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Life Arts    H4'ed 6/13/18

When Auntie Got a Chair

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Navajo Woman Smiling
Navajo Woman Smiling
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"Alex wrote a story. Alex was half Cheyenne and half Osage. The title of his story was "When Auntie Got a Chair." His mother told Alex the story many times at bedtime or on long drives. His Mother's great aunt was Cheyenne. Her father fought at the Battle of The Little Big Horn. Alex's Mother still had her great great grandfather's war shirt. She kept it in an old cedar chest that she used as a coffee table. When she was away from home Alex would open the chest and sit and stare at it until his eyes hurt.

Alex's great great Aunt refused to sit in chairs. She would sit on blankets on the floor. She was afraid of chairs. When she was a little girl on the reservation a missionary came to her house one day and took her away to Lame Deer with twenty other young Cheyenne children. She was made to sit in a chair all day until her Father found out and went to the Reservation headquarters and rescued her and two of her Cousins. She hated chairs thereafter. The Missionary wanted to make her learn English and get religion. In her young mind she concluded that sitting in chairs would make you speak English. She didn't like English. She thought it sounded like the screech and scratch of the broken windmill out by the dead cottonwood.

When she got real old she could no longer sit on the floor. She would sit on the side of her bed or lie down. She refused all chairs. Finally her son made her sit in a chair. He thought she was being ridiculous. She protested but finally agreed. The next morning when he came to check on her she was still sitting in the chair. She had passed sometime during the night. She was wearing the war shirt her Father had worn when he fought at The Battle of the Greasy Grass. She was smiling..." From "When Auntie Got a Chair" By Franklin Cincinnatus

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Kevin is an Artist, Writer, Carpenter and Gallerist in Texas.

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