Monday, April 11, 2016

Tender Years: Indian Reservation Trip




"A grownup is a child with layers on."  - Woody Harrelson


Peeling back the layers.



One of my happiest childhood memories is from when Mama & Daddy took me to the Indian Reservation near Livingston, TX.   We drove the small East Texas two lane backroads over for the day.   As we toured the "village" I was shocked and proud to hear older Indians call my daddy "Bill" and happily shake his hand and greet him.  (Daddy's family grew up near the reservation.)  I remember sampling hot fried bread they prepared there and how good and tasty is was!  

There was a locomotive train you could board and take a tour of the beautiful land in the reservation. I liked that an a lot, as that was my first train ride.

We went in an arena fenced off with wood and sat on wooden bleachers around a circular area and saw the Indians perform dances in native costumes.  Beautiful!

We went through the gift store.  I remember Mama fussing over the prices.  She had been a child of the great depression, lived through gas stamps and rationing in WWII and raised two little girls alone after her first husband more or less abandoned her.  So, she was ALWAYS price conscious!  My eyes landed on a little Indian boy and girl doll set.  They were made of hard plastic, had braids and buckskin clothing with beads.  Of course Daddy trumped Mama and said I could have them.  I remember playing with them in the back seat all the way home.  I kept those dolls until I was in my twenties, married and thought I needed to be a responsible adult and get rid of all that childhood stuff I had hoarded.  

Speaking of on the way home, we stopped at  a restaurant and ate.  I know I had a hamburger and french fries.  I always had a hamburger and french fries no matter what restaurant we were at.  That was my safe food.  Something hard for them to mess up, as I didn't like any food that didn't taste like Mama's.  

I suppose one reason this day was so memorable to me is that we didn't do a lot of "going" to places back in the day.  All that stuff was somewhat frivolous to the generation my parents were from.  

What about you?  Ever been to an Indian reservation?  Road a locomotive?  What about your eating habits away from home?  Are there things from your childhood you wish you had kept?

Thanks for sharing!

Barbara

30 comments:

  1. I can't think of any toys I wish I had kept, but I do still have a lot of Lego's from when I was growing up. My kids played with them when they were growing up, and now they are sitting on a shelf somewhere. Once in a while, other kids will stop over and I'll let them play with them.
    I've ridden a train before. It's so interesting how that is such a novelty now.
    I think that's adorable you didn't like any food that was not your mama's. So true, it's kind of hard to mess up a hamburger and fries. I do hope you try new things when you are in a restaurant now. ;)

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    1. Oh, heavens, yes! I have since tried all kinds of foods. But until I was about 10, if it didn't look like Mama's I wasn't eating it!

      I have all the Little Golden books Mama read to me, I have read them to my children, and now I am reading them to my granddaughter!! Kind of like you and the legos!

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  2. I visited a few Indian reservations when I was a kid in New Mexico. My grandpa always had a motorcycle rally there and he would bring the family. We would camp nearby at a cabin. I thought it was the coolest thing ever to see the kids my age on the reservation.
    Then fast forward to when I was in college, my mom had moved to Wyoming and they lived on border of Shoshone reservation and Arapaho. I have a hair clip and a belt clip fully beaded. I caherish them.
    Gotta love a good burger and fries!!

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    1. Those sound like some great memories! Nice to have those beaded items, too!

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  3. Really enjoyed reading this post, Barbara. I have visited a reservation before - actually traveled by Polar Bear Express train, then by bus to Moosonee, Ontario at the base of the Hudson Bay. Enjoyed eating bannock and taking a boat trip along the Moosonee River. Have also seen some Indian dances in the Grand Canyon and at Page, Arizona. Very cool. Thanks for sharing your journey down memory lane.

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    1. A boat trip sounds exciting! Glad you enjoyed your time in Caneyhead!

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  4. How fun! As best as I remember, I've never been to an Indian reservation. I do know that some of my ancestors were part of the Trail of Tears, the forced relocation of the Cherokee. Some of my ancestors were those doing the forcing, some were the forced.

    I've ridden on the "trains" at places like Six Flags and Carowinds, but have never taken a ride on a real train. There are several railroad museums around here. We were able to tour a passenger car at the railroad museum in Rosenberg. That was pretty cool.

