Johnny's Trail of Tears aka Little Johnny Running Cloudis a coming-of-age story unfolding along the Cherokee Trail of Tears. In the manner of magical realism, Johnny sets out in 1948 from southern Illinois and is guided along his journey by Indian Sentinels and Jewish Mystics. After staying with Sequoyah in Fort Payne he is ready to begin his quest on his restored motorcycle, an Indian Pony. He leaves for New Echota and goes along the northern route of the forced Cherokeemarch. His last stop is in Springfield, Missouri, the site of a lynching in 1906 that took three innocent African-American lives. He carries all of this to the bluffs above the Illinois River overlooking Tahlequah, Oklahoma. (72K)
To read the first chapter click here. It's the start of his journey. Johnny's first stop after camping by the Cahokia Mounds is in Cape Girardeau. Here, with the New Year, he will experience the winter crossing of the Mississippi by the Cherokee.