Sanora Babb

Sanora Babb Sanora Babb (April 21, 1907 - December 31, 2005) was born in Oklahoma Territory and lived in Red Rock. All her life she identified with the Native American beliefs and community life, based on the Otoes she knew there. She liked to tell how the Indian chief gave her a pony and wanted to adopt her. She was proud of the name he gave her: "Little Cheyenne Who Rides Like the Wind." In 1909, the Babbs moved to Waynoka and her sister Dorothy was born. After a brief return to Red Rock, the family then moved to Two Buttes, Baca County on the High Plains of Colorado in 1913. There they lived in a dugout with the grandfather (recounted in her memoir An Owl on Every Post) and struggled to grow broomcorn. Four years later, having failed at homesteading, they returned to the Oklahoma Panhandle area to live in Elkhart, Kansas, Forgan, Oklahoma (where Sanora graduated from Forgan High Schooll), and Garden City, Kansas. Although Sanora graduated high school as valedictorian, she was not allowed to give her speech because her father was a gambler. Disapproval of his profession also necessitated their itinerant lifestyle. When Sanora was 22, she moved to Los Angeles to further her career as a journalist and explore the wider world. And, she did just that. For more biographical information and photos, see this web exhibition from the Harry Ransom Center where her archives are located: The photos were taken: 1) when she worked with Tom Collins setting up migrant camps in CA in the 1930s, 2) with migrant workers (Sanora in the center), 3) at the time An Owl on Every Post was published, 4) with her husband, James Wong Howe, Oscar winning cinematographer, 5) in her later years.
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