I don’t know about you, but I can scarcely believe that tomorrow is August 1, 2017. For that matter, I can’t believe it is 2017. Wasn’t I just born about 18 years ago or something like that? Time sure does fly…
For many here in Georgia and in other states (so I discovered on a phone call this afternoon), school starts for the kids next week. Unbelievable. I remember that we usually didn’t start until sometime in either very late August or even in September. Of course, back in those ancient times, teachers didn’t seem to have a work day every other week, either. It was knuckle down and grind it out from the time school started until summer showed up. And what a glorious day it was on the last day of school each spring!
How did I spend my summer days? For the most part, I’d play baseball in a sandlot or empty field with my friends from mid-morning until dinner time. What glorious memories those are! My childhood and youth are filled with nothing but wonderful scenes!
And now, I watch my grandchildren as they enter their last week before school ramps up again. The photo today is one I shot not too long ago at a pool in their neighborhood. Big sis and little sis laughing together and having fun, bound by the love they share for one another and for life. They are tanned from the summer sun. Much has transpired this summer: a baby tooth or two has fallen out, a permanent tooth was chipped and had to be fixed by a dentist friend of the family, they learned that they will be adopting a baby sister, various camps have come and gone…but most of all, they had a magnificent childhood summer with memories to relive and laughter to recall.
But now, after this week, pool time will largely be forgotten (though the weather will remain hot enough here for at least another month if not two) for swimming. Just as my summers long ago came to a close with the ringing of the school bell, so will theirs. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just go back for a short time and relive some of those joyful experiences again?
It is true that when one season turns, another begins. I hope we will march into whatever the next season is in our lives with as much excitement as I once welcomed those first days of summer as a kid!
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1937, Charles Martine, an Apache scout who played an important role in the surrender of Geronimo, died on the Mescalero Reservation in New Mexico.
Born in 1858 among the Chiricahua Apache of northern Mexico, Martine was captured as a young boy and sold to a Mexican family as a servant. His knowledge of both Spanish and Apache and his familiarity with the southern desert lands eventually made him a valuable interpreter and scout. In 1886, the American General Nelson Miles recruited Martine and another Apache, Kayitah, to help track down the renegade Apache chief Geronimo.
The wily Geronimo had long stymied the U.S. Army’s best efforts to find and arrest him. Now Miles decided to try negotiating. He wanted Martine and Kayitah to find the chief and persuade him to come in and talk about peace. If they succeeded, Miles reportedly promised they would be well rewarded by the U.S. government.
Accompanied by a small party of soldiers, Martine and Kayitah eventually located Geronimo’s camp in northern Mexico. Bearing a white flag, the two scouts cautiously approached the hostile camp. Geronimo initially wanted to shoot the two scouts, but his braves convinced him to let them come forward. Still in considerable danger, the two scouts entered the camp. They managed to convince Geronimo to talk to the army officers. Eventually, Geronimo agreed to a meeting with General Miles during which Geronimo gave his unconditional surrender.
Despite their brave and effective service in obtaining the surrender of one of the last hostile Indians in the nation, Martine and Kayitah never received the awards promised them by General Miles. Instead, they were exiled to the east with Geronimo and the other hostile Apache. Miles insisted that all the Chiricahua Apache be exiled-even the scouts who had worked for the U.S. Army. In 1913, they both opted to move to the Apache reservation at Mescalero, New Mexico. On this day in 1937, Martine died there. He was about 80 years old. His longtime friend and ally, Kayitah, had died three years earlier.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: bears can run up to 40 miles per hour, fast enough to catch a running horse. The fastest known human alive today is Usain Bolt, who can run 27mph. Their normal resting heartbeat is 40, but during hibernation, it is 8.