Okay, laugh if you want, but I've been contemplating what I wanted to write about the last few days, and I just finished watching The Alamo, the John Wayne version. This isn't the first time I watched it. No, I've watched it many times, and many versions, including the more factual one that plays at the theater in San Antonio.
Now you might wonder why I chose this to talk about and what it has to do with writing. Actually, it has a lot. As a writer, I not only have studied the facts and the movies about the Alamo and the battle that was fought there, but I have pondered what in the world possessed these hundred and 185 or so men to stay when they knew the odds and what were they thinking the night before the biggest battle?
Did they regret their decision? Or did they simply look back on their lives. Did they make peace with their maker, or did they believe in a hereafter. Now days we talk about heroes and wonder what makes the difference in a person? What makes them willing to give their life up? Just a day or so ago there was a young boy from a foreign country who saved his school mates by stopping terrorist from blowing it up, giving his life to do it. It is said the boy talked it over with his friends before he did it. But he still chose to do it, knowing he probably would not survive.
This is what great literature is made of. Real heroes. People who give up their life for others.
At the Alamo, those men, who came from many different walks of life, from many different parts of the country, and even from foreign countries too. Some were Christians, some weren't, some were young, some were old. In fact, Davy Crockett was one of the oldest there.
Now, historians of late have argued that Davy surrendered and then was killed. Does it matter, he didn't run off somewhere and hide. He stayed and fought. He died there. I've read some books that say no one truly identified Davy during that time. So who knows. Anyone brave enough to withstand that battle was a hero because all of them died.
The outcome was obvious before the battle. The odds were against the men, even as good a shots as they were, there was too many against them. They had to know that.
I figure Travis, being a real military man, decided to do his duty, and try to hold the fort. And his men too. Bowie on the other hand could have walked out, along with all his men. However, Bowie was a recognized Colonel in the service also, so I think duty kept him there too. Crocket was from Tennessee and he could have left with his men. He didn't.
According to history only one man walked away from the Alamo before the real battle started. A man who fled and took up a business down in south Texas. He'd already fought in several wars, maybe he was war weary. Maybe he had a story to tell. There was a movie made about that too, Man From the Alamo. Glen Ford played the man. In the movie he had a heroic reason for leaving. Is this really possible? Or was he a coward? We may never know the truth. And what was this man's outcome? Did he live with the guilt all his life? Did he feel guilt?
But movies and history like this inspire me to write about the good in people. About having morals and principles to live by.
And as a writer I find the men in the Alamo an inspiration to write about. I still wonder what was on their minds, did they make a decision and later maybe regret it? Did they have any idea what people would think of them years later? Could they have imagined that Texas and it's people would be so proud of them?
Heroes are hard to come by, and I think their decision to hold the Alamo was remarkably gallant.
This is part of why I enjoy writing historicals. I love history and I love to imagine what might have happened.
I guess this day and age when so much upheaval is going on in our country, looking back might be a wise thing to do. Because most of us…Remember the Alamo to this day with respect for a breed of men that stood up for what they believed in.
You'll see some of my historical covers here.