461. Stigler, Haskell County (OK55)

Nice little change up in color! Everything around here seems to be some variation of red (no doubt this is exactly what Gillian Welch was singing about), so a little bit of blue, even slight and subdued, is nice. I wish I was here during the day to get a better look at it in the sunlight. Are those glazed tiles? Or something else I can’t think of because I know next to nothing about construction, much less courthouse facades?

As you can see, my nighttime monument photography leaves a lot to be desired. That’s a bit sad because I hadn’t seen a monument to the Trail of Tears before this point. This being the Cherokee Nation, however, I certainly expected to run across something similar. We all, whoever we are, have cultural scars that others from the outside can never quite get, because seeing them from the outside is never the same as living with and internalizing the outcome of the trauma. There are enough books that can tell you about what happened. There is nothing I can add but my sorrow.

Standing with the courthouse in its log cabin glory is the Haskell Museum Chamber of Commerce and Office of Economic Development. Is there anything more Americanly commercial than that name combination?

The cache? An LPC at Wally World. It doesn’t get any more mundane than that, does it? So, here’s the thing… Ever since I napped back in Adair County, I’d just been plain cold. The chill of the night, a few steps below freezing, managed to seep into my bones. I just could not get warm for a while so I took the opportunity to crank up the heat and maybe build up my warmth reserves. That was one of the only things keeping me going during these nights. As I felt it take the aches out of my muscles, I enjoyed having the stiffness disappear and slightly dreaded stepping back out into the cutting wind. It was really nice to have warmth again. Besides, I knew it wouldn’t be too bad, though. It’s always darkest before the dawn. That also means that it’s also coldest, too. Soon the sun would rise and bring both light and (the beginnings of) warmth back to the air, and I would step out into it on the streets of…

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