Quick 5: Cherae Sowder Stone

Cherae Sowder Stone

1. Your mom was a teacher, so you moved around quite a bit. What was that like?

I didn’t enjoy moving. Once I got wherever we were going, I settled in and made friends. I’ve always been interested in people, and generally like them. Upon looking back, it wasn’t as dramatic as I thought at the time.

2. At one point, you and your mom visited Machu Picchu. Tell us about it.

I was fortunate to have parents who made sure we children had opportunities to experience life in other countries and cultures. Mom, my brother and sister-in-law and I went on a group tour to Peru; my brother and his wife flew over the Nazca lines and I rafted the Urubamba River, and had a locally grown and prepared riverside lunch, while Mom enjoyed a day of shopping in Cusco. The people were lovely, the food delightfully multicultural, and the scenery unbelievable.

3. You’re a trained massage therapist. How did you get into that field?

I had worked in medical offices for years, and when my employer closed most of its satellite clinics, a patient offered to help me find a program for displaced workers. I had two children, a mortgage, car payment, and I was terrified. She found a massage school, and there was no expensive credentialing then. I liked it very much, trained extensively, and practiced for over 30 years.

4. You also care for other people’s animals when they’re away. What prompted you to do that?

I sat with a friend’s cats and dog one weekend while she was out of town. My tiny house doesn’t have space for a pet and I really enjoy them, so pet-sitting has become another income stream, and a way to interact with animals.

5. Now, you’re involved in editing and research for the Victory of Greenwood project. Explain that.

The Victory of Greenwood project is not only about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, but about Greenwood’s founders, its rebuilding and resurgence with the upcoming centennial of the Massacre. The focus on racial inequities has boosted interest in the history of oppression, since the founding of our nation must be acknowledged before it can be healed. We are telling historically accurate stories rather than repeating rumors and legends. It’s gratifying to work with a team that understands the importance of seeing one another as fellow human beings rather than “other.”

– Kim Poindexter

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