Title: Interview with Pete Davis Dyer (November 4, 1975)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007870/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Pete Davis Dyer (November 4, 1975)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: November 4, 1975
Subject: Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
Mississippi Choctaw.
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00007870
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Mississippi Choctaw' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: MC 48

Table of Contents
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Full Text

This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.

This oral history may be used for research,
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For all other permissions and requests, contacat the
the University of Florida.

Miss Choc 48AB Tape A

Sub: Pete Davis Dyer

Int: John Lee Chickaway

Faron Gardner



Page -1-

?: ..... John Lee what? Chickaway and Baron Gardner. You boys go to school

at Central?

?; Yeah.

?: O.K.
? i T C Hf V4CJr t
?: Uh John Lee Chickaway raise your hand please. Uh today's the fourth of November,

1975 and we're interviewing uh Pete Davis Dyer. The interviewers are ...

J: John Lee Chickaway.

B: Baron Gardner.

?: Thank you boys. I'm not gonna tell ya who I IcI lexwhile ago.

But I was born and raised...... (tape cuts off) ChoctQws and I was born

in CftrAlp' County. Just as you entered into Arkansas....... from Arkansas

into Oklahoma. And........ you boys wanted to know about my... how long I've

been practicing this.... practice on this hem Well I was born with it.

I was born with it and the only time that I have missed for sixteen years of

it, cause I didn't do no Ie)|-o work because I was in service sixteen years

in the Navy, five years was with the Civil Service. I worked with the Federal

Bureau of Investigations from Washington D.C. to..... New York and I'm....

I'm a fully retired..... yet I'm working amon the ChoctAws, not only ChoctAws.

I'm working with the KzauaciLLiees ro3 A'DoO ( cl

Just name it,and I got it all. I went as far as to New Mexico, Albuquerque

and then around Albuquerque into .'c_,_'nDo A PAo 4E reservation, [_ c

Miss Choc 48AB Tape A -2-

P: reservation and I worked with uh StNV6 nrkreservation in South Dakota, border

of the North Dakota, and down here in Mississippi. But however, I will make

Mississippi my home this time. In this year I will move into Mississippi
for indefinite. Ya know I like to work with the Indians as well I do with

the O" 7' 1 I've got a lot of a ulEo L"' Lpatients in the state

of Oklahoma. Not only in the state of Oklahoma, but up in ..... uh New

Mexico. I've treated some people from California, "aPtLos even so

I must be pretty good. I don't brag on myself. I let the other people tell

you body. I want you boys to know that this is one thing we all ought

to learn to do, is be friends to each other and not hate one another. Be friends

so that we will work together. And you know, that's what we need mostly. Not

bite one another's back. And I want all these people that are here that knows

these herbs. Will be great help to me because I work here day and night, get

very tired sometimes. Sometime I started working in the evening, afternoon,

and work up to about ten, 11:00 before I eat my supper. So you can figure out

that I got a long hours boys. Got long hours of work and...... (coughs) Excuse

me. I had a .... I had some patients come see me again this morning. I am

free right now...... to set here and talk to you guys...... and it won't be long

they'll be somebody here cause I'm looking for it and I can feel it. I can

feel em coming. I can tell they're..... they're on their way. You'll meet

some Choctaws. You boys going back -ee *o You'll meet some Choctaws

coming this way. They're coming to see me. And ya know that... that's good

because they need my help. I have many patients..... says they went to a hospital

and had not get no help. And they come see me and they say "Well we should

have seen you last year. We should have seen you last year so that we could

feel better as we are now cause we oughta be.... we'd have seen you last year

we'd been a ..... first in the.... have nothing wrong with us". Ya know that,

Miss Choc 48AB Tape A -3-

P: the way the Choctaw's talking. (laugh) And I have to.... I just said it

like they said,ya know. And so.... I figured lots of Choctaws here need my

help. I will' know after next week as whether I will make my home here

indefinitely or not. But right at the present time, this is my home. You

boys can figure out what I mean by that. Because I'm gonna settle here

in Mississippi. Ya know even nurses in..... from Indian hospital come see

me. They wanted..... they wanted a treatment from me. I don't mind. I

don't mind help them.because they need my help. I'll be.... ( I'm always

glad to help them. And here's another thing, boys I'm gonna tell you the

truth. Like I said, I was born with this _______\ and I really do use

it. They come in handy. And I have,2_ kin folk... is...8 all been in

some kind of office. I don't need no office. Shoot I can set here like

this and ...- and help these people is what I wanna do. My great granddaddy

was a ... was a United States senator, served eighteen years and he died.

He had two.uh four more years before ya know .... before his time expired

but he died before then. And my uncle was representative of state of Oklahoma

and now I gotta third cousin, is a chief of his Choctaw tribe in the state

of Oklahoma and I got a second cousin, he's the head speaker of the congress.

His name is Cw-A\ foct\ Of course if I wanted... I if I wanted to brag on

my uh my background, why I do this and I do that and I can do this,but I don't

want to do that. I want the other people to tell me how good I am, how good

my medicine worked, how much my medicine has helped them. That's what I wanna
know. If I help them, yes they'll just pick on.3. to death. If I don't, still

I'm gonna find a way...kf way to cure him. Cause I have a good friend right

here on You know what is? .

(mumbles and giggles in the background) Do you know what that is? Vegetable?

Miss Choc 48AB Tape A -4-

?: a vegetable.

P: Well..... there's a church house on the other side. This boy lost his mind.

He lost his mind and he was... boy I guess it last him about two year. And I

tease him and I said...% I said to this friend of mine I said "Now it's gonna
take me to __ _______ I sad0o
take me to o-L eARfo saidYou watch!, and he did. He put it down in

his memory book and this guy come to himself .... exactly to that date. And

I mean he wasn't no.... wasn't nouhten to twelve hours different just exactly

that date. Year. And now he's teaching and he'sah7t_ys, a singing director

for the Baptist Association in the state of Mississippi .... for the Choctaws.

