26 June 2020

Published June 24, 2020 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

PHOTO PROMPT © Todd Foltz

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

REMOVAL

             Morning sun shoots burnished orange and golden flames across the horizon as I help Elisi gather wild onions. She’ll cook them with eggs, Cherokee style.

            As we dig our fingers in the moist dirt, she tells me ancestral stories.

            “My grandfather grew up in Georgia. A good life.”

            “If it was so good, why’d they move to Oklahoma?”

            “They had no choice, Unisi. Our people walked a thousand miles, some without shoes. My great-grandmother died, giving birth.” Tears trail Elisi’s wrinkled cheek. “President Jackson claimed it was to keep us out of harm’s way.

            “Don’tcha mean out of his way?”

***

          Elisi is Cherokee for Grandmother and Unisi means granddaughter.

*Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole had by the early 19th century begun to assimilate into Anglo-American culture. We can’t change history, but perhaps we can make our grandchildren’s history a sweeter memory. 

If you have 17 minutes to spare to learn more CLICK HERE.

***

And if you have a little more time click the portrait below to listen to my latest interview with Jimmy Leonard and learn the reasons behind the painting. Thank you. 

105 comments on “26 June 2020

  • I’ve been reading about President Jackson after the protesters tried to pull his statue down. By all accounts he did some terrible things, especially viewed from today’s perspective, but was viewed as a hero at the time by many. Although I’m not sure about tearing down the statue, it would be better if people were educated and could see things in different shades of grey rather than simply black and white terms.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Iain,

      Personally, I’m horrified by what’s going on in an attempt to erase history. What’s done is done and we should learn from it, not negate it IMHO. For this same reason abandoned Auschwitz still stands as a reminder. I’m all for education. We shouldn’t forget what was done to minorities in this country. In the Native Americans’ case, resident majority when the whites came. Jackson was still a US president. Tearing down his statue doesn’t change that fact. Thank you for reading, commenting and getting me going. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 2 people

      • I made the exact same point about Auschwitz while discussing the removal of statues and vandalism here in the UK. In Glasgow the streets are named after the tobacco merchants who built the city – their wealth came from slave plantations in the Americas, and there is a campaign to rename the streets and remove statues – but I agree, this will not change what has happened and will only serve to hide it, rather than expose and learn from it.

        Liked by 1 person

  • The trail of tears was one of many, alas. My high school American History teacher had us tuck the McGraw Hill books under our desks and gave us each a copy of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. “This,” he said, “is the REAL history of the United States.” I never forgot it. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The Trail Of Tears was a terrible ordeal to go through. I wonder how much we have learned from this lesson though. Many of the Indian Reservations have the worse poverty in America., Many without running water or electricity. We still have a long way to go. A great story M’Luv.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    As always, you have skillfully given us a history lesson within a beautifully told story. I loved the description of the morning sun and you were more than a little smart in including that tear trail into the story. Brilliant you. And, by the way, I watched the 17-minute video. Our countries have done horrid things,

    Shalom and lotsa happy-tear love,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

  • Yeah, “…out of ‘his’ way.” The trail of tears. I see that folks are trying to bring down Andrew Jackson’s statue. This is another reason to do it. I’m part Choctaw, by the way. Not a lot, but it’s there. Great story, Rochelle!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Thank you, Rochelle. Yes, it was definitely to get them out of the way of those who were not satisfied with the stealing and appropriating and slaughter they’d done to the Native Americans and were hellbent on robbing those whose home it’s been for centuries, from the last bit of connection they had to the land. It was deliberately cruel. As we know racism and hate and loss of moral compass in colonialism often promoted. How sad. How important to share the stories of it. Thank you!

    I took mine to a very very different mood …
    xoxo
    Na’ama

    Liked by 1 person

  • Rochelle, I like how you worked the “Trail of Tears” into your story. The depth of darkness done by humans against each other knows no bounds. There is no darkness without light and those who generate light are challenged more now than ever.
    Shalom,
    Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

  • Damn Indians shouldn’t have been on our land in the first place. (That’s sarcasm!)

