Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Geronimo Revisited

November 16, 2010
Had lunch today with a former employee. Took along Joe Freedman, who enjoyed the scuttlebutt and the inspiring attitude of this excellent person. Went to Keg Steakhouse at Desert Ridge, one of my fave hangouts ($64.32 biz account).

While laying out the rough for the upcoming Bascom-Cochise feature, I asked editor Meghan Saar to find my 1994 Geronimo timeline. I had a full blown timeline, edited by Charlie Waters, ready to go for a book, and then got sidetracked by a radio show and house payments. The material is quite strong. Here is a taste:

Child of the Water
Each day he is awakened before sunrise and bathes in the creek, even when ice has formed. Goyahkla and his fellow apprentice braves are systematically trained for war by learning the skills of shooting, dodging,hiding, tracking and mapping the terrain to find their way back to camp. They are also required to race up a mountain carrying water in their mouths, pick up a pine cone (to prove they went to the top) and then spit out the water when they return to show they had breathed properly through the nose.
They learn Apache rules of survival:

* Have the women pound enough meat and fat for a week’s rations and take along a supply of water.

* Cross open flats by night to reach a mountain, and hide in the brush by day.

* Locate water holes by climbing to a high place and looking for green spots; do not go by day, only at night.

* Do not sleep under a tree—that is the first place the enemy will look.

* If lost, make a fire and send a smoke signal, but put it out and run away to a place where you can watch and see if anyone comes.

The rigorous apprenticeship culminates in four raids—the Apaches regard four as a sacred number— where the youths serve as a support group, holding and caring for the horses, getting water and wood, cooking, serving guard duty. Each apprentice is called Child of the Water and, if he shows courage and dependability, he will be accepted into the council of warriors.

“War is a solemn religious matter.”

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