Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hello Again

Hello, again.

I’ve only posted one blog in the last two years, so no one may notice me starting up again, but I'm going to try anyway.

I’ve finished the book, Wenonah’s Story, that I co-authored with my mother, J. Wenonah Paul Gunning, and it will be released by the Chickasaw Press the first week in October. I hope you will all read it. It’s a lot more polished than my blog, so hopefully it will be worth your while.

My mother was a remarkable woman, born in 1913 into the prominent Paul family just as it was falling on hard times. A sensitive child, Wenonah faced hardship, tragedy, conflict between her parents, and prejudice because of her Indian blood, with determination and humor. The book describes her childhood as an adventurous tomboy, her experiences at Bloomfield, a Chickasaw school for girls, getting a college degree during a time when women were expected to get married out of high school, and creating an exciting life for herself as a working woman, while giving support and encouragement to her mother and to her brothers and sisters.  

Wenonah’s Story is not just the story of my mother’s life, but also a history of the Paul family, from Wenonah’s great grandfather, Smith Paul, who ran away from his home in North Carolina to join the Chickasaw Indians, to her grandfather, Sam Paul, a Chickasaw policeman and senator, to her father William, a delegate to the Sequoya Convention, a successful rancher, and real estate broker, to her brother Homer, who served in the Oklahoma state legislature for 17 years. The book describes the stormy transition of the Indian and Oklahoma Territories into the State of Oklahoma; the prosperity of the 1920’s, and the hardships of living through the Great Depression. It also gives a pretty good picture of what it was like to grow up in a small rural Oklahoma town during the 1920’s.

I haven’t quite decided how to continue this blog, but I guess I’ll just keep telling stories about our family, putting them into the context of the times. If you read the book, the blog will give you more details about the background of the story, and the lives of the characters, and I’ll continue telling more about my dad, who’s just entering the story as the book ends. 

Thanks for reading. It's nice to be back.