Friday morning I dropped the kids off at school, grabbed some coffee and my camera gear and went out on a totally awesome history geek photo safari with a dear friend. Our book club recently read the Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches by SC Gwynne. It's a rare history book in that it doesn't create true heroes or villains out of this very bloody era of frontier life. Instead, Gwynne explores the gray area created by two sides caught up in a life or death battle with implications no one could foresee. Quanah's story takes place along the Red River in southwest Oklahoma and across the Texas panhandle to the Llano Estacado on the New Mexico border. The original Comanche Reservation is just down the road from us in Lawton. We searched for Quanah Parker's Star House and his original burial site. Thwarted on both of those by blocked roads and poor directions we headed over to Ft. Sill, where Quanah, his mother Cynthia Anne and his sister Prairie Flower were united in death at the post cemetery.
It was a perfect April morning on the prairie and just right for paying our respects to the history and beauty of this sometimes harsh corner of the world.
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