I am Chickasaw Indian and a retired chemical engineer. Most history about American Indians was written by non-Natives. My interpretation gives cultural meaning to the unwritten story. The visualization leads to a compelling story. Before the 1830’s Indian Removal, the Southeast was Indian Country. I joined AIANTA.org which brings international tourism to Indian Country. I recently founded Compelling Stories of the Southeast, a 501(c)3. We are working with other groups to create curriculum design about the Trail of Tears tribes. These stories are too good to be told only in a classroom. The hope is to extend the stories to public tourism venues. I moved to Tuscumbia, Colbert County, Alabama, named for Chickasaws warriors. I walk on former Chickasaw Homelands. The past three years I was on the Alabama 200 website to help communities celebrate the bicentennial. Last year, I wrote a script and managed the outdoor theater re-enactment including 42 Choctaws, a keelboat and 1814 Infantry soldiers.
My interest in the Lafayette Trail is to seek compelling stories. If a story is not told, it dies. In 1824 Lafayette met the Muskogee Creeks led by Chilly McIntosh, who played their game of stickball in the Frenchman’s honor. These same Creeks were moving in 1828 to the far west and harassed in every community – until the throng was welcomed in Tuscumbia with food and clothing. Tuscumbia has a legacy of hospitality, where I live with my wife Annie. I have two children and three adult grandchildren. I have authored six books. Other stories will be revealed once the Lafayette Trail is revisited in 2024. These are adventures yet-to-be and I do not want to miss out.