    It’s a travesty the way native people have been treated by “more civilized” settlers throughout human history. I hope someday we “grow up” as a species.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Nobbin,

      The terrible irony in the case of the Cherokee is that they were doing quite well assimilating into Western society, doing things the white man’s way. And we see how that worked for them, don’t we?
      A person I know recently said, “We’re an Anglo society.” Seriously? Nuff said.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Beautiful story, Rochelle and a painful reminder of what so many have suffered at the hands of others. And I learned a bit of Cherokee too. I watched the video. Very interesting and heartbreaking. Kudos to Davy Crockette, Ralph Waldo Emerson and others who spoke out against the removal of an entire people, rightfully described as ethnic cleansing. Such a travesty. Thanks for sharing this and as others mentioned, I love the way you worked “trail of tears” into your story.

    Shalom,
    Adele

    Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Rochelle,

        Yes. History, good or bad, is still History and should not be erased. It’s there for us to learn and to change and to get things right. It’s the only way for a future with hope. You’re welcome 🙂

        Shalom,
        Adele

        Like

    • Dear Suzanne,

      Nonetheless, I’m not sure statues and monuments should be destroyed. Put them in a museum with explanations of the sad histories. Erasing history will accomplish nothing other than paving the way for a precarious future. IMHO. Thank you re my writing.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Great story. Funny thing was while I was reading yours I was thinking about how everyone was writing about eggs. Yours started out that way but focused more on the people. (From the first time I saw this picture I kept thinking they were oranges in the picture, hahaha, great eye sight right?) Anyhow I had to go reread yours because I was thought yours was saying they looked like onions and I was like “ah ha! someone else who thinks they aren’t eggs.” Well, I reread yours and looked at the picture again and felt so silly because obviously it is eggs. I had “seen” the carton like a piece of metal. Anyhow, I don’t know if that makes any sense but it made me laugh. Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Christine,

      Your comment makes me laugh. But then it’s all about what the writer sees in the photo. 😉 At any rate I’m glad you read my story more than once. I never like to write a literal take on the prompt. 😉 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Loved the descriptive and lyrical opening paragraph. History is littered with injustices but it seems that we still haven’t learnt anything. Injustice still prevails around the world, tearing down statues is tokenism that achieves nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Subroto,

      History is just that, history. Tearing down statues doesn’t change it. Perhaps the monuments should be moved to museums with a plaque telling the history. But then, I agree, I think there are too many ignoring the history’s lessons. Thank you re my story.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Beautiful story and I like the “trail of tears” reference woven in there. I’m part Choctaw so this is something I’ve learned about throughout life. I always hated how our history books left a paragraph or two to Native American history and the trail of tears then that was it. Truly, the “winners” write history and that’s perhaps why we see people wanting to tear down statues. It’s not an attempt to negate the history or forget it but because in hindsight the people we have been taught were the winners and writers of our history have intentionally set in place systems that will forever keep some behind and leave them to be forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Kelley,

      History has definitely been written and well-edited by the victors, hasn’t it? I hate that, too. Thank you for sharing your insights. Glad you caught the trail of tears reference. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Querida Rochelle,
    I was here and left to see your interview.
    You were great. Adorable, as always.
    This is an interesting story you’ve written about an event in history.
    I think history has always affected someone throughout time.
    Busy, busy, busy this past week so I missed writing. BTW … I had no clue those were eggs.
    I realized it after I read a few stories. LOLOL Now … I could create a story. Too late, no time.
    Keep on Keeping on, mi amiga.
    Be safe … Be Healthy … Be Happy 😍
    Isadora 😎
    ps – no mid-west accent? lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Querida Isadora,

      My father was from Brooklyn NY and my mother from St. Louis MO. I guess that’s why I avoided the Midwest twang. It makes me happy you noted that. 😉
      Entiendo “busy.”
      It’s so important to remember history, no matter how disturbing. I fear those who would try to erase it. Gracias por sus palabras.
      Paz y abrazos, mis amiga. Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Querida Rochelle,
        Well … Well … Well … that you be an interesting story to read. I don’t think 100 words would be enough. Perhaps, a memoir. MMmmm … glad I put a smile on your face with my noticing. 😍😄😍
        I know. I’m busier now with the quarantine then before. LOL
        Abrazos y Carino, 😍
        Isadora 😎

        Liked by 1 person

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