Welcome back! It has been a while since we’ve published a newsletter, so this one is chockful of information. And since we last published a newsletter, we’ve accomplished so much, and we’d like to share that with you.
February 2016 – Brackett ISD Students Tour Museum
In February, several students from Brackett ISD took a field trip to the Seminole Negro Indian Museum. As this group of approximately forty kids and three teachers toured the museum and the Carver School grounds, they learned about the history of the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts and their descendants. Following the tour, they engaged in a question and answer period. The students were very interested in the history of the Black Seminoles, and they were also amazed by the stories that they heard. They truly appreciated this experience, and we appreciate Allison Watkinson for organizing the visit. We look forward to making this an annual event.
March 2016 – Fort Clark Days
In March, we participated in Fort Clark Days. It took place between March 4-6. The association had a booth. We sold T-shirts, cups, and hats, and we gave out information about the association and about membership. Thank you to all who volunteered — Al and Mary Nofi, Mary Cleves, and Joe Louis Factor. It was nice to see Mr. Pete Pierce, the Bruno family, and Mr. Warrior.
A cemetery cleanup took place on April 8th. Thank you to volunteers Rafael Ruiz, Cassey Connell, Jesse Atkinson, and their team from Laughlin AFB, and members from the association — Pete Louis Pierce, Joe Louis Factor, Larvell Blanks, Marian Pierce, Joe Kelly and Clarence Ward. Everyone who volunteered really wanted to help. They were full of enthusiasm. After the cleanup, the Laughlin volunteers toured the cemetery and were given a brief history lesson by the members who had also helped clean up.
Several other cleanup days have taken place since this one. We would like to thank all of the kind souls who have dedicated their time and equipment to maintaining the cemetery.
If you have any tools or equipment that you would like to donate or allow us to use for that day, please contact us. We are in need of push lawnmowers (3) and weed eaters (5) and rakes (4) and hand blowers (3) and trash bags.
On May 14th, we held a flea market at the Carver School. Thanks to everyone who volunteered, especially Mary and Al Nofi and Mary Cleves.
We gathered in the school yard on June 18, 2016, to celebrate the day that enslaved Africans in Texas learned that they were free. On this day, everyone who attended enjoyed barbeque, music, and fellowship. We cannot wait until next year.
In mid-July we were contacted by two college students named Vinicio and Steve. They asked if we would like to be interviewed for their oral history project entitled Civil Rights in Black and Brown. Along with several SISCA members, they also interviewed several other Brackettville and Del Rio residents about their thoughts and memories about the Civil Rights Movement.
Under the tutelage of professors Dennie Johnson and Veronica Williams, a group of SWTJC students visited Brackettville during August. They are a part of a new program that is bringing the humanities back to junior colleges. They chose, as their first subject, the Black Seminoles. We are happy and honored by this choice. They also conducted interviews during Seminole Days.
September 2016 – Seminole Days
This year, Seminole Days took place from Friday, September 16 to Sunday, September 18, at the Carver School Grounds (Friday and Saturday) and the Seminole Indian Scout Cemetery (Sunday).
Our very first event following Seminole Days was a bbq plate sale, bingo, and dance. It took place on Saturday, October 29. We had a great turnout for the bingo. Everyone had tons of fun, and we look forward to doing this again next year.
SISCA president Augusta “Gigi” Pines had the pleasure of visiting with a PhD candidate and his wife. They had travelled all the way from Germany in order for him to complete his studies.
On Thursday, November 3, we had the pleasure of meeting Pulitzer Prize winning author Tony Horwitz. He came to Brackettville to do research on his latest project. He asked excellent questions about the Black Seminoles and their descendants. We truly enjoyed our time with him.
On December 3, SISCA participated in the Kinney County Frontier Christmas celebration at the Civic Center. The rainy weather caused the festivities to be taken in doors, but that did not dampen anyone’s spirit. We had fun seeing all of the happy faces. We look forward to participating again next year.
Monthly Meeting – January 2017
Our next monthly meeting will take place on Saturday, January 14, at 1PM. Mark your calendars!
Is it time to renew your membership? Our website makes it easy. Just click here to make an online payment. Or you can send us your check by mail if you prefer. Your membership is very important to us.
Thank you for your donations and contributions. They are greatly appreciated. Thank you to the families who keep the graves looking clean, neat, and decorated. We could not maintain without your continued support. Thanks again for helping us keep the cemetery a beautiful, serene resting place for our loved ones.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
We hope your 2017 is filled with prosperity, health, happiness, and love!