During a recent trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma, we stopped at our favorite restaurant near Fort Leonardwood, Missouri for lunch.
After ordering, I noticed a number of military officers, with an unusual mix of larger men wearing the dress of another country.
Being the curious person I am I walked over to visit the table of 12 to 14 men and developed a conversation with them. Within minutes I learned they were from American South Samoa who had come to celebrate the retirement of one their own. In the midst, was the governor of that country who was sitting next to a Major General. Suddenly, I saw I was in the company of high officials.
While standing with them the Samoan men began to sing, causing a hush that calmed the noise of the large eating area. Everyone stopped and just listened. While we didn’t understand the language, the melody and harmony was beautiful. It was like a trained male choir. Afterwards, I inquired about the song and was told it was a song of thanksgiving for the meal.
Later in the day we arrived in Joplin, Missouri, where we were to spend the night with a long time friend. We were able to celebrate the 81st birthday with our friend and her son and family. It was indeed a joy to renew old memories.
Continuing for Tulsa we decided to visit the Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore, Oklahoma. As we turned into the parking area we immediately saw it was full and even the streets we all lined with cars. On our second trip through the lot we stopped a man and asked what was going on there today?
“An event of the Cherokee Nation was his reply.”
We had just wanted to visit the memorial, I told him, and he told us to park on the grass near the entrance to the door with his permission. He was the director of the memorial so I thought it would be safe for us to do so.
To our amazement we found some very interesting booths and met many Native Americas who asked who we were and welcome us to their concave.
While my camera was clicking a number of our new friends, a beautiful young lady was approaching us in Indian dress with a sash draped across her which read Miss Cherokee.
After a few minutes I learned her name was Little Feather and she had just been crowned Miss Cherokee. The 19 year old beauty submitted to my request of a picture with her and then of her father.
We spent a good part of the mid-day in the building and memorial grounds which brought back many things about Will Rogers who himself was a Cherokee.
So we finished our trip to stay in a motel so we could make a surprise entrance into the church for a Pastor Appreciation service the church was providing for our son.
The service was already started when we slipped into the back of the church where we waited to be introduced as speaker for the occasion. What a surprise it was to him as we walked to the platform visible for the first time to him and the church.
So this week was full of surprises. First, the governor of South Samoa, second a celebration with an old friend, thirdly to meet the Cherokee Princess and then our pastor son.
Life may have its special days but there is coming a day we have heard about all our lives. That day will be when we meet the Lord face to face.