It's time for the Indian Fair! I drove out to Anadarko this morning and met up with Tracy's bunch to watch the parade. Boy howdy, was it hot! The bank's thermometer said it was 125*, but I don't think it was really that hot. This is going to be an image-heavy post. You've been warned.
A Color Guard to start off the parade. This is the Comanche Indian Veterans Association Color Guard. They were followed by a marching band and bag-pipers (in kilts!).
Charlie Parton, Anadarko Schools' most devoted and spirited fan. "Let's get fired up!"
Here come the floats.
Two staples of the Indian Fair parade -- princesses and ponies. This is Arapaho Tribal Princess Mikayla Skye Horse.
A couple of lovely ladies carrying the banner for the Delaware Nation.
Here's Delaware Nation Princess Silvina Kionute. See those beads she's throwing? I caught 'em!
I don't know how these little guys managed not to pass out from dehydration.
Samantha Wells is serving as the Junior Princess for the Oklahoma Southwest Vietnam Veterans organization.
Next up is the Caddo Nation.
Shayna Sullivan was selected as the Caddo Nation's princess.
Remember that I mentioned is was REALLY hot today? These guys know how to stay cool.
The Apache Fire Dancers are always a favorite.
Some of these men were sweating off their paint.
This mischievous guy helped himself to a kid's candy.
Aiden Cozad, braving the heat in buckskin and wool, is the Kiowa Tribal Princess.
This sign was one of several on a vehicle, representing a drug intervention program (I think). I have many questions, not the least of which is why would someone replace their thumb with a beer bottle.
Here's Comanche Nation Princess Desire' Attocknie. Smart girl has her water close at hand. A lot of floats threw bottles of cold water instead of candy. Best. Idea. Ever.
Comanche Little Ponies Princess Angelica Blackstar has that princess wave down.
And in the last photo, we have Carrie Makah Klinekole, the Princess for the Kiowa-Apache Blackfoot Society. This young lady deserves big time credit for making it to the parade this morning since the Blackfoot Society had their annual ceremonial this past weekend. That's dedication, right there.
A couple of days ago, I loaded up a car and drove around southwestern Oklahoma. Totally work-related. I needed to check out a potential traditional cultural property, to look for a relocated bridge, and to meet with the folks over at the Comanche Nation.
This is what I got to walk through. Overgrown, and not much to see, except for someone's deer stand. And judging by the poop I spotted in several different places, they picked a good spot for that stand.
A few flowers were blooming, but begrudgingly. Turns out that there was no traditional cultural property to be found, which is a good thing. There were, however, ticks to be found, not such a good thing.
After leaving the woods, I stopped by Trivets Restaurant in Elgin. If you are ever in the vicinity of Elgin, stop at Trivets and eat some pie. You'll be glad that you did.
My next stop was the community of Faxon. There's not much to Faxon. I was looking for a relocated historic bridge. This is not the bridge that I was looking for, but I took a picture of it anyway.
I drove all over town and took pictures of interesting things, like the abandoned playground at the school
Sort of a bleak beauty to the place.
This building has obviously seen better days.
It turned 100 years old last year.
I know 100 years isn't all that old for a building, but to put that into context, Oklahoma had only been a state for 3 years when this building was constructed.
Another building up the street was in similar disrepair. At one time, it was a grocery store and filling station, with a staking rink to boot!
Scenes from the movie Fast Charlie... the Moonbeam Rider, starring David Carradine, were filmed here. Reportedly, that's when "Hotel - Weekly Rates" was painted on the side of the building.
More recently, someone started to renovate the building into a bar and converted the original windows into wagon wheel portholes.
This old gas station was on the other side of Faxon. It reminds me of the a store near where I grew up. The floors were wood, and the soda pops were in chest-style coolers.
On the way out of town, I came across this building. I really liked the shadows on the wall.
Finally, I made my way to Lawton and had a great (and productive) meeting with my friends over at the Comanche Nation. It's always nice to catch up with them.
And on the way out of Lawton, I stopped for this lovely sign.
So, there's a day in the life of ODOT's Tribal Liaison -- tromping through the woods, exploring small towns, and meeting with tribal folks. What a great job!
Rhonda S. Fair
I am a cultural anthropologist, currently employed
as the Tribal Liaison for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. This
position gives me the opportunity to apply my ethnographic training, as well as
do archaeological fieldwork. I am also on the faculty of the University of
Oklahoma's College of Liberal Studies.