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How I got to know Mexico

How I got to know Mexico


Where have the years gone? Fifty years ago this week, I received a “welcome back to school” letter from the Georgia Tech School of Architecture.  Almost as an after thought, the letter from School Director, Paul Heffernan, mentioned that Architect Sid Barrett had established an endowment, which would award a $1000 fellowship to one upper level student each year to enable that student to study architectural history abroad.  That might not seem like much today, but it is the equivalent of $7000 today.   Back then one could buy a new full size car for $2500.   So yes . . . it was a very big deal.   I wanted so bad to see the world and of course, meet exotic foreign gals.  I had never been west of Birmingham, Alabama, but fortunately, our family had lifelong friends in Findley, Ohio, who later moved to Racine, Wisconsin,  so I had at least seen the Great Lakes, Niagara Falls and some of Architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous buildings.

There was a problem, though.  I was not an upper level student.  I was a rising Junior.  The fellowship was limited to fifth year architectural thesis students and graduate students.  Several Georgia Tech professors favored my selection, but there is no doubt that intervention of the nationally famous archaeologist, Arthur Kelly, tipped the scales on my behalf.  If I ever am in an affluent position like Sid Barrett, I promise you that I will establish a fellowship for Native American college students, which honors Arthur Kelly.   The documentary video below, was produced earlier this year as part of a series of programs on Teotihuacan.   It explains a series of totally implausible events that came together, which made me recognize the significance of Track Rock Gap’s stone ruins 40 years later.

Indian Summer Season Schedule

I feel like I am in my early 40s, but that ain’t the case. Well . . .  I felt pretty old after being electrofried by a lightning bolt on July 5th . . . it was much worse that described to you . . .  but I am back to walking normally this week.   In the meantime,  I have to catch up on two lost month’s of work . . . fixing up my fixer upper house and property.  Simultaneously,  I have a whole bunch of learning today . . . with new scientific tools, a new computer and a state of the art virtual reality animation software package from France.  So primarily what you will be seeing for the next few weeks on the People of One Fire website are re-runs from our YouTube Channel, plus interesting videos from other channels on Youtube.  So head out to the supermarket and load up on popcorn. . .  or rotten eggs, if you don’t like the programs.  LOL 


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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.



    Richard, Glad to hear you are doing better. Hope you have taken safety measures about the Electromagnetic line your house sits on. Doing more research on these ancient stone works according to Zecharia Sitchin the Sumerians called them “stones that rise”, the Akkadians call them “objects that give off light”, the Hittites, Hurrians called them: “Fire bird of stone” (Hu-u-ashi). These terms seem to indicate they were set up to create a Electromagnetic discharge event.

    • Another section of the ridge, about a half mile away was bombarded last night in our spectacular storm. Despite the old saying about lightning never striking twice in the same spot, that is exactly what happened last night. The same mountaintop house was hit over and over again. One of the strikes exploded like at 2000 pound bomb.


    Hi Richard, I can well imagine it has taken time to get over that nasty incident with the lightening striking you and hope everything will now be plain sailing for whatever you want to do. I have been watching some of your videos and thoroughly enjoyed them. Your new computer and all other new technologies you have sound great so I know both myself and your other followers which are many, are looking forward to new posts as and when you feel up to it. Good luck in all your future research.

    • Thank you for your many kind and intelligent comments!


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