Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People Season 2, Episode 5 for PBS
Coming, up a popular, fishing tournament, in the Cherokee Nation that's not for the faint of heart. Hey. Coughs awesome. If. You got smart, people around you you used to have a good got, crazy people around you that you could run over you. And, making. His way to the major leagues Cherokee Nation citizen Ryan Helsley talks about living out his childhood dream only. A couple guys from, the Cherokee, Nation, have ever been been drafted, mean what, does it mean to possibly. Be you know one of the, greatest to ever play baseball means, a lot come from Cherokee, Nation sin telephone. From and just, have people from around there looking out to me it means, a lot to me plus. A prideful moment in Cherokee Nation history as foot racer Andy Payne wins the biggest sporting event of its time. The. Cherokees, a thriving. American, Indian, tribe our. History, our. Culture. Our. Future. The principles, of, a historic, nation, sewn, into the fabric of the modern world. Hundreds. Of thousands. Of strong, learning. Growing. Succeeding. And, steadfast. In. The past we. Have persevered. Through struggle. But. The future, is ours, to write Oh sue. Oh Co Co Co these. Are, the voices of, the Cherokee people Oh. Co. I'm principal, chief bill Jon Baker, welcome. To the Cherokee Nation, and Osio. TV, this, is how we share, our culture our, heritage, our history, and our language with you what. Del o, Co. It's how we say hello and Cherokee, as the. Spring season sweeps, across the Cherokee, Nation we, line up with a major league hopeful, on the minor league circuit, living, out his childhood dreams, plus. We'll go back in time to the Transcontinental, footrace of 1928. But. First it's, a sporting event like, none other seventy. Boats taking off into the dark waters of Lake ouchy here in Oklahoma to, see who can gig the most fish and win bragging rights for a year. Enjoy. Oklahoma, on the eastern edge of the Cherokee Nation gigging, is a way of life. When. We go gig and it's, almost always at night because, you can see the fish better and. You've. Got about a 10. To 12-foot Pole, with. One of these on the end of it and. You, see the fish and stick. Them if you can, used. To go frog gigging a little bit oh you. Can get them off, the. Bank but. It's. Harder it's just easy out in the boat they, don't take very long kill them at first fish. Dad. Used to bring us down here when. We was just little, kids and we. Gig, like for 10 minutes apiece boy. We'd be back there watching his watch. If, you didn't miss you didn't get down from, the front of the boat you know I mean, I jerked the boat around and moving around go fast and stuff to try to make you miss so. I can get up there. Be. Cheer every, gigger from this part of the country puts their pride on the line to compete in the annual gigging, tournament, on Lake uchi, the. Tournament draws thousands, of people from all over the Cherokee Nation and 70, to 80 boats that line the shore waiting, for nightfall. I'll. Bet 90% of them are probably Cherokee. Because. Most, people around here are Cherokee. I've. Been gigging in this tournament since late. 70s. 110, times Steve. And Greg Wilson are brothers and the team to beat. There's. A reason to call Steve Wilson Zeus down here he's just the best person ever put a gig in your hand there's no doubt. Steve. Has 10 titles, and Greg has 9 so we've still got a lot of work to do Doug. Post Oak and John, Henry Ward there's. A, few. The car king of the car is, what they are king of the car figures I've.
