Some time ago we made a trip to Silver City, New Mexico.
We stopped in Silver City to get some groceries. The first person that we encountered in the store looked at me, said loudly “Hello, Whitey”. Did the guy confuse me with somebody that he knew, was this a racial reference, was the guy particularly impressed with my hair, or did he think that he was a greeter, ala WalMart? I had never seen the guy before, or since..
In any case my initial reaction to the “Land of Enchantment” was a bit freaky.
A few years ago I was in Barrett for the 24th of June celebration*. Several of us were sitting in a pavilion booth, including Penny, who was sitting next to me. Penny was smoking a cigarette.
She nodded her head and continued her conversation with some of her friends. She was considerate of them; she held her cigarette in her left hand, away from her friends, but toward me.
Her hand moved such that her cigarette ash burned me. I said, “Excuse me” with the hope that she would do something about her cigarette. I got no reaction from her.
I pulled the burning cigarette out of her hand; still no reaction from Penny.
I burned Penny’s hand, and she jerked the her hand away but still continued her conversation oblivous to the cigarette burn.
The 24th of June is the annual celebration of Barrett.
Last Monday we had a strong thunderstorm. After the rain storm, I wanted to see how much water was running in the ditch behind our house.
As I walked out of the house, I heard a voice saying, “Oh this is where you live”. It was Mark. I told him what I was checking to see how much water was running in the ditch. The water in the ditch was running only about 2 inches deep.
He said, “I’d like to sleep beside the ditch except that the bugs would eat me alive. And I would like to sleep with girls. I remember when the mosquitos were so bad that we had to go inside to get laid.”
He continued to reminisce. “The girls used to like me when I was younger. But that was when I had money, and I had all my teeth.”
I told him that he would be part of my next story.
Last night I walked downtown. Along the way I overheard a couple discussing where they had parked their car. The streets of Bisbee look different at night.
There was another couple with a similar problem. They couldn’t find their Bed and Breakfast.
Once I got to downtown, I was approached by a woman, who was on the verge of tears. She informed me that there were some hoodlums who were in a fight in a backstreet near downtown.
I offered to call 911. She said, “No, the police are already there.”
She had been at the downtown coffee shop. She had met Dennis there. Now she was looking for the third story of a white building. She was going to meet Dennis to play Scrabble.
I was walking downtown. Along the way I saw a family of four gathering up acorns. I paused to see what was happening. I asked the father how they ate the acorns. He said, “I don’t know English.”
I picked up an acorn, but the guy shook his head. This acorn had a crack in it. Instead he handed me an acorn without a crack. I ate it, and found that it was good and crunchy.
Is this manna* from heaven?
*manna = See Exodus 16
Old Bisbee has a reputation for ghost sightings. Of course where there are reportedly a lot of ghost sightings, there are charlatans who have figured out how to make a buck on the search for the apparitions. There are tours specifically to go through town after dark to hear the stories about the ghosts.
There is a mural that was done by Rose Johnson* on the Circle K entitled “Historic Bisbee”. At the edge of the mural, is a woman who is somewhat ethereal. Of course, some viewers see a ghost. Rather than listen to the guide, one of the tourists interrupted, “Is that woman really a ghost?”
* Rose Johnson was one of Bisbee’s more famous artists.
We were driving along the scenic road on Canyon de Chelly*; we were on the next to last stop on the scenic route.
We stopped so that Cheri could get a few photos. As Cheri started down the trail, I realized that the walk was too hot for me, so I returned to the jeep.
Shortly thereafter the driver of the car next to us returned to his car.
His teenage daughter was literally dragging her feet across the Enter/Exit markings.
Girl: Okay, Dad, now you have seen everything, right?
Dad: Nope. I have to make one more stop.
Dad: I didn’t dream about this place all of my life, not to make every stop.
* Canyon de Chelly is in the Navajo Nation
[Unsolicited advice: Don’t waste your money at Four Corners. The physical monuments are much more spectular.]
Karen was a new employee at General Mills in Minneapolis. She was from an urban area of Connecticut. She was living with Lois.
I was acting in a play in Barrett. Lois and Karen drove up to Barrett to see the play.
After the play we drove to the Cat’s Eye* to eat. On the way to the Cat’s Eye I met several people that I knew, and in the manner of the county, I waved to them.
Once we were seated at a table in the Cat’s Eye, a waitress came to take our order. I had eaten there often, so the waitress asked me if I wanted the “usual”.
After eating at the Cat’s Eye, we stopped at the Home 20 for ice cream. The menu cover of this restaurant was a copy of an early newspaper of the county. Karen was really astounded by now.
The waiter asked Karen if she would like a menu to take with her as a souvenir. Of course, Karen said yes.
The next week end, Karen had an opportunity to go to Kansas City, but she declined to go. She had seen enough of “rural” America for a while.
* Cat’s Eye and Home 20 at one time used to be restaurants that I frequented when I lived in rural Minnesota.
Josef visited us recently. He stayed at the Inn at Castle Rock. The inn has a reading area, a fridge, and a check in area.
Willa has the responsibility of cleaning the leaves out of these areas. She used the leaf blower instead of a broom. If that isn’t bad enough, the leaf blower is gas driven, leaving behind gasoline fumes.
Because often the wind moves the leaves around the entrance, Willa needs to repeat the operation periodically. Is there an intent to keep residents in their rooms?
Delmont, the guy that “works” the Circle K, often uses his proceeds to buy alcohol. In general he is a friendly fellow but when he has been drinking he is rather loud, although still not particularly threatening. One evening he was announcing to all within earshot. “I’m a bastard, I was born that way”.
During one of his sober streches, he remembered that he had learned to bake bread as a kid. He began to bake banana bread. Many Bisbee-ites began to buy his breads.
The other evening I encountered Delmont. He greeted me. Then he showed me how time flies to some in Bisbee. “In all the years that I have known you, you are always walking.” We have only lived in Bisbee for about three years.
Maybe it is time to buy some of Delmont’s bread.