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Sims Roots

Beaver, Oklahoma
August 30, 2017

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We made a detour of a few hours through Oklahoma's panhandle to visit this little old town, where my grandfather's family were ranchers in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Some of them, including my grandfather and grandmother, are buried in the Pioneer Cemetary -- a long way from the ocean breezes of Long Beach, where they lived most of their lives.

At the Goodwill store in town, we told them our connection as we paid for a few clothes Ellie had found. They directed us to the Jones & Plummer Trail Museum, at the Fairgrounds at the edge of town, to learn more about the history. So we stopped in and as we did, the docent pulled a heavy, green bound book up onto her desk, "So what's the family name?"

She found pictures we had never seen, of our family out on horses on the land, in portraits, and in one case, two of my grandfather's sisters in a group of Camp Fire girls, decked out in "Pocahontas" dresses that the scouts had each sown. "In fact," she told us, leading us to a room that displayed a typical turn-of-the-century girls' bedroom, "That's your aunt Jony's Pocahontas dress hanging there."