1999-12-09 Seminole Wind

"...We split the wind with the mind of the People!"

Hurricane Floyd
JRobert, James, Raiford Starke, & Chainsaw aboard Gulfstream IV

09.12.99-Seminole Wind

The new Gulfstream IV was King Hussain's old flying ship. However the "Arabian Night" jet-black paint job had been replaced by "Silver Feather White" and a sparkling Seminole Stripe down the side…and the students at Florida State University were about to be in for a treat from songwriter and storyteller Chief James Billie.

We landed at Tallahassee airport 30 minutes after an easy Big Cypress takeoff… the eastern skies looked tumultuous as the onset of Hurricane Floyd was announced. In spite of periodical weather updates, we still didn't know whether we would be safe to fly back that evening.

A crowd began to shuffle into Border's Bookstore about the same time we were tuning up.

James always has a way of giving a dramatic twist to a story to suit the situation…

"We Seminoles are people of the Earth, but in our oral traditions we don't have flutes in our music. We believe that the flute produces a 'little wind' which when let loose in the universe will cry out for its Mother…well, nobody wants to invite a hurricane home!"

"Traditionally each of the seven Clans had certain powers that dealt with the different elements of the Earth. When it came to problems with the wind, it was our Bird Clan's responsibility to send their Medicine Man to council the one's in need. When Hurricane Andrew was threatening our Miccosukee neighbors, we sent Bobby down to handle it."

"Bobby practices the Ancient Arts and at the prescribed moment he's supposed to take a sharp object such as a stick or stone, or in these modern times, a machete, and stab it into the ground. In this way, we must split the wind with the mind of our people!"

After I heard that and the pilot set course for home, nothing could stop me! When we landed back at "Big Cypress International", Hurricane Floyd was ominously beating the hell out of the Bahamas and threatening Miami-Ft Lauderdale with potentially the biggest blow of the century. Tracking positions predicted a possible sweep to Marco Island.

So I raced to back to Smokehouse Bay, hurriedly set four anchors out off "Blue Water", took down the Bimini and secured all lines, stocked up on batteries, water, candles, fuel, and beverages. …Meanwhile, the whole time I was sharpening my machete, my mind kept contemplating what the Chief had said as I wondered aloud… "Hmm…out here on this boat, exactly where am I going to stick this thing?"

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