Circle Up and Let's 'Pow Wow' For A While

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Spread a blanket and meditate for a spell, while I share my favorite Indian Tale of Life.

Honored I was when Choctaw Princess Sally Wells (my neighbor) recently called to thank the mighty Cannon Courier newspaper and WGNS Radio's popular Truman Jones Show for promotion of October's annual three-day spectacular Pow Wow at Long Hunter State Park.

"We thank you and your media friends for helping promote out Native American Indian Association's Pow Wow that attracted record crowds this year and more than 50 tribes from throughout America and Canada," Princess Sally confirmed. "A lot of guests brought their children and grandchildren, to experience 'living history' of our tribes and our ancestors."

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When possible, media friends and I are always "glad" to present the "Good News" of life to readers and listeners.

But there was another aspect of this Native American Royal Princess' phone call that melted this gnarled old newspaper man's soul to butter.

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"We know you could not attend this Pow Wow because you recently got sick with a blood cancer," Princess Sally reigned through the phone. "I'm notifying our Choctaw Nation families all across America to pray for the healing of our media friend named Dan Whittle."

As longtime journalist friend Paul Menke has stated in news rooms of our past: "Whow!"

Sally's pronouncement of prayer from America's entire Choctaw Nation made this well-seasoned newsman want to whoop and holler: "Stop the Presses!!"

It's as if Princess Sally's bow and arrow of love pierced the Whittle heart. Let me explain more ...

A few years ago, my late Dad's last living sibling, Uncle Harlan Whittle, asked me to journey back to Missouri because he had "something important" to relate.

Upon arrival at Uncle Harlan and beautiful Aunt Doris' farm home on Rombauer Road near Poplar Bluff, he got straight to the point: "In the 1930s, all of the Whittle clan, pulled up roots and left Mississippi (near Philadelphia) to procure farm land in Missouri. We never shared this with your generation, because back in that era, in some states, it was still unlawful for Native Americans to own farm land. And anyone with political clout, could actually take over our farms, so that's why we've kept our ancestry a secret from you younger folks. Your Grandmother and Great Grandmother were full-blood Choctaw."

Is what happened next a "God Thing?"

Shortly after Uncle Harlan's revelation, I drew an assignment to journey to Philadelphia, MISS., the location of six Choctaw reservations in Neshoba County.

While doing research for my recently-published book - "Music City: Talent Behind The Stars" - I got an assignment to go to Philadelphia to research country music star Marty Stuart and his family, who are native to Neshoba County. And while there, I located a family named Whittle.

Upon seeing pictures of the males named Whittle, we could pass for twins, complete with dark skin features, short legs and chubby cheeks. What an emotional treasure it has been to locate relatives and ancestors I never knew existed.

This concludes my favorite Indian Tale of Life. I'm thankful to learn my true American heritage. And thanks for sharing my Indian Tale of Life.

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Choctaw Nation, Dan Whittle, Murfreesboro news, NewsRadio WGNS, pow wow, pow-wow
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