Spent some time at 4:30 this morning reading about Tuscumbia. Tuscumbia was the old Chickasaw Chief, or maybe he was actually a shaman or rain-maker. He's described various ways by various people. One thing I know for sure is that he lived in this part of the country in the late 1700's and early 1800's near present day Tuscumbia Alabama and later moved to a spot just south of Biggersville Ms. where he lived out the remainder of his life. I happen to know where Tuscumbia ended up because as a boy I can remember the large stone marker up the hill and a short piece off the highway. This was highway 45 back when it was still a 2-lane. The marker was moved when the highway was widened. I don't know where the marker and the man was moved to, but I'm sure I'll find out sooner or later. I know the family that owns the land. The land is a family farm and it's been in their hands for 100 years or more. The actual grave was moved once when the family built their house on the site. He's (Tuscumbia) still around there somewhere. In time Tuscumbia has lent his name to a city in Alabama, a city in Oklahoma, a mountain in Alabama, a river in Mississippi. "Tuscumbia" is a close adoption of his original Chickasaw name which in their language meant "The Warrior Who Kills". The Chickasaw were a war-like tribe that carried out raids of other tribes as far away as Indiana and Illinois. They had a reputation for not wishing to work the land like their neighboring tribe the Choctaws but instead got by thru hunting and raiding. Tuscumbia had his own reputation even among his peers as being basically one crusty and spiteful, bloodthirsty old bastard. One of the meanest of the bunch.
The thought that hangs in my mind as I read this stuff at 4:30 on a Sunday morning is about how fate and the passing of time can eventually give you the finger and basically tell you to take a hike. This guy was more or less the "assistant king" of a tribe that ruled roughshod over North Alabama and Mississippi for time untold and now few people even know who he was. Even a fewer number even care. Does the medicine man hear the rumble of the diesel trucks at all hours of the day and night? Does his spirit ever wander down the highway to hand around the Citgo station? Could he be pissed-off for all eternity that the Treaty of Pontotoc is no longer being honored, or remembered or discussed? Yep, fate can sure "shoot the bird" to the famous, the proud, the spiteful, the bloody... ….and even "The Warrior Who Kills".