Ya know I think that's good. -CbhM glad I.... I'm glad I can say I helped him.

And there's another friend of mine he had met. Well he was down and he couldn't

walk and they said he was gonna die that way. I got him on his feet and he's

doing just fine. And I've treated lots of people. I've treated I guess

might... ya know all the reservation here. I got some people from.... from

all over the ..... all over the Mississippi come see I know of.

A lot of people be -in the -me if somebody died or if somebody
was seriously sick here, whenever they see line of cars out here in this yard.

But I keep it that way. I s o- parking lot, that's lof i--- (laugh) But

ya know I'm happy and glad that I could help these people. And if there's

anybody that need my service and if they are able to.... able to ride, I'd

like for them to come see me cause when I leave here, go to their place, somebody

else come here wanting to see me ya see and I aint got time to treat them and

treat em over yonder. So you see I have..... I have a full hand. I have

full time job. I'm on the job twenty-four hours a day might as well say.

Got me out of bed here 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 in the morning

they come .... get me out of bed. One man told me, he said he'd come here
C ?3 CZ
four times the other day when I went to B-5. B-5. While I was there, he

come here four times and I was there twenty-four hours. Everytime I leave

Miss Choc 48AB -5-

Tape A

P: this house there's somebody here.... needing my help. So if they could, I'd

like to see them come here because here I can treat all of em. But like as

it is the guy has to wait on me and wait on me and maybe it's two or three weeks

before I can get to him. It takes a good while to do it. Ya know I don't

use no drugs, I don't use no drugstore stuff but I have..... wrote some
Pq C c-
pescriptions because I am lienAed. Chairman of the..... Once up a time, I

was a chairman ..... T-.as the All American Indian Medical Association. When

you're a member to that, friend you got yourself a job because the Indians

are looking up to ya. A lot of people think I was their God. -awD
P, 0 r oh Indian is the r i. Is. (wS,
0P (-'I Indian is the te f-Kantsas, the reservation.

They think I'm their God..... that comes there every six months. You can see

them camping right all around the house. They come up there and they stay.

When I'm there three weeks they burn up many woods up there.... to get treatment

from me. When I leave there, everybody leaves too. There's a vacant house

there and it's for me. And it's gonna be vacant for a long time when I move

to Mississippi and I hate that. I've got a letter right here in this closet

proving that many many people wanted to see me. Even then wanted to see me.

They were... Ya know I talk too much I guess but they said they they enjoyed

my friendship. Well I enjoy their friendship. So ya-see fellows, I will

enjoy your friendship)and anytime anybody wanted to see my power,can stand it,

and if you boys can stand it, I'll even take you down there right now in

this woods. If you ... If you will not run,, I've got the power down there.

Boys when you see that power iro RpiDyou can say that's it. You can run.

I: What kind of herbs do you use?

P: All kinds.

I: Uh what do you use most?

Miss Choc 48AB -6-

Tape A

P: I don't supposed to tell you that.

I: Oh you're not?

P: No.

I: O.K. (chuckle) ZC

P: Ask me any kind, and you'll not get answered. (laugh)- What do you wanna

know? I get all my herb out in the woods. I bring mine in, I bring my herbs

in, put it up thinking it'll last me a week and sometime it last me hour'. TTP,,5s
kow.j rrjm1
come-in-here I make. What you boys wanna know? I use this right here..... this

buffalo horn to do blood outlet. This buffalo horn is what I use. This is

buffalo horn and I got a cow's horn and I got a one deer horn. Just work

with three of em. Now what else you wanna know? You want know... You want

know if I do any dance to heal the people like they do around the other places

ya knowand call themself medicine man. They wear that big old mask ya know

and then they got that rattler shaking and sayiA howwa wa wa how wa wa. I

don't do that. No I don't do that but I set down and talk with em. And when

I use this herb I mean when I use this horn, people out here use a razor blade.

I don't. I use a glass. I use a glass..... and I sterilize my horn every time

I use it..... I sterilize it and..... another thing is this. I don't drink

when I'm using this horn so therefore I don't let people come here drinking

and if anybody gonna drink here at all I'd rather do it myselfand I don't

do it.

I: Do you use anything else?

P: Huh?

I: low& Vr a horn. You use your horn -

P: Yeah, I use a horn. Right here.


P: Yes I do. Yes I do. I use vine, barks, and I've used roots is all I use. Now

Miss Choc 48AB -7-

Tape A

P: is there anything else you want to know? Ya know a lot of time when a doctor

put you on a diet they really put you on a diet. How can you get strong when

you're on a diet and your body's getting weak? They're takin a medicine. How

can you get strong? My trouble is this I'll say eat more. It'll make you stronger

with that medicine I give. And I'm going to Old Mexico sometime next month so

I believe I'll be gone at least a week. But I'm goin after that diabetes

medicine. You hear about sugar diabetes. I know where there are some diabetes

medicine. I had that here one time. I think it was about two years ago when

I had a here. Them doctors over at the Indian hospital complained that they

have lost seventy-five per cent of their patients, diabetes uh patients.

Anybody kept it up that hospital liable to close down for diabetes.

But I didn't do it cause the doctor gotta have pay too)ya know.: (chuckle) Now

what else you wanna know?

I: What kind of diseases do you cure?

P: I can cure diabetes, high blood pressure, and I can cure asthma. Name it, but

I will not take cancer. I can prolong it, that's all I can do. I can give

my herbs and prolong it for so long. That's all I can do. Of course it'll

take at least three years to get down to that root to dry it out. And if

I can prolong it for three years I can cure it. But you.... just think, one

person 4 4-J4cs three yearsVa know he's gonna get tired of it after awhile.

