A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Jimmie Dale Gilmore’

Lawton and Geronimo, Oklahoma

Posted by graywacke on September 10, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2456; A Landing A Day blog post number 892.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N34o 33.843’, W98o 19.333’) puts me in SW Oklahoma:

My very local landing map shows that I landed just outside titular (and major city) Lawton:

Where’s Geronimo?  Here’s Geronimo:

You can see that I landed in the Ninemile Creek watershed:

On to the East Cache Creek.  Zooming back:

Unsurprisingly, the E Cache flows into the Cache, and after a short trip, there’s the Red River of the South (67th hit).  Although not shown, all of my regulars know that the Red discharge (more or less) discharge to the Atchafalaya (74th hit).

Here’s a Google Earth (GE) shot that shows that I landed right in a small subdivision:

Of course, I was keeping my fingers crossed as I yanked the Orange Dude from his perch on the side of the map, thereby generating the blue lines that show where he’s allowed to visit.  Here’s what I saw:

 

 

AYKM?  The Googlemobile dude drove into the subdivision, but didn’t take the extra three minutes to complete the outside loop!  Usually, I’m pleasantly surprised by the extent of GE Street View coverage.  Not this time. . .

Here’s a close-in GE shot showing that I landed at the end of the driveway for 350 Southeast Lasso Loop, Lawton OK:

What’s the chance that the folks that live here will ever see this post?  Pretty slim, eh?

Here’s where the OD could get a decent look at Ninemile Creek:

And here’s what he sees:

Sorry about the blurry shot, but this is a 2008 Street View photo.  Picture quality has improved greatly over the last 11 years.  Here’s the view in the other direction (upstream):

I felt like I had to make Lawton titular, given its size (pop 100,000; the fifth-largest city in Oklahoma) and proximity.

I don’t have much to say about Lawton.  I did note under “Notable People,” the fact that singer / song writer / studio musician Leon Russell (1942 – 2016) was born here.  He worked with many famous musicians, including Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, George Harrison, the Beach Boys, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, the Band, B.B. King, the Byrds, Barbra Streisand and Glen Campbell (and I’m sure I missed several others).

I saw Leon Russel in a February 2016 concert in Sellersville PA.  He died later that same year . . .

His most famous song is “A Song for You” (1970).  Here’s a 1971 live version:

 

I’m ready to move along to Geronimo (pop 1,300).  There’s not much to say about Geronimo, except that (of course), it’s named after the famous Indian warrior of the same name.

True confessions.  I don’t know anything about Geronimo.  So it’s about time that I learned, eh?  From Wiki:

Geronimo (“the one who yawns,”) June 1829 – February 17, 1909) was a prominent leader and medicine man from the Bedonkohe band of the  Chiricahua Apache tribe. From 1850 to 1886 Geronimo joined with members of three other Chiricahua Apache bands — the Tchihende, the Tsokanende and the Nednhi — to carry out numerous raids, as well as resistance to U.S. and Mexican military campaigns in the northern Mexico states of Chihuahua and Sonora, and in the southwestern American territories of New Mexico and Arizona. Geronimo’s raids and related combat actions were a part of the prolonged period of the Apache–United States conflict, which started with American settlement in Apache lands following the end of the war with Mexico in 1848.

While well known, Geronimo was not a chief among the Chiricahua Apaches.  However, since he was a superb leader in raiding and warfare he frequently led large numbers of men and women beyond his own following. At any one time, about 30 to 50 Apaches would be following him.

During Geronimo’s final period of conflict from 1876 to 1886 he “surrendered” three times and accepted life on the Apache reservations in Arizona.  Reservation life was confining to the free-moving Apache people, and they resented restrictions on their customary way of life.

In 1886, after an intense pursuit in Northern Mexico by U.S. forces that followed Geronimo’s third 1885 reservation “breakout,” Geronimo surrendered for the last time to Lt. Charles Bare Gatewood, an Apache-speaking West Point graduate who had earned Geronimo’s respect a few years before.

Geronimo was later placed under General Nelson Miles.  Miles treated Geronimo as a prisoner of war in Arizona.

While being held as a prisoner, the United States capitalized on Geronimo’s fame among non-Indians by displaying him at various events. For the United States, this provided proof of the superiority of American ways. For Geronimo, it provided him with an opportunity to make a little money.

