Heritage Tourism….it’s a word we use a lot here on Texansunited.com, and we certainly salute those Texas towns who have been astute enough to cash in on it for their town.
The town of Comanche has recently begun to understand the economic impact that heritage tourism can have on a town, and I suppose that is what caused me to think of the black horse today, a Lone Sentinel, if you will. Seldom do I pass the west side of the square in Comanche that I don’t look up at that great black stallion keeping watch so high over the countryside and, of course, I think and I wonder just what that the sentinel sees, what he knows.
I wonder how much his horse ancestors told him about days gone by in Comanche, Erath, Mills, and Brown counties, and I wonder if he hates that he was born too late, if he hates that he was not one of those creatures who carried the men from the surrounding area off to do battle with the Indians, if he hates that he did not march off to war, carrying a Confederate soldier away to do battle with the hated Yankees.
I also wonder if his horse great-great-grandfather told him about the murder of an Indian in Erath County in 1857, a murder that many blame for Indian uprisings in Central Texas that lasted for the next two decades.
From his perch high above the rest of us can he see those long-forgotten graves of little ones who did not have the strength to fight the harsh wilderness into which their parents decided to bring them? Does he know about the women who finally simply gave in and lost their minds because that was preferable to living?
Do you suppose he knows how people cheered when oil gushed in at Sipe Springs and Hog Town and the train finally chugged its way into Comanche after decades of nothing? I even wonder if his trained horse eyes can still see the pride shimmering over the town of Dublin as its own Ben Hogan became one of the most famous golfers in the world.
Oh, I know. To most of you, my Lone Sentinel is nothing but a piece of metal, the work of some craftsman who was paid to create a black horse for some customer, but for some of us, those of us who know, he stands watch…finding the things from way on high that we can’t see from here below…the web that weaves the past and the present together and ultimately creates the future that will be seen by generations yet to come.
And why does this article reflect thankfulness? Well, that’s easy. I am extremely, extremely thankful that I was not forced to live during days gone by in Texas. I’m not tough enough!–Frontier history such as is referred to here may be found in The View From The Old Oak Tree by Fredda Davis Jones.