Residence: New Hampshire
Date of Performance/Collection: March 16, 2012
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Italian
My informant told me a story that his father told him once as a child:
“My father tells the story that when he was a small boy he lived with his family in Dallas Texas in the 1930’s. Back then local Texans and Native Americans didn’t get along real well. My grandfather used to tell my father that the “Indians” have so much money from oil on their reservations that they all drive brand new Cadillacs. And when the car runs out of gas they simply leave it by the side of the road and walk away from it and just buy another one with a full tank.”
My informant said that his father was a slightly racist man, and although he would never admit it, he did tell stories such as this one that showed it. He said that his father told this story only once or twice when he was younger, but he remembered it because he believed it to be true.
This piece of folklore shows the racial tension between the Texans and the Indians there at the time. There was clearly a bit of resentment that went into the telling of this story. It seems like this story was meant to put down the Indians by painting them to be less economically responsible than the Texans.