Community leader in Navajo Mountain
After JFK’s passing, Jackie O said, “There will be great presidents again, but there will never be another Camelot.” She alluded to her husband’s presidency as comparable to that of mythical King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Even though I was just a young girl, new to rez life, I was in awe of the leadership and influence of Harold and Stella Drake to the community of Navajo Mountain.
Most of all the advancements that have taken place in this remote community within this new modern era - paved road, water lines, electrical lines, elementary and high school, a church, housing, a clinic, Naatsis’ aan Eehaniih Pioneer Day Celebration and so many more - can be attributed to the vision and/or influence of Harold Drake, who served as a great leader to the community and Navajo Nation decades ago.
He laid the foundation to make these advancements possible. Sadly, he did not live to see the majority of the awesomeness of his influence, however, community members remember. I remember.
On August 22, 2017, the pillar of Harold’s strength, his wife, Stella’s life (94 years) was celebrated. It was heartwarming to reflect upon her love, compassion, generosity and service to those around her.
Her celebration of life was bittersweet, as it marked the end of Camelot within the Navajo Mountain community. There will be great naat’áaniis again, but there will never be another Camelot. There will never be another Harold and Stella Drake.
Written by Diane Fuller Shointo, shared with permission of author