He or she gonna get tired of em, that's why they quit ya see. '1t ,qti ItlyW(

0f not helping me, and still their cancer's not enlarging ya see, getting smallerao sAfAllA

and but yet they.....lot of em ya know just thinking well I'm not gonna get

well and they quit and then ya got work ya see. S9cPpcu,. wo'"V All

right now what? V.D. V.D., I can take that too. And Johnny don't come

Miss Choc 48AB -8-

Tape A

P: don't come to me with you're V.D. because I won't treat you.

J: (laugh)

P: You too. (all laugh loudly)
I: Uh these people that come to see you, what type of treatment do youtwith them.

P: They want.... Uh when I ch eck them, if they want a OIooA IV I do I do I do

that to themself and then I use herb and make this medicine. But I have to

dig it. I go and dig up the herb, if I have to go get the bark of the tree

so that I can do it. Either way. Now, anything else?

I: What do you do with the blood after you get it out?

P: Hmmm?

I: The blood?

P: That's my business.

I: Oh.

P: (chuckle) I'm not supposed to tell you that either.

I: O.K.

P: Is there anything else? What do you wanna know about L[.0o'C"- (chuckle)

Don't come to me for that cause I don't believe in that. They

call it People who make women
o- ._ I don't believe in that simply because here's one thing. You're

just costing yourself a lot of trouble because when ya.... when a women is lookek-

that way to that man and they come to me, big boy I'm gonna make you suffer for it.

And I fe\ ya, big boy you're gonna suffer. That's the way I work

it. God gave you a mouth to speak and if you can't talk women into going with

ya, what's you's trying to use as herb to her make her come to you. Aint no

sense in using the herb. And I know all about it too. I know where there at.

I know a lot of em but I wouldn't give it to ya. You'll ask me that and I'll

Miss Choc 48AB -9-

Tape A

P: laugh at you. I'd laugh at your guestioU and tell you to go home. Most of you

I mean I wouldn't -14e- you. Because God gave you a mouth and words to speak

and if you like that girl and she don't like you,what you doing now? You're

just ruining their mind.

I: (mumbles and can't understand what is being said)

P: Can I get him out? Yeah. This is what this guy done when I'm talk anybody.

He lost his mind over that. Over that. Over these.... they went to that

o- mdvo here and other places and got these medicines that caused him

to lose his mind. Well I got him out of it)and he's doing good now. And I

don't want nobody, I mean nobody, try to interfere with that and if he ever

try that again, I'm gonna make them suffer for the rest of thedlives. I don't

care who they are. Now, is there anymore? Ask me any kind of question you

want. If I can answer it I'll tell ya, if I can't I will tell you. Like

I did awhile ago. That's my business.

I: Uh...... uh what type of ya know..... problems when they come over here?

What kind of problems do they have to come see you?

P: All kinds. All kinds.

I: Uh what's the worst kind?

P: Diabetes....... and beini roped by another man orAanother woman.

I: What about the least?

P: Mmmm?

I: The least.

P: The least?

I: Yeah.

P: Headache. Been havin headaches for so long. Even like that guy come see me

he lived at Fair River Community come see me one time and you know what he said?

He said uh doctor. She told him, she says "Now you are fixed to

Miss Choc 48AB -10-

Tape A

P: have this headache and die with it". And that scared him. And she told him,

she says, "Now I can cure you if you'll pay me $160.00... .ilnow". Well, he

didn't have $160.00 and he come over and somebody's talking to him about it

and he says well, says "You go over and see him". So he comes see me. It

didn't even cost him 100, it didn't even cost him sixty.T P-f w- IM, I $ T

I used this right here. D v His headache was gone.

See a lot of people do that in order to get money. The money is what they're

after. I'm after their health not their money. I'm after their health. I'd

rather ha.... I'd rather see people in good health)
I can't see no sense in that. Any more?

I: You said you had 1J- lorJ .

P: Mmm hmmm. Yeah. That's a different type of a.... that's a different type of

a pain.

I: It's a different pain?

P: Yeah.

I: Uh what is a deer horn used for?

P: Hmmmm?

I: A deer horn, what is it used for?

P: Deer horn?

I: Yes.

P: 5A like you a small Ehtg here. Like you got i'- Anl keep aggitating

and you can't stand it anymore. Why I just g-t0aon there and stuck that

\ uh deer horn on there and take the whole pain out.

I: What about or._ 3 1.o-r .

P: The buffalo.... the buffalo is for all strooooong people. I mean hard one.

Hard case is what I use buffalo for. Buffalo's the strongest one and the cow'S

Miss Choc 48AB -11-

Tape A

P: is not too strong.

I: What's it used for?

P: Well, I use it for other pain and stuff. Hurtin Is there any more?

I: Is anyone else..... uh anyone in your family....

P: Huh?

I: Is anyone else in your family a I ltJe mA ?

P: I'm the only one. A gift to me when I was.... before I was born. So I'm the

only one out the Dyer family who's a doctor. None so ever. Any thing else?

I: Ihiu a;J ouL \LelJ 0 rzcnL, w of.o 1) ju.-civr 0. -oieTOr

P: Oh you wanna know how did I..... how did I know that I should become a doctor?

(chuckle) That's easy. I played with em all the time when I was a little boy.

Ya know I was born with veil over my head.

I: (",1 7

P: Veil.

I: A veil?

P: Mmm hmm. Look like a...... Ya know you've seen these women wearing veils?

I: Yeah.

P: I was born with one on my head.

I: Born with it?

P: Yeah. And I was born in the lucky star with it. I was born under lucky star.

Is there any more? Any more questions?

