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Holiday Adventure

December 2, 2009

After a month-long hiatus, (did I mention that I generally protest Thanksgiving month) and all the falderal around the pilgrim’s holiday, I’m back in the blogosphere, set to make comments on high adventure in present-day Indian Territory; talk about the 2010 fashion trends in Kabul Afghanistan; and even muse on my life in an Amish paradise.

(The Amish paradise business will have to wait until later posts.)

But before I raise your collective blood pressures, talking about taboo subjects like  short hair styles and sexy cleavages in the latest clothing fashions from Kabul, I thought I might mention an event that happened in Ada, Oklahoma during the November holiday.

Archaeologist Jim Wilson (above, right), writer Phil Morgan (standing far right), local historians and longtime residents, Zelda Daggs (standing far left), and Alberta Blackburn, Shawn Mayhue (kneeling) as well as friends like Jim Irwin, Sandy Mayhue all participated in a preliminary archaeological investigation at Daggs’ Prairie in Ada.

Zelda’s father, William Daggs, Choctaw, had taken his allotment land on the outskirts of what would become the town of Ada, Indian Territory.  In the late teens and early 1920s William Daggs allowed some of the merchants in downtown Ada to dump their damaged dry goods in a ravine on his allotment land.  On this preliminary investigation, Jim Wilson slowly, over an hour or so, opened up a 12-inch wide, 12 inch deep hole in the Daggs’ yard.  Shawn Mayhue began sifting through the various layers of soil.  The major find was an iron tool about 10 inches long.  Zelda and Alberta said they hadn’t seen it before, but thought it might have been a garden tool.  In December, it will be studied by students at the Stonewall High School in Oklahoma.  The high school group will be returning to Daggs’ Prairie to investigate the area where the merchants dumped their goods and I’ll report on their findings.

Today, Zelda Daggs, the only remaining child of William Daggs and Mollie Daggs, still maintains her parents’ original farm house and allotment. She is a walking library of history about early Ada, and the people who once camped in their  pastures – from the circus groups touring southeastern Oklahoma, to the KKK, and other western tribes that put up temporary tepees on her parent’s land.  She also said she and her sisters met Tom Mix, cowboy actor of the early silent films, and “westerns.”

Zelda’s father, William Daggs, and his brother Lee Daggs, were the first men who used a portion of their allotment lands to create Ada’s first baseball team and park.  I used part of that Ada history in my novel, Miko Kings. Pictured above, Sandy Mayhue and me.  We are looking for other pieces of a tiny broken glass.

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