I am showing Footprints in the Dew: The Last Ten Tapes at the Tahlequah Public library at 6PM tonight.
Welcome back. Will Rogers once said “a man only learns in two ways-one is by reading and the other is by association with smarter people.” This past weekend in Springfield, MO I caught upon some reading and got an education from the hundreds of people who attended a big “preppers” tradeshow at the Ozark Empire fairgrounds. I was unaware of this group myself but I soon learned this is a new fad with preppers shows popping up all over the country. Next month alone there will be two shows in the Carolinas as well as shows in Georgia, Utah, Arkansas and Virginia and the promoter told me that vendor space was selling out at all of them. Water purification systems, long term food supplies, Geiger counters, plans for organic gardens and underground storage units, these are just a few of the items that vendors had for sale. There were also well known speakers offering seminars on how to live “off the grid “and on self-defense.
In addition, the show offered survival gear such as gas masks and other devices designed to protect you from every kind of bad air and water conditions you might encounter. It was all quite interesting and the line to get into the show was two city blocks long on Saturday including some folks from overseas who were attending. For a little more info on preppers check out last week’s column at www.originalbuffalodale.com.
Tomorrow for me it’s a visit to the hometown of the first female principal chief of the Cherokees, Wilma Mankiller. This is also where Wes Studi, singer Merle Travis and a couple of dozen other well-known people were all born. A major university, Northeastern State is here along with the headquarters of the Cherokee Nation which was founded when the tribe was forcibly moved to the area in 1839 at the end of the infamous Trail of Tears. This trip will be taking me to a place where the stop signs, the no parking signs and the street signs are all written in both English and the Cherokee language. Another tid-bit, according to Wikipedia, the Cherokee Supreme Court building which was constructed in 1844 is the oldest public building in Oklahoma and it’s in this town as well. . My destination of course is Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
My visit to town will start at the Tahlequah Public Library for a screening of my film “Footprints in the Dew: the Last Ten Tapes” which will be free and open to the public. After the film I have set up an interview with a man that many of you may not have heard of but who is well known in many circles. He is one of the “smarter people” Will Rogers referred to and who I have been lucky enough to get to know.
A businessman but also someone for whom family comes first, whose Green Thumb Nursery has grown into the largest commercial nursery business this side of the Missouri River and who has become one of the leading conservationists in Oklahoma. His name is John Nickel and the 15,000+ acre ranch he donated to the Oklahoma Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, now known as the J.T. Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve, is just outside of Tahlequah along the Illinois River. The preserve is open to the public and offers the opportunity to hike through the Cookson Hills where you can see all kinds of birds and animals including free roaming elk, black bear and bald eagles. I have been there several times and friends it is one beautiful place. As for John Nickel I have only scratched the surface about his accomplishments which someone definitely needs to write a book write about.
Till next time, I’ll see ya down the road….