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Jerry W. Engler

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Ignacio rode
By Jerry W. Engler
Posted: Friday, August 10, 2007
Last edited: Thursday, August 07, 2008
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Jerry W. Engler
· Oswald K. Underfoot finds a firefight treasure
· The Hanging of the Greens
· Payback Time' for Mean Dean
· The St. Louie Bird Call
· A Flower Girl Sister Surprise
· One of our own
· We're not lion, somethin's happenin'
           >> View all 32
Who was Ignacio? That is for you to decide for yourself.

 

 

The old warrior’s bones lie less than a hundred miles west of the Arbuckle Mountains, Oklahoma’s natural central gateway from Texas, where he was kept with the remnant of his group at Ft. Sill into the first years of the Twentieth Century.
Geronimo, a Chiricahua Apache nation war and spiritual leader, had still been considered by the Army questionably dangerous to turn loose when he had become only a romantic legend to the public. The tragedies of his bloody battles against Mexicans and Americans, and his personal losses of wives and children were lost to the memories of most people. His name became a paratroop battle cry and a comic book title.
But some people never forgot the person of the name. Some people always did revere Geronimo.
In 2006, 97 years after Geronimo’s death, the white-bearded, broad faced man was sitting down to a breakfast of bagels and black coffee in a typical motel lobby south of the Arbuckles where a continental breakfast was advertised. It was too late in the morning for most people to still be there, so he was alone. He was staring, bleary-eyed and tired when a door opened, and a young, square-built, muscular young man with long black hair and obviously sun-enhanced healthy glowing copper-brown skin, came in.
Although he was young, the black-haired man smiled with deep crinkles around his eyes. “Good morning, Sir,” he said. “Is there much breakfast left? I am very late.”
“Well, there’s not much, but these bagels looked good.”
“Then I will have bagels and coffee too.”
“You might as well sit down with me, if you’d like,” said old white beard. “I think we’ll be the only ones here. Did you sleep late too? I don’t think I made up for staying up late even if I tried.”
“No, I am a steel foreman. I don’t know if we are going to work more, or if we are going back to Texas. My crew and I are waiting for a final decision. We’re working on the highway, and the company contracting with us wants us to cut back on the steel to save costs. I won’t do that. My company won’t do that. We use quality steel, and we build quality products. If they don’t want to stick to the original specs, we will go home. They will take our name off the project.”
“Boy, that doesn’t sound good. I don’t like the sound of them cutting quality when people depend on it.”
“No, we don’t either. Tell me, what do you do?”
“I’m a writer. I’ve been here for book signings. I’ve enjoyed travelling Oklahoma. It’s been interesting meeting members of the Indian nations, and seeing how much of their cultures they have retained.”
“I’m Apache myself, actually seven eighths Apache and one eighth Mexican. What do you write?”
“Books of short stories. You’re the first Apache I’ve met. But I don’t think there are many Apaches in Oklahoma, are there? Did you come from Arizona or New Mexico?”
“No, I’m from Southern Texas, down on the Mexican border. Is that one of your books---may I see it?”
“Sure.”
“It looks good. If I told you a story of my family, would you use it in a book you do later?”
“Maybe.  I’d be interested in hearing it anyway.”
“Would you be sure to tell it just as I tell you? It has been handed down for many years.”
“Well, I write fiction, some of it a lot of highly embellished truth.”
“You could embellish a little bit to fill in gaps, but I’d want the story to stay much the same. I would like some people in the world to hear what my family heard. Please try, but I leave it to you. OK?
“OK, I’d like to hear your story. I won’t promise anything, but I’m interested.”
“In the family, we call our story ‘Ignacio Rode.’ We have always called it that because Ignacio did that, Ignacio rode. He was my great great grandfather. I never knew him, but my parents and grandparents handed the story down, that Ignacio rode.”
“Ignacio is a Mexican name, isn’t it. So, this is where your one-eighth Mexican ancestry came from, from Ignacio?”
“No, Sir. My Mexican ancestry is from one of my great grandmothers. I am, as I said, one-eighth Mexican and seven-eighths Apache. You can decide what Ignacio was, and so can your readers if you ever write this. “

