In the Local Paper

Patawomeck tribe and Stafford field hockey boosters team up to dedicate monument

A nearly completed monument at Stafford High School pays tribute to the local Patawomeck tribe and decades of excellence from the school’s field hockey team.   Peter Cihelka, The Free Lance-Star

Adele Uphaus for the Free Lance-Star

A unique new monument at Stafford High School pays tribute to both the local Patawomeck tribe and decades of excellence in field hockey. Tribal leaders and the Stafford High School Field Hockey Boosters club teamed up last year to plan and execute the monument, which will be dedicated this fall. “What we realized was that we have had quite a few Patawomeck members who have played field hockey here, and the school’s mascot is the Indian,” said Dave Lemke, vice president of the boosters club. “Our coach also claims citizenship. So there’s really an unbelievable connection there and it’s a natural tie.”

The boosters club worked with Brad Hatch, an anthropologist and director of the newly opened Patawomeck Museum and Cultural Center, to research and design the monument. It will consist of a stamped patio of concentric rings with four benches and two signs — one, authored by Hatch, telling the story of the Patawomeck people and their encounter with John Smith in 1607, and the other telling the story of the field hockey program, which boasts 26 championships and 66 alumni who have earned the Virginia High School League’s all-state honor or the all-metro honor that predated it.

The concentric rings etched into the patio are representative of how the Patawomeck people view the world and their place in it, Lemke said. The outer ring represents water and the next represents the barricade the tribe erected around their village. The inner two rings represent corn and fire.

The goal is for the site to be a living monument, Lemke said. Each year, the plaque noting the team’s championships and honors will be removed and updated. The boosters club is seeking community input to flesh out its records of team achievements prior to 1998, Lemke said. “Please share them with the Boosters so we can acknowledge the beginnings of a storied program in our community,” he said.

The greater Stafford community has already played a part in bringing the monument to fruition. Concrete for the patio was donated by Aaronal Homes and craftsmanship by the team at Builder’s Choice Concrete. Willie Holloway, assistant manager at Lowe’s, helped coordinate the donation of the four benches surrounding the patio and Sherwin Williams in Fredericksburg donated staining supplies, cloth and brushes. The art work was completed by Stafford High School art students with their teacher, Brenda Williams.

Lemke said he hopes the monument will become a place for people to gather after field hockey games and learn how the program has grown and matured over the years, while at the same time recognizing the contributions of the Patawomeck tribe to Stafford High School athletics and the wider community. “We’re really proud of our heritage and our high school,” Lemke said.

Comment: Nothing earth shattering and certainly nothing of great national or international import. But it pleased me to no end that this was the lead story in my Saturday morning paper. It’s a story of good people doing good things without any drama. My guess is that these kinds of stories are replicated across this country on a daily basis. But you’d never know that from the main stream media and certainly not from social media. 

As I go about the mundane tasks of living in Stafford, I note that mutual respect, courtesy and friendliness is pervasive. It’s as if everyone here goes to great pains to be upstanding citizens and human beings. This happens every day. My personal, unscientific theory is that the high concentration of active, retired and former military here has something to do with it. On the whole, we’re a disciplined lot instilled with a vested interest in the welfare of those around us. Obviously there are pockets in this country where this isn’t so. There are real shitheads walking among us, but I bet the upstanding citizens far outnumber the shitheads. Again, you wouldn’t know that from the main stream media and certainly not from social media. 

I’ve followed the progress of the Patawomeck tribe since I arrived in Stafford in 1995. The mostly fairy tale of Pocahontas and John Smith involved the tribe. There was great excitement about twelve years ago when Wayne Newton came to Richmond from Las Vegas to speak on behalf of his tribe when they sought Virginia state recognition. Newton spent a lot of his youth in Stafford with his Patawomeck grandfather. He showed the Virginia Assembly a framed photo of his grandfather and a peace medallion that was handed down to him. The tribe won state recognition along with seven other Virginia tribes. Things have been going well since then.


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21 Responses to In the Local Paper

  1. jld says:

    I bet the upstanding citizens far outnumber the shitheads.

