Bill started his work life by helping his Dad weld in Phillips Petroleum properties in northern Oklahoma. Later, he worked in Baltimore, Maryland and along the east coast cutting down oil tanks. Following an injury, he moved on to his life’s work of native arts and crafts.

Bill followed the pow wow trail up and down the east coast. He established a following with his leather work, unique items, and leather-trimmed canes. He was known for his generosity in helping out dancers needing a quick repair or if they were short on a giveaway.

I told his cousin I had been an alcohol counselor, and she said “well Bill obviously carved this for you” as she handed it to me, I teared up thanking her….and we hugged. She said Bill had been in rehab over and over and just never “took”…but he adored his counselors. Sadly Bill died in 2018.

There were only four canes in the building and Mr. Hickey’s cousin said “those are the last ones he carved”. I feel privileged that she allowed me to buy one.

Next time you are wandering through Northern Oklahoma, head on over to Pawhuska.  Go say hello to the lovely ladies who volunteer in the Osage Nation Visitor center and be sure to sign that guestbook.  You can get a bite to eat down the street in El Vallarta’s Mexican restaurant…or just go spend some money in the terrific boutiques along Main Street. Truck on across Main and check out the Osage County Historical Museum…there are hundreds of interesting places and things to see in this unique town.

Personally, I can hardly wait to return.

I’ll tell you about Tallgrass Prairie tomorrow……..