“What about Ignacio’s wife. Wasn’t she Mexican?”
“The family said she grew up where Ignacio did, Sir. Ignacio said he was a Mexican. He and his wife herded goats and sheep. They lived in a village on the Southern Texas border, the same area I come from. Ignacio said he was a Mexican, but when the time came, Ignacio rode. He was a Mexican who wore his hair like I do, but much of the time it was tied into a large bun under his sombrero. He kept a spotted mare when often the other people around him were too poor to own a horse.”
“Hey, I just remembered I’ve heard of the Fort Sill Apaches. Were your people ever some of them?”
“No, Sir. Like I said, I come from Southern Texas. The Fort Sill Apaches were the followers of Geronimo who had also been in prison in Florida with him, and their families of course. They kept their families there. The only thing I know about Fort Sill is when Ignacio rode.”
“OK, so you are from Southern Texas, so was Ignacio, and Ignacio rode. It sounds like it’s mysterious.”
“Not very mysterious, Sir. Now Ignacio kept a Christian cross on his wall, and under it was where he hung his medicine bag of leather with leather thongs except when he wore it around his neck. He kept things of his youth and significant spiritual things from later in it. At night Ignacio would hold the bag while he prayed on his knees before his cross. It’s buried with him along with the picture.”
“The picture?”
“Yes, once when Ignacio was growing old, someone in the night brought him a picture of Geronimo, a new photograph. He kept it on the wall with the cross and the medicine bag. Sometimes when he prayed, he would hold the picture against his chest. He would whisper a word that sounded like Goyathlay in English. Sometimes he would hold a stone from the bag with the picture.
“Then one night, someone else came to whisper to Ignacio outside his door. Ignacio told his family that Geronimo the Apache was dead. Then Ignacio rode. Now when we say, Ignacio rode, it sounds maybe like he galloped very fast. But Ignacio rode his little spotted mare like a man should ride who has to travel a great distance.
“He travelled very lightly, only a blanket for a saddle, his big knife and a canteen at his belt, a bedroll with some dried goat meat behind him, his hair gathered under his sombrero. He loped his little mare, then walked her. Often he walked in front of her while she rested. They stopped to sleep in daylight hours, and the mare grazed. Both of them ate mesquite beans, and he pealed prickly pear for them. Ignacio rode, but he rode differently than many people would. He rode up all of Texas into Oklahoma, and still saved his little mare’s strength in case she was called on to do more. Ignacio knew how to ride to cover many miles in a hurry while your horse stayed strong.

“Yes, Ignacio rode. He rode as a man should. He knew how to ride a horse to save it for work or for war when a big moment arrived.
“He went to Fort Sill to see the grave himself in the military cemetery. He was about to get off his horse to pray there when a white officer on a big black horse rode up beside him. Ignacio didn’t try to ride away as many men would when he heard the officer coming. It might have made him seem like a bad man. The officer asked him, ‘Are you Apache? I don’t recognize you.’
“Ignacio replied, “Soy Mejicano. No comprendo Ingles, pero maybe little bit.’
“The officer looked at him long and hard, his forehead wrinkling above his eyes while Ignacio smiled at him.  It was difficult to smile at him because the officer had the hard experienced blue eyes of a hundred campaigns. ‘You come, come with me,’ said the officer. They rode side by side, the officer on his big black horse, Ignacio on his little spotted mare.
“They went to where two elderly Apache men stood in front of a building. The officer asked one of them to look at Ignacio. Ignacio looked deep into the other man’s black eyes like water pouring into his inwards. Then the other man spat on the ground, and said, ‘Mexican.’ Obviously despising Ignacio he rejoined his companion, and they ignored the officer and the Mexican.
“’I fear Los Indios,’ Ignacio said to the officer shrinking back on his horse.
“’Come on, come on,’ said the officer riding toward the borders of the post, Ignacio at his side. ‘Now get out of here, and never come back. Understand. Vamoose!’
“Then Ignacio rode far to the north and the west only at nighttime before he made a big loop to return to Southern Texas. Yes, Ignacio rode. But during that first day, he took time for the prayer the officer had interrupted even if he was no longer at the grave.”
“So, he really was an Apache, huh? That other Indian recognized him, and covered for him.”
“I don’t know, Sir. I can’t tell. You decide for yourself, and let your readers decide for themselves, too.”
“But you said you are seven-eighths Apache.”
The younger man stood smiling with all his large, square, white teeth showing while the bearded man leaned over the table toward him. “I have told you everything I have been told, Sir. I only know that Ignacio rode.”