    Of course, but that is not good enough, a mere 1-2% of shitheads is sufficient to ruin a community.
    (read that in a sociology text for which I don’t have the reference at hand)

    • TTG says:


      Very true. I think I read that, too. I saw a Lily Tomlin quote the day she died very much in line with your observation.

      “Ninety eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.”

    • F&L says:

      Absolutely dead on.

      I take issue with Jordan Peterson on a number of things, particularly I think his fame has gone to his head a bit and he likely quietly fronts for Canada’s fossil fuel industry a bit, and of course would never ever get any exposure unless he was a full throated capitalist and denigrator of socialism. That said, he is a very accomplished psychologist, exceedingly learned and current in the field and his work informing the public about the dangers of benzodiazepines deserves a Nobel prize. Here he really shines because although he is catering to a Daily Telegraph agenda (which I don’t disagree with, btw) he is within his field of mastery and excellence especially addressing your observation about the very small percentage who are “dark triad” psychopaths & cohort. Note the predator – prey ecosystem balance and imbalance be points to, as the % of psychopaths oscillate between roughly 1% to 5 %. When its too high, the nice trusting people unite to diminish it, for their own survival. Killed off to 1%, they then grow back because of complacency. We’re in an era where it’s really unprecedented imo and that of many others. Is it unfortunate that this uses Trudeau as a jumping off point because it’s such a universal issue? Maybe but given the sensation seeking hooks that are needed to get people’s attention these days, and that Trudeau is in my opinion easily as evil as he says (and works for Klaus Schwab and his demonic genocidalists at the WEF), no it isn’t.

      Jordan Peterson: Narcissist Justin Trudeau has never said a true word.

  2. F&L says:
    What I Believe
    Living Philosophies XIII
    by Albert Einstein

    Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose.

    From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men – above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received. My peace of mind is often troubled by the depressing sense that I have borrowed too heavily from the work of other men.
    Continues at length at link. With a clutzy translation in a place or two. Unfortunately, TTG, you won’t like most of the rest of it. Einstein was an outstanding mind, one of the greatest ever, but somewhat of an idealist concerning human nature. Freud explained it to him in their 1930s dialogue “Why War,” which remarkably but not surprisingly has been slightly sanitized in part from the web, primarily Einstein’s remarks on the press. E asked F if there were any prospects for humanity to become peaceful, for war to cease. Virtually none was Freud’s response, not for any reasons you military geeks would adduce “haha, there’ll never be and end to war, I’ll tell ya that, yup yup,” but due to the nature of the human nervous system of the carnivorous creature who evolved within bloody contexts of hunting and battle, its prey literally becoming other members of its own species up to and including cannibalism and its reflexes designed for fight or flight or else perish. It’s an animal with a big forebrain built on top of a core not dissimilar from a Hyena’s. I think personally I’ve helped a few old ladies cross the street. I even rescued a young man twice my size from drowning while the lifeguards drooled reading the newspaper (no knock on lifeguards, they’re awesome usually). But I know I’m a rotten no good animal deep down. A selfish, horny, lazy bastard who eats too much. But I never subscribed to Pornhub. (Too much free stuff.)

    • Billy Roche says:

      Violence, if you prefer competition, is life. From the weed suffocating the rose, to the thief who kills and takes, the nation which subdues another, “your” survival threatens mine. Competition for life’s resources is only overcome by submission and death. Freud had it right. Competition is hard wired into plants and animals. Nice story about those Virginia Indians. But they were in the way of the English who needed their lands in order to survive (and like organisms tend to do; grow). There was never any other possibility to the story of European conquest of N/S America. It was life or death for Indian or European. The Patawomack (and all Indian “nations”) either threw the European into the sea or died. They died. The recent reverence for all things Indian (watched Avatar the other night) strikes me as latent guilt for genocide. Should descendants of the European killers of the original Americans feel guilty? As Sinatra sang, “that’s life”.

      • F&L says:

        Billy Roche,

        You’ve finally capitalized your names as is fit, especially for this wonderful short essay above, your finest in my opinion.

        Did you know that your last name is an anagram for Ocher, my favorite color when I dabbled at painting? An earth color. Kindly excuse me, I have been severely chastised and threatened with banishment for word play.

