9 January 2015

Published January 7, 2015 by rochellewisoff

Another Hightway

Friday Fictioneers Bookshelf

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 The following photo is the ubiquitous PHOTO PROMPT. Study it. There are many roads you can take. Tell us where it leads in a hundred words or less. 


As always, my story follows the prompt and inLinkz. I welcome and appreciate constructive crit. 

Begin the Route

PHOTO PROMPT – © Copyright Jean L. Hays

get the InLinkz code

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


             Catherine DuSable raised her hands to the sky and danced along the shore of the Eschikagou until a soft voice interrupted her reverie.  

            “Mama, I can’t sleep.”

            Catherine turned to see Susannah whose tight black curls and dark skin glowed in the moonlight. So like her beloved Jean-Baptiste. Catherine scooped the child into her arms.

            “When I was little I prayed to Kichi Muhnido, the Great Spirit, for peaceful dreams.”

            “You mean St. Raphael. Papa says…”

            “For him I am Catholic, but in my heart of hearts I will always be Kitihawa, of the Bodéwadmi, keepers of the sacred fire.


This is primarily a work of my imagination. I followed the history trail but every account varied a little as did the spellings of the names. Here is a link to one of the articles. 

 Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


97 comments on “9 January 2015

  • You know your Chicago history well, Rochelle. Love the photo… that’s in the Loop with the Ravenswood El in the background. I’m embarking on a 1,000 mile road trip (not counting ferry) tomorrow… I’ll try to think of a story.


  • Rochelle, Good story, and I love the drawing you did of the Indian. My daughter lives in Chicago, and the link provided an interesting piece of history concerning its settlement. Interesting and informative as always. 🙂 — Suzanne


  • Somehow the history can not be assimilated into that single road. There is a past that still could be another route.. This one I have to ponder a lot.. Who can we attribute the picture to? I reckon it is yours.

    Your story always tells so much more…



  • Thank goodness you’re back! I had to use other prompts for my stories last week. Your take on the photo prompt is, as always, oblique and informative, but unless I read the article wrong, Suzanne had a child when she was two?


    • Dear Liz,

      It’s nice to know I was missed.

      Yes, you did read the article wrong. Although I can understand the confusion. Catherine and John-Baptiste were probably joined in a Potowatomi ceremony to begin with. Years later they were married in a Catholic ceremony to make their union “legal.” By then, their two children were quite grown.

      Thank you for commenting.




  • Such a great piece of history, thank you for that. And I love that you made Catherine the center of the story, there are always interesting undercurrents in ethnically diverse relationships.
    I don’t know what is the procedure to submit a photo for the prompt, but if you find any interesting photos on my blog, you are very welcome to use it.


    • Dear Loré,

      You’ve done a bit of mind reading. 😉 When I couldn’t find much about DuSable himself and even less about his wife, I let my imagination run wild. I wondered what her actual feelings were about leaving her people and assimilating into another culture.

      As far as submitting photos, you can email them to me. Send as a jpeg attachment and, please make sure your name is on it somewhere so I remember who sent them. 😉

      Thank you for your kind words and, ahead of time, for photos.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sandra,

      Thank you for such kind words. I thought we all kind of needed a break last week and,perhaps, some time to catch up and catch our breath. I know I did…there was potentially troublesome health issue that happily turned out to be nothing. 😀

      At any rate it’s nice to know I was missed.




  • How you haave time for research, writing and illustration for so many of the prompts (not to mention reading, coralling and supervising), I will never know. You have hit it out of the park again, my friend, with a beautiful story of love on so many levels. Congrats on another stunner.


    • Dear Jennifer,

      Your words make me feel that I’ve won a Pulitzer.

      My husband would tell you that I spend more time in front of the computer than any other place. I use a lot of my swim and drive time for spinning stories inside my head. Drawing is something that I find relaxing.

      The research is my continuing education. It’s never too late to learn as long as I’m breathing. 😉

      Thank you.




  • You know, what impressed me about this story is the connections your mind made. In my mind, I get the idea that no matter how things change — how progress marches on — underneath, there is history, and some choose to hold on to that rather than dress up in new clothes.


    • Dear Helena,

      I’m a firm believer in keeping history alive. To try to divest someone of their cultural heritage is a heinous crime.

      Glad to see you hear and even more pleased you stopped by to comment on my story.

      Thank you.




  • After following the link, I see the connection to the prompt. I always enjoy a trip back in time inspired by a modern photo, and you’ve taken on one of my favorite topics this week, Rochelle. The spirituality of native peoples has much to teach us about G-D. Nicely rendered.

    Marie Gail


    • Dear Marie Gail,

      One of the greatest travesties foisted on the Native Americans by the so-called Christians was to divest them of their culture. I don’t know where they got off thinking that forcing them to assimilate somehow moved them closer to G-d. I think the Father must’ve wept as he did at the Crusades, the Pogroms and the Holocaust. I am admittedly fascinated by the indigenous.

      I’m pleased that you came along on my journey and enjoyed the ride.



      Liked by 1 person

  • This is the sort of history I like to be reminded of. The weaving of people and places, how they came to be there and how we naturally followed. The part of the story I enjoyed the most is: “Catherine turned to see Susannah whose tight black curls and dark skin glowed in the moonlight.” I love the image of the mother and child with the moonlight shining on them.
    My own ancestry is Native American and French with some others mixed in for good measure. Your artwork is other worldly. I love seeing through your mind’s eye.


