American History KINDNESS

Ben H. English ~ Author ~ Texas


“There were also times when Zacatecas would stay for supper. During those evenings their conversations would cover a variety of subjects. Each had their favorite, but all three seemed to enjoy talking about the Big Bend as a common denominator.

It did not take Kate long to discover that Solomon Zacatecas had a deep, abiding passion for all aspects of their surroundings. He spoke with an educated familiarity of the early explorers dating back to the time of Cabeza de Vaca, and how the nearby border town of Presidio could arguably be one of the oldest populated communities in North America. He talked of the native Indians, ranging from the Jumano to the Apache and on to the later marauding Comanche; who raided both sides of the Rio Grande as they followed the infamous Comanche Trail.

The man also described the confusing, often incomprehensible natural history of the region, said to be either a geologist’s paradise or nightmare, depending on one’s perspective. Zacatecas possessed a working grasp of those forces that had shaped the area and could explain them in layman’s terms, keeping Jamie wide-eyed and Kate fascinated in how he managed to do so.

Yet above all, it was his recalling of the stories of people now long gone that captivated the other two most. Each narration seemed to have some element that crossed over from mere human existence into a sprawling epic of men made to match this magnificent, unforgiving land. Whether it was of an Apache warrior, a Mexican bandit, a lawman, a soldier, or some otherwise forgotten cowboy or miner, Solomon Zacatecas told each one’s saga with empathy and a certain sentiment.”…

So reads one of the passages from my latest book ‘Destiny’s Way.’ Those words came to me again as I stood above Trap Spring, a couple of miles northwest of Mule Ear Peaks. The spring was flowing and the water was good, and the feeling of a peaceful quietude surrounded this tucked away place, brimming with the different drifting shades of those who came before.

Where there is this sort of water, you will find the signs of so many forgotten lives. Whether they be pre-Columbian Jumano, a Mexican homesteader, or a Norteamericano pioneer rancher, they all came with their own needs and dreams.

And here at an old Indian camp those separate dreams and efforts intermeshed; a pair of metates in solid rock, the vanishing remnants of ruins and the castaway relics of machinery to bring that precious water out of the arroyo.

All there, all wasting away under the sun.

All part of the largely untold story of a largely magnificent land…

Ben H. English
Alpine, Texas

By ace101

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