(End side one)

I: Uh could you tell us how.... How uh how do you.... Uh could you tell .....

How do you cure the common cold? ou co A ?

P: Yeah, I can cure a...... common cold, but I will not tell you what I use. Is

that fair enough?

Miss Choc 48AB -12-

Tape A

I: Yeah. (pause) Uh you said you finished high school.

P: Yeah, yeah. I went to for the-frst grade and then I went to

'D -seuhrt-a jd-),t e 'TrA-'tK'I CJ__ _e years. I made Ph.D.

(chuckle) Ya know here's another thing too, while I was studying psychology.

Peoples are all interesting. Ya know you tell em the things and they can all

get interested and then first thing ya know when it comes right down to the....

right down to the pinpoint, why they'll back out on you. And ya know that's...

that's a that's a that'suhway the people live, that's the way the world goes

now. And that's the way I found out when I got separated too. (laugh) When

I got my divorce and boy I mean it was right quick too that I got cut. She

says,"Now I want you to get you divorce". I said "Who me"? She says "Yep".

I said)"No". I said)"You wanted it". I said "You get it". And I says "I'll

help ya pay for it". So I did. That's how come I'm here and my.... by my first

wife who is deceased. You know what deceased don't you?

I: Yeah.
S, dltil
P: Well, when she died I had one boy by then. Now this boy of mine is at New York

University studying to be a medical doctor. He's gonna be Vio.j' L doctor and

he is best on the cancer. He does the surgery work and all. And right now he

went to school last September, last October he interns through that month. Now

he's in school. Next month he will be interning again in ____ hospital

in New York City. For the next three years or whenever he finish that next three

years, he says he's going back up to Oklahoma and work in Oklahoma City at

St. Anthony Hospital. They done appoint him up there. They done got his

number.,A- ^f p \/ ^.^ I wish he was here with me because I could use him. If

I get a cancer patient here, why see I can use him... at this Indian hospital.

But he will not, f#said he will not, come down to Mississippi.

Miss Choc 48AB -13-

Tape A

P: And I said "Why"? And he said "Dad", he says "We're from the.... from the

country where there's plenty air". And so I said O.K. have it your way cause

I'm gonna work in the- ei. And he says you go on down there. And he's twenty-

four years old. Of course, I'm like Jack Benny, I'm still thirty-nine. (chuckle)

f die with thirty-nine years of age. No, I'll be sixty-six my next

birthday and I look every bit of it too. (chuckle) That's what a lot of em

say. Lot of em say that. One of em guessed my age w v- forty-five

and I said "Yep, you hit the nail ono the head". Now is there any more questions?

I: Uh do you wanna tell us ya know... ,, you get paid for your services, don't ya?

P: Oh yeah.

I: What's the highest you ever got paid?

P: Ten dollars.

I: What's the lowest?

P: A dollar.

I: (laugh)

P: Now what?

I: Uh you don't use any other animal ya know?

P: What kind of animal?

I: Besides a deer and everything and the horn?

P: Well that's about the only fe thingrthat's got the horns on there.

I: (laugh)

P: I don't use no billy goats. Now what else you want to know? I'm not like

\okn' NokWT, family ya know...use skunk oil.

I: (laugh)

P: I'll guess you wanna know about the..... You think I'm a medicine man. No, I'm

a herbal. I'm a herbal doctor.

Miss Choc 48AB -14-

Tape A

I: Mmm, oh herbal. h

P: Medicine man is Aw S'rlt ya know pour w b ? Lay their patient down

sideways, Poun5s^Ib-pour sand all around it and then draw a picture and then

he puts that mask onya know, Re get that rattle, and jump and down and holler
bi %I
Waa yaaa yaa ya ha yaa yaa ha ha ya. Still lost their patient. I've took

on many patients that hasn't been treated oki-- for the medicine man.

I: So you consider yourself a herbal doctor?

P: Yeah. Yeah that's right down my line buddy. I don't cure people o de4i

I'm not a taxi driver ya know. Uh what else?

I: What's the difference between herbal doctor and medicine "n ?

P: You want to know about medicine man. Medicine man is just like I told you.

I'm a herbal doctor and I get mine and like I told ya, I get mine out in the

woods. I dig it up, I'll either take the bark or I'll use vines. :Use plants.

Now what else?

I: Uh is grass good for instance?

P: Yes, to a certain extent.

I: Are trees?

P: Yeah, to a certain extent. There are certain trees that are good medicine.

I: Uh what type of tree do you use on oe' oFTf

P: I aint gonna tell ya.

I: Uh have you ever had a fright..... frightening experiences?

P: Who me?

I: Yeah.

P: What there is to be scared of? Come on you fellows, you gonna ask me a question,

don't be scared.

I: Come on John.

Miss Choc 48AB -15-

Tape A

P: Man that's what I'm here for.... v# That's what ya'll are interviewing me for)

so ya'll go ahead and ask me questions. If I can answer it I'll tell you)

and if I can't I'll tell ya the same.

I: Uh do Choctaws uh...... Choctaws and uh ya know white... white people, do they

come here by uh ..........

P: For treatment?

I: Yeah. Do they have the same treatment?

P: No they don't. In a way I do, in a way I don't. See, lot of em come here for

IDvo Ic- Lot of em.lot of emlot of the old timers believe that

oo li .- Well I've used that. A lot of em come here for

treatment of their pains and stuff ya know. One come here to me for high

blood pressure cause there wasn't no way doctors in the hospital could've.. .

I pulled it down for him. Now, last time he told me his high.... his blood

pressure was 118 over 20. Ya know that's good. That's excellent. The only

hep- __is this. Winston. I smoke all the time. Chew tobacco.

And you know people that use these, they gotta have their drinks. Well, when

I get through using this you know what I use to disinfect my mouth with?