Won For. Gigging tournament championships. We've. Been gigging together, probably. Since we were 16 when I could drive we, would go you. Know on Friday nights and Saturday nights and instead of going to town and getting in trouble a lot of times it was a lot easier to convince mom and dad to let us go out and take the gig and vote go gigging when, it comes to competition gigging. Is all about strategy going, up the shallow Creek for the small fish or out to the lake for the big fish yeah. You get to choose your direction going, east or west east, being up to Creek West, down the leg they'll. Draw your number out of the Hat up there and put, you in order who's, on the end has the best chance of getting, to the fish first, if you beat somebody up there by 15, seconds, that. Can mean a lot of fish you. Can do some damage some. People go up the creek and look for suckers and we. We're. Not very small people and so. We tend to go down the lake and look for the big fish and that way we don't have to fight the rat race going up the tree they go after the big fish and kind, of get them up and you know real shallow water maybe the back picking out of water and stuff that makes it a little easier for them to get them one, year we saw him up the creek and what. No world gets doing up here he said we're lost. Well. Everybody, has fun, I mean it's it is it's a fun deal, everybody. Gets after each other teases, ribs them but that's. Been it when that flare goes off it's serious. As. Night. Begins to fall the, competition, heats up the love is lost for old fishing buddies as everyone, waits for that starting, flare all. I know is, probably. From 15. Minutes before that flare goes off the, to. The time it goes off its, it, starts getting a little nervy, and. Their white. Nervy. Takeoffs. Awesome. If. You got smart people around you you used to have a good yeah, crazy people around you they you should run over you. The. Flare does go off we there's. Gonna be hateful. Words spoke. At. 9:03, when, the waves start there's gonna be 40, 50 bucks go that way probably 40, or 50 boats go that way, we. Push out and then he, look tree is open and when he sees it we're gone you, gotta, have everything go right you got a, motor. Lights everything's, got to be good and. Then. If you do get to where the fish are and you gotta get, during. A tournament there's there's. Not friend it's dog-eat-dog go. Get them you. Know there are certain things you look for and and you know little tricks you learn and you know you're looking for little things that maybe just don't, don't look right you know there's something that looks like it might be moving or something in the shape of a fish and you know sometimes you look for like the weeds, they'll start parting it'll be a big fish in there sometimes, a facial be so shallow that do, their backs of the ablative the water it's never easy I'll put it that way it just you know sometimes it's very very. Frustrating when. You think, you see one and you maybe just get a little piece of him and and do it man that was a nice one should I have that one bit and, this, year's tournament proved, to be very frustrating, for our two teams who did not make it to the winner's circle yeah, pull up to the bank getting ready for way and you see little kids eyes when you had that hit finish you're right, you. Know they know that's a lot you know this guy brought me 40 in but that's a bunch right there. And. Sudden lemma looks a yeah you guys didn't do very good no just take off you're like oh that's hurtful, no we talk like ask us. Fischer. Weighed. In and they have a different point for different species of fish. The. Funny thing is it's it's all over a plaque. And a $50, gift if it's. A great badge of honor and it's something that we're all very proud of you know and. You. Know I don't know house to put it it there's not anything, really that comes with it other than a lot of pride and some, bragging rights for the. Ryan. Helsley has been playing baseball since, he was just three years old and has big dreams of playing in the major leagues we, caught up with Ryan making his way through the minor leagues in his first season pitching, for the Peoria, Illinois Chiefs.
And Grade. School that you view papers you know what do you want to be when you grow up I was a professional, baseball player I. Am. Living my dream now. There's. Only a very low percentage of guys that play professional, baseball so, I think being, able to live out my dream now is pretty special. My. Name is Ryan Helsing I have a picture for the st., Louis Cardinals in the Miley's. Started. Playing when, I was three and still though we. Played there from 3 to 7 and then we just started playing high, school ball there. But. Having twin brothers it's pretty awesome we were always outside my dad kind of never let us stay inside kind, of helped us a lot you know we're always playing, basketball. Together and, baseball or football in, high school I mean I knew I wanted to play baseball in, college coach. Janssen which was my coach tennis you came, and offered me a scholarship my. Junior summer and I signed then played. All my freshman, year I had a pretty good freshman year there and then sophomore. Fall and, issue, scouts, would come around every day you know when, I was throwing in pitching it's kind of when it really started to pick it up. My. Agent he kind of told me no the Cardinals really interested, in your there's a couple teams you know so I was pretty excited there and then, the day I got drafted I got the phone call saying, I think they're gonna draft you in the fifth round here the next couple of pigs are you willing to take that offer and I was like sitting there thinking or I kind of pause, these. Like hello you there I was like yeah I'll take it you know oxes just a surreal moment to, actually say you know you're getting a chance to play, professional, baseball now and know. It's every kid's childhood. Dream to play professional, baseball so, that's, pretty cool down. In the minor leagues we take a bus everywhere, you know I think our fathers trip last, year was around five hours just stay in a motel just like you would anywhere else you and their roommate and then we, play a game every day that week I think we only had like three or four off days all summer so I mean from June, to September, so. We're playing baseball quite, a bit, just. The mentality, of pitching you know most people think you just get up there and throw the ball but it's it's a lot more of a modern game you know learn that's more, since I've gotten older you know you gotta be mentally tough and, you, know if something goes wrong for a pitch you know you gotta have, good mentality and, to knowledge I get to you so you can't you know let the snowball effect happen, one thing lead to another so you have to be able to shut down big innings and get big outs for your team to help them win.