 

 

The old warrior’s bones lie less than a hundred miles west of the Arbuckle Mountains, Oklahoma’s natural central gateway from Texas, where he was kept with the remnant of his group at Ft. Sill into the first years of the Twentieth Century.
Geronimo, a Chiricahua Apache nation war and spiritual leader, had still been considered by the Army questionably dangerous to turn loose when he had become only a romantic legend to the public. The tragedies of his bloody battles against Mexicans and Americans, and his personal losses of wives and children were lost to the memories of most people. His name became a paratroop battle cry and a comic book title.
But some people never forgot the person of the name. Some people always did revere Geronimo.
In 2006, 97 years after Geronimo’s death, the white-bearded, broad faced man was sitting down to a breakfast of bagels and black coffee in a typical motel lobby south of the Arbuckles where a continental breakfast was advertised. It was too late in the morning for most people to still be there, so he was alone. He was staring, bleary-eyed and tired when a door opened, and a young, square-built, muscular young man with long black hair and obviously sun-enhanced healthy glowing copper-brown skin, came in.
Although he was young, the black-haired man smiled with deep crinkles around his eyes. “Good morning, Sir,” he said. “Is there much breakfast left? I am very late.”
“Well, there’s not much, but these bagels looked good.”
“Then I will have bagels and coffee too.”
“You might as well sit down with me, if you’d like,” said old white beard. “I think we’ll be the only ones here. Did you sleep late too? I don’t think I made up for staying up late even if I tried.”
“No, I am a steel foreman. I don’t know if we are going to work more, or if we are going back to Texas. My crew and I are waiting for a final decision. We’re working on the highway, and the company contracting with us wants us to cut back on the steel to save costs. I won’t do that. My company won’t do that. We use quality steel, and we build quality products. If they don’t want to stick to the original specs, we will go home. They will take our name off the project.”
“Boy, that doesn’t sound good. I don’t like the sound of them cutting quality when people depend on it.”
“No, we don’t either. Tell me, what do you do?”
“I’m a writer. I’ve been here for book signings. I’ve enjoyed travelling Oklahoma. It’s been interesting meeting members of the Indian nations, and seeing how much of their cultures they have retained.”
“I’m Apache myself, actually seven eighths Apache and one eighth Mexican. What do you write?”
“Books of short stories. You’re the first Apache I’ve met. But I don’t think there are many Apaches in Oklahoma, are there? Did you come from Arizona or New Mexico?”
“No, I’m from Southern Texas, down on the Mexican border. Is that one of your books---may I see it?”
“Sure.”
“It looks good. If I told you a story of my family, would you use it in a book you do later?”
“Maybe.  I’d be interested in hearing it anyway.”
“Would you be sure to tell it just as I tell you? It has been handed down for many years.”
“Well, I write fiction, some of it a lot of highly embellished truth.”
“You could embellish a little bit to fill in gaps, but I’d want the story to stay much the same. I would like some people in the world to hear what my family heard. Please try, but I leave it to you. OK?
“OK, I’d like to hear your story. I won’t promise anything, but I’m interested.”
“In the family, we call our story ‘Ignacio Rode.’ We have always called it that because Ignacio did that, Ignacio rode. He was my great great grandfather. I never knew him, but my parents and grandparents handed the story down, that Ignacio rode.”
“Ignacio is a Mexican name, isn’t it. So, this is where your one-eighth Mexican ancestry came from, from Ignacio?”
“No, Sir. My Mexican ancestry is from one of my great grandmothers. I am, as I said, one-eighth Mexican and seven-eighths Apache. You can decide what Ignacio was, and so can your readers if you ever write this. “

