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Video: Cherokee Elder Talks Rock Toys, ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd and Healing Tobacco

Cherokee Elder Blue Hothouse talks about growing up in a sod house playing with rock toys and he "wishes we could go back to those days."
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He talks about growing up in a sod house with cracks between the boards, making it cold and drafty. “You could see the chickens running under the floor, the cracks were so wide,” he says in the video. But there was no complaining, they were thankful for what they had.

“If we had what we have now we wouldn’t have enjoyed what we lived in. We thought that was the way of life, and it was to us,” he says in the video.

He tells us how an acre garden would feed the family the entire year, and how the kids helped alongside mom and dad. But kids had plenty of time for play too.

“Kids today, they don’t know what playing is,” he says. From climbing trees to hunting as kids, but not with guns, he tells us what playing was back then.

“We made toys out of rocks,” he says.

Fishing wasn’t with a store-bought rod either. “I watched my grandpa—he’d take horse mane, horse tail and make fish line out of it… you could catch a 100-pound fish with that, it never broke,” he says in the video.

Hothouse tells us a story about his mother having a run-in with bank robber “Pretty Boy” Floyd. He tried buying huckleberries from her with a suitcase full of money, but she refused. “She wouldn’t sell him that one gallon of huckleberry… That food was more important for her family.”

Hothouse also talks about how tobacco was used, and what plants he used growing up to heal minor wounds.

Watch his full interview below: