My Father passed away at the age of 46, he was born in the State of Tennessee in 1901, and died in 1947 in Chicago. I was 16 years old at the time and my Mother had 8 children, 5 boys and 3 girls, the two youngest were in diapers. Being the second oldest and in the 8th grade in school, I had to drop out and take care of the 6 younger children while my Mother went to work. When I became 18, I started working at parking lots as a car hiker, then went to work at the freight docks, then I became a Setup man where I set up Drill Presses Punch Presses, Kick Presses, Milling Machines, Grinders Lathes and all kinds of production equiptment.
Later I got into Tool and Die work, I served a 5 year apprenticeship and got my diploma. Then a few years later I went into the Tool and Die business for myself. Seven years later I went into the Model Making business and spent about 40 years in the two professions, I retired at age 66 in 1997. Having nothing to do with my time I got myself a Computer and started looking up my Grandfathers Enrollment in the Cherokee Nation, ( My Mothers Father , James Byers ) he was 3/4 Cherokee, when I found his Enrollment papers in the Cherokee Nation, I started searching for an Indian Tribe that was excepting Enrollments. I found the Southern Cherokee Nation of the Tennessee River Band of Chickamauga Cherokees, I got enrolled also, then got my four Children and 8 Grandchildren enrolled, plus 7 Great Grandchildren, I also joined the Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky.
In the year 2001 I wondered why there was no Holiday for the Native American Indians to Celebrate their Indian Heritage, so I had a friend of mine, Daniel J. Burke, State Representative of the 23rd District here in Chicago take a Resolution I had written to Springfield, which is the Capitol of Illinois and have it put into law, Resolutions HR196, and HR 177 desiginate September 1st as American Indian Day in Illinois. Then in 2002 I started writing Poems. I loved writing poems as I had written 42 songs when I was the age of 18, I had learned to play the Guitar at the age of 15, and it just seemed to go together, writing and singing, In October of 2009, I was Elected Member of the Council for the Northern District of the Southern Cherokees located in Webbers Falls Oklahoma, for a term of two years.I have finished a total of 2,000 poems as of today March 7th 2010. take care and God Bless:
Walk in Peace and Balance, Cherokee Lee......................