It's, A lot of time away from your family and friends you know it's a it's, a big sacrifice, a, lot of guys were willing to make you know every guy in the minor leagues are pursuing their dreams, it's a tough grind you know every day to you, out there on the field to play for, eight hours a day to stay, tuned in for 120. Games for five, or six years trying to make it possible you know and it's a year-round job you know most people think it's just in the summer but in offseason, you got to work out everyday run conditioned, throw there's, a lot that goes into being prepared for the season, my. First start will be this, Saturday it's, the home opener here it's pretty special to me I'm, excited I'm third in a rotation, to be able to start the home overs pretty, awesome it's. Just really a prideful. Moment spent, a lot of miles in time driving, them down the road to a lot of baseball games tournaments. Practice, you never really think your kid, can you, know get to the major-league level it's, just really an enjoyable time. Everybody's. Dream you know to playing the bigs that reality is not everybody will hopefully, if I keep working and keep doing what I can do then hopefully, I'll be there when these days. Only. A couple guys from the Cherokee, Nation, have ever been drafted. In what, does it mean to possibly. Be you know one of the, greatest ever, play baseball it means a lot I'm from the Cherokee Nation since I lost went from and just, to have people from around there looking out to me it means, a lot to me and to be, a role model for the young kids and men's and looks you know just to be able to get back through. Now. Being Cherokee, means a lot to me to, be able to represent my, heritage and my people to kind of show that other checky, citizens, that they can accomplish, their dreams too if they just set their minds to it I, just. Wanna go out there and play every game like it's my last whether, I make, it there or not you know always have, these memories I'll. Never regret playing, you know because this is what I love for my, whole life so just to. Still, enjoy this game you know because to me it's it's, fun out there you know to be out there on the mound and get to play a kids game every day it's pretty special. The, recipe for success no, I think it's just finding your going and dreams and just keep, pursuing it. Don't. Ever give up on it you, know I've been working for this since I was three but, I think if you just work hard and keep doing everything you want you know I think you'll get there one day. On. April. 15 1947. Jackie, Robinson, broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball or, so the story goes, in actuality. While, Robinson, was the first african-american to play in the majors American. Indians had been playing ball in the major leagues for fifty years before his time in the, early 1900s, several, Cherokee Nation citizens, had gained notoriety for their skills on the diamond including. A pair of brothers and a pitcher from Adair County. Austin. 10-cup known as Ben may have been the first Native American from Oklahoma to make it to the big leagues pitching. For the Philadelphia, Phillies and the Chicago Cubs between, 1914. And 1928. Bob. Johnson, from Pryor Oklahoma was a seven-time, all-star game, player during his major league career from. 1933. To 1945. An, outfielder. And power hitter Bob hit over 20 home runs each season, for nine straight years Bob's. Older brother Roy was also an outfielder, in 1929. Roy led the American League, in doubles, and in, triples in 1931. Nearly. 50 American Indian athletes played in the major leagues in the early years of baseball unlike. African-americans. Native Americans, were not excluded from professional, baseball but. They overcame discrimination. And racial stereotyping. To excel in their sport. Tulagi. Any, warning he, let's. Talk Turkey. May. A nurse, Gerty. Scanty. May. Is star bear pickin time a nurse. Gertie Cutler. Now. You eat me, that. They see eat, a. Nurse. Gertie, on a scanty, Cutler, Cutler, now, you leave.