In 1898, for example, Geronimo was exhibited at the Trans-Mississippi and International Exhibition in Omaha, Nebraska. Following this exhibition, he became a frequent visitor to fairs, exhibitions, and other public functions. He made money by selling pictures of himself, bows and arrows, buttons off his shirt, and even his hat. In 1905, the Indian Office provided Geronimo for the inaugural parade for President Theodore Roosevelt.

He died at the Fort Sill hospital in 1909, as a prisoner of war. Geronimo is buried at the Fort Sill Indian Agency Cemetery surrounded by the graves of relatives and other Apache prisoners of war.

For reasons that will soon be clear, I’m going to do a quick check-in with Billy the Kid.  From Wiki:

Billy the Kid (born Henry McCarty in 1859); also known as William Bonney; died 1881 at age 21) was an American Old West outlaw and gunfighter who killed at least eight men before he was shot and killed at age 21.

McCarty was orphaned at age 14. The owner of a boarding house gave him a room in exchange for work. His first arrest was for stealing food at age 16 in late 1875. Ten days later, he robbed a Chinese laundry and was arrested, but he escaped only two days later. He fled from New Mexico Territory into neighboring Arizona Territory, making him both an outlaw and a federal fugitive. In 1877, McCarty began to refer to himself as “William H. Bonney.”

After murdering a blacksmith during an altercation in August 1877, Bonney returned to New Mexico, where he joined a group of cattle rustlers. He became a well-known figure in the region when he joined a militia group and took part in the Lincoln County War. In April 1878, his militia killed three men, including Lincoln County Sheriff William J. Brady and one of his deputies. Bonney and two other militia members were later charged with killing all three men.

Bonney’s notoriety grew in December 1880 when the Las Vegas Gazette in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and The Sun in New York City carried stories about his crimes.  Sheriff Pat Garrett captured Bonney later that month.

In April 1881, Bonney was tried and convicted of the murder of Brady, and was sentenced to hang in May of that year. He escaped from jail on April 28, 1881, killing two sheriff’s deputies in the process and evading capture for more than two months. Garrett shot and killed Bonney—aged 21—in Fort Sumner NM on July 14, 1881.

Wiki has a lengthy entry entitled “The Legend of Billy the Kid:”

More has been written about Billy the Kid than any other gunslinger in the history of the American West, while hundreds of books, motion pictures, radio and television programs and even a ballet have been inspired by his legend.

When he was still alive, “Billy the Kid” had already become a nationally known figure whose exploits, real and imaginary, were reported in the National Police Gazette and the large newspapers of the eastern United States. After his death on July 14, 1881, all of New York City’s papers ran his obituary, and within days, newspapers around the United States were printing exaggerated and romanticized accounts of Billy the Kid’s short career.

In the fifteen or so dime novels about his criminal career published between 1881 and 1906, the Kid was an outlaw antihero, customarily depicted as a badman with superior gunslinging skills, or even as a demonic agent of Satan who delighted in murder.

So now imagine that not long before he was killed, Billy the Kid met up with Geronimo in Lordsburg NM. Geronimo would have been about 50 years old at the time, with his notorious years behind him.

Amazingly, a couple of musically-inclined gents (Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore) wrote and recorded a song about that chance meeting.  The words are posted after the video:

 

There is an old story in New Mexico
Bout the night Billy the Kid met Geronimo
In a Lordsburg barroom they spoke their mind
One hand on their pistols and cold blood in their minds.

Billy the Kid said to Geronimo
“My mother died young and left me all alone
“So I grew up wild, my gun my best friend
“I killed 21 men and I’d kill them all again.”

Geronimo said “I’ve got no place to hide.
“The land of my birth, I don’t recognize.
“There’s barbed wire and railroads towns without end
“My people are scattered like leaves in the wind.”

Billy the Kid said, “We’re just the same
“We’re cursed and we’re damned as they whisper our name,
“We’re hunted, we’re hated, we’re feared and reviled,
“By every God-fearing man, woman and child.”

Geronimo said, “No, we’re not the same
“All the harm that I’ve done, I feel great shame
“But I fought for my family, my tribe and my land
“But we’ll pay the same price for the blood on our hands.”

As the morning sun rose and the coyotes cried
And the Chiricahua and the outlaw said good-bye
And rode cross the desert their separate
One prison-bound and other to his young grave.

By the way – there is no historical record of such a meeting.  So, add this to the legend . . .

I’ll close with this shot of the erstwhile Valley View church (from about 15 miles SE of my landing) posted on GE by g smallwood:

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

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