I learned this week that a friend from church played with American Indians who lived in Manhattan, New York City, New York, when she was a child.
Now I know Indians lived on this island prior to the arrival of the early explorers who “discovered” America. I didn’t realize that there were still Indians living there in the early 1900s. They lived in Inwood Hill Park, an area that is still set aside as a park north of Dyckman St.
According to the NYC Department of Parks there were still natives living in the area until the 1930s when the Works Progress Administration (WPA) created a large playground in the Southeast portion of the park.
My friend Annie has memories of this time period. The people who lived in her apartment building were asked if they would like to have a playground built across the street. Since Annie was friends with one of the girls who lived there – Annie refers to her as her Indian Princess – her mother did not sign the petition. A few weeks later Annie discovered that all the tents were gone. Her friend and family and all of the others had left.
Annie’s experience reinforced the importance of speaking up for her friends. She still takes the time to support her current friends as they achieve their goals.
You may ask what this has to do with writing a book or creating an information product. It has to do with being open and alert to the unexpected.
In my image of NYC it is full of skyscrapers, apartment houses, and a few beautiful parks. Some of the parks, like Central Park, are large and offer a variety of recreational activities, from running and walking to ice skating. Years ago our son Brian lived across from Ft. Tryon Park with great views of the Hudson River.
We would drive down Dyckman on our way to Brian’s and never suspected there was another large park to our left, much less that Indians were still living there fewer than a hundred years ago.
Now, if I want to write about New York City, I have a whole new element I can add. I could research that time period in New York. I could interview Annie and others who lived in that area “back in the day.” I could look for descendants of the Lenape (Delaware) tribe and ask what memories they have of the area.
These are different elements I could add to a story taking place in that area.
Have you looked into the past of where you live (or lived in the past). What are ways that the past has influenced you and the choices you have made?
Are you ready to share your story and your message with the world? I can help you create a strategy for doing this. Give me a call at 843-593-0045 or use this link to schedule a call to talk about what is involved.