Me. But there's de leche, de. Wolf. What. Yeah yeah. The. Wolf is howling. What. Yeah nigga, we're. Not. Sorry. Say. It's. Not worse, the flashlight. Who's. Sorry. Parlor. I just. Did, who. Say. Ha. Ha. I cherish deep I jest deep. Now. Let's go back in time to the Transcontinental. Footrace of 1928. Hundreds. Of competitors entered, the race to run from Los Angeles to, New York City and it. Was a Cherokee Nation citizen, named Andy Payne who crossed the finish line first, it. Was the biggest sporting, event of its time a. 1928. Cross-country. Race with, its halfway point in Claremore, Oklahoma. Schools. And businesses, shut down and, Oklahomans. Came out in droves to watch the runners race down route 66 in. The lead was a twenty-year old Cherokee, farm, boy from Foyle. Oklahoma, Andy, Payne he, was an underdog. Capito against, marathoners, record holders and professional. Runners from all over the world he. Had just won a cross-country, race and a, $25,000. Prize that, came with it, Andy. A Cherokee, Nation citizen, had, been in California looking, for work when. He saw a newspaper advertisement announcing. CC, piles first, annual, transcontinental. Footrace. Growing. Up running. The backroads of northeastern, Oklahoma. Andy. Was known to outrun horses, and figured. If anyone could run from coast to coast he, could. The. Race was meant to promote the, newly established route, 66. Which. Had been cobbled together out of dirt roads and paved highways. The. Route 66 Association. Hoped to encourage Americans, to take long distance, road trips on the new Main, Street of America, and so. Enlists @cc paw to. Create a grand promotional, event. The. Route of the Bunyan Derby as the newspapers, had dubbed it stretched, from Los Angeles Ascot, park to the Windy City of Chicago the. Runners would continue, on to New York City via, several, different highways and in the race in New York City's Madison Square, Garden. The, 275. Participants. Came from all over the world and wore many different races breaking. Typical, segregation, laws of the time among. The runners were record holders and famous, marathoners. So. Little attention was paid to the Oklahoma farm boy Eddie. The chic gardener the, son of two former Alabama slaves, Johnny Salo a ship builder from New Jersey and an, Englishman, Peter gavazzi all had, a good chance of winning. The. Bunyan Derby began on March 4th 1928, to, great fanfare, each. Night the runners would stop in a different town and their times for the day were recorded, CC. Pal the, races organizer was a leading sports promoter and the first American sports agent, nicknamed, cash-and-carry pal. Always. An opportunist, Pyle, attempted, to get towns along the route to pay for the runners to stop their anding. The other runners slept in tents that were transported, along the route, also. In the caravan were 40 newspaper reporters, piles. Custom-made. Tour bus and a carnival that pile set up nightly in each town, complete. With freakshow, attractions, and, the mummified body of Oklahoma, law Elmer mccurdy they. Had been dead for 17, years. The. Runners encountered, plenty of obstacles including, running on unpaved roads. Accidental. Injuries by motorists, subpar. Meals and sleeping conditions and, changing. Weather after. A particularly, grueling hot day of running nearly 60 miles through the Mojave Desert from day 8 only. 130. Racers remained. The. Burning heat of California, was soon followed by 7,000.
Feet Of elevation at, the highest point of route 66 near. Flagstaff, leaving. Only one hundred runners. Andy. Payne took 2nd place in Arizona and, it was here that the newspapers, began paying attention, to this Cherokee kid on. A twelfth day Andy came in first to the checkpoint in Seligman, Arizona but, lead didn't last long a sore. Throat turned out to be tonsillitis, an Andy, lagged behind over, the next few days he forced, himself to continue, running while he recovered, with the help of his trainer Tom young. And, II had employed young with a promise of payment of 10% of any of the prize money he should win frigid. Cold snow. And ankle-deep, mud method, runners in the Texas Panhandle but. On Easter Sunday April 8th and E, and front led the rest of the participants, into his home state of Oklahoma, some, Oklahomans, have banded together to offer a $1,000 reward to the first runner to enter the state and handy, thrilled everyone when he crossed the state line in, the lead because. Of Andy's popularity, Pyle has a special Andy Payne edition, of the official race program published, over the 12 days the race remained in the Sooner State Oklahomans. Celebrated, their newest favorite son an, Oklahoma City airline of a thousand cars followed, Andy into the city a massive. Crowds showed up for a parade in Andy's honor in, Tulsa. Bus loads of bands from all over the state greeted, Andy and his fellow runners he, had been stopped and greeted so many times he, briefly lost his lead and had, to be escorted by a police motorcade, through Tulsa. When, Andy reached clamor, the largest town near his hometown of Forel he. Received a 22 gun salute from the cadets of the Oklahoma Military, Academy and was, greeted by Will Rogers on the halfway mark of the race. 1,650. Miles in and, he, had a chance to visit briefly with his family, and his sweetheart, Vivian at home, and foil before leaving the state to continue the Derby and he. Maintained, his lead on, and off for the rest of the race with. Englishman, Peter Gavazzi and Johnny Salo from New Jersey his, closest, competition other. Runners, dropped out due to injury fatigue. Or, cheating, Andy. Again had to have a police escort when, the route entered, celos hometown, of Passaic, New Jersey as there. Was a rumor that celos, friends were going to run Andy over in reality. Johnny, sale oh and Andy Payne became friends, and after. The race Salo said of Andy I'm just proud to have been able to run with such a man. On. May 26th, 1928. After. 