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Duty Aircraft MechanicNo Comments on Military – Heber Rattler
Heber R. Rattler
by Dora Robinson Stewart
Heber’s dad was a full blood Cherokee Indian. A wonderful man who loved to hunt and eat squirrel, he made his annual trip to Pawnee to engage his passion. He is the one who taught Dora how to clean a squirrel without leaving it dirty.
Lucy Fowler, was Mom’s sister. I don’t remember Aunt Lucy very well. I do remember when she died. My first family death that I could remember. Mom and two of my brothers went to the funeral at Ft. Worth, Tx.
Heber was a pilot during WWII. Saw and was involved in terrible happenings. One time his airplane was shot out from under him. He came home a nervous wreck. Shortly after his return, he was sitting and playing the piano. Aunt Lucy slammed a door, he grabbed a knife and chased her down the street. When he realized what he was doing, he came undone, would never ever do that to his loving morn. He lost his pilot’s license about that time.
He was married three times, I think. His first two wives were white ladies. His second marriage was to an airline stewardess (as they were called at that time) and resulted in one daughter. I know nothing about her since the divorce. Melrose, his last wife, was an Indian (Otoe-Missouri tribe).
Heber could make the piano dance when playing the “boogie”. He and his sister, Oresa, came to Pawnee about 1950. He had a wreck in Ft. Worth, probably under the influence, both he and Oresa were alcoholics. He never went back to Texas after that. Not even to his dad’s funeral. Wilbur, D.B., Hazel, Lee and myself went.
In his youth, he and his family lived in Sand Springs. He spend all holidays and summers with our family. He was like a brother to my older siblings. Loweta talks of one time he walked all the way from Sand Springs.
After coming to Oklahoma he and Oresa lived with us for some time. He later ended up in Oklahoma City. Came to Pawnee, dropping in on Mon and Wilbur at intervals. Wilbur found him more than once passed out in his car in Mom’s yard.
Oresa was married to a guy, not certain of nationality, Navajo was his last name. They had two children. Came to visit one time. Joe was a great guy and really enjoyed being on the farm, even the outdoor toilet was a novelty to him. When they got divorced he got the children. I think living in Chicago. Oresa married a white guy (Lester Hale) from Pawnee. They had two sons. She died from complications from the mumps. I thing in the 1960’s. D.B. And Joyce kept the boys a lot. D.B. Mentioned recently that he wished they had gone ahead and adopted them. The boys ended up in California and lost to the family.
Heber was buried in full Indian dress. Not certain what tribal dress.
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