It's that time of year again, in my neck of the woods. The Muirfield Village PGA's Memorial Golf Tournament starts June 1st. It's always a big deal, here in town. All the restaurants put up extra outside seating and the grocery stores offer special Memorial catering. There's excitement in the air. But for us, it's always a bit of a pain in the butt, because it often takes ten or fifteen minutes to wait for a break in traffic, just to pull out of our driveway. Wait...this isn't the curse part.
Leatherlips was a member of the Wyandot tribe that once roamed the local area. He was reportedly called "Leatherlips" by white settlers because he never broke a promise; his word was his bond. Sadly, Leatherlips was executed in 1810, along the Scioto River, by his fellow Wyandots, for being friendly with the white settlers. The Wyandots were sent to a reservation in Kansas in the 1840s and were the last Native Americans to leave Ohio.
The Muirfield Golf Course, built by Jack Nicklaus, is known to be over a sacred Wyandot Indian burial ground. It is said that Chief Leatherlips has cursed the tournament and as a result, heavy rains descend on the golfers and crowds of spectators, nearly every year. For this reason, the week of the annual tournament was changed. But, still torrents of rain continue to fall. Could it be that just a lot of rain falls this time of year in central Ohio? Possibly.
I happen to think this strange cairn of large rocks at Willow Manor could very well mark the execution spot of Chief Leatherlips, June 1, 1810, exactly 199 years from the opening day of this year's Muirfield Tournament. So, I think we can count on rain.
photos: (1) Chief Leatherlips sculpture, Scioto Park, Dublin, OH (2) The Execution of Leatherlips by Hal Sherman (3) Flooded Memorial Tournament (3) Cairn at Willow Manor