“What about Ignacio’s wife. Wasn’t she Mexican?”
“The family said she grew up where Ignacio did, Sir. Ignacio said he was a Mexican. He and his wife herded goats and sheep. They lived in a village on the Southern Texas border, the same area I come from. Ignacio said he was a Mexican, but when the time came, Ignacio rode. He was a Mexican who wore his hair like I do, but much of the time it was tied into a large bun under his sombrero. He kept a spotted mare when often the other people around him were too poor to own a horse.”
“Hey, I just remembered I’ve heard of the Fort Sill Apaches. Were your people ever some of them?”
“No, Sir. Like I said, I come from Southern Texas. The Fort Sill Apaches were the followers of Geronimo who had also been in prison in Florida with him, and their families of course. They kept their families there. The only thing I know about Fort Sill is when Ignacio rode.”
“OK, so you are from Southern Texas, so was Ignacio, and Ignacio rode. It sounds like it’s mysterious.”
“Not very mysterious, Sir. Now Ignacio kept a Christian cross on his wall, and under it was where he hung his medicine bag of leather with leather thongs except when he wore it around his neck. He kept things of his youth and significant spiritual things from later in it. At night Ignacio would hold the bag while he prayed on his knees before his cross. It’s buried with him along with the picture.”
“The picture?”
“Yes, once when Ignacio was growing old, someone in the night brought him a picture of Geronimo, a new photograph. He kept it on the wall with the cross and the medicine bag. Sometimes when he prayed, he would hold the picture against his chest. He would whisper a word that sounded like Goyathlay in English. Sometimes he would hold a stone from the bag with the picture.
“Then one night, someone else came to whisper to Ignacio outside his door. Ignacio told his family that Geronimo the Apache was dead. Then Ignacio rode. Now when we say, Ignacio rode, it sounds maybe like he galloped very fast. But Ignacio rode his little spotted mare like a man should ride who has to travel a great distance.
“He travelled very lightly, only a blanket for a saddle, his big knife and a canteen at his belt, a bedroll with some dried goat meat behind him, his hair gathered under his sombrero. He loped his little mare, then walked her. Often he walked in front of her while she rested. They stopped to sleep in daylight hours, and the mare grazed. Both of them ate mesquite beans, and he pealed prickly pear for them. Ignacio rode, but he rode differently than many people would. He rode up all of Texas into Oklahoma, and still saved his little mare’s strength in case she was called on to do more. Ignacio knew how to ride to cover many miles in a hurry while your horse stayed strong.

“Yes, Ignacio rode. He rode as a man should. He knew how to ride a horse to save it for work or for war when a big moment arrived.
“He went to Fort Sill to see the grave himself in the military cemetery. He was about to get off his horse to pray there when a white officer on a big black horse rode up beside him. Ignacio didn’t try to ride away as many men would when he heard the officer coming. It might have made him seem like a bad man. The officer asked him, ‘Are you Apache? I don’t recognize you.’
“Ignacio replied, “Soy Mejicano. No comprendo Ingles, pero maybe little bit.’
“The officer looked at him long and hard, his forehead wrinkling above his eyes while Ignacio smiled at him.  It was difficult to smile at him because the officer had the hard experienced blue eyes of a hundred campaigns. ‘You come, come with me,’ said the officer. They rode side by side, the officer on his big black horse, Ignacio on his little spotted mare.
“They went to where two elderly Apache men stood in front of a building. The officer asked one of them to look at Ignacio. Ignacio looked deep into the other man’s black eyes like water pouring into his inwards. Then the other man spat on the ground, and said, ‘Mexican.’ Obviously despising Ignacio he rejoined his companion, and they ignored the officer and the Mexican.
“’I fear Los Indios,’ Ignacio said to the officer shrinking back on his horse.
“’Come on, come on,’ said the officer riding toward the borders of the post, Ignacio at his side. ‘Now get out of here, and never come back. Understand. Vamoose!’
“Then Ignacio rode far to the north and the west only at nighttime before he made a big loop to return to Southern Texas. Yes, Ignacio rode. But during that first day, he took time for the prayer the officer had interrupted even if he was no longer at the grave.”
“So, he really was an Apache, huh? That other Indian recognized him, and covered for him.”
“I don’t know, Sir. I can’t tell. You decide for yourself, and let your readers decide for themselves, too.”
“But you said you are seven-eighths Apache.”
The younger man stood smiling with all his large, square, white teeth showing while the bearded man leaned over the table toward him. “I have told you everything I have been told, Sir. I only know that Ignacio rode.”