3420. 2.3, miles running. 573. Hours four, minutes and 34. Seconds, over. 84, days in. Which he averaged. Forty miles per day ten, minutes per mile and wore, out five pairs of shoes, handy. Pain came in first place in the, transcontinental, footrace beating. His nearest competitor by 15 and a half hours, only. Fifty five of the original bunion derby runners made it to the finish line in New York City's Madison Square, Garden, Andy, Payne used a 25 thousand dollar prize to return to Oklahoma pay. Off the mortgage on his parents farm buy. A car to travel to visit Vivian, and marry. Her the next year after, accomplishing such, an extraordinary, feat Andy, Payne retired, from running he went on to serve as the clerk to the Supreme Court of Oklahoma and. Died in 1977. At the age of 70. We. Hope you enjoyed our show and remember, you can always watch entire episodes, and share your favorite stories online at, Osio TV. There. Is no Cherokee, word for goodbye we, say no, tada go honey, we'll see each other again so. Until next time what Oh. With. Breathtaking views along the scenic Illinois River the excitement, of a traditional, game of stickball and the vibrant, history and culture of the largest Native American tribe in the United States, Cherokee, passport, is your all-access pass, to adventure, it's, your turn to explore the 66, thousand, acres that make up Cherokee, Nation from the natural beauty of our lakes and rivers to engaging cultural, attractions, there is history and beauty around every corner the, Cherokee National Supreme, Court Museum it's, the oldest government building in the state of Oklahoma built, in 1844.
Not Long after the Cherokees, forced removal, into Indian territory along, with the Cherokee National Supreme, Court this historic, building housed, the printing press of the Cherokee Advocate the first newspaper in Oklahoma, today visitors, to the museum learn, about the early establishment of, Cherokee, governance, and see firsthand how Oklahoma's, oldest newspaper was created, the, Cherokee National Prison museum built, in 1875. The Cherokee national prison museum offers, visitors a glimpse into, the unique history of Indian Territory during. The tumultuous years, of eight seventy-five to 1901, this, was the only prison, in all of Indian territory today visitors, to the museum learn, about infamous, outlaws the wrongfully, accused, and can, view a replicated, 19th century jail cell the, John Ross Museum and Ross cemetery, the, John Ross museum highlights, the life of John Ross perhaps, the most well known principal. Chief of the Cherokee Nation the, museum houses exhibits, on the Trail of Tears the Civil War the Cherokee Golden Age and about Cherokee nation's passion, for the education, of its people since time immemorial next. To the museum the historic, Ross Cemetery the burial place of principal, chief John Ross and his family, numerous, high-ranking, leaders of the Cherokee Nation and several, survivors of the Trail of Tears, sequoyah's. Cabin Museum, located, in Sallisaw Oklahoma sequoyah's. Cabin museum, was renovated, by Cherokee, Nation in 2017. Renowned. Cherokee statesman, and inventor of the Cherokee syllabary Sequoia. Built this one-room log cabin in, 1829. Surrounded. By a lush 10 acre park visitors, to the museum will find relics and documents, associated with sequoias life and learn more about the revolutionary. Cherokee, syllabary the, Cherokee Heritage Center built in 1967. The Cherokee Heritage Center includes the Cherokee National Museum, where visitors learn the tribes history, from our original homelands. In the southeastern, United States to, present-day Oklahoma visitors. Can also take a living history tour through diligwa a traditional, Cherokee village set in the year 1710. Also. On site Adam's corner rural village the Cherokee family Research Center Cherokee. National Archives, and a gift shop ready. To discover the Cherokee Nation for yourself learn more about the Cherokee passport, at visit, Cherokee Nation calm and receive, admission to five Cherokee, Nation museums, and more. In. The. Cherokee Nation news happens, every day Cherokee. Nation's economic impact on the state of Oklahoma, now exceeds, 2 billion, dollars. It. Benefits, everyone, creating. Headlines the, new, 469. Thousand, square foot health facility, is the result of the largest joint venture agreement ever, for the people of the Cherokee Nation the meal impact them for generations to come, creating, opportunities, Cherokee. Nation employees can now take 8 weeks of paid maternity leave we have lots of young mothers and young families and this, is something, that's very exciting this year the tribe awarded five million dollars, to superintendents. From about 100, public school districts, when it comes to education, we're all in it together creating. A better place to call home the, Wilma P Mankiller Health Center in Stilwell Oklahoma, nearly doubled in size but this absolutely. Will make a tremendous impact on the quality of life that's gonna provide more jobs. For. More Cherokee, Nation news visit, Anna discover calm.