Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

Cherokee Strip Fever

3 Comments

Oklahoma's heritage as a pioneer state is depi...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m really enjoying Zola’s book. It’s easy to tell she was a teacher. She does a great job of teaching me. 🙂

I really didn’t know how Tulsa got its name until this book. 

Once Charity got all wound up on how Tulsa Town was named. Bill had heard it called many names. Some spoke of it as ‘cow town’ by the river. But she had gone back to De Soto’s 1540 age quoting the Spanish explorer as saying the settlement was named ‘Talisa’, a fair city located in the northern Creek country, east of the Mississippi River, with buildings and cultiated fields. The Tul or Tal syllable means town and “ahassee”, meant old, thus Old Home Town. Other Creeks spelled the word Tallasi, Tulsa or Tulsii.

Who knew Tulsa what a Creek word? (Hands?)

And she tells several reasons men wore bandannas.

“He said a blue or red bandanna was as essential to the cowboy, miner, frontiersman or homesteader as his large sombrero.

“The bandanna is used to protect the back of his neck from the sun. Tied across the face below the nose it becomes a dust mask, or an oujtlaw’s protection from identity. It becomes a bandage in case of accident, a sling for broken arm; a blind for skittery horses, a strainer for drinking muddy water, and a towel. It can be used for signaling, a dish drier, for tying calf legs while branding; even for hanging horse thieves. He spoke jovial-like.”

 I love the way Zola writes. She talks about the evening after Thanksgiving and is so descriptive, it’s almost like being there. And since my dad lives close to where the Bellis’s homestead was, it’s easy for me to imagine.

Twilight came to the dense wooded area. Evening shadows spread over the bottoms. The velvet canopy of sky was studded with stars. The couple distinguished the bold evening star, the Seven Little Sisters, the Dipper, the North Star and the heavy sprinkled Milky Way extending from horizon to horizon.

Eventually, the harvest moon shed its golden glow for the happy family’s return.

The figures, sitting in the spring seat, formed a silhouette in loving embrace. God knew what He was about when He made a woman to walk beside her husband and be a helpmate. The two Bellis brothers could honestly vouch for this!

The Cherokee Strip and other areas of Oklahoma owe much to the Pioneer Woman. Rightfully, a statue has been erected in behalf of their enduring hardships.

Note: The Ponca City Pioneer Woman statue was donated by EW Marland, Ponca City oilman who later became governor. He commissioned the statue at an estimated cost of $250,000.00.

The cost included $10,000.00 paid to each of 12 sculptors, who submitted models in competition for the final selection. The winning entry by Bryant Baker of New York was dedicated on April 22, 1930, the 41st anniversary of the opening of Oklahoma settlement.

A crowd of 40,000 came to Ponca City for the dedication broadcast nationwide on radio. President Herbert Hoover opened the ceremony with a speech from Washington, DC. Will Rogers, Oklahoma native son, spoke at the dedication site.

My man and I lived in Punkin Center during the first years we were married. We bought our first home there. One of the first things I did when we got there was visit the Pioneer Woman museum. (Not to be confused with The Pioneer Woman blogger. LOL) 

The statue is in a beautiful park, but I can’t imagine 40,000 people crowding into it. Of course, back in 1930 they might not have had the streets, highways and businesses that arae there now.

I can’t ask my dad about it. He wasn’t born until September of that year.  

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Author: Susan Shay

For as long as I can remember, I've loved two things--reading and people--and that led me to become a writer. Many of my stories are set in Small Town Worlds. I'm a wife, mother, sibling and an aunt. I have a deep faith in God, and an exciting life in Christ. Maybe I shouldn't be (after all, he's God!) but I'm constantly amazed at the things He's up to. :)

3 thoughts on “Cherokee Strip Fever

  1. I love history! Thank you for sharing a look at our area’s history. Zola’s book sounds like one I need to read.

    Carol Berryman

    • You know what’s funny Carol? I love history, too, but I didn’t know it until Dad pointed it out to me. I thought I just like learning about people.
      I don’t care whether the folks are present day or a long time ago, if they’re interesting, I’m curious about them. 🙂
      I’ve even been known to sign myself Terminally Curious. LOL!

  2. Pingback: Saw Mills and Cotton Gins | Susan Spess Shay

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