This trip was a long time coming, but it has been on the back burner for a couple of years. I have been writing a historical fiction trilogy with my Cherokee ancestors being the main characters in these books. The first two books are loosely about my Great Great Grandfather Aaron Crittenden and my Great Great Grandmother, Linnie Ketcher Crittenden. The third book is about my Great Grandfather John Crittenden, the offspring of Aaron and Linnie. I definitely needed more information about John, as he was quite a character, but there seems to be very few tangible records about him.
During this trip I was able to meet with a young man, Mark Dreadfulwater, Multimedia Editor at the Cherokee Phoenix Newspaper. He gave me information to contact someone who is digitizing the newspaper archives where I might find out more about John Crittenden. I planned to call him on my return home, but life got in the way.
My hosts for this trip were my cousin Judy and her husband, Ernie Brazeal who live in Collinsville, Oklahoma. They were so kind to pick me up at the airport in Tulsa and drive me everywhere I needed to go for my research. There were a number of nieces and nephews I had never met so we had a mini family reunion as well.
Judy and I had fun visiting cemeteries and chasing down grave sites with the help of cemetery workers and the lovely ladies at Collinsville City Hall. However, all was not coming up roses. The second day I was there, Judy told me that my brother has throat cancer and had been undergoing chemo and radiation. At first it didn't seem that I would get to see him because of his immune deficiency, but he decided to put a mask on and we went to his home for a visit. He was in good spirits and has a positive attitude and we are all keeping him in our prayers.
|Judy and Ernie's Himalayan cat, Topper|
|This is their shy 15 year-old one named Summer|
|Carla with younger brother, Dennis Crittenden|
|Our cousin, Judy with Dennis|
|Judy's fish pond in their backyard stocked with goldfish and Koi|
|This cabin harbors Ernie's workshop and Judy's sewing room and they built it|
|Topper, deep in thought|
|A couple of these mushrooms popped up in the yard after a rain. They are quite lacy on top and the stems are extremely twisted. I did research to determine the name, but so far no luck.|
|This is a moon flower plant in Judy's yard and it only blooms at night. Hummingbirds love them.|
|Couldn't resist this lovely yellow flower in their side yard|
|This is their well and they water the yard, plants and fill the fish pond from this well|
|This is their outdoor cat and she is very friendly and sweet|
|This is our maternal great grandmother, one of the few from the 1800's to have a stone|
|This squirrel decided to pose for me|
|Neighbors across the street from Judy and Ernie have rocked in the creek to keep the soil from eroding|
|Judy and Ernie's lovely home dead ends into the creek|
|My handsome Cherokee nephew, Clint Crittenden|
|Carla, Clint and his wife, Rachel|
|Logan, son of Clint and Rachel|
|Judy's kitchen with L to R: My brother, Danny Crittenden, Abigail and Addison (Clint's daughters), Wanda (Danny's wife) standing at the door, Jerry Hawkins and Judy who are brother and sister|
|L to R: Addison, Wanda, Clint, Abigail, Rachel, Danny, Logan, Judy and Ernie|
|L to R: Addison, Wanda, Clint, Abigail, Rachel, Danny, Logan, Carla and Judy|
|L to R: Logan, Rachel, Clint, Danny, Abigail, Addison and Wanda|
|Clint just had to have one cigarette before getting into the car to drive home|
|It had rained and this was the scene out the backdoor of Judy's home|
|Another shot of this full moon|
|This was taken at the Old Indian Cemetery and I thought it was an interesting shape.|
This is all I have to say for now.