Monday, August 26, 2019

Geronimo's Last Pass

August 26, 2019
   Last pass at Geronimo for the magazine. Goes to press this weekend. Still arguing over the kneeling Geronimo vs. the big head Geronimo for the cover. The votes here, on my blog, are weighted towards the big head, but on the True West Facebook site, it goes the other way with the majority going for the familiar kneeling photo. So, the argument is between, unknown, striking face, vs, classic cliche. Interesting dilemma. Actually, I think we'll be fine either way.

    I still have the book to finish and this morning I got this little, first pass, sneak peek, present from Dan The Man:

   Going round and round on final corrections. Always stressful and complicated. Here are some random notes:

Geronimo with his daughter Eva, at left,
and the daughter of Eugene Chihuahua?

   Geronimo had at least ten wives (some historians say 12) and his last wife Zi-yeh gave him a daughter, Eva, when the old warrior was 66. Zi-yeh also gave him a son, Fenton who was about 6 when Eva was born. Eva was the apple of Geronimo's eye and he worried about her and doted over her. Eva had her womanhood ceremony in September of 1905 when she was 16. She started to show signs of debilitating illness and Geronimo became convinced a witch was doing it so he had a local medicine man, Lot Eyelash, do a ceremony to identify the witch and during the ceremony, the witch turned to Geronimo and said he was the guilty party and had traded the sickness of his children so that he could love longer. That Lot Eyelash lived to see another day is pretty hard to believe.

   From this point on, Geronimo refused to let Eva marry anyone. So, on his deathbed, Geronimo sought a promise from his nephew Asa Daklugie, which Eve Ball finally coaxed from the reticent old Apache.

 Daklugie and his wife Ramona did, in fact, take in Eva, and she married Fred Godeley (aka Golene) some time in the fall of 1909 (based on birth of her daughter). She had a daughter, Evaline born 21 June 1910. Evaline died 20 August 1910. Eva died of tuberculosis on August 10, 1911. All of Geronimo's fears came true. None of his efforts to save his daughter or his family came to fruition. In spite of the glorious success he had made out of his prisoner of war status, the tragedy of his life was the fate of his favorite daughter.

   Even in death he looked like he wanted to bite you.

Full page ad layout from Dan The Man

   The life of Geronimo, the mere mortal, ended in February of 1909, but the legend of the Apache warrior was just getting started. He led an epic life frought with massive contradictions but in the end he rises above everything else: he is the most famous In-din in the world. He has become, like George Washington the Father of the In-din Nations, only in this version he not only cut down the cherry tree with an axe, but he vanquished everyone in his path, with that axe, and never lied about any of it.

"The 20th century began with utopia and ended with nostalgia."
—Svetlana Boym

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