Who Am I?
On the other hand, those individuals who have gentle, tentative speech are those who seem to know the great fundamental truths. I can’t wait to hear what they have to say.
I recall one freezing December afternoon when I had hired a friend’s son to drive me to Troy, New York, where my father lived. I had just worked 13 days straight – including reporting on the amateur pilots’ holly run to Tangier Island. My maiden flight piloted by Santa Claus, flying over the awesome and unearthly Eastern Shore landscape of marsh and wandering water paths.)
My father was surprised. And so after dinner at the best place in town (Pop’s treat) we had tea in his lady friend’s kitchen. “You know,” he began and squashed his tea bag on the saucer provided in the event he needed a second cup. “We’re Indians,” he finished as if this monumental fact was of no more count than the sun coming up.
I suddenly thought of the beads, beads I string and sell. The beads that remind me of church, of prayer, of the treasures wrapped in rainbows, of charms to the godly elements. “I wondered,” I said. “How much?”
“About half,” Dad reached for a petite-four from the box he’d ordered for his special girl and devoured it in one bite, his mild diabetes notwithstanding. He gave me that crooked impish grin.
“What tribe?” I wondered aloud.
“Mohawk,” my father nodded, done with the subject.
And then it was time to go home.
Years have passed and my father’s ashes were scattered on Fishing Baya decade gone. Still, every year my stories wax stronger, and my jewelry shows ever more clearly my native blood.