By: Belinda Brooks
As little boys, Rodger Collum and his younger cousin, Buddy Hays, were always hanging around their grandfather’s, Clarence Desadier’s aka Chief Parrain’s, home. Of the chief’s numerous children and grandchildren, he chose his little spitfire grandson, Rodger, to lead the family after his passing. Rodger was the son of the chief’s daughter, Olla Mae, and her husband, Duck Collum.
These two little whippersnappers were always into something and under their grandfather’s feet. One day, the chief called the boys into the house. As they walked into the living room, they saw several items wrapped in cloth sitting on a table. The chief did not let them open the package. He had the boys store it in the old house’s attic to be forgotten about for 60 years.
This memory was brought back to Chief Collum by Hays a year ago. Vice-Chief Belinda Brooks began to pursue Chief Collum for evidence of this story. Nothing goes unquestioned by her when one is talking about tribal history. It took close to one year to talk Chief Collum into entering his grandfather’s old-crumbling house. The danger there was real. The walls were falling in. Likewise, the floor and ceiling were dropping.
Finally, one night after being hounded for months to retrieve the packages, Chief Collum and his cousin, Keith Hernandez, braved the decaying old house by flashlight. As expected, a slight touch to the ceiling and it came tumbling down, cutting Chief Collum’s hand. Several items fell from above. The history of the artifacts that fell from the ceiling will never be known.