Thunder and lightening last night but no rain. Early morning was overcast and cooler. Amazing weather. It was like finally having a flashlight turned off after someone shining it directly in your eyes for an extended time. You can’t focus on that fact you can see again…or in this case, not still be burning to a crisp. However, the air is heating up once more, and now it feels like a steamy sauna outside.
When I “graduated” from eighth grade, my grandfather wanted to buy me something special. He never went further than the 8th grade himself so this was a special occasion to him. He wanted to buy me a pair of boots that cost $100. My mother threw a fit, and a small family riff rocked things for a while. I wanted those boots, but mom said it was too much money when I needed so many other things. Besides it was a waste of money since I should be dressing like a young lady. To this day, I can not remember any gift I received then, only the one I did not.
I am reading the September selection for my book club, Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne. It is a cowboy and Indian story with the emphasis on the Indians since it is the story of Quanah Parker, born of a white mother and a Comanche father. Cynthia Parker was captured when she was nine years old in Texas during a Comanche raid. She later married one of the tribe and produced three children; her oldest son Quanah became the last chief of the Comanches.
The book is more than their story though. It is a tale of how Texas was settled, how the Texas Rangers were formed, the invention of the Colt pistol, how fighting strategies changed in the West, and how the fierce Comanches lost their power hold on the southern prairies. The book is fascinating reading, but it is violent and gruesome, just as Manifest Destiny was for many folks.