 

 

The old warrior’s bones lie less than a hundred miles west of the Arbuckle Mountains, Oklahoma’s natural central gateway from Texas, where he was kept with the remnant of his group at Ft. Sill into the first years of the Twentieth Century.
Geronimo, a Chiricahua Apache nation war and spiritual leader, had still been considered by the Army questionably dangerous to turn loose when he had become only a romantic legend to the public. The tragedies of his bloody battles against Mexicans and Americans, and his personal losses of wives and children were lost to the memories of most people. His name became a paratroop battle cry and a comic book title.
But some people never forgot the person of the name. Some people always did revere Geronimo.
In 2006, 97 years after Geronimo’s death, the white-bearded, broad faced man was sitting down to a breakfast of bagels and black coffee in a typical motel lobby south of the Arbuckles where a continental breakfast was advertised. It was too late in the morning for most people to still be there, so he was alone. He was staring, bleary-eyed and tired when a door opened, and a young, square-built, muscular young man with long black hair and obviously sun-enhanced healthy glowing copper-brown skin, came in.
Although he was young, the black-haired man smiled with deep crinkles around his eyes. “Good morning, Sir,” he said. “Is there much breakfast left? I am very late.”
“Well, there’s not much, but these bagels looked good.”
“Then I will have bagels and coffee too.”
“You might as well sit down with me, if you’d like,” said old white beard. “I think we’ll be the only ones here. Did you sleep late too? I don’t think I made up for staying up late even if I tried.”
“No, I am a steel foreman. I don’t know if we are going to work more, or if we are going back to Texas. My crew and I are waiting for a final decision. We’re working on the highway, and the company contracting with us wants us to cut back on the steel to save costs. I won’t do that. My company won’t do that. We use quality steel, and we build quality products. If they don’t want to stick to the original specs, we will go home. They will take our name off the project.”
“Boy, that doesn’t sound good. I don’t like the sound of them cutting quality when people depend on it.”
“No, we don’t either. Tell me, what do you do?”
“I’m a writer. I’ve been here for book signings. I’ve enjoyed travelling Oklahoma. It’s been interesting meeting members of the Indian nations, and seeing how much of their cultures they have retained.”
“I’m Apache myself, actually seven eighths Apache and one eighth Mexican. What do you write?”
“Books of short stories. You’re the first Apache I’ve met. But I don’t think there are many Apaches in Oklahoma, are there? Did you come from Arizona or New Mexico?”
“No, I’m from Southern Texas, down on the Mexican border. Is that one of your books---may I see it?”
“Sure.”
“It looks good. If I told you a story of my family, would you use it in a book you do later?”
“Maybe.  I’d be interested in hearing it anyway.”
“Would you be sure to tell it just as I tell you? It has been handed down for many years.”
“Well, I write fiction, some of it a lot of highly embellished truth.”
“You could embellish a little bit to fill in gaps, but I’d want the story to stay much the same. I would like some people in the world to hear what my family heard. Please try, but I leave it to you. OK?
“OK, I’d like to hear your story. I won’t promise anything, but I’m interested.”
“In the family, we call our story ‘Ignacio Rode.’ We have always called it that because Ignacio did that, Ignacio rode. He was my great great grandfather. I never knew him, but my parents and grandparents handed the story down, that Ignacio rode.”
“Ignacio is a Mexican name, isn’t it. So, this is where your one-eighth Mexican ancestry came from, from Ignacio?”
“No, Sir. My Mexican ancestry is from one of my great grandmothers. I am, as I said, one-eighth Mexican and seven-eighths Apache. You can decide what Ignacio was, and so can your readers if you ever write this. “

