Monday, 4 March 2013

Many Villians and Many Heroes

     El Gringo Viejo has driven north from Seguin, Texas several million times, heading for either San Marcos, Texas to the University known as Texas State University, a dull replacement for its older and more noble name, Southwest Texas State University.....or to other points to the north.   Other times meant a drive to Austin, Texas the capital of the Republic of Texas, where he lived for a good while.   Austin is the Sodom and the Gomorrah of our blessed entity, but it remains a good and interesting place even for dull and boring people such as me.

Jose Franscisco Navarro
Among the Greatest of the Greatest
of all Texian Heroes

      But, going back to just north of Seguin, Texas on Texas 123 one soon enters into a place called Geronimo, more correctly pronounced Hei -ROE - nei - moh.  The little community is an old Spanish Mexican outpost that long, long ago lost all such characteristics with the arrival of the thousands of German settlers in the 1840s and 1850s.    But, the names mean something.  The school district is named Navarro Independent School District, and the rural community, never incorporated into city status, is still formally known as Geronimo.   It has been gentrified in recent years with the obligatory Sears houses from  the early 1900s changed into antique and collectictible dens.   A very good, and very typical Mexican restaurant named "Loera's", sits on the right, on the north end of town....quite close to, you guessed it...Geronimo Creek.
     Jose' Antonio Navarro was of the family that gave the names.   Some have declared that Geronimo was the grandfather of Jose' Antonio, while others maintain that Jose' Antonio's father founded the large ranch during the Spanish Colonial period and christened in on the day of San Geronimo, that being the saint's day on the Roman Catholic calendar.   Whichever is true, and we have spent and will continue to spend time researching the point, the Navarros were well entrenched in the life of the area by the 1830s.

Stephen Fuller Austin
Father of the Republic of Texas
     Jose' Antonio Navarro was an interesting personality because he managed to have had four different citizenships during his lifetime without every having renounced one....or applying for another.    He was born a Spanish subject, and with the completion of the break by Mexico from Spain, he became a Mexican citizen....first a subject of Emperor Agustin de Iturbide I (1822 - 1823) and then as a citizen of the Republic upon the deposition of the Imperiato and the establishment of the republican Constitucion de 1824.   As Texas and Coahuila devolved into the mess of war against the Centralists under the command of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Navarro became a Texian....not only by just standing still, but also by attending, participating, and guiding the movements and actions of the Convention at Washington on the Brazos...near what is now Brenham, Texas.   Three people of the sixty there gathered had considerable experience in the nature of political stylings, the law, and matters of State.  They were Sam Houston, Lorenzo de Zavala, and Jose' Antonio Navarro.

     Navarro had one other great marker in his personnel file.   He was the closest friend and advisor to another great Texian personality...The Father of Texas ....Stephen F. Austin.   Because of Austin's health, it was thought that Navarro not only represented a large body of large landowners, but also the Latin group in general, the professions, experience in dealing with Lopez de Santa Anna, but also Stephen Fuller Austin himself on the floor of the Congress. The Congress of Texas....the Congress of Coahuila y Texas....and the Congress of the Republic of Mexico.

     To-night, we wait with Trepidation and fear of showing fear.....1,600 Mexicans supporting the indefensible Mexican Centralist position in Mexico City, but fearing the show of fear....against a rag-tag bunch of 200 or bunch, too stubborn to have taken the advice of Texano civilian leaders and military choose their fight to the east and not waste themselves before a tyrant by dying uselessly in a nowhere place, defending nothing of military import.    This is their penultimate night on this earth, those inside the walls, and fully one-third of those outside the walls will join their enemies on the flight to judgement in less than thirty hours from the posting of this notice.

Pray for the souls of friend and foe.  The Ghosts of the Alamo will be restless again.  They never go away.
El Gringo Viejo