Tribal council election to have big turn out

Published 11:01 am Monday, June 6, 2016

Creek Native Americans will venture in to Poarch on Saturday to cast their votes for tribal candidates. In addition to the election, a homecoming for former and local tribal members will also take place.

Speaking with some tribal friends, I learn that a possible overflowing number will cast their ballots mainly due to some current important issues facing the tribe. I learned also that many have already sent in their ballots, but still quite a few living away are expected to come home from several states.

Many relatives and friends will be welcomed home, and will share in the homecoming activities. Polls will open at 7 a.m. and voting will go the entire day.

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The tribe’s generosity is known throughout the entire USA. Schools, churches, communities and individuals have been recipients of the tribe’s finances. They’re giving away TVs at Pensacola Blue Wahoo baseball games for certain winners and feasts are the latest of their generosity.

A lifelong member of the tribe, Rickey Gibson, is one example of a Creek who made good.

His fine family of children, grandchildren, even great-grandchildren and countless friends and relatives, have watched him become one of the nation’s top pool and billiard champions. He currently participates in southern pool matches, mostly in New Orleans. In fact, he captured honors and cash rewards at a widely recognized tournament in the Crescent City this past week.

But most of Rickey’s energies are pointed toward his new “Green Felt Jungle” pool room located in the old Brooks Grocery building in Freemanville. Allowing no smoking or alcohol, the business is open to all who enjoy the art of “pool shooting.” He heartily takes pride in the young folks who participate. He also stages a big tournament here once each month and makes available up to $3,000 in prize money to winners. As his business has really begun to grow, so has the number of tournament participants who come in from surrounding states. By the way, tasty sandwiches and other snacks are on the menu at his tournaments.

Rickey’s pool shooting talents have been captured in some TV events seen across the entire nation. His participation in a Louisville, Ky. tournament a few years ago was one of those televised events.

A nationwide publication “The Green Felt Jungle” featured Ricky a few years ago. Written by well-known billiard author and player Gerald Huber, Rickey was described as a highly professional and immensely talented pool artist. Only a few receive comments like this. Rickey’s specialties are playing banks and Nine Ball.

I knew Rickey when he was growing up in the Nokomis community. In fact, he went to school at Perdido, the same school I attended. (I also remember the Barnhill family in Nokomis who had family members in my class at Perdido.)

I plan on writing about several other tribal friends who have made in good in their chosen professions. Some have not recognized my tribal promotions, but several have. I am proud of those members with whom I have made friends and my plans include promoting them to the fullest.

While on the topic of elections, I cannot for the life of me understand the antics of anti-Trump foes like Bill Kristol and his magazine cohorts, and the entire National Review staff.

These Republican organizations are so riffed at the front-runner that they want to come up with a third party candidate to run against him. But just this week, they received a slap on the hands by several anti-Trump members who reversed their stand and echoed their support and endorsements for him. It appears that former defeated presidential candidate Milt Romney, political science panelist George Will and a few other stiff neck Republican elites are leading the charge against Trump. Alabama’s is another organization that displays anti-Trump stories, particularly in their headlines. I believe the reason behind this is because some of their writers are relatively young and seem to adhere to more liberal positions.

Fox News readily recognized Trump’s ascension and jumped on his bandwagon and in doing so, they brought along the most widely cable news viewing audience. Their number of viewers completely dwarfs those of MSNBC and CNN combined. In fact, advertising for the latter two networks that support Democrats and Independents dropped off considerably. Advertisers do not place their monies on TV station with few viewers. The same goes for radio, newspapers and magazines.

This month of June marks the 62nd anniversary of the plane crash that took the lives of two members of The Blackwood Brothers quarter. Out for the summer from the University of Alabama and working at WATM, I had just walked into the newsroom and heard a bulletin tingling bell, which related the crash. Ironically, the quartet had appeared in a Gospel concert here two weeks earlier. They came by the radio station that day and we put them on the air where they sang several songs promoting the big sing that night. And, while they were in our studio, they announced their mode of transportation would soon be a new airplane. Little did we know this airplane would come crashing down prior to another big sing in Clanton.

Several years after the crash, I ran into Jackie Marshall who played piano for the group at that time. Fortunately he was not involved with the crash. Marshall had gone into business as owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises throughout the south. It was at the local KFC here in Atmore that I spoke with him.

Although, reportedly his health is no too good he still lives and operates his business in Tuscaloosa.

Next week, we have more news from days gone by.

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