“What about Ignacio’s wife. Wasn’t she Mexican?”
“The family said she grew up where Ignacio did, Sir. Ignacio said he was a Mexican. He and his wife herded goats and sheep. They lived in a village on the Southern Texas border, the same area I come from. Ignacio said he was a Mexican, but when the time came, Ignacio rode. He was a Mexican who wore his hair like I do, but much of the time it was tied into a large bun under his sombrero. He kept a spotted mare when often the other people around him were too poor to own a horse.”
“Hey, I just remembered I’ve heard of the Fort Sill Apaches. Were your people ever some of them?”
“No, Sir. Like I said, I come from Southern Texas. The Fort Sill Apaches were the followers of Geronimo who had also been in prison in Florida with him, and their families of course. They kept their families there. The only thing I know about Fort Sill is when Ignacio rode.”
“OK, so you are from Southern Texas, so was Ignacio, and Ignacio rode. It sounds like it’s mysterious.”
“Not very mysterious, Sir. Now Ignacio kept a Christian cross on his wall, and under it was where he hung his medicine bag of leather with leather thongs except when he wore it around his neck. He kept things of his youth and significant spiritual things from later in it. At night Ignacio would hold the bag while he prayed on his knees before his cross. It’s buried with him along with the picture.”
“The picture?”
“Yes, once when Ignacio was growing old, someone in the night brought him a picture of Geronimo, a new photograph. He kept it on the wall with the cross and the medicine bag. Sometimes when he prayed, he would hold the picture against his chest. He would whisper a word that sounded like Goyathlay in English. Sometimes he would hold a stone from the bag with the picture.
“Then one night, someone else came to whisper to Ignacio outside his door. Ignacio told his family that Geronimo the Apache was dead. Then Ignacio rode. Now when we say, Ignacio rode, it sounds maybe like he galloped very fast. But Ignacio rode his little spotted mare like a man should ride who has to travel a great distance.
“He travelled very lightly, only a blanket for a saddle, his big knife and a canteen at his belt, a bedroll with some dried goat meat behind him, his hair gathered under his sombrero. He loped his little mare, then walked her. Often he walked in front of her while she rested. They stopped to sleep in daylight hours, and the mare grazed. Both of them ate mesquite beans, and he pealed prickly pear for them. Ignacio rode, but he rode differently than many people would. He rode up all of Texas into Oklahoma, and still saved his little mare’s strength in case she was called on to do more. Ignacio knew how to ride to cover many miles in a hurry while your horse stayed strong.

