The writing prompt today asks about reflecting on the last year.
I am thankful for so many opportunities in my life. I often think about those people who were placed in my path over the years, and how they influenced my life. Many years ago, Chief Wallace Coffey crossed my path and I have learned so much from our friendship. We walked the Senate halls years ago, requesting support for the Code Talker Recognition Act. He probably doesn’t realize how the few hours we talked helped me grow in many ways. He is educated and a tribal leader. He is the voice at many powwows. He stands, confidently, as a Comanche Chief.
We had the chance to meet, too briefly, at the Native American Code Talker Ceremony last year in Washington, D.C. I was so thrilled that my family could meet him in person, and of course, photos were taken. He looked dignified in his headdress and regalia. I learned a lesson on being humble that day. When I saw him, I was so excited to see my friend, I ran up to him, gave him a big hug and asked how he was doing. We didn’t get much of a chance to talk (it was loud in the atrium), so I waved my family over to pose for a photo. He responded to me and “my forward ways” with patience. Then, as I walked away to let others meet with him, I heard a young father’s request, “Chief Wallace, will you do me the honor of taking a photo with my son?” In that instant, I knew how I must have looked. I felt a pang in my heart and prayed he knew I was not being disrespectful. You never know the cultural differences of the people you know. People interpret the same thing in different ways. I was thankful he was patient with me that day and hope to see him in the future again.
So… imagine how excited I was when I happened to find this link today. He is doing what he does best…promoting American Indian Culture and connecting with an audience in an educational way. He is a proud leader of his people and their talents. I wish I could be there in person to support him and his tribe today!
LIVE webcast: Comanche Nation at the Smithsonian today! 11/28/2014