John swept his gaze around the table. “So, girls, how about the Fair?”
Robin, Leslie, and Frannie all spoke at once, then stopped and giggled. “I’m in,” said Robin.
“Me, too,” chorused Leslie and Frannie
John said, “Katie, I hope that artist from Sulphur is there. Remember how impressive his beadwork was? And those magnificent paintings by the artist from Hugo. His subjects were so real they could have walked right off the canvas.”
“I remember,” Katie replied. “There were other artists I would love to see again, too. It makes me proud to see the beautiful things that our people produce. I’m glad that we’ll get to share a bit of our culture.”
“Oh, and there’s something else I’m sure you’ve never seen before,” John said, pleased that he’d thought of it. “Stickball. It’s a wild game that Choctaw men have been playing for centuries. Stickball was how men used to get into good physical condition… call it the Gold’s Gym of the Choctaw nation. It was also an official way to settle disputes. It is a rough and tumble game, but it’s a lot less deadly than dueling.
“So, picture thirty strong men on each team,” John continued, “each one wielding two hickory sticks with a small cup at the end to capture and throw a small, hard ball called a towa. Oh, and no protective gear. The only rules are no touching the towa with your hands, and no head-butting. They score by throwing the ball against the opponent’s goal post or touching the goalpost with the stick when the ball is in the cup. Thirty guys want that to happen, and the other thirty are determined that it won’t. Trust me, watching a match is an experience.”
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