I had often wished that more people would have recorded in some way what they remembered of their earlier years and what they knew of their ancestors’ lives. We can learn so much from their memories, as I did from reading the memoirs of the wife and daughter of early Aravaipa Creek settler James W. Brandenburg. One lady commented, “Everything you remember would be valuable to all of us, as we are getting farther away from knowing any tales of the pioneers that paved the paths for all of us.”
I think that some people may have been, and still are, reluctant to say much because of past family problems that had taken place. My husband’s mother had started to write about her Middleton family history in Texas, but she didn’t finish. Reading the information I had learned through research about different families is better than watching a movie! It really stirs one’s imagination!
If I was younger and had the knowledge of how to write a good screen play, I would do it based on the life of my husband’s father, Martin Wood, who had been born in 1872 in Texas, and had left his home when he was about ten years old. With a relative he went on a cattle drive that was headed for Oklahoma Indian Territory, then went on another cattle drive headed for Kansas. After working for a sheepman driving sheep into New Mexico, he stayed in a camp with some friendly Indian people, then he was “running horses and breaking colts” in New Mexico for rancher and ex-Sheriff Pat Garrett after Garrett and others had seen Martin with the Indians and wanted to know if he was alright. While working for a ranch in Arizona Territory, he was in the area where Geronimo was brought in 1886 before his captivity in Florida. At that time, Martin was soon to be fourteen years old.
His work for other ranches continued as he got older, and more about his later life is included in my published book A CREEKSIDE STORY – FROM BUCKBOARD DAYS TO ECOTOURISM. What a man he was, and a kind man.