Whitehorse The Man

 


 


One form of transportation of which he took great advantage was the freight trains. He would ride the trains from town-to-town whenever possible. Without this transportation some of the places he went to and some of his experiences would never have been possible. On these trains he was able to meet all kinds of people who taught him to have compassion for others who were not as fortunate as he. On this one special train ride, he met a man he found very mysterious. Whitehorse started following him from town-to-town, but he never got to know him very well--the man kept his distance. This man wasn't friendly at all but there was something about him Whitehorse found very intriguing. He was old, with gray hair and the years had not been kind to his face. He always walked around with a little briefcase. He was very protective of this briefcase and wouldn't let anyone near it. After following this man through several towns, the man allowed Whitehorse to share his campfire. It didn't take long for Whitehorse to get a glimpse of what was inside the briefcase. It was full of paper money. On many occasions, he saw the man open the briefcase and it was always full of money. He said he couldn't understand because the man would spend and spend, but the briefcase never emptied. One evening, before falling asleep, the man brought out a little book and began to read from it. Whitehorse had made his bed near the campfire and pretended to be asleep. He could see the man through a hole in his blanket, but the man didn't notice him. Whitehorse was frightened by what he saw. The man's face was transforming before his eyes. As the man read from the book, he was growing younger and younger. From the light generated by the campfire, Whitehorse could see the pain in the man's face during the transformation. In the morning, Whitehorse awoke and walked over to the man who was asleep and looked exhausted. Whitehorse noticed how young the man looked. He couldn't believe his eyes. He saw the little book lying next to the man and picked it up. He slowly opened the book and saw all kinds of symbols he had never seen before. Whitehorse was startled when he looked down and saw the man glaring at him. He dropped the book. The man started yelling at Whitehorse. He opened his briefcase, yanked out some money and threw it at Whitehorse and told him to pack his things and leave, or he wouldn't live to see another day. Well, you didn't have to tell him twice. Whitehorse grabbed his things and scurried out of there like a Jack Rabbit. He thought about it afterwards and wondered why this man got so belligerent. After all, he knew Whitehorse couldn't read and would never be able to tell anyone what was in the book, but then Whitehorse remembered all those symbols and thought, maybe it was "witchcraft." He never saw or heard of this man again. . .he just vanished.

Once while hiking, Whitehorse came across a small puppy in the desert and befriended him. He said that people would take their pets into the desert and abandon them. He loved animals and thought how cruel people can be. He said that if he had the means, he would have saved all of them. Unfortunately people haven't changed over 100 years, we still hear horror stories of abandoned animals. He named his new friend DOG. DOG went everywhere with Whitehorse. They were inseparable. DOG became Whitehorse's companion and protector. DOG wouldn't let anyone near his friend. When Whitehorse traveled into a town, he encountered problems with the town officials. They were always on the lookout for Indians especially children. When the government established Indian Schools, the Indian children lost all hope for freedom. They were snatched from their homes, taken to these schools, had their hair cut (beautiful long braids) and were not permitted to speak their native language. If they were caught speaking their language, they endured repeated beatings and humiliation. When the officials approached Whitehorse, DOG started barking and growling. One of the officials pulled his gun, shot and killed DOG. That day, Whitehorse lost his best friend. The officials took Whitehorse into custody and dragged him to the Indian School from where he repeatedly ran away. Of course, when he would be taken back to the School, the Indian officials would beat him and show the other Indian children that this would happen to them too if they considered leaving. This did not teach Whitehorse to obey. It only made him more determined not to stay at the Indian School. They would beat him again and again, but when opportunity opened, he would find a way out. He lost count of how many times he ran away. After numerous attempts to take him back to the Indian School, the officials gave up. This was a boy who would not be captured and held onto for long. After time, they came to understand and respect the boy they knew as Whitehorse. The town bullies, on the other hand, would constantly harass and beat him. After all, Whitehorse was an Indian, and Indians were "bad and evil savages." After many beatings from the town bullies, Whitehorse took up boxing and became very good at it. He enjoyed going to the town arena, Madison Square Garden, in Phoenix, Arizona. The building on 7th Avenue still exists today but it is now used as a warehouse. By the time Whitehorse went into professional boxing, he was considered one of the best in his day. In 1924, Whitehorse was in the top 10 featherweight division. His boxing name was "Chappie." Everyone knew Chappie. This career was an important time in his life, and he never lost the love of this sport. It enabled him to travel all over the United States and other countries, which otherwise would have been impossible. Later, he would become a manager and trainer.

 

Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2022

1994