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Chilocco School Short Stories
Chilocco Five Dimensions

       The student mentality, employee's world, personal life and my parent's dual,  cultural background gave me at least five dimensions out of Einstein's ten while working on the grounds of the ancient school. A girl who was grounded in Christianity only vaguely knew how many tracks on Chilocco soil had been left by so many different tribes.  Looking back, it makes me wonder how any unification existed at all.  As Native people began to become educated, they took their roles in positions. These folks each had their own tribal affiliations, too. Eventually, it was this disunity, which allowed stronger forces to come onto the grounds like Vikings pillaging and plundering. When the former superintendent, Mr. Lawrence Correll,  held the school in his hands, this was not allowed to happen. He made it strong and clear, the school was on federal grounds loyal to the United States Government and anyone crossing boundary lines did so at the risk of looking at federal prison. There was no shilly-shallying on the issue. Personally, I saw Mr. Correll's stance on it. This was the unity he created but was lost gradually from after his retirement while I was working there.

      The snow crunched beneath our feet as my fiancee and I walked up the wide steps going to a porch circling the big stone residence. In my mind I knew the night watchman was out there somewhere and was ever vigilant. No comment would I make about it though. It was almost two o'clock. The holiday season had made me want to attend services in the city and the drive home on icy roads made the hour late. An owl cried loud and long from above our heads.

      Before I thought about my fiancee's strong German background I said, “Oh dear!  Owl is a messenger.”

      “What?” He was quick to pick up on the statement.

      “Oh nothing, nothing. It is just a silly superstition.”  I tried to excuse my observation about the owl. After all,  what could a boy who was on leave from the Marine's and who was a strong Catholic with a full German grandmother know about an owl being a messenger?

      At this time it was more important to me that I get into the house away from the ever present eyes of the night watchman.

      I was shuddering cold from walking across the snow in the light high heel shoes on my feet and did not want to linger at the door.

      “Got to get inside,”  I told him. “I'm freezing from these shoes!”

      “Speaking of silly!”  He grinned

      The bright street light and the long, lighted front porch made me aware we were probably much like on stage,  and I was anxious to leave.

       “I have to go to work tomorrow. It is late. I will be half dead and blind from lack of sleep.”  One after another excuses were not working to push my need to get into the house.

      “You will survive!”  My lingering companion didn't seem to mind the cold. His wool uniform gave him much more protection than my shoes, light hose and coat gave me.

      “Yes, but you won't if the night watchman comes barreling out of no- where with his twelve-cell flashlight.”  These were the magic words and with a grin and quick military turn he was off the steps and back to his car.

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