Recently, my history class had an oral reports assignment. Though at the same time, I had a lot on my mind. Recently, Carrie Reinhold had started seeing some parasite named Marshall. I thought I’d be thrilled to finally have Carrie Reinhold off my back. But for some reason, I couldn’t get it off my mind. Not that I was jealous, but there was something about this Marshall that just rubbed me the wrong way. I was gonna give my class an oral (ha ha, oral) history on the Tolkien family’s involvement in the battle of the Alamo. First of all, this would be a great opportunity to educate my class on my family’s history. Secondly, I could teach Marshall a lesson: As they used to say in that time period, don’t tread on Tolkien! Here was my report:
The year was 1876 and some homesteaders were looking for a little bit of land they could call their own. There were ex-soldiers, artisans, farmers and of course, Jeremiah M. Tolkien. You see, Jeremiah originally played for the San Francisco 49ers during the Gold Rush. Unfortunately, things literally didnâ€™t pan out for him. He would have stuck around, but he had a family to take care of. After all, if his son died, I might not have been born! So Jeremiah wanted to go back home, but Gladys Knightâ€™s Midnight Train to Georgia hadnâ€™t been invented yet. So he decided to follow a group of settlers to a little bit of land that hadnâ€™t been discovered yet on the promise of a better life. But Iâ€™ll get back to him later.
Anyway, a few days after settling down, the settlers were blasted with an attack from the Mexicans. It turns out they were pilgrims in territory that was ocupado. The Federales viciously attacked the settlers while they were in church. However, the settlers had one of the greatest military leaders of the time on their side â€“ Col. â€œStone Coldâ€ Stephen F. Austin! He didnâ€™t take crap from anybody, and he quickly sent the hombres and mujeres back where they came from.
Unfortunately, where they came from wasnâ€™t too far from where the settlers were living. So the Mexicans decided to make a sneak attack, specifically on Col. Austin, specifically while he was sleeping. Yes, they snuck up on him while he was sleeping. But one man â€“ Jeremiah M. Tolkien (if you want a grasp of how important he was, imagine his name being read by some barrel-chested man with a deep voice) â€“ was able to rally the troops and stop the Mexicanos before they could kill Col. Austin. Everyone knew that it was now war with the Mexicans, but unfortunately Col. Austin was too badly wounded so he left his command to the one man he knew he could trust â€“ Jeremiah M. Tolkien.
Admittedly, Jeremiah was reluctant about leading the troops. Although he had fought in the Civil War, Jeremiah had never lead a mission of that significance before. However, Austin convinced Jeremiah by telling him that if he didnâ€™t do it, he would open up a can of whoop-ass on him. Also, when asked if the people wanted Jeremiah to lead, they gave Austin an excited â€œHell yeah!â€ Jeremiah knew he had to put together one hell of an army. So he called up everyone he knew â€“ Davy Crockett, Long John Silver, Paul Revere, Sitting Bull, Houdini, the Royal Canadian Mounties, and another great unsung hero â€“ Buford T. Buford: Born August 1, 1801, Died September 9, 1973. When he was only 9, he built a log cabin with a single log from a tree. He fought on both sides of the Civil War and ran for President 16 times. (Now some of you may be wondering how this man could have possibly lived to be 172 years old. Well, he exercised every day, and he never once ate red meat.)
With Col. Austin out of the picture, the Mexicans thought it was smooth sailings. So they decided to annex the church where they made their first attack â€“ Thatâ€™s right, the Alamo! However, it wasnâ€™t long before Jeremiah and his troops showed up, ready to kick some ass! It was a pretty bloody battle. Blood was spilled (obviously), teeth were pulled out, a few hammers were thrown, a couple of armpits were caught on fire, a few eyes got poked and a skull was crushed here and there. Unfortunately, the Americans were not the victors of that battle. While some of the valiant fighters like Buford T. Buford managed to escape with their lives and their family jewels intact, most of them were not so lucky.
And unfortunately, one of those who fell was my great, greatâ€¦ Okay, so I donâ€™t know how many greats there actually were, but I think it might be like twenty-seven and Iâ€™m not saying that many. Anyway, Jeremiah M. Tolkien did not escape, but he wasnâ€™t killed right away either. The Mexican renegades decided they might as well send a message by eliminating the leader of the defectors. So, Jeremiah M. Tolkien was scheduled to be executed that Tuesday. After breakfast. Jeremiahâ€™s final words were â€œTime will fade and not everyone will remember me, but at least I defended my peopleâ€™s right to live wherever they want,â€ or something like that.
Then Jeremiah M. Tolkien was hanged. Then he was shot. Then he was run over by stagecoach. Eventually, the Mexicans decided he was dead enough and let him go. It seemed that the Mexicans had a decisive win with both of the leaders caput. Little did they realize that it was actually only the beginning.
Although Jeremiahâ€™s death was tragic, it did inspire the Texans to finally repair Col. Austin. They could rebuild him. They had the technology. They had the capability to make the worldâ€™s first bionic man. Better than he was before â€“ better, stronger, faster! With a little work, they had their ultimate weapon, The Six Million Dollar Colonel Stephen F. Austin. And Austin was going to make mincemeat out of the Mexicans.
The Mexicans knew they couldnâ€™t defeat the Americans this time around. Not to mention both sides were beginning to worry about the escalation of war. One minute, it was just sticks and rocks, now they were up to bionic men. What was next, what was next? So both sides decided to a truce. The Mexicans would have their own little plot of land and the settlers would have their own little plot of land that would become the nation of Texas.
My report… did not go over well. Not only did my teacher give me an F, but I got a parent-teacher conference where my teacher made me go through sensitivity training. I don’t know why she thought what I did was so offensive. I love Mexico and Mexicans. I used to wrestle down there as El Hijo Del Sol. I hung around in popular night clubs such as Puree de Papas. I was advertised “el hombre con el pelo de un dios”! Marshall never got my message. I chalk a lot of that up to the fact that he’s not in my class… or high school in general. Carrie caught up with me and told me she thought the story was funny. I think she missed the point…
Copyright 2011 Alex deCourville