that time period.

Right now, I am reading an older book called Mean Spirit by Linda Hogan. It is a novel about the Indians of Oklahoma and how they were swindled and killed for their oil rights and oil money. It is a sad, sad tale, but then it is very contemporary—the power of one group of people over another and of racial bias. I just finished reading a classic for the May book club, and that was Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis. This book was also contemporary in that it dealt with cheating real estate deals, crafty bankers, of people of a certain class leading empty lives as they tried to beat each other to the top of the society stack.

I have been so disheartened by the political scene the last few months, by the greed I see in big companies, by the lack of civility in human beings, by the struggle for money and by the treating money like it were a Greek god. Once again literature is showing me that we are not much worse than we ever were. Our sinking into the darkness of evil really isn’t new; this is the same old story.


So I run my hand across the plate before sitting it back on the shelf, think of the storekeeper who built his business, of the great grandparents who took the plate home in 1908, of the Indian Territory that would become Oklahoma years later, of the grandmother who kept the plate into her final years as I am now doing. I guess if the plate could talk it would tell us of all the injustice, trouble, crookedness it saw along with joy and celebration. In the end, I think the plate would say, “Life goes on.” I just wish we could get a handle on the evil which would make the going on so much nicer to do!

11 comments:

Merlesworld said...

There will always be good and evil in the world, a lot of good helps a lot of people but a little evil can have far reaching effects.
Merle.....................

Linda O'Connell said...
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Linda O'Connell said...
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Linda O'Connell said...
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Patricia A. Laster said...

Yes, keep the plate at least until the next time Antiques Roadshow comes near to you. Maybe the fellows/staff can find some provenance. Good piece of writing. I met Dawn Harmon in the flesh, did I tell you? She's a beautiful, talented poet/ person. I have a photo of us hugging when I learned who she was. xoxo

Susan said...

Oh gosh, Bookie. I think that's a delightful post. It could be submitted somewhere, I would think. And I never heard the name Tishamingo in my whole life. Fabulous! Susan

Rebecca said...

You have such a unique & intriguing history and a great ability to express your thoughts, make connections, and stimulate my thinking and reflections...

Linda O'Connell said...

Claudia,
That plate is priceless and surely has an unwritten story attached. Sorry I messed up this post. I responded from my phone and it kept reposting.

noexcuses said...

What a wonderful family story! You do have a beautiful gift with your writing. It inspired me to get back to my ancestry research and put some of it down on paper like you have here. Thank you for sharing!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

The hubster and I are in the process of preparing to downsize. Like you, I have things that aren't purely functional, but with which I cannot bear to part. That plate is part of your history. That alone makes it priceless.

Sioux said...

The plate IS priceless, and has a place in your family history. Enjoy it. Keep it. Perhaps it will inspire a story someday...