Seminole Days in Brackettville
By Katarina Wittich
Brooklyn, New York
Seminole Days in Brackettville is like coming home to a home I never knew I had.
Seminole Days is like Melvin Daniels wicked grin****, it creeps up on you and makes you smile, and then laugh out loud.
Seminole Days is a time of learning of all sorts, learning from the head, learning from the heart.
I laugh more during Seminole Days than at any other time of the year. I hear better stories at Seminole Days than at any other time of the year. I eat more at Seminole Days than at any other time of the year.
Seminole Days, for me, is Dub & Ethel & Izola & missing Will & Bennie & Jerry & Herman & Harry & Joni & her kids & Pete & Beverly & Cheryl & Steve & Val & their little ones & Ben & Junior & Melvin & Paulina & Sharon & Rodessa & Sissy & Jean, & Miss Alice & Bobbie & Gigi & Leonard & Miss Charles.
Oh yeah, and Seminole days is internal politics, it's stripping greens, washing dishes late at night, dancing late at night, chopping onions, never getting enough sleep, cutting okra, laughing, washing dishes, did I say that already? It's the parade, hearing Miss Charles sing at the cemetery, watching the Buffalo Soldiers and re-enactors, walking in the camp by the creek. It's Izola's generosity and Ethel's warmth. It's listening to Dub's stories. It's laughing so hard the corners of your mouth hurt. It's the pride that swells up listening to descendants talk about their people. It's Joni's fierce intelligence and Bennie's amazing, amazing grace.
Seminole Days is a reminder of how rich life can be and what family really is. I feel blessed every time I go.
****Melvin is the eldest male Seminole Negro Indian Scout descendant residing in the Brackettville and Del Rio areas and he also has the prettiest smile! Don't tell him I said so.