Ole Fashion Creek Family Reunion on the Chattahoochee – June 22, 2019
A day of fellowship and Southern cook’n for Native American descendants and also donors to the People of One Fire
Some of the fondest memories of many of us are the family reunions that were held each year as close as possible to the Summer Solstice. It was a way for Southeastern Native American families to remember the Green Corn Festival without raising big signs stating, “We’re Indians.” It wasn’t enforced during my childhood, but Georgia still had a law on the books until I was 21, which said that American Indians, living in the state, could not vote, attend public school, own real estate, work in a licensed profession or even testify in their own behalf in court. The elders remembered the days when this law was periodically enforced and so didn’t want to have a “high profile.” That is the reason that the Uchees and Creeks in Georgia didn’t raise hell publicly at the tail end of the 20th century, when some archaeologists and state bureaucrats began creating fake history . . . thinking that it would make possible the development of “Cherokee casinos” in the state.
We have reserved the Chattahoochee pavilion in Riverside Park, Helen, GA for one of those ole time reunions on June 22, 2019. It is a first class, family friendly, facility in a large park that also contains a playground and plenty of parking. Actually, the park is an archaeological site . . . . the location of a proto-Creek town . . . but when Helen was being developed, no one told the leaders about this heritage. Immediately to the east is the Chattahoochee River. At the south end of the park is a large facility devoted to “tubing down the Hoochee.” Helen is Georgia’s number three tourist attraction and has plenty of things for people of all ages to do . . . from water parks to wine tastings. Space in the pavilion is limited to about 85 people for the mid-day lunch, so you will have to make reservations. However, even if you are not planning to join us for the potluck lunch, you still may use the restroom throughout Saturday.
This is a much nicer facility that we thought we would be able to afford, but we will need some help from volunteers . . . just not as many. First of all, is their anybody out there, who can lead a Stomp Dance? It be great if we could put on a Stomp Dance in the park. We need the use of a pickup truck to haul the big Weber grill (that I bartered for last year) over to the pavilion from my house and back. We also need some people to help out with setting up the ice tea and water coolers. I already have the coolers. I had to pay a $125 reservation fee and $250 security deposit to reserve the pavilion. We will also need to buy ice, cups, plates, napkins, tea, etc. So if you can chip a little in the coming days, that will be nice. However, if you don’t have time or can’t afford to help out, please fill welcome to come. Also, the City of Helen will also let us play music in the pavilion, as long as it is not too loud . . . so bring a musical instrument.
Where to Stay: There are hundreds of motel and B&B rooms in the Helen area. There are also three state parks, where you can camp. You can also camp anywhere in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Food: Bring a food that would have been eaten by Southeastern Native Americans prior to the 20th century. I am pretty sure that 19th century Natives ate desserts, too. LOL Clothing: Wear comfortable clothing for you vacation in Helen. If you want to wear traditional Muskogean clothing . . . fine . . . just don’t dress up like a Hollywood Injun or in Pow Wow outfits. LOL Other things to do: The Hardman Farm State Historic Site, on the edge of Helen, is a must see. Helen is about 21 miles from the Track Rock Archaeological Zone. Many rivers and lakes are nearby that you can canoe or fish in. There are zillions of shops and restaurants. Y’all come!
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