Peg and I and several members of the Redwine family were fortunate to have been included in last week’s New Harmony, Indiana Fourth of July Celebration. It was a community effort with fine music, an excellent reading of the Declaration of Independence by our friend and neighbor Chuck Minnette and copious amounts of hot dogs and ice cream. I was honored to be included as a speaker.
Reporter and photographer Lois Mittino Gray of the Posey County News did an excellent job of capturing the essence of America’s Birthday celebration and I truly appreciated her kind remarks. I also understand how someone named Redwine who was born on the Osage Indian Nation in Pawhuska, Oklahoma and who wore an Osage inspired patriotic vest could be assumed to be a member of the great Osage Tribe. While such an honor would be a source of great pride for me, alas, while I have numerous Osage, and other Indian tribe friends, I am not a tribal member.
Growing up in Osage County I played sports with and against Osages. I attended church and public schools with Osages. I count Osages among my best friends and treasure our memories and current relationships. I have always felt accepted and respected as a friend, teammate, schoolmate and competitor by my Osage friends. But the great privilege of being an actual Osage must remain in the realm of desire, not reality.
Gentle Reader, should you wish to encounter a culture where the Osage Tribe and several other justly proud Indian peoples will welcome you as they always have me and my family, I recommend you plan an excursion to Pawhuska, Oklahoma. You will find buffalo (bison), miles of virgin prairie on the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, the Osage Tribal Museum, the Osage County Historical Museum, Woolaroc Museum, cowboys of the non-drugstore type, rodeos and the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile among just some of the fun and enriching things to experience. You may even encounter Peg and me and other members of the Redwine family as Osage County and Pawhuska may not officially designate us as Osage, but we all have always proudly claimed the culture and heritage of that special place.