Thursday, 21 March 2013

We have spoken of El Zorro's background....

         This is something of profound interest to people who know and understand history instead of  just knowing  that its something in the past.  This is a monsterous, huge barn that was built to become a home.   Our best estimate would be that it was built in the 1868 - 1875 period.   It was built, obviously, en situs, in extreme North Central Texas....not many miles from the Indian Territory.   When it was built, there were still errant bands and groups of Comanche and Kickapoo, along with smaller and less frequent bands of Kiowa and western Apaches (Mescalero and Chericahua) who would still try to cause a bit of mayhem and destruction.
      The Cherokee and Choctaw who were already translocated (Andrew Jackson really was a slug) into the Indian Territory had pretty much turned the White Man into some form of ally, business partner, client, provisioneer, in-law, or some neutral to positive connection to him, his family and his sub-tribe, and nation.   There was still a bit of hostility here and there and now and again, but one can consider the person of Will Rogers to understand the simplicity, complexity, racism and anti-racism among the largely Confederate Cherokee and White groups who lived in that mystical, spooky, noble, harsh, and beautiful land 50 miles either side of the Red River. 

An old homestead home, not far from El Zorro's ultra-modern, ultra-deluxe
Metal Roofed "cabin" a long stone's throw away from this noble old timer.

         This noble structure, as is noted by sight, is made of hewn logs.   The logs are either cypress (sabinal) or pecan/walnut (nogal/ nueces).   The logs were cut and finished by a skillful ax man (or men).  The logs were planked, still something around 3 X 10 X 120 inches and variations.   The heavy planked part starts on a mounted rock pier foundation, and rises up to a height of 10 feet, where it forms the base for a vaulted roof...much less common at the time than one might think when watching re-runs of Bananas, or The Big Valleyhoo".   Each of the long members in the body of the walls probably cost up to 50 dollars gold, silver or Yankee greenbacks if that was all that was available.   Further, it was double-walled, and the space between filled with mud and rock.
      If they were done by El Zorro's collateral family, the ones who owned the home...with two grown men, skilled, working on the logs it  would have taken two to three weeks of steady felling and swinging.    Then, not to mention the draughting or dreyage back to the farmstead.   But delivered from some "big city" within a hundred miles...well, you can imagine just how expensive oats can be.
     Please note, consider that the woman standing by the chimney chamber....probably a tall girl if her descendants are a guide...and it would indicate a stack height of nearly 25 feet.   The bricks seem to be nearly adobe, and might represent the rough and ready work that might be done by a Mexican.   Were it so, he would have plastered it with gypsum, sand, and oyster shell and/or cow bones and/or perhaps finely ground limestone both in the house and all the way up to the mouth of the chimney.   Judging by the probable width, it seems enough to have been a stove, oven, and a hearth because the people at that time, if they could afford it, would make that space so as to enjoy the obvious benefits.   That would include multiple. simultaneous uses, and during the really bitter winter episodes that come down from the north...pleasant warmth for the nearly airtight home.
     Now, we are given to understand that this woman was born to this home, and the auto in the background is a 1955 Ford  in the right, rear background....was built probably 80 Years after the initial construction of the house.
     People in those days would become older, and then move to town, as it was said.  Houses such as these were not treasured so much although they saw a lot of joy and a lot of tragedy.  They were left to fend for themselves pretty much....facing thunderstorms  with large hail, lightening, floods, intense cold, oppressive heat and all such inclemency.   El Zorro says that not much is left, even of the old shell pictured above, beyond some of the walling and the like.  Of course the roof would have been carried off by any 100 mile per hours gust, but all of that would have been when El Zorro was kicking around on the Mexican with El Gringo Viejo in the Magic Lower Rio Grande Valley, in the City of Palms, McAllen, Texas....where you find Elegance on the Border.   It was a terribly good time.
     El Zorro is probably toying with the idea of putting some of the pieces back together...who knows, he's not poor...and he might do a bit of restoration and make a man cave out of the peices...and he says he is going to finally put together the ascendency and descendency of his family....a very interesting family it is.   Figure...esteemed OROGs...that when you hear the name Quanah Parker...what come to it up...and think that, on many different levels that name, those people, white people made red by captivity and by choice, and red people becoming as much an American as any Virginia or Boston aristocrat, and everything in between....and that house there probably watched and heard much of those goings on.   It was just about six inches away from the dead centre of it all.
     Pardon El Gringo Viejo's ramble, but when El Zorro sent this magnificent picture, it was as if I were 5 years old on early Christmas Morning.  My brother, Ph.d. in Cultural Geography, were he alive to-day, would have driven over just to touch the bone of that noble old structure.   Our grandfather built and lived in a sod house for seven years up in Sargent (that's the way it is spelled) County, North Dakota....when he was establishing a fairly large tree stead and grain farm.  But that was also back in the late 1880s and nothing would be left of it now.  It is all just very interesting and pleasant to contemplate.
Thanks as usual for your time and interest.   Pray for America.  And for the Texan OROGs, "If at first you don't secede, try try again."
El Gringo Viejo
Un mensaje para la atencion de el Senor Ciudadano, Presidente- Generalissimo Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, "Ya, le quede solamente treinta dias hasta que le pasa el desastre de San Jacinto.  Preparese"