October 5, 2019
Ten days to press. Moving right along. Each book I have done has taught me things. The Geronimo book has been especially profound.
When I get to heaven, I want to go to the In-din part.
There were plenty of heroes in this story, just not the ones who usually get the headlines.
Daily Whip Out:
"Lieutenant Charles B. Gatewood"
Doing my research on the Geronimo story was depressing because of the incessant killing. And, it wasn't just one-sided. It was the Mexicans against the Spanish, the Spanish against the "Americans" (as everyone called the anglos), the Americans against the Apaches, often tribe against tribe, sometimes all of the above against everyone else, and it was relentless.
Still, if you dig deep enough, out of that overwhelming violence comes a faint, but sweet, brotherhood that can be breathtaking. When Lt. Britton Davis of the U.S. Army said that the Apache Chatto was "one of the finest men, red or white, I have ever known," it strikes a chord of harmony sweeter than any music I have ever heard.
In fact, it's the ones who sought the humanity in all of this ugly violence who are the true heroes, to me. Captain John G. Bourke, going to bat for the Apaches imprisoned in Florida and losing his career over it. Alchesay, who rose above the petty politics of the White Mountain Reservation wars, and who had a high school named for him, these are the ones we should remember and celebrate.
Instead, we put halos on killers and give them powers and virtues they never had. I don't think I can change that, but I can cast a light on it. That has been my goal with this book.
Daily Whip Out: "Geronimo In The Sky"
"I pray you to cut the ropes and make me free. Let me die in my own country, an old man who has been punished enough and is free."
In death he is free, and if you want to find him, as I did, he is just above the trees on the Gila River not far from Apache Grove.
This is my last book in the Life & Times series. I've had fun, but I'm done.
"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; 'tis dearness only that gives everything its value."
Did Gatewood really look so much like Dennis Weaver?