“News from the Hut”
for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
by Gary Lanham
Occasionally I am asked why I harken back to historical military oriented events in my articles. Some of you may not know I am the Historian of Post 142. I try to keep folks up on the current events around the “Hut” as well as historical facts about our member’s service and events that occurred during this week in history.
Okay I confess, I was a skydiver once. In the early 1990’s my favorite place to jump out of a perfectly good airplane was Hominy OK. I had a habit of yelling something to take my mind off what I was just doing as I exited the aircraft. You guessed it. Well in 1909, this week, Apache chief Geronimo died of pneumonia at age 80. He was still in captivity at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The slaughter of Geronimo’s family when he was a young man turned him from a peaceful Indian into a bold warrior. Originally Goyathlay (“One Who Yawns”) joined a fierce band of Apaches known as Chiricahua and with them took part in raids in northern Mexico and across the border into U.S. territory which are now known as the states of New Mexico and Arizona. Geronimo was the last Apache fighting force. He became the most famous Apache of all for standing against the U.S. government and for holding out the longest.
He was a great Apache medicine man, a great spiritual leader. Geronimo was highly sought by Apache chiefs for his wisdom. He is said to have had magical powers. He could see into the future and walk without creating footprints. Legend had it he could even prevent dawn from rising to protect his people. In 1876, Federal authorities captured and forced Geronimo and his band onto a U.S. reservation at San Carlos, Arizona. It was described as “Hell’s Forty Acres.” He soon escaped and fled to Mexico to resume the life that he loved. Geronimo roamed Arizona and New Mexico and was pursued relentlessly by more than five-thousand U.S. troops. Exhausted and hopelessly out numbered, Geronimo surrendered in 1886. His band consisted of a handful of warriors, women, and children. Geronimo, along with a few hundred of his fellow Apaches, were shipped by box-car to Florida for imprisonment. Geronimo was relocated to Fort Sill, Oklahoma and, as a prisoner of war, unable to return to his much loved homeland, died of pneumonia. He is buried in the Apache cemetery at Fort Sill Oklahoma.
We had a great showing for the Valentine’s Day banquet. We are celebrated Valentine’s Day with our special “someones” over dinner last Friday evening. The Legion and Auxiliary hosted the event and we enjoyed Chef Sebert’s ribs, chicken, and Auxiliary side dishes and desserts. Oh my goodness on the desserts! If I was counting calories I would have needed the computer that totals the national debt (don’t get me started on that!). Well done to all those who pitched in. Except the music, I’m in charge of THAT next year O’Leary (grin).
Thanks again to the hearty souls that placed and removed Old Glory up and down Main Street for President’s Day. We also appreciated the men who installed our new sign outside the post and our updated HVAC system. Soon we are making plans to apply a fresh coat of paint to the north and west sides of the building.
Don’t forget our regular meetings continue the first and third Thursdays of the month at 7:00 PM. The next one on the 18th (tonight). Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings in February are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy and maybe a waffle or two and always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians). Keep your eye on the weather in case things have to be postponed. That will be most likely if the temperatures hit freezing. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.