Another week under our belts ….
Another week under our belts and it hasn’t been too bad. I guess the hardest problem is remembering what day it is. Every day seems like the rest so I really have to stop and think what happened, or should have happened.
We always kept a big calendar by my desk so I could write things down that were coming up. I see the Clark County Male Chorus is down for Saturday. It must have been awhile ago since I put that on there. It was still a go at the time.
I’m sure appreciating the Internet and e-mails to keep in touch and informed. Like this morning I could check with the church to see if anything was new and they even gave us an up-date on anyone that had been sick. Nice to be able to add someone to your prayer list.
Other than that, not much going on, but I did have a pleasant experience this morning. I wrote out a check to the Turtle Lake Community Scholarship Fund. The letter, from the Turtle Lake Lioness Club which has charge of it now, noted it was the 55th annual fund drive. My gosh, I thought, I must have been just a kid when it started.
It is kind of a long story, but I have lots of time before I need to send this in, so I’ll try to remember all the details.
We were a happy little community, I thought, until one day I started hearing that a number of people were upset with the coach of the high school basketball team. It seemed strange, as I thought we had a good team and he was not only a good coach, but a very likable man.
The issue finally came to a head when the group met with the school board and got on their next agenda. Then, instead of bringing up the issue directly, they asked to start a Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
So it ended up in the community going into a three-way split. Those who wanted to fire the coach, those who were against them and those of us who thought there might be something of value to have a PTA.
It was tough right from the start, as the PTA, I found out, had certain guidelines and then with two-thirds of the community not involved it became hard to get much done.
The PTA hung on for several years and actually did accomplish a few things. One year we started having a pancake supper to raise money for scholarships. I think the first year we managed three, $300 ones.
When it came time for election of officers the last year I happened to be president and could not find a single person willing to assume an office. It was rather unusual that evening as there happened to be five other meetings going on, all school involved and all with parents involved. They were important too so I suggested we just fold up, but was concerned about the scholarship fund we had started. An idea came up and we struggled to keep it going for a few years.
My thought was that if we got the fund started, those we helped would soon be out of college and could give back to the group that had helped them.
Another big help was the local newspaper, The Times, which was willing to not only promote it, but ran a list of all the donors every year. Like I said, this is the 55th year so apparently something worked well. Last year they gave out 16 scholarships compared to our three the first year.
Then there is another chapter to this story. The coach involved stayed around for a few years and the last year produced a conference championship in basketball.
He left Turtle Lake and went to Stanley-Boyd which has always had a reputation of being a good school sports town. After a few years he left there to take a position at the University of Wisconsin-Stout where he remained until he retired.
On my trip to Florida, Jackie pointed out where he lived in North Fort Myers, but we never got the time to go look him up.
Last week I brought you some tidbits from a paper I’d picked up in Calhoun, Georgia, on the way home. I still have a few items left to share with you sometime.
I did pick up another brochure that was really interesting and it told the story of the Cherokee Indians and their move from Georgia to Oklahoma and the Trail of Tears.
Two things were happening in Georgia in the early 1800’s. The Cherokee tribe was getting organized and developed their own form of government. From eight districts, 32 delegates gathered at a place to be renamed New Echola.
By1830,theyhadplannedacommunity with about 70 residents and a main street 60 feet wide and side streets of 50 feet. They also had developed a town square and even had their own newspaper.
In 1835, about 90 percent of the Cherokee lived in the community and had small farms of about 11 acres and also had houses and other buildings like barns, corn cribs and potato houses.
About the same time this was happening, the white settlers in the area got very interested in taking over the land. The discovery of gold really pushed them to get President Andrew Jackson in getting Congress to pass which was known as the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which allowed the government to move all Indians east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory, also known as Oklahoma.
In 1832, the Cherokee land was divided and given away to Georgia citizens in the 1832 Georgia Land Lottery.
By 1936, the citizens got Congress to pass a law by just one vote to remove the Indians and gave them two years to vacate the land. By 1838, 7,000 troops and state militia were ordered to remove the remaining Cherokee and move them west. This involved moving them in the winter and many became sick and died. Thus the name Trail of Tears would last forever.
Some more interesting tidbits from that other handout I had secured is that the five most popular fruits are the tomato, bananas, apples, oranges and watermelons. I was so surprised to see tomatoes considered a fruit, but then read that one of the southern states has even named it their official fruit. I wonder why they are generally displayed in a grocery store near the vegetables.