Monday, January 15, 2007

A Letter from Bearhead

Hey Cousins,

I've got to share this with you all.

This event happen yesterday to Erlene when she was leaving one of the stores here in Dequincy. It was right at dark, Erlene had gotten into the truck to leave the store, as she was backing up to turn around to enter the road, another truck passed. She heard a noise and looked around and this truck had slammed on its brakes and thrown the truck in reverse. It backed up and drove into the drive beside her. The driver door flung open and got out. She saw the look on his face and thought to herself, Oh no here is a nut, what's he going to do!!!!. She said his eyes were the size of silver dollars, He came up and knocking on the window with one hand and had the other one in the air made into a fist. He was saying over and over, YES! YES!YES! He kept motioning for her to roll down her window.

Since there was a few people around, she lowered her window enough to hear him and he told her this.

"Lady," he said, "I don't know who you are and you know nothing of me. I have just found out in the last few months that I am a descendant of Redbones and maybe Indians. He said he had lived in California all his life and had never been to Louisiana, but once he learned of his ancestors history and where they were from, he packed up and left Calfornia and just moved here to be amongst his people and to become one of them.

She said he was talking a mile a minute. He then said the reason he stopped was because he saw her license plate which says "R3DBONE" and the "REDBONE AND PROUD OF IT" bumper sticker. He went on to tell her to never be ashamed of who you are and who your people are.

He said "I am so proud of my people and our ancestors." She was still a little shocked over this and kept saying over and over O.K. O.K. and drove off without even mentioning his name. As she drove off he was still standing there with his fist in the air saying over and over "YES! Yes! Yes!

Thought I would just pass this along to show you our message is working in mysterious ways, just as our ancestors did.


I'm glad our message is getting out there, but that dude is lucky he didn't get shot. You just don't approach a Redbone you don't know that aggressively. I know people who live in DeQuincy that would have shot him about the time he got out of his pickup truck and headed towards them.

I remember reading a mystery by Tony Hillerman which was set on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. His character drove up to someones house and sat in the car for a few minutes, waiting for the occupant of the house to come to the door. He explained that it would be rude to jump out of the car too quickly. I thought to myself, that's how we Redbones are, too. Maybe for other reasons, but when I was growing up, if someone parked in your driveway, you walked over to the door to see who it was, waiving them in when you saw who it was. I don't remember if the visitors would be waiting to be invited in, in fact, I doubt it, but I do remember that you didn't just jump out of your car and run to the door.

When I was in DeQuincy in November of this past year, I remembered this enough to sit in my car for a minute or two before jumping out and going to someones door. On each of those occasions, the person I was visiting came to the door and waived me in.

I'm just saying, that's all.