Chewing tobacco. (chuckle)

I; Chewin tobacco?

P: Yep. So you see I don't drink. Just like I told you before, that if anybody

was gonna come here drinking, I'd rather drink it here myself.

I: How come uh.... how come e c fAt '.' drink uh whiskey rw. y 't.-:'

P: Treat the people? Treat the patients?

I: Yeah.

P: I'll tell ya the reason why. They gonna turn out to be alcoholic ya see and

they learn to use -irS oaJ and that's that's the way they get their money

Miss Choc 48AB -16-

Tape A

P: to buy whiskey with. And you bring them free whiskey. That's what they want

it for. That's what I'm gonna do, I'll have this room full. You can look

in my trash can there. You won't find no beer or no whiskey or antiseptic

or anything. You might find some tobacco juice in there. (chuckle) Of

course I drink a lot of.... lot of cold drink, pop. And I wouldn't reeetmend

people to take a Coca-Cola or RC. That's what I tell my patients. Don't drink

Coke, no RC, no beer, no whiskey, no wine, no antiseptic.

I: How come?

P: Huh?

I: How come?

P: You take a Coke and pour it in here..... and tomorrow you look at it they'll

be holes in these cans, in this ash tray. It'll eat the lining of your stomach.

That's how come we have today as many patients with a stonph trouble. Drinking

too much Coke, whiskey, whiskey and beer... # and wine. Wine ruin your mind.

Antiseptic, I would 't reccomend they do not even to my doctor or not even

to my dog either. And I aint got one. I guess he died on ,r_"_''_C

antiseptic. I don't know but cr c -.oe' o ;we- '

I: Uh..... uh can you uh..... treat yourself or ya know..... or somebody else?

P: I have to go to me when I'm hurt real bad or anything like that, I have to

go to my workers.

I: Ah.

P: Know what I mean?

I: Uh huh.

P: That's who I have to go to.

I: How many people are here everyday._Va know come visit you in one night?

P: In one night?

Miss Choc 48AB -17-

Tape A

I: Yeah.

P: You should've been here last night and night before that.

I: How many people were here?

P: Seventy.

I: And what's the least?

P: The least I got? The least I got was SiC J1 O .

I: (laugh)

P: They're in here in and out everyday. Ya know when ya'll were here boys, that

S told you that I was busy, I had five in here. I had five in here and

everybody done got through eatin their supper but me. It was twenty minutes

til one when I ate my supper last.... this morning. Now what? After ya'll left

here had about four more cars come in. And it wasn't no two or one or two

in the car either.

I: )So white people come too, huh?

P: Yeah. Yeah. I treat em all alike. I guess I'll treat Ce toc-4-w "te same.

(chuckle) I guess you boys want to know how many real good doctors in Oklahoma,


I: _

P: Yeah, well they're three of us. Two stay in Oklahoma. And yet I got the biggest

part of it. I got the biggest part of the patients. I got 1,000 more than

they have. I got about 4,500 patients down there. Is there any more: O.K.

gentlemen, what is it?

I: Are there/two doctors the same?

P: No, no. Huh uh.

I: How're they different?

P: What's the difference? Alright sir now let me tell ya. John Edward never used

Miss Choc 48AB -18-

Tape A

P: these horns. He never used these horns. He don't know.... He said.... He

told me one day he don't touch, he don't lok- uh he don't do no o l4 fi'

That's what we call it bJooA It+t4,I but he don't do that. So they send them

to me. And ILN' J the same with me. They send the patient to me if

they gonna have to have -iac b11 lo, And I do that myself. All they do is....

thisthis two I know, that I'm telling you about, they're real good. They're good

but, this one of em is getting too old so he's weakening so their patients has

beginning to come to me when I left Oklahoma. :Now is there anything else you

want to know? Go ahead and ask em. Don't be scared.

I: Are you gonna be an herbal doctor the rest of your life?

P: Yeah, it's possible. Yeah. Yeah. Cause I wanna make this right here my home.

Of course like I told ya I'm not gonna tell ya til everything over. You boys

didn't know it. Well can you figure it out?

I: Yeah. (laugh)

P: You see a lot of people think I'm making a living on this herbal doctor. I don't.

See I draw social security, old age pension, and a veteran.... disabled veteran
P Lt\TTLsU 0OM<-n
pension. So I got three pensions. I draw4S $480.00 a month. See? I don't

have to depend on that. I don't have to depend on these herbs. Give me a quarter

and it's alright. Thank-you, it's alright.

I: Uh do youiu% pay taxes?

P: No, too old for that.

P: That's what I'm drawing my social security for if you wanna know. I've paid

my social security when I was working. (laugh) I did't have but $84,000.00

social security. (chuckle)

I: How much\ 4 your license cost?

P: My license cost me $10.00.

Miss Choc 48AB -19-

Tape A

I: That's all?

P: Yep. Medical association uh All American Ind.... uh All American Indian Medical

Association, is that what you want to know? Cost me $100.00 flat.

I: /TV V You still have to pay Vi every year?

P: Every year.

I: Every year?

P: Ever ear. When that year comes, I'm out $110.00. We AL\ start squeezing

money when that year is almost up and I've gotta start squeezing now because

in January I'm gonna have to pay it.

I: How about if you don't pay it?

P: Huh?

I: What if you don't pay?

P: -It expires.

I: Expires?

P: I can't uh do no more A herbal work. It's just like a driver's license. When

your driver's license expires you can get.... you're driving along and get

caught with an expired license you know you're in trouble.

I: What kind of trouble could you get in if you _e _. .

P: Boy I can be penalized for about $10,000.00 of service. Ten years in penitentiary.

Is there anything else?

I: You worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation?

P: Yep.

I: Where were you?