    I kept the teddy bear from my childhood. He went to college with me. However, I haven't been able to find him since we made this move to Texas. I hope wherever Teddy is, he is happy and safe.

    I have to be really picky about what I eat away from home. My system is very reactive to many things. Hamburgers are almost always safe, especially if I don't add cheese or lettuce.

    I enjoyed your post. It sounds like you had a wonderful day out with your family. :)

    Have a blessed day!

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    1. I love that you kept your Teddy for so long! I've heard of the museum in Rosenburg, but never been.

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    2. Thank you. Some folks probably thought I was a big baby because I slept with my Teddy for so long.

      You should go to the museum sometime. It isn't huge, really, but it has lots of cool stuff in it and that car I spoke of is beautiful inside. If you look at their website, it is the blue car. Its name is the Quebec. http://www.rosenbergrrmuseum.org/quebec

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  5. We went to several reservations when I lived in Arizona. Some were rather sad. But seeing how other cultures live is fascinating. Especially when it's in your own country.

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    1. It's a shame really, but now all the focus is on casinos in LA. The reservation in Livingston doesn't have all the stuff they used to have, except for the Pow Wow in the ad I posted.

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  6. What a lovely childhood memory. I have similar memories of visiting Cherokee, North Carolina with my parents when I was a kid.


    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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  7. What's the one thing I wish I could have kept from my childhood? My parents!

    Great post B... Glad to share it! ~ Rhondi (www.yagottalaughaboutit.com)

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    1. Oh, duh! Wouldn't we all have liked to keep our parents around for all of our lives. Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. Never been to an Indian reservation! Thanks as always for sharing :)

    Joy @ The Joyous Living

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    1. Wish I had pictures to post with it. Far as I know, we didn't take a camera or make any.

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  9. There were a lot of things I wish I had kept from my childhood. I've spent my adulthood buying them back.

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  10. I was engaged to my Accomplice not quite 19 years ago, in one of the blue-green pools below Mooney Falls, on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, in the Grand Canyon.

    I love fry bread. When we lived at the Canyon, we sometimes went for motorcycle rides through the Navajo Reservation, and Navajo fry bread was a must-eat.

    I've also been to Livingston, TX - to a Star Trek convention. I was single then, and painted green. =)

    Loved this post, and hoping to get caught up with you once the April madness settles into something with fewer moving parts.

    Boldly Going Through the Alphabet!
    @shanjeniah
    Part-Time Minion for Holton's Heroes
    shanjeniah's Lovely Chaos

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    1. Oh, I was a minion last year, so I understand the mania! That was a neat way to get engaged! Who'd of thunk little old Livingston would have hosted a Star Trek convention?!?!

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  11. Interesting post, Barbara. I've never visited a reservation. As for eating away from home - I love trying local cuisines in the country I'm visiting.

    Susan A Eames from
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

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    1. Yes, well, I have since grown up and try most everything, anywhere.

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  12. I've been to one reservation with John and his brother. I think his brother went there to buy cigarettes. Didn't stay long and didn't see much.

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    1. Well, that was kind of inconsiderate of them! LOL

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  13. Kids seem to always have one thing they eat out. For my niece, it was mac and cheese.

    I've never been to a reservation. As for locomotives, does Amtrak count? Or the train at Disneyland? At the moment, I have a couple boxes of things I saved from my childhood that I'm looking to unload. They linger, but are unneeded. I have plenty of photos.

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    1. You really should hold onto one thing to play with your grandkids with, Liz!

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  14. This reminds me of two things. The first is there used to be an Indian pow wow at a festival where my grandparents lived. I only went to it once, but I've never forgotten watching them dance in their native costumes. Then second, I had a great aunt who sent money to an Indian reservation in one of the Dakotas, I believe. They would send her one of those plastic dolls every year for her donation, and she was so proud of them! When she died, we sold all of them in an auction, and I kick myself that I didn't keep at least one of them.

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  15. Never been to! But thanks for sharing this info :)

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  16. Sadly, a lot of reservations have third-world conditions with no running water. Hard to believe in this day and age.

    I have been to one nice one that features a resort, with lakefront cabins. The people there seemed healthy and happy.

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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