“Yes, Ignacio rode. He rode as a man should. He knew how to ride a horse to save it for work or for war when a big moment arrived.
“He went to Fort Sill to see the grave himself in the military cemetery. He was about to get off his horse to pray there when a white officer on a big black horse rode up beside him. Ignacio didn’t try to ride away as many men would when he heard the officer coming. It might have made him seem like a bad man. The officer asked him, ‘Are you Apache? I don’t recognize you.’
“Ignacio replied, “Soy Mejicano. No comprendo Ingles, pero maybe little bit.’
“The officer looked at him long and hard, his forehead wrinkling above his eyes while Ignacio smiled at him.  It was difficult to smile at him because the officer had the hard experienced blue eyes of a hundred campaigns. ‘You come, come with me,’ said the officer. They rode side by side, the officer on his big black horse, Ignacio on his little spotted mare.
“They went to where two elderly Apache men stood in front of a building. The officer asked one of them to look at Ignacio. Ignacio looked deep into the other man’s black eyes like water pouring into his inwards. Then the other man spat on the ground, and said, ‘Mexican.’ Obviously despising Ignacio he rejoined his companion, and they ignored the officer and the Mexican.
“’I fear Los Indios,’ Ignacio said to the officer shrinking back on his horse.
“’Come on, come on,’ said the officer riding toward the borders of the post, Ignacio at his side. ‘Now get out of here, and never come back. Understand. Vamoose!’
“Then Ignacio rode far to the north and the west only at nighttime before he made a big loop to return to Southern Texas. Yes, Ignacio rode. But during that first day, he took time for the prayer the officer had interrupted even if he was no longer at the grave.”
“So, he really was an Apache, huh? That other Indian recognized him, and covered for him.”
“I don’t know, Sir. I can’t tell. You decide for yourself, and let your readers decide for themselves, too.”
“But you said you are seven-eighths Apache.”
The younger man stood smiling with all his large, square, white teeth showing while the bearded man leaned over the table toward him. “I have told you everything I have been told, Sir. I only know that Ignacio rode.”

 

Copyright 2008, Jerry W. Engler


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Reviewed by Regis Auffray 1/22/2008
A fine story from a fine storyteller; thank you, Jerry. Love and peace to you,

Regis
Reviewed by Jake George 9/5/2007
Wanishi, Jerry for asking me to come by and look at your story. I liked it. I have stories that have been told to me that others do not understnad when I tell them. They try to make sense of a story told for hundreds of years, with a modern mind and cannot make the connection. Look at this story through a child's eyes. You will read it differently and get a different perspective.

Well done.
Reviewed by Regino Gonzales, Jr. 8/17/2007
This is an excellent story that I can relate with. Thank you, Jerry, for writing and posting it here at AD.

I have read the story several times as it reminds me of the old, but now less embraced, values that my great grandfather passed on to my grandmother who passed them on to me. These are loyalty, respect and gratitude to our ancestors who had to break their backs or die if they must that we may live and hopefully have easier lives.

In a small town in the central Philippines where I lived during the sixties, Geronimo was very well known. His exploits with his band of Apaches were taught and discussed in our classrooms and stories and movies about him that filtered into our town were endlessly debated. In my youth, Geronimo is in our pedestal of heroes alongside our own Filipino nationals who fought against our colonial masters (my apologies to the enlightened ones).

To me, Geronimo was the soul of the Apache. If he was in my country, many in our town will do like Ignacio did, walking a hundred miles to pay last respects and express undying loyalty and gratitude to a great leader.

The young Apache, who would rather be upright than succumb to material enticements and who related Ignacio’s story, had Geronimo’s soul in him. The old Apache at Fort Sill who spat and pronounced Ignacio to be a Mexican did so to avoid giving away Ignacio. I would have done the same or more.

In my youth, my Father once asked me why I hate to watch western movies. He had a good laugh when I replied that “I don’t because the Indians always lose”.

Thank you again for the Story. God Bless Jerry.


Sincerely,

Regino


Reviewed by Mary Fallon Fleming 8/15/2007
Again, wonderful imagery. You are a master of description. You're a great story teller.

Kate
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 8/11/2007
A most intriguing story, my friend. And my wife and I both agree that old Ignacio definitely has an Apache's soul. And although she is half Apache, she usually tells people she is Spanish since she, too, has a Spanish name. But she often thinks - like an Apache!

And if you have a minute, you might find my Night Rider poem interesting.

Reviewed by Jean Pike 8/10/2007
A great story, Jerry, and you told it very well.
Love your ending!


Books by
Jerry W. Engler



Highly Embellished Truth & Some Poetry: Just Folks Three

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Just Folks: Earthy Tales of the Prairie Heartland

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A Heartland Voice: Just Folks Two

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