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.
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.