Well we had a very good service and burial for our friend and brother. Chobee, David Elijah Exum, was on this earth for too short a time. But I think he accomplished his life's work, which will live on as long as we remember him. Many of you were there, and I know many who would have liked to have been there but were prevented from circumstances at this short notice.
Rick, you were right: David did bring a lot of dignity to the events. He also brought a lot of humor and creativity. He showed compassion to everyone. He was a great man but a kid at heart. We all have many fond memories of him. Steve Abolt said that death nor infirmity will not quench the fire that burns inside us, and one day soon we will be reunited.
One thing that I did not know, is that David never spent a night away from his wife and family. At every reenactment, if they were not able to be there, he would go home and be with them. How many people you know that have spent every night from marriage to life's departure with their wife? This is the person of strong character that he was; a loving and devoted spouse and father.
The service was three parts, showing how complex a person and how wonderful a mosaic was his soul. The first part of the service was a Native American service. The next part was a Christian service led by his church pastor. And the third part was a military funeral and salute at the veteran's cemetery in Bushnell. All three were strong, powerful, and moving. Tears flowed freely by many, and compassion was felt by all. Although sad to see him go, we are happy that he is in a better place, where we will join him someday.
Chobee in his casket was decked out in his finest Muskogee clothing, beaded turban, replicas of the moundville serpent disk, and other articles of Muskogee heritage. It was obvious that he was well loved by many. The funeral home had a dvd playing of David from various photos in life. I didn't know he was such a hip looking dude in the 70s.
It was good to see Jack, much wiser in years and gray-haired. Cathy looks beautiful and graceful as always. Israel and Jeremiah are now grown and very strong looking men.
The veteran's cemetery probably has not had such an interesting looking crowd. So many wearing the Creek and Seminole clothing as a colorful field of wildflowers. Chobee was laid to rest with such dignity.
Going to the cemetery, the procession was slow up I-75. I could have passed them and met them at the cemetery. But I decided to stay in line. I plan on being buried here in a few years, and didn't want to get there earlier than I needed too.
This next December during the Dade Battle reenactment, several of us will travel a few miles down the road and see Chobee's grave. Not far on the same grounds is the tombstone of David Moniac, another Creek Warrior and veteran of the armed services. This is the area of the Wahoo Swamp. Moniac died in battle nearby in 1836, and Chobee was buried here 170 years later. Moniac died a warrior and leader; it does not matter the side he was on; that was his choice. Chobee, also a warrior and leader, would often reenact the Seminole victory celebration of Wahoo Swamp at Dade Battlefield every year, which he is well remembered for.
Farewell my brother; we will miss you but will celebrate your life.