Cherokee Nation/YouTube
Cherokee Elder Patricia Reed Leatherwood talks about working and playing hard on the farm.

Video: First Strawberry Queen Talks About Working and Playing Hard

ICTMN Staff
4/19/15

Cherokee Elder Patricia Reed Leatherwood talks about working and playing hard on the farm, and how she became the first Strawberry Festival Queen.

“We carried water, we had no bathroom, we had no electricity—it was a typical little shack,” Leatherwood explained. The whole family worked the farm, and play was simple—“we threw rocks at each other,” she said laughing.

“Of course we played tag, and we did a lot of swimming,” she said. The creek was also the way to school—using footlogs to cross.

Vacations involved fishing, favorite foods were crawdads roasted in a tin can, and pretty dresses were made out of flour sacks.

When she was 9 years old she was approached about being the first Strawberry Festival Queen, which involved new clothes and a trip to the beauty shop.

“They used an applause meter, and that’s how the Strawberry Queen was chosen that first year,” she said.

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