P: New York to Washington D.C. I started out in Washington D.C. and wind up in

New York. Five years. This full blood Indian had a F.B.I. job. (laugh)

Fo TIF sk- ____p Indian had F.B.I. job.

Miss Choc 48AB -20-

Tape A

I: What'd you work as?

P: Hmmm?

I: What'd you work as?

P: What did..... You want to know what I was working as?

I: Yeah.

P: N CL(xCo-kCu7


P: Y:TLR lnO'i mouy^'

I: (chuckle)

P: I don't..... I don't give nobody ..... I wouldn't reccomend my patients whatsoever

to try it. May-weirder I didn't try to drink their whiskey or anything. I

wouldn't do it because I don't use it and my power don't like me to use it.

I: Can you uh...... if a patient...... like if he don't know..... like if he was

a foreigner) or if he or she don't know how to speak English ya know?

P: Oh, speak English?

I: He don't understand AicnJ /{ Yo treat him?

P: Sure. Why not? Why not....... (tape is interrupted ) .

Now what else?

I: Uh you got uh... you got your pOUJLO when you were born or you were?

P: Yeah. Yeah. Like I told ya I 1/'i" all my life.

I: How'd you p iy ^ i -1km?

P: Hmmm?

I: How 'd you \OJ o V" !- ?

P: How did I do when I played with em?

I: Yeah.

P: Well I had those boys come to me and talk to me and laugh and we'd cut up

Miss Choc 48AB -21-

Tape A

P: ......make a trail and they take me and showed me herbs and said, his is yours,

this is yours, this is yours, and this is yours. And I knew it. They thought

I was lost one time. They looked for me for.... \ I thought...t\ I only thought

I was gone at least two days and a half but I was gone seven days. One full


I: How'd you eat?

P: Hmmm?

I: How'd you eat?

P: What do you care what I eat?

I: Oh.

P: I had plenty. Oh I had plenty to eat. Roasted deer, roasted beef. No I...

I didn't have no hamburger. We were too far out in the woods. (laugh) Anything


I: Do you fear any type of animal,0 4tyO1 ?

P: Any type of animal?

I: Yeah.

P: Why should I? Why should I? Let's go rattlesnake hunting.

I: O.K.

P: Can you catch one?

I: N------

P: I can.

I: Can you cure a rattlesnake bite?

P: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

I: _

P: Huh? If a rattlesnake bites ya?

I: Yeah.

P: Sure. Kill that rattlesnake, cut off a piece about this long, tear it open and

Miss Choc 48AB -22-

Tape A

P: I ic-- where it bit ya, and slap that on there and tie it, let it go for

about an hour and a half or two hours and then take it off and it'll just

draw it's own poison out.

I: _

P:, Remember that always. Always remember that. You boys get snakebit, you kill

that snake, cut off a piece that's about this long, about eight... eight or

ten inch long, just cut it open, guts and all and this is where that snake bit

ya then slape that on there. Just put it on there and get your hankerchief or

something and wrap that on there real tight. And that snake will draw it's

own poison out.

I: Even the ya know blood all over?

P: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

I: (laugh) Have you ever lost any patients?

P: Yeah. Yeah. They come to me too late.

I: How about if ya know the snake was real skinny?

P: Small?

I: Yeah.

P: Real small like that pencil there?

I: Yeah.

P: Something like this?

I: _

P: Just cut that open.

I: Like what if you don't have something D- C41NI G to\?

P: Get you a rock Get you a rock and beat it up.

I: Oh beat it up?

P: Mmm hmm.

I: (laugh)

Miss Choc 48AB -23-

Tape A

P: Always remember that boys. I don't care where you're at, always remember that.

I: I ___ .

P: Don't get excited. Don't panic. That's when you hurt yourself. 'LoUV o4^panic.

I: See blood, your blood .^ ^

P: Yeah. I been with many boys going out and fishing and they got a water moccasin

bit and not done say anything. I'm a full pledged member of the South......

South Oklahoma Rattlesnake Association. And you see that scar right


I: Where?

P: Right there.

I: Oh yeah.

P: That's where I was rattlesnake bitten.

I: Oh. A big one? How big was the rattlesnake?

P: Oh it wasn't so big. About this big.

I: Rattlesnake bites ,o_(A JI __ivo ?

P: Hmmm?

I: Uh ......). V, 4.. A. .---.

P: I don't know because when we put that snake uh snake on there, never did hurt.

Didn't even swell up.

I: Uh when it first happened?

P: Of course it burned a little bit..... but that knife blade what hurts. When

I lashed it.

I: Is it like when a dog bites or

P: Yeah. I'll tell you one thing, if a dog bite me he aint gonna bit nobody else

a second time...... cause I'll get him.

I: (chuckle) \A / What if the dog had rabies?

Miss Choc 48AB -24-

Tape A

5C P-iv
P: The dog had rabies? The only recommendation I give em is a .yrrum
I: C n "

P: Huh? Syrum? Shot.

I: _What do the syrum contain ya know herbs or?

P: No. M41 D 6' r?

I: Do you make it yourself?

P: Hmmm?

I: Do you make it yourself or what?o LO '*o g /. C > c '-+I

P: I'd recommend you to a doctor in the hospital. But meantime, I'd wash it

out with vinegar or either i lysol, pure Lysol) and water and that'll hold
G-o b
out for a -itle while. At least twelve hours.


(End of Tape A)

(Begin Tape B)


P: My service?

I: Yeah your services?

P: Oh I was in the South Pacific. I was on an aircraft carrier called the U.S.

