Family Lore

I’m 65…. and when I was young, family lore had it that my maternal grandmother was part Indian and the family was proud of this fact…. as a young boy, sitting around the kitchen table I heard stories about my grandmothers heritage… and I never questioned my mother, my uncles and aunts… I never knew my maternal grandmother as she died when I was very young and the only memory of her was a photograph of her in her casket… and whenever I saw the photograph, I always thought she looked very Indian lying in her casket….and as I grew older I was always very proud of my Indian heritage and I never questioned her heritage or mine…..

when I was drafted, there wasn’t a place on the forms for race as Indian, only Other….. so I checked Other and no one ever asked me about my decision to do so.  As for religion, if I was killed, what denomination would say the magic words, I wanted NONE; no religion on my dog tags, but that wasn’t allowed and on my dog tags they put ‘no preference..’ and I always thought it funny that no one ever asked my why I put Other for race but gave me grief when I want ‘no religion’ on my dog tags….
so I always thought there was a little Indian blood flowing through my veins….. and never questioned what the family lore was and I was always proud of whatever small amount of Indian blood flowed through my veins.…

when I left the service I used the GI Bill to get an education at the local community college.  I filled out all the necessary paperwork and on one of the forms was a check box under the RACE category for American Indian so based on many years of family lore and that picture of my grandmother in her casket and an opportunity to come out of the closet so to speak, I placed a check mark in the American Indian check box.
Several weeks later I received my copy of the paper work and someone used white out to remove my check mark and the Caucasian check box was checked.. so I go to the admissions office and inquire about the change and I’m told that in order to use the check box I would have to provide evidence…
… so I told them about all the stories I had heard from my aunts and uncles and my mother, but that wasn’t good enough… so I told them about the picture of my grandmother in her casket and how much like an Indian she looked lying in her casket and that wasn’t evidence enough….. so I decided that I would allow the Caucasian check box to be checked and go on with my life, but I never stopped believing that grandmother wasn’t part Indian and I embracedthe family lore and still believe it is true to this day, I don’t feel any less Indian….
and when I hear and read all the commotion that Republicans make about Elizabeth Warren I chuckle,how small can you be and I know it doesn’t change anything about what one believes about who they are…..
there simply is no accounting for smallness and Trump does it well…

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