Archive for the ‘Nick Lassa’ Category

Important Info About Eagle Feather, Maybe

June 3, 2016

Eagle Feather Carlisle fullback 19221011

When my Eagle Feather research returned me to 1922, the Oorang Indians’ first year of operation, I took a second (or third) look at some newspaper articles I had previously collected. I was forced to search for an early article I for which had neglected to capture the date of and publication name. Mercifully, the easily recognizable article popped up early with the graphic at the top of the page. Rereading “Former Bulldogs Now Important Cogs In Jim Thorpe’s All-Indian Football Machine” brought me back to “Thorpe has unearthed a brilliant fullback in Eagle Feather, from Carlisle.” No new information there, I thought, “At least I know where this came from now.” My eye wandered to a piece immediately below the one I had sought, finding something I’d previously overlooked.

“Most Of Jim’s Indians Are Carlisle And Haskell Men” grabbed my attention. Perusing the piece unveiled “Eagle Feather, fullback who weighs 230 stripped, is a cousin to Bemus Pearce [sic], famous as a tackle in the old Carlisle days. This could lead us to who Eagle Feather really was or it could have been wrong as are so many things in newspapers.

Since we have so little else to go on, let’s assume it is correct. Let’s accept that Eagle Feather was a cousin of Bemus Pierce and that he attended Carlisle. To make our lives as easy as possible, let’s assume (for now) that his last name was Pierce and research Carlisle and tribal records for a person from that family who would have been between 18 and 25 in 1922, based on his youthful appearance in the Oorang photo. I’d also scan Carlisle football files and photographs for a player weighing over 200 pounds (he might have put on a few after Carlisle closed in 1918).

If we come up dry, we’ll have to do some genealogy work to identify Bemus Pierce’s cousins who might fit the criteria. This research will likely require considerable assistance from the tribal librarian. It’s not exactly looking for a needle in a haystack but only by an order of magnitude or two.

Eagle Feather Bemus Pierce cousin 19221011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More About Carlisle Players in 1917 Season

April 17, 2012

The photo on page 30 of Carlisle Indian School’s starting eleven for 1917, the last team that would represent the school, includes one player who would be heard from later, Nick Lassau.  To learn more about Nick, aka Long Time Sleep, read up on the Oorang Indians of 1922 and 1923.  Note that Carlisle’s uniforms had changed to include stripes across the midriff and the stripes that had been below the elbow were moved up above the elbow to align with the midriff stripes.  Page 35 may contain the last thing written about a Carlisle team in a Spalding’s Guide: “Carlisle showed improvement over the previous year, but until they get a team of first rate caliber they will do well not to schedule so many matches with the big colleges.”

Page 41 begins the section on Foot Ball in West Virginia with the All-West Virginia Elevens selected by H. A. Stansbury, Athletic Director of West Virginia University.  It was no surprise that Pete Calac of West Virginia Wesleyan headed the list.  No other Carlisle Indians were on it, most likely due to not playing for a West Virginia school.

Page 50, immediately preceding the Foot Ball in the District of Columbia section, contains a photograph of the Georgetown University team on which the players are numbered but no legend is provided.  Number 2, front row center in a sweater, is Georgetown’s Head Coach, Al Exendine, star end on the great 1907 Carlisle team.  Georgetown was the class of DC college teams as had become the norm under one of Warner’s former assistants.

John Heisman, Head Coach of Georgia Tech, authored the Review of Far Southern Foot Ball.  So, it is no surprise that he named Joe Guyon to his All-Southern Team at half-back.  About his own team, Heisman wrote, “This team was considered by many as the best of the year anywhere.  Whether it was or not need not here be debated.  But certain is that in Strupper, Guyon and Hill it possessed three back-field men who were the equal of any other three that could be named the country over.”  He said nothing about Guyon’s brother.

<next time—More Carlisle Players in The Great War>

Radio Tour Kicks off in Lawrence, Kansas

August 21, 2008

With the release of a new book starts another adventure – radio interviews. The first one I’m doing for Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs is with Warner Lewis on his Lewis at Large Smart Talk Radio show out of Lawrence, Kansas. The interview is being taped and will be aired the week of August 25 to 31 on KLWN Lawrence, KFRM Clay Center, KLKC Parsons and possibly other stations in eastern Kansas. Warner interviewed me two years ago on his sports talk show after Keep A-goin’: the life of Lone Star Dietz was released. It was a great experience. There are strong ties between Carlisle, PA and Lawrence, KS beside the fact that Lone Star Dietz played for Carlisle Indian School and coached Haskell Institute (now Haskell Indian Nations University) in Lawrence. When athletics were deemphasized at Carlisle, the leadership mantle was passed to Haskell where, during the 1920s and very early 1930s, the Fightin’ Indians were, as Ray Schmidt described, the lords of the prairie.

 

But more than the mantle passed from Carlisle to Haskell. Students also transferred to Haskell as well, Nick Lassaw for one. Nick was perhaps better known by the moniker given to him when he played for the Oorang Indians: Long Time Sleep. However, transferring between the two government Indian schools did not start at that time; it had a long tradition. The most notable example was after the 1904 Carlisle-Haskell game held at the St. Louis World’s Fair, the only time the schools played each other, when eight football players including the Guyon and Hauser brothers and several others came east to play for the stronger team.

 

There are other reasons that make Lawrence an appropriate to kick off my radio tour. Bernie Kish, Executive Director of the College Football Hall of Fame, 1995-2005, now lives in Lawrence. Bernie wrote a forward for Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs and I’m waiting for him to write a history of Haskell.

 

Galleys Received

May 27, 2008

The advance reading copies (called ARCs in the trade) arrived for my new book and are being sent out to reviewers. This is a big moment in a writer’s life: seeing thousands of hours of hard work turned into something tangible. In the old days (pre-computer), ARCs were called galleys, bound galleys or galley proofs. Authors, editors and publishers go over these babies with a fine-tooth comb looking for errors, typos or things that have changed since writing was complete. It is an impossible task because, after all this scrutiny, some typos escape and find their way into the final book. But we try.

Another important use of ARCs is to see how the photos and artwork come out in print. Overall they came out very well, better than expected. But a cartoon about the Oorang Indians from a 1922 Baltimore newspaper is too dim. The challenge now is to figure out how to darken it without losing the detail.

This weekend I received some additional information and a correction regarding Louis Island from a family member who happened to see a previous blog. That was fortuitous because I want the book to be as accurate as possible. This blog is already proving to be of some value. That encourages me to continue with it.

Having these ARCs provides local booksellers the opportunity to provide their customers something extra. People can look at an ARC and pre-order the book if they choose. The bonus, besides being sure of getting a copy of the book as soon as it comes out, is to receive an inscription of his or her choice signed by the author. On-line booksellers also take pre-orders but personalized inscriptions are impractical.