Friday, December 28, 2012

That Was Then And Today Ain't

Tucson Weather Today


The blog titled Rensselaer Adventures has a photo of a new sign that recently caught my eye.

The sign reads, Potawatomi Park, which probably means nothing to most of those citizens who are either not living in or near the area.

The name Potawatomi itself brought back some memories spent in Rensselaer, Indiana where I was born and lived for the first 40 years of my life. One tribe of the Potawatomi Indians lived in that region along the Iroquois River before the white man arrived to kick most of them out of the State of Indiana and relocate them to Kansas and to other territories.

Potawatomi Park

Rensselaer, Indiana

When I was a  member of the Boy Scouts of America, there in Jasper County, circa 1940, our troop (It was troop 52 then, changed later to 152) was introduced to and then adopted a little ditty that went:

Potawatomi Kini-Kinick!

We're the Scouts who never get sick;
We brush our teeth, we comb our hair;
We try to be neat, we try to play fair.

Potawatomi Rensselaer!

To be effective, of course, the words were not actually sung by we of Boy Scout Troop 52, but were enthusiastically yelled out at the top of our lungs, as subteen boys will always do with any encouragement at all.

There exists an image of one of the early Potawatomi chieftain, Leapold Pokagon, and the picture is represented by Wikipedia as being out of copyright and in the public domain.

I have just a vague memory of a tall, bent-over, old man, a raggedy poverty stricken fellow living back in those days named KiKi Rizensun who loved to walk the banks of the Iroquois River. He was a full-blooded Native American man who was widely rumored to be a member of the Potawatomi tribe. But my dad told me, and often reminded me, that this was not true, that KiKi was not a Potawatomie but a Cherokee. And I always wondered about that.

I suppose we'll never know. I tried once to research the name KiKi Rizensun using Google but could never uncover even the hint of such an appellation anywhere. And even though I told the Jasper County Librarian, via email, that KiKi was a full-time resident of the welfare department's County Home back in the 1940s and middle 1950s, she could find no trace of him in any of the records.

Oh well . . . as always, we are born, we die, all of us. -- and all of us are eventually forgotten.

Information about the Potawatomi Indians



Originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native.
native - aboriginal - native-born

From Wikipedia:

Indigenous peoples are ethnic minorities who have been marginalized as their historical territories became part of a state. In international or national legislation they are generally defined as having a set of specific rights based on their historical ties to a particular territory and on their cultural or historical distinctiveness from politically dominant populations.

The concept of indigenous peoples defines these groups as particularly vulnerable to exploitation, marginalization and oppression by nation states that may still be formed from the colonizing populations, or by politically dominant ethnic groups. As a result, a special set of political rights in accordance with international law have been set forth by international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Labor Organization and the World Bank. The United Nations have issued a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to guide member-state national policies in protecting the collective rights of indigenous peoples to their culture, identity, language, employment, health, education and natural resources.

Although no definitive definition of "indigenous people" exists, estimates of a World total population of post-colonial indigenous people seeking human rights and discrimination redress range from 220 million in 1997 to 350 million in 2004.



Nichelle Nichols
Born Dec 28, 1932
Age:   79 years old

Nichelle Nichols (born Grace Dell Nichols) is an American actress, singer and voice artist. She sang with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton before turning to acting.

Her most famous role is that of communications officer Lieutenant Uhura aboard the USS Enterprise in the popular Star Trek television series, as well as the succeeding motion pictures, where her character was eventually promoted in Starfleet to the rank of commander. Her Star Trek character was groundbreaking in U.S society at the time, and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. personally praised her work on the show and asked her to remain when she was considering leaving the series.

Born Dec 28, 1954
Age:   57 years old

Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. is an American actor, film director, and film producer. He has received much critical acclaim for his work in film since the 1990s, including for his portrayals of real-life figures such as Steve Biko, Malcolm X, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, Melvin B. Tolson, Frank Lucas, and Herman Boone. Washington is a featured actor in the films produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and was a frequent collaborator of the late director Tony Scott.

Washington has received two Golden Globe awards and a Tony Award, and two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for Glory (1989) and Best Actor for Training Day (2001).

Born Dec 28, 1905
Died: Sep 23, 1974

Clifford Charles "Cliff" Arquette was an American actor and comedian, famous for his TV role as Charley Weaver.

Born Dec 28, 1879
Died  Feb 19, 1936

William "Billy" Mitchell was a United States Army general who is regarded as the father of the U.S. Air Force.

Mitchell served in France during World War I and, by the conflict's end, commanded all American air combat units in that country. After the war, he was appointed deputy director of the Air Service and began advocating increased investment in air power, believing that this would prove vital in future wars. He argued particularly for the ability of bombers to sink battleships and organized a series of bombing runs against stationary ships designed to test the idea.


Education is indoctrination if you're white - subjugation if you're black.
--James A. Baldwin

No comments:

Post a Comment