The Home of the Tyner Redmen

William L Killian

Twelve tribes came to this sacred place,

stood silently, sometimes playfully,

and waited for a bell to beckon them inward.

Each year they lost a tribe,

but a new one formed among the young.

The doors were always huge, freshly painted white,

and usually locked except for certain rituals.

The natives knew their appropriate entrances.

The Little Ones gathered at the main door;

the stars and stripes waved at them

in the wind. The Little Ones felt secure,

they seldom wandered beyond their small room

and the bathroom down the hall,

except for lunch and basketball at noon.

Most of the Middle Ones, known as the Loud Ones,

entered with a view of the athletic field

where they dreamed themselves as muscled champions,

Herculean statues for the Township bus loads

who had no cars or were not allowed to drive.

The Older Ones, also known as the Lucky Ones,

drove their late 40 and 50 Chevys,

parked where they could enter

through what was once revered as the Holy of Holies,
a Hoosier Hysteria arena, our Tyner hardwood floor.

They would walk by the shadows of a Klinedinst, Sarber,

Bottoroff, Moore, Smith, Stiles, Morris, a Kaiser,

or the young ones coming on --

a Jacobson, Stull, and then another Stull.

Some of the Older Ones gathered in the boiler room,

others in the coach's office to talk

and create the best memories of their lives.

The Elder Tribes would gather from year to year

and remember the doors and the floors,

the faces and the places,

enriching their lives with sacred memories

of people gone, places erased, faces aged

and fallen doors near a floor where Indians danced,

where Redmen fired with passion forged a love for life

that the rest of the world and the rest of time

could neither diminish nor extinguish.

The Home of the Tyner Redmen, now a field of grass,

has the power to pull us from around the country

to this land once owned by the Potawatomi,

where our ancestors now rest --

a land on which we once played hard.