Cherokee Connection Chapter 1 page 5
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The Angry Step-Father

My grandmother had married another man by the name of Charles Pfieffer after William Freeman Keith died. My grandmother had another daughter, my Aunt Bessy, with Charles Pfieffer in Oklahoma. Charles Pfieffer then took the family to Santa Monica, California. My grandmother Anna had one more daughter and three sons with him in California.

My grandmother and my mother's half sisters and brothers did not have Cherokee blood. We lived in Arizona, they lived in Los Angeles. We didn't visit them or grandmother very often, and when we did, our Cherokee ancestors were never discussed.

I never met Grandma Annie's husband, Charles Pfieffer. My sister, Alice, nine years my senior, remembered him. Alice said, "he was a very strict, mean religious man. For some reason he was particularly mean to Dora". I guessed this was because she was his step daughter.

My aunt Bessy disliked Pfieffer so much she was convinced he could not be her father. In fact she had once stopped in Porum, Oklahoma. Bessy and her husband were returning to California after visiting her husband's home in St. Louis. She tried to find relatives or evidence that would prove some one else was her father.

My mother and my sister, Alice told a few stories about Charles Pfieffer. The way he left his family was repeatedly told and may illustrate his character.

"Once after a fight with my grandmother, without saying a word to his wife or children, he dressed in his best clothes and left, walking down the street reading out loud from his Bible and was never heard from again."

He had left my grandmother with four young children to raise, ages ranging from one to eleven years old. My mother and her sister Bessie had already left the family and were married at that time.


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