        It’s my way of saying Thank You. My mom grew up on Cherokee Street and I’ve known Native Americans intimately. I’m not sure if I like them, but they added immeasurably to my life, which in retrospect, probably didn’t take much.

        As Tony Bennett sang, immediately after meeting Frank Sinatra and his friends one evening in an alley: ‘I Left My Heart In San Francisco.’

        • TTG says:


          Don’t fret, my friend. Your word play will not bring about your banishment. An eye roll, maybe, but never banishment. I did a lot of drawing with pastels as a youth. My favorite Grumbacher chalk pastel was also ocher. I don’t know why it appealed to me, but it did. SWMBO, OTOH, can’t stand the color.

          • F&L says:

            In classical oil painting, where economy of means is a must, ocher can be most frugally blended with only yellow, red and black. If a painter of old couldn’t blend from basics, he or she couldn’t drive down to the art shoppe and purchase expensive imported tints or order them online.

            Another fantastic thing which I never knew till I took oil painting lessons in a large class taught by my teacher and absolute master of every style ever from photorealism to impressionism (and former collegiate wrestling champion) Roger whose surname I’ve forgotten, was parsimony of palette loading. If you’ve tried oils on the traditional oval pallettes with holes for the practitioner’s thumb, you know how clumsy any painter quickly becomes and likely to succumb to erroneous mixing due to overcrowded paint-blob propinquity – so you want your fewest essentials in say the upper left hand corner, with a few other selected interior palette regions for mixing blends. I’m certain you guessed long ago that the curvy pallete countors were another clever foresight of our forebears – the utility of French curves for sketching elegant continuous curvilinear shapes. Now why would an artist want that?

  3. Fred says:

    Pocahontas fairy tale? You mean Disney lied to us in our youth? At least they aren’t succumbing to the manufactured idiocy surrounding professional team logos. Is that field hockey the same as lacrosse played elsewhere?

    • TTG says:


      Field hockey and lacrosse are similar, but there are a lot of differences. Field hockey sticks are more like hockey sticks. Most of the ball action is on the ground.

      The Stafford High logo represents the local Patawomeck tribe and is not a caricature at all. It was approved and voted on by the tribe with the vote of 250 – 0 supporting keeping the school logo.

      • scott s. says:

        When we moved to Annapolis (wife had duty at USNA) it was interesting how important girls’ field hockey (fall) and lacrosse (spring) was in the community. Growing up in Wisconsin I knew nothing of it.

        • TTG says:

          scott s,

          They do seem to be concentrated in the northeast and mid Atlantic regions. Unlike ice hockey which I’m sure you were inundated with growing up in Wisconsin. At RPI in Troy, NY, it was the biggest sport on campus. Besides the varsity and JV teams, every fraternity had at least one and usually two teams. There were three rinks in the area and games were scheduled almost 24/7. An outdoor rink at three in the morning in upstate NY made for a damned cold game.

          • Billy Roche says:

            I should know but, is it Chapter 9 that w/h federal money to schools which don’t make male and female sports 100% equal?? Years ago I coached boys soccer in the fall. In the spring I coached girls soccer. But some feminists said the “better” season for girls soccer was the fall and our school HAD to offer girls soccer in the fall. They did and that tore the heart out of fall Field Hockey. Round about then, Lacrosse was offered for boys in the spring. It wasn’t long b/f school had to offer a girls Lacrosse team also in spring. That ruined the girls softball and spring track programs but the sports femonazis satisfied their politics. Oh yeah, but the girls came up short.

  4. different clue says:

    If corn is important enough to Patawomeck cultural memory that it merits one out of four rings, are any Patawomecks or supporters making efforts to find out what kind of corn the Patawomecks were growing at the time of John Smith’s arrival, and whether it is possible to find and revive that corn today?

  5. al says:

    Deadly Baggatiway [lacrosse] Game in Mackinac Straits at Fort Michilimackinac in 1763.
    Each year the community around Mackinaw City, Mi, reenacts the attack by local tribe on the British Fort. The Brits were watching outside the fort while tribes were competing in their favorite game…the Brits leaving the fort gates wide open and their weapons inside.

    • Billy Roche says:

      Pontiac’s War on the Brits; in hopes of luring the French back into what would b/c the American North West Ttrys.

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