Lexington. Boys I'll tell you what, it was hell that day. And Japs got us

with a torpedo submarine. And I was down in hatchery drinking coffee. I had

a cup of coffee in my hand. My both hands lfe -tk- great big old mug in em.
And hell that damn coffee be- fAl -'"
And hell that damn coffee be- everybody. 4ll twenty-four hours anyway

see. We never let that coffee pot go empty so we had all kind of coffee and

it was almost as thick as syrup. I was trying... er I was standing out there

trying to drinking it when it was hot. And whenever that torpedo hit that

ship boy I mean it just rocked the whole thing. And when it did that I dropped

my...i my coffee went up in the air like that. Now everybody hollerin every

Miss Choc 48AB -25-

Tape B

P: man on the deck! Every man on the deck! When we got on the top of the deck,

heck it was..... half of the deck was sticking up straight up like that. Wide
"It Sw uLko
open. They told us abandon ship. We did. And I swim-six hours........we swim

six hours and forty-five minutes. Ya know lot of people say I'm ... that

I was scared to death of Japs spraying with uh machine gun. But shoot when I

went to seen em sharks fangs goin around us, that's what I was scared of most.

(chuckle) It wasn't so funny. I'm tellin you boy, it wasn't so funny.

It was time for everybody to realize there's a God up in the heaven. That's

the way we felt. Everyone of us did.

I: How many people were there?

P: There were about 300 of.... uh 600 of us. Three hundred got killed. Went

down with the ship.

I: What were you working as on ship?

P: Me?

I: Yeah.

P: I was gunners mate first class and when I got out of service, one of my

dischargers said 'Chief Gunner, I mad a Chief Yunner in two hours". The

last two hours. I didn't get paid for it though. I got paid fo he gunners

mate. That's all I got. But on my discharge while I was waiting in the line

for two hours and I come to my discharge tiiy said hief Gunner. So ya see

I don't know if I was a chief Gunner or a Gunner's mate. I know I was a

runner's mate first class.

I: What rank?

P: That's it.
I: hiefunner?
I: Iphief (unner?

Miss Choc 48AB -26-

Tape B

P: Yeah, Nhief Gunner 6S cowk C, But I was a Gunner'.s mate first class.

P: The highest it goes from there chief Gunner and then right on in to Chief... uh

Chief f. t Cte., Chief bas.vwR chief CA orhck and then to lieutenant,

first lieutenant, second lieutenant, up to uh up to uh captain, captain uh

commander, commander to admiral.

I: Admiral is the highest.

P: Highest he's the biggest. He's a big wheel man.

I: Stud.
CNwt&-AL,) bynf
P: He's a six star gentleman, he's a man that sits back, way back out from some

where else and giving you orders. Give orders to the officers and then the

officers come down to us. They stand on our necks then.

I: What uh...... what year was this?

P: Forty-three.

I: _

P: December 11, 1943. I will never forget that night South Pacific.

I'll never forget that as long as I live.

I: How did uh..... rescue spot you.

P: Ya see aircraft carrier goes like this. Like this right hereand then you

got a .... you got a battle ship here, battle ship here, mine sweeper here,

mine sweeper here, and destroyer here, and destroyer here and destroyer here,

destroyer here and destroyer. So destroyer picked us up. Someone wants to

be picked up by minesweeper. Then I was transferred from destroyer because

see I had more stripes you see. If I'd had another stripe I'd made Chief

Gunner. So they transferred me from destroyer into battleship. That's

Miss Choc 48AB -27-

Tape B

P: how I got out. And so whenever new congress deal come out, New Deal they call

it, men with so many point had to be discharged, I didn't .... we didn't need

none. See because we was in before war. Now is there anything else you

want know?

I: Was that in World War I or World War II?

P: World War II.

I: World War II. What other action did you see before your ship was sank?

P: Before my ship was sank? I seen at nYf island. Georgia, Guam. I seen I seen

uh 9om island, g_______ na-n. So you see I didn't see a lot of

battles. I didn't see but nineteen... nineteen battles. That's all I've

been in.

I: (chuckle) Did you.have any ?_____

P: Any Choctaw?

I: Any Choctaws or any Indians?

P: The only time I met Choctaw was when I was in California.

I: ?_

P: Huh?


P: Yeah, I was in San Diego and I went up.... I went up to a park to watch a ball

game,ya know and there was two guys sitting back there and talkingya know

and I kept a listenoand I said well that sound like Choctaw. Kept a listen ya

know, I kept listen. After while, this ole boy come up to back and then he

said C oc J 1 Hey you Choctaws down there keep quiet.

Ya'll are making too much noise out here. 0 c4-j

Well they run up to me ya know. You Choctaw?

I: (chuckle)

Miss Choc 48AB -28-

P: I said "What do I look like"? (chuckle) I went to laughing ya know and they

all laughed and we set down there and we talked I don't know, I guess we

we forgot about the ball park. We set there and talk about one another ya know

,- a "k- Oklahoma. One of them was from Toka and he other on e was

from McAllister, Oklahoma and I was from Durant at that time ya know. So boy

we talked about our hometown andoh we built it up real good ya know. Then

t t-ired back down after we left. (laugh) Now is there anything else you

want know?

I: Is that all ?

P: So if you boys want a treatment of anything don't hesitate to call on me. I'm....

I'm here for that now. You got a cold?


P: Uh if you got a cold I'll tell you what you do. -E-a you a lemon. Squeeze

lemon ya know.... you don't have to squeeze em unless you want to. Cut the

lemon up and put about this much water, let it boil, and while it's still

warm put it in a glass and then put some sugar in to your taste)ya know. Not

too sweet. Just ... g just bitter enough where it'll cut that flames out of

your throat. You drink that and I'll guarantee you one thing, or either suck

a lemon. Now gall stone, the people who talk about gall stone have to be

surgery. There's no such a thing as a surgery in a gall stone to me. I can

cure that just like you had a common cold.

I: How about a headache?

P: Huh?

I: Headache?

P: Headache?

I: Yeah.

