Sunday, June 13, 2010

If cumulus could talk

There was a time when every kid growing up in Texas knew the story of Quanah Parker, the greatest Comanche war chief who ruled the Plains for most of the 19th century. Or at least we thought we did. But few history books told of his second act. At the reservation, Parker morphed from a terrible warrior to a prosperous cattleman and hard-bargaining politician who became Teddy Roosevelt’s friend. The chief played a leading role in building the Native American Church and defended its role in the use of peyote. “The white man goes to church and talks about Jesus,” Parker said, “but the Indian goes into his tipi and talks to Jesus.” Read: Empire of the Summer Moon.

Put this in your GPS: Chef Point Café, Watauga, Tx. Just north of Ft. Worth, this little truck stop eatery got a nice review in the Sunday NY Times. Operated by chef Franzon Nwaeze, a Nigerian immigrant and his American wife, Paula, the restaurant is seven years old. The banks wouldn’t lend the couple $$$ for a café but they would for a gas station. So the enterprising couple bought a Conoco station and ditched the rotating weiner warmer and slushy machine. Reservations not accepted. Patrons include bikers and Dallas debutantes.

The Minnesota Nice tradition didn’t bother the guy who wrote this car-for-sale adv on CraigsList: “As I have sold here before: No Nigerian princes, principals only, no shipping, we have a great alarm system, Rottweilers and guns but we are very nice to good, decent people.”

In Minnesota, more than half a million drivers have been convicted of DWI.


The South Plainsman said...

Quanah Parker was indeed a very interesting character. West Texas history if full of such.

From the end of the Civil War and the turn of the Century, a lot of history was made that doesn't get into the books.

Another such character was Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie, the cavalry officer who drove Quanah Parker and his Comanches to the reservation.

Of all of the cavalry officers, he was the most effective, protecting the Texas frontier for more than a dozen years.

Custer got the fame by getting himself spectacularly killed, but Mackenzie died in a mental institution a forgotten man. It is believed that he may have been a victim of what we now call post traumatic stress disorder.

Mackenzie's only claim to fame may be that John Wayne played him in the movie Rio Grande, which was based on a Mackenzie raid into Mexico. Unfortunately, they named Duke's character Col. York.

A lot of history is better than fiction.

There is a great biography of Mackenzie: Bad Hand, by Charles M. Robinson III.

Anonymous said...

please visit the

paula said...

yeah, but they were "nice" drunks!

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