For lack of creative inspiration and no insecurities to harp on, I decided to share some pics today. Went down to Lake Toho (short for Lake Tohopekaliga) and snapped this shot. I had a waterfront house on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Florida, for a while. I would wake up in the morning and step out onto my back porch to the deafening sounds of waterfowl. There was also a noisy flock of green, yellow, blue and white wild parakeets that traversed from tree to tree across my backyard. The lake is famous for its birds, bass, alligators and turtles. Fourteen and half miles long, eight miles wide, but only 8 feet deep, it is a haven for Florida wildlife. On Lake Toho, I always had an eerie sense of an unseen spiritual presence…especially at night…a lady of the lake.
The name, Tohopekaliga, means, “We will gather here at the fort or site,” in Seminole Indian language. The name Kissimmee came from the Seminole for, “Do not kill me!” shouted by women during raids on tribes up until around 1850. It amazes me that the older I get the less time it seems to have passed since those years. Just about two lifetimes at 82 years, 164 years total. That’s all.
My grandfather’s mother was a full-blooded Cherokee from North Carolina, who died in childbirth when he was born. It also amazes me how we have written them out of history books, the Native Americans of the southeast. Even church records listed his father’s second wife, a Culpepper from Ireland, as his mother. This was a church his family founded. The lies we live by.
This is the only picture I have of my father’s parents. Grandfather shows his Native American heritage even at ninety years old. Grandmother (note the clinched fists) was furious with me that I insisted on a photograph when she was not in her Sunday best. Wearing a mismatched shirt and polyester pants with house shoes, she was not at all happy with posing for this picture that I insisted upon. I am glad that I did.