    • Dear Stephonie,

      Suddenly I hear King Harvest singing “Dancing in the Moonlight.” (One of my favorite songs. 😉 )
      It’s a pity that Europeans couldn’t have appreciated the good things about Native American culture.
      My ancestry is Eastern European Ashkenazi Jewish on both sides of the family. My maternal grandparents came from Poland and my paternal grandparents came from Lithuania. My children are more of a potpourri since my husband’s ancestry is Native American (at least a smidge) and English.
      With our cultural differences we might as well have been black and white. 😉

      I’m glad you liked my story and artwork. I find myself wanting to do more artwork these days.

      Thank you.




    • Dear Eric,

      Nothing I found in the accounts of DuSable said much about Catherine other than she was the daughter of a chief. It felt to me like she was more or less part of a business deal than a bride. At any rate with so little known I was left to my own devices.

      I can’t imagine this tribal princess wholeheartedly assimilating into French culture. But that’s me.

      Thank you for your lovely comments.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Marriage as a peace deal is pretty common throughout history, even among Native-American tribes. That’s no surprise. I think you characterization of her is spot on, because no one will ever drop their religion so easily. The Celts are a great example. They just combined the two religions in a slow transition taking generations rather than just drop one in a day.

        Liked by 1 person

  • Rochelle, great story and beautiful picture to go with it. I’m sure that’s the way it is with a lot of cross-cultural marriages; you end up as two people in many ways. This picture can be taken so many ways, I’m curious what others have come up with.


    • Dear David,

      Lots of Kicks on Route 66 this week. 😉 I chose to go back a little farther.

      I could only imagine what Kitihawa felt in her own heart for nothing much is written about her.

      I’m glad you liked my story and art work. I’m really enjoying both writing and painting these days so you’re liable to see more of the same.

      Thank you for liking and commenting.




  • I love this story and your painting! Because I live in the Four Corners there are many Native Americans. Most of the Natives in my area are from the Navajo Tribe, but close by are Ute, Apache, and Pueblo tribes. Fifty miles from me is “Mesa Verde.” It is the ancient Indian ruins of the Anasazi Indians (who are now extinct). They built their homes on the side of very high cliffs. Amazing.


    • Dear MissLZebra.

      I couildn’t help thinking that this was not a marriage of her choosing. As the daughter of a chief there had to have been some difficulty for her. I’m with you about Susannah. Alas, history has little to say about the DuSable ladies.

      Thank you for coming by with your comments.




  • You are a woman of many talents, Rochelle. Thanks for sharing them with us. You have a gift for research–I need to look over your shoulder and take notes!


    • Dear Patti,

      There’s nothing special about my research really. I start with a thought, enter it into Google and then follow the trail. Sometimes it leads to a dead end and I abandon the first thought for another. Other times the trail will take me far from my original thought to a story I never expected.

      Thank you for such a lovely comment.



      PS Welcome back.


    • Dear Ali,

      Most of this story is a product of my imagination. I couldn’t imagine a tribal chief’s daughter sacrificing her roots completely.

      Thank you for your compliments on both my story and my drawing.




    • Dear KT,

      I love it when someone says they learn from my stories. It’s shared learning. I’ve leaned so much myself through research and writing. School was never this much fun. 😉

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Merriam Webster,
    Perhaps we should change your name to Encyclopedia Brittany Spears. Another great tid-bit of American history. It’s nice to know they didn’t get lost and wind up in Detroit.
    Wrong-way Corrigan


  • Dear Wrong-Way,

    I’m not sure I want to be connected in any way to Ms. Train-Wreck Spears although I like the Encyclopedia part. Although my dives into history are usually short dips in the pool.

    Thank you for swimming by.




    • Dear Dawn,

      Your comments are always like a rich dessert. For some reason I felt compassion for this woman who’s a mere blip on the history page. I couldn’t help but think she was a peace offering from her father to John-Baptiste. I couldn’t believe that she’d abandon her culture and beliefs.

      Thank you for such lovely compliments.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Alice,

      I’ve no doubt about his lack of approval. 😉 I just can’t believe that her conversion to Catholicism negated her traditions and beliefs. I hope she really did pass these onto her daughter.

      Thank you for joining me in the moonlight.




  • Dear Rochelle

    Another great story, accompanied with another lovely piece of artwork – you are so talented, on many levels.

    I hope you enjoyed the holiday it is great to have you back.

    Take care



    • Dear Dee,

      It was a nice holiday as I hope yours was. Through the magic of technology we were able to speak face to face with two of our three sons via computer and one on the phone. (He refuses to Skype or Facetime. 😦 )

      I’m glad you liked my story and artwork. Such lovely compliments are music to the eye.

      Shalom and happy new year,



  • Oh my what a nice read! I love your stories and the added articles you include so we can learn more. Your drawing of a First Nations person is just stunning…I can’t draw and purchased several pieces at Serpent River in Northern Ontario. I could see the child so vividly in this story and was intrigued to look up Jean Lalime and now I have some research to do on this family:) Great prompt, thank you. Shalom, Oliana


  • HI Rochelle, I’m new here and I would like to ask you some question about the Friday Fictioneers : I really want to sign up but I do not know how to do it, do I have to copy your post on my blog? Thank you for your help and your time.

    P.S. : My first time using wordpress not so confident with all this prompt, ecc.


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