The Cherokee: Not A Plains People

Alright, so sit back and listen as I blow off some steam. I went for a drive this morning to check on my mountain. The rain was moving in, and I wanted to see what developments had actually occurred since the announced partial closure of our local state park, Buck’s Pocket.

I drove myself the 2 miles on the slippery mountain road, turning left to go down to the bottom, discovered a new sign, and an empty playground/campsite.

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Many people find the mountains soothing, the look of the moss covered rocks and even their placement, a miracle. This Jamie girl knows that in weather like today; rainy/almost rainy, the view from what locals call the Top of the Pocket, or Point Rock Overlook, is spectacular. I then got in my little red truck and drove up the curvy, slick roads, stopping only to take a few pictures of the noble boulders and another sign along the way.

A skeptical person -no, any sane person- has questioned the State of Alabama and their handling of many issues in the distant past, the recent past, and present. As an overly loyal resident in this state, I’ve been true to my love of home and came to the defense of the Park when it was threatened. I have read that Aries’ may tend to act like bodyguards… April 15th baby right here is quick to the draw at times and y’all (State of Alabama) need to get your act together.

I spoke with the governor at a town hall meeting. I understand limited funds as good as any person who has used loaf bread as hot dog buns their whole life can. And I just don’t care.

The misappropriation of funds, waste, abuse of power, and crooked politicians go against everything I want for my home state, and it continues to grow. Actually, our state leaders have run amok. I take issue with all of it. I also take issue with the handling of these lands, holding them hostage, rumors, unclear information, and threats.

An abusive government ran my ancestors from this mountain. The Cherokee people: they were never a plains people. According to Wikipedia the name Cherokee means:

“The Cherokee refer to themselves as Ani-Yunwiya (ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ), which means “Principal People.”

Many theories—though none proven—abound about the origin of the name “Cherokee”. It may have originally been derived from the Choctaw word Cha-la-kee, which means “those who live in the mountains”, or Choctaw Chi-luk-ik-bi, meaning “those who live in the cave country.”[8] The earliest Spanish rendering of the name “Cherokee,” from 1755, is Tchalaquei.[9] Another theory is that “Cherokee” derives from a Lower Creek word, Cvlakke (“chuh-log-gee”).[10] The Iroquois in New York have historically called the Cherokee Oyata’ge’ronoñ (“inhabitants of the cave country”).”

After becoming properly soaked in the glorious rain water while looking over Point Rock, I stomped my way back to the truck and drove to Fort Payne for yet another cup of coffee. I looked at the digital clock on the dash board that I just a couple of days ago set to the correct time since the ridiculous time change -ugh- looked up, and noticed that I just so happen to be following the Trail of Tears. There was another sign that said Fort Payne Historic Cabin. I have read about the cabin, but had never seen it. So, I pulled in.

Brother, it hit me. This area, once home to the genius Sequoyah and the brave Cherokee people is sacred to me; it was sacred to them.  And, if our government, with their sticky fingers in everybody’s pie, their noses in everybody’s business, is incapable of properly maintaining the land they stole generations ago, then I have an idea for you. Give it back. Let the Cherokee people come back home and live here on Sand Mountain. Why not? I’d rather see a wrong partially righted than allow this sacred land to be used as a pawn in a constant political tug-o-war.

Jamie Godwin

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