GERONIMO AND A GERMAN IMMIGRANT…

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GERONIMO IN THE AUTUMN OF HIS LIFE

A few days ago I read a blog about Geronimo, a Chiricahua Apache warrior. The article is titled GERONIMO AND THE APACHE—THE TALIBAN OF THE WILD WEST? It was published on WordPress, 12-6-12, by NH Mallet, his website is THIS IS WAR (http://thisiswarblog.wordpress.com). As stated in his article, the United States government pursued Geronimo throughout the American west for many years until he finally surrendered in 1886. By any standard, Geronimo is a legend. I left a comment on his blog relating a story my grandma told me as a child; about my great, great grandpa, Ferdinand Weise, and Geronimo. Since this story has been passed from one generation to the next, all I can do is presume the account is true. Oh, to be the proverbial fly on the wall…

Mr. Mallet was kind enough to let me know he enjoyed my story and I thanked him for restoring a fond memory. So, I thought maybe other folks might find this tale as curious and fascinating as I do.

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GERONIMO’S HOME
BEFORE HE SURRENDERED

As I got the story from my grandma when I was around 8 years old (I’m 71 now); my great, great grandpa (born in Germany, an immigrant to the US around 1864) and Geronimo were close friends. My great, great grandpa lived in St. Louis during the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and was in the crowd watching the opening day parade pass by. Geronimo, riding in a wagon and waving to the crowd, recognized my great, great grandpa in among the spectators. Geronimo promptly stopped the wagon, got down, and walked towards his friend. Based upon Geronimo’s ferocious reputation and fearing the worst, the crowd scattered in all directions, until they saw Geronimo and my great, great grandpa hugging, laughing and talking. For what it’s worth, this is the story, a very interesting and curious story, my grandmother told her grandkids.

I can’t recall if my grandma told me, but I have no idea how or when they first became friends. Geronimo is in our history books and my great grandpa is not. Regardless, does all that really matter? They met and became close friends, and I think that’s the most important thing.

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17 thoughts on “GERONIMO AND A GERMAN IMMIGRANT…

  1. Love this story. Geronimo has the piercing eyes. I think of Great warrior whenever I see his photo! I have some Native American blood. My great grandmother was Choctaw. I never knew her but my daddy told us she came to Texas from Alabama. 3Chics is paying tribute to the First Nations this week. I so love their music. It touches the soul.

  2. Cool. Long ago my relatives migrated to Texas – the Indian village close by were friendly and the family would share extra produce from their gardens – one toothless old Indian would sit under the kitchen window. He would wait for any scraps they would give him (or pies set out to cool…that was a problem) because he had no teeth and no one made food he could gum/eat in the village.
    But there were also fierce Indian tribes that migrated between Mexico and the US that were dangerous and would rape, kill, burn and kidnap children ( like Cynthia Ann Parker – her son became a fierce chief. She eventually returned to the “white man’s world” – but never was happy. Her grand daughter lived down the street from us when I was little
    People don’t seem to change a lot. Some good. Some bad. Not too different from today.
    Enjoyed your post – great story

    • I appreciate you taking the time to read my story. Your story about your family and their life with Indians is also interesting and curious to me. When I hear or read about stories like yours or mine and think about all the Indians wars we, “the white man”, fought and all the lives, red and white, that have been lost, I wonder who’s the real savage. I guess it’s both. Regardless, like you say, “People don’t seem to change a lot. Some good. Some bad. Not too different from today. Again, thanks.

      • People forget Native Americans fought on both sides of the Revolutionary War. And the Texas army had Native Americans with them – but the Mexican Army did not ( Mexico wanted the Indian tribes extinguished). There were quite a few Indian vs Indian tribal battles. Basically war isn’t just white man vs red man – Basic Human nature? Wars seem to be fought over territory or clash of cultures – then and now. People just can’t seem to get along? Enjoyed the read

  3. Great story. I love that kind of stories. My grandma used to tell me stories from the mexican revolution. The most memorable was about Pancho Villa…yeah …the only mexican invader of the USA.
    Pancho ask her a haircut and shaving in the afternoon that day. She was nurse and had a kind of beatuy parlor in the town she lived, Arramberri N.L. (120 miles south of Monterrey)
    She told me that an hacendado offer her a big amount of money to kill him during the shaving. Of course, she didn´t accept
    Fiction or true it is very interesting to hear that kind of stories

    • Glad you like the Geronimo story. I’m no historian, but I feel Geronimo and Poncho Villa were victims of circumstances, circumstances they did not create, and these leaders simply did what they felt they had to do. Your grandma’s story and my grandma’s story need to be passed on, if only to show violence is not always necessary.

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