P: I can cure that with my own hands. (chuckle) Because I said and like I told

Miss Choc 48AB -29-
Tape B

P: ya, my hand is full of.... full of medicine. I've been handling all kind of

herbal...and my hands are full of it. And I don't care how bad you're hurt, I

can put my hand on ya just like that and it'll stop that pain. Ya know I

got so where since I've been in Mississippi, I got so I met looot of people.

I know a lot of people now. The reason I come down to Mississippi. Do you know

how I come to Mississippi? See...... this wife that her and I just now separated,

divorced from, gotta cousin, got a lot of kin folk in uh...Lh. "_.c

We come down here on my vacation. We stayed one week and then I went back and..,

ya know Lawrence McMillan? Well, his wife is Oklahoman woman ya know. (coughs)

Excuse me. But anyway..... anyway, Lawrence was sick whenever they was over

there all night singing about three years ago and she told me to treat him and

I did. I treated him and he come home and he went back up there about twice

since then and then, Tom Davis, everybody know him, well the doctors here

at the hospital gave him up. Doctors in Jackson Missis..... uh yeah Jackson,

Mississippi give him up. Hospital give hime up, _t__I__t gave

him6 up. Didn't have but few days to live. That was it. So Lawrence said,

"Well I've got a good doctor in Oklahoma". And they said "Well call him up

and see if he'll come". He called me and I said "Yeah, I'll come down there".

And he says "For how much"?1 And I told him.... I set my price and he said "O.K.

I'll let you know in a few minutes". I saidj"O.K." and I hung up my phone and

about twenty minutes after I hung up my phone why it rings again. And I answer

it and it was Lawrence again. He says)"We be there by ten o'clock tonight,o

pick you up". I says,"O.K." I said)"I'll be ready". So we got ready and

we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited til 2:00 the next morning. He

didn't show up and about timeI .was.;going to bed the telephone rings and I

answered it and he says "Boy it's raining so hard I can't hardly see my way.'

He says)"We're gonna spend the night here and so we be there in the morning".

Miss Choc 48AB -30-

Tape B

P: And I said "O.K. I'll have breakfast with ya". And he said "Alright". So

you see he come on up and we come back down, I drove the car and that was a

bet made that this Indian doctor..... Now Pete Dyer was coming down.... was

to be a big tall man. Great big fellow and tall, had on a black pants and

wear white shirts. That's the way they... that ... that... ya know that's

their imagination ya know. One of em says "No 4 he may not be big" hut

said "He's gonna be tall \\ gonna be tall man". Said,"He's gonna be tall

and grey headed....". Well I am almost grey headed now but ya know they said

he's gonna be grey headed and wear black pants and white shirt and black

slippers. Oh man,they built that man up real good ya know. And so I was

driving Lawrence's car when I come through uh Tom Davis that night. An dhey

says "Uh oh, that man must have...k must have must have a boy that dr... knows

how to drive". Says Help Lawrence drive his car ino. I got out, I says

howdy, howdy, howdy. Oh there was a bunch of em there ya know. I said "Howdy".

They says "Howdy, howdy". I shook hands with em and Lawrence got out and he

says C 0 O P Ck (0 ,Q". So that's how I started and when

I left their house, I think it was Tuesday night, I come here because I come

in on Sunday morning at 2:00 and I didn't sleep any and I didn't sleep any the

rest of the night. I worked on Tom Davis all day Sunday, all night Sunday night,

all day Monday, all night Monday night. Now just think, how many uh how many

nights did I lost sleep. Up to about... about 3:15 or 3:20, I said,"O.K.".

I said,"Now I turn everything over to you". I said "If ya'll want treat.... ".

I said "If ya'll wanna give this medicine to him now:'" I said "Here it is".

I said "You do this and you do that and you do that" and they said,"O.K." and

they did. Ya know ...... Wednesday morning that guy was setting out there in

Miss Choc 48AB -31-

Tape B

P: the yard there cutting weeds. And that's when... it was Wednesday when I come

here, Wednesday night. On Thursday I was over at the __e_)_S 5 And

ever since then, everybody and their neighbor has been calling me and now I'm

I'm -GrowC, Le-Yn I'm setting right here in the center now where everybody

wanna see me why they can come see me. I've been here off and on for the

last three years. Week, two weeks, three weeks, month, two weeks, three weeks.

That's the way I've been working down here. You know that yourself, youngia-r

And I come here, everybody ... everybody and their neighbor heard about it

and when I'm gone, everybody's asking about me. (chuckle)

I: Is that all Well we thank you for this interview _I ...

P: Yeah, I appreciate it. I'm glad to... I'm glad to meet you boys and I'm glad
.. VAln nyaLCTb WY
that maybe I can come to handy with ya'll some of these days. -Maybe well-

see=ya, I'm wide open, nothing tied.

I: You said while ago....

P: What?

I: Ya know u cnJ Io s.

P: Yeah.
T'. joo&-s
I: (laugh)

P: Ya'll gonna have to give me appointment on that.

I: A-W appointment.

P: Because that's one is very very important thing and there's nothing to laugh

at on that. There's nothing to laugh at those things if-yeu-eee-it. You're

gonna see the little men and you gonna see something else besides that, that is

scary. If you can stand it, I'll take you down there. But if you can't, don't

try it cause...% cause these people here, I told em that. Said he wanted to

see that but they've seen my little men, but they didn't wanna see the other

Miss Choc 48AB -32-

Tape B

P: one because they're too scary. He's too big, he's too long. He 6od9 4 KP 3Z

ithat-s about this big and ke5 10o/ c-5 from here that next house over

here. (laugh) Now you figure out what I mean. 1Chuse' he's got a mirror right

between his eyes just about as big as this. Thank-you gentlemen.

(end of interview)

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