Why You Shouldn’t Believe Everything You Read in the Newspaper
Last week’s paper ran an article about the Annual Qualla Arts & Crafts Open-Air Indian Art Market in Cherokee. The paper said, “it promises to be one of the best ever with countless authentic handmade Cherokee items.” It said from 9-4 there will be live demonstrations by Native artisans, storytelling, music and a traditional Cherokee meal.
I’m currently absorbing all things Native American as I’m in the process of writing about Chief William McIntosh. It was Saturday, and I was in town. I invited my 6th grade grandson to accompany Buddy and me. I packed water bottles, a bowl for Buddy, hat, notebook, pen and questions I’m researching. It was a beautiful day in the Smokies.
The “countless authentic handmade Cherokee items” are always there, in the Museum, gift shop and the Qualla Craft Gallery. The Open-Air part consisted of about 6 or 8 tables outside in front of the Gallery. A stone carver, wood carver, beading artist, basket weaver, jewelry maker, and a sketch artist all had their lovely things on display for sale. There were no demonstrations.
The annual part, turns out, is almost true. They do this annually, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, every Saturday. Annually. What would have been more accurate to say is this is the last Saturday until spring.
I hoped the music would be wooden flute and drum. I planned to buy a CD. However, the music was an electric band, loud, contemporary, like any Friday night bar scene. No Native American flute. Perhaps the guitarists were Cherokees.
I have a friend who is a Cherokee storyteller. He often performs in Cherokee, but also nationally. I hoped he’d be there so Sammy could hear his stories and meet him. There were no storytellers.
We bought our “traditional Cherokee meal” of fried chicken, fried potatoes, boiled cabbage, fat back and chocolate cake.
Buddy enjoyed his walk through the lovely park along the river. Sammy bought a blow gun and an ice cream. No research questions were answered.
In fact, nothing has been added (and kept) on the McIntosh manuscript since Thursday. Maybe I should go get a job at that newspaper.