Sunday, June 29, 2008
Back to Pioneer days
In the 1800's if you wanted to go across country you walked,rode an animal or rode in a wagon pulled by an animal. When the railroads came you could make your way to a railroad then ride behind the Iron horse. When mass production of the horseless carriage came you could drive yourself. If wasn't necessarily faster. When the network of highways came it was faster. When I was born that was on its way up. In 1939 there were roads and highways to everywhere. They weren't great but you could get there. In the 50's when I started driving there were gas stations everywhere and gas was cheap. They gave away free road maps and they were accurate. Even a boy that made 35 cents an hour could buy a car. I know because I did.
Things change. After a lifetime of knowing that I can leave here and go anywhere in the world I now feel that I am becoming a prisoner. Not a regular locked up prisoner because I can leave but maybe I can't come back. I got a hint of this when I was traveling to and from Mexico in the '80's and '90's. It became more and more difficult to get back into the country and while out of the country the protection of being an American citizen became less and less. The last time I traveled outside United States I said would be my last. The Americans just became too difficult. In the late 80's a friend of mind and I were locked up in a cage at the crossing at Tiajauna for an hour because we were suspicious characters I suppose. There were cameras and microphones to observe us. It deteriorated from there. But America was safely protected from these two middle aged over weight men.
I understand now that you must have a passport to travel anywhere even to our neighbors to the north and south. No spontaneous trips there as it takes time an money to get the “proper papers”. Sounds like a line from a WW2 movie.
That pretty much stops out of country travel by the those of us on a budget.
When I was in high school in Ysleta, Texas we took our dates to the night clubs in Jaurez. I occasionally went to lunch in Zaragoza as well. I suppose that is out now.
When I was 18 I could get in my car on Friday and drive 400 miles to Phoenix to see my girl friend and be back to go to work on Monday. I have traveled about this part of the world without a care because it was so cheap. It ain't cheap anymore.
For me it's back to the 1800's. I can still go but it will have to be on my Bike or on foot. It's been done before and I can do that. There are people doing it now. We must not become prisoners because of the cost of transportation. I personally know people that are self made prisoners under house arrest if their car is broken. I remind them that beans are fuel for the feet.
As far as International travel goes that is doable as well. If citizens of other countries can walk into this country then so can we. Around 1980 I had a work relationship with a wetback. No insult intended, that is what he called himself only he said “mojado”. He was quite an intelligent young man with a fat American wife and a couple of kids. He told me the story of his first trip to the USA and it was amazing. He tried seven times. He was caught six times and sent back, the seventh was charm. Every year that I was associated with him he flew on Western Airlines back to Mexico to visit his family there. After about a month he would bus north to once again walk into the promise land. He was a free man. I was free because I had the money to do and go where I wanted. I also had the arrogance of an American male believing that I was entitled, that I could go anywhere and do anything because after all I was an American. He was free because he new he was free and just went where he wanted and he didn't have to steal to do it.
Repressive governments control their subjects by restricting travel. Let us not repress ourselves. For that matter let us not be subjects either.
Garzon!(throwing pieces of eight on the table)
More wine for my horses and more water for my men.
Party on dudes!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
Fathers Day revisited,
After reading my Fathers Day post A wise friend that saw fit to lend me comfort sent me this and it so sums up how I feel that I have to include it here.
“You are not getting what you deserve. You are getting what there is. I figure deserve has nothing to do with it. You will get what you get regardless of your past actions. Someone does not hold back a touch because you held one back in the past. They hold back a touch for the lack of wherewithal to offer it. They don't think to offer it most likely for the lack of touches over time offered them. More about their past than yours I think. It is not a good thing, bad thing, or evil intent. It just is what it is. If the ones you love do not reach out a touch to you, touch them twice. They need it more. A touch accepted, is a touch returned.
Keep no score cards, pass no judgments, spend no time mourning what you don't have. “ Terry Miller
I wish that I had said something that profound.
I was not aware that I needed comforting but since I found this statement to be so comforting apparently I did. I intend to apply this wisdom.
There's no fool like an old fool
Thursday, June 12, 2008
For Fathers Day
Now that I am officially an old man I am happy to say that I never stopped hugging my mom. Oh there were times when I stiffened up and pulled away when she was in the hug attack mode. Believe me I feel guilty about that. My real regret however is that I never really touched my dad. He was my adopted dad but he took the job seriously. He loved me and my sister deeply. Since I did not know him before I was about eight years old there was never any physical affection displayed. The real sin is I didn't touch him when he was on his death bed and needed it more than ever. Shame on me. Just the touch of my hand would have comforted him on his journey to meet the Great Spirit. It was mine to give and in my on petty stiffness I withheld it. The touch of a loved ones hand is a happy healing thing that cannot be surpassed. The healing power of a loving hand on the shoulder or taking the hand in a display of love and affection is very much underestimated. Now I pay for not doing that with guilt and the knowledge that I am getting pretty much the same and I deserve it.
The only person that ever voluntarily comes to me with a hug and a kiss is my granddaughter. She sits on my lap or leans on me and sometimes just wallows on me. She is not disgusted with my looks or smells. I dread the day when that is over. There are family members that respond when I make an advance but stiffly. Mostly no others take the initiative. I try to touch my bride as often as possible. It may be a hug, a brush of the arm in passing, fingers on the back of her hand or a kiss. It is always accepted with grace and warmth but never returned in kind.
Meet Pop. No finer man has ever lived. I think of him often and especially on fathers day.
I guess I am lucky as I could be in an old folks home where the only touch is the needle giving another injection to keep me from being a nuisance.
Why do we make life so cruel?
Turn a bunch of kids loose in an old folks home and those people become alive again. Notice that I said people. Just because they are old doesn't make them not people. To bad we can't turn the old age homes into day care centers. Seems that could solve two problems.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
School of Rock
How cool is it that an old man in his 70th trip around el sol can get so stoked on the third watching of a rock and roll movie. The “School of Rock” does that for me. It's not the movie and it's not the music it's the inspiration. Watching kids get inspired by an adult that's still has childlike inspiration is wonderful. It's sad that it is not happening in my real world. The fairytale part is the inspiration. Adults don't inspire the young at least as far as I have seen lately. We leave them to their own devices and that would be OK because they could work with their on imagination. The problem is that adults are constantly working to kill that. In large part there is not much effort to inspire them in public school.
The star of this movie is inspired. He is not inspired for the kids HE is inspired and that is what inspires them. I don't know many inspired adults. In fact I don't personally know any at this time. I have always had dreams and goals. In my 30's and 40's I had people to share them with but not now except for that beautiful old lady I married (She Who Must Be Obeyed). Although our goal seems to be to carve a home out of this intellectual and cultural wasteland we are like a wagon that has a horse hitched to each end pulling in opposite directions.
This is not my last word on the subject as I have a lot of thinking to do about that.