At this point, with over seven hundred posts, thousands of photographs, almost a hundred videos, and five years on line as Scotttreks, it seems like a simple Dedication of the effort is due..
Many, if not all, literary works, art, music, drama and dance presentations have dedications, moments at the front of the effort that recognize significant influences on the person who has taken the time and effort to put things out there for others to enjoy, analyse, pan, or profit from.. Sometimes it is a wife, children, teachers and mentors who get the nod. Sometimes it is personal secretaries and editors who help ideas get to a place they can be loosed on the world, Sometimes dedications are to God, Muses, spirits and traditions
There are plenty of places and people to Dedicate Scotttreks too,but it seems right to thank my parents for giving me their name, their attention, their love and concern.
While they haven’t put the words in my mouth or on paper, haven’t suggested what I do with my life, they always wanted the best for us that we could make for ourselves.
This little blog, with places still to go and time left to go there, is dedicated to Julia Ann and James Lowell.
I like to think they are reading the blog, wherever they are, happy that I am happy writing it.
Halloween creeps in as leaves start to fall, pumpkins appear in windows, hot air balloons arrive for the annual Balloon fest in Albuquerque, creepy spiders turn up in school cafeterias, jackets become more than optional.
Headed for a jam session in the Albuquerque north valley, in a sedate part of the town, a family of skeletons in a front yard are wrestling with leisure, Halloween decorations on display.
It is a sparkling day and these three, mom and dad and junior, don’t dress up, worry about hair styles, or designer clothes. They look good in their birthday suits without excess weight, blemishes and imperfections that the rest of us have to deal with.
Some day, when in their same situation, I plan to sit in my front yard too, watch the World Series and plan night pranks to startle little kids knocking on my big front door.
Taking ourselves down to bare bones is the best way to start getting closer to the unvarnished truth about us.
Stripped down to our bones, it is harder for us to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, and, in our condition, it isn’t necessary to fool anybody anyway.
They are in countries all over the world and you can get cash in countries where no one speaks English and all the writing looks like hieroglyphics. The ATM’s accept debit and credit cards, let you make deposits, check balances and transfer money across accounts.They are open twenty four seven and have small service fees. There is a phone number to call if something goes haywire but we all hope we don’t ever have to call because talking to techs in India is dicey.
This simple, hand penned sign, by the ATM, is a plea for help. It was left leaning against a wall behind a trash barrel, so one guesses the writer got money and took his Sis for a nice meal at the local Jack in the Box.
This sign says your money will be spent on food rather than drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, or other vices.
Whether we should trust what we read, because it asks us too, is a great leap of faith.
The only thing that seems questionable are the letters, ” No B.S. ”
I wouldn’t have put that statement in there, if it was my sign.
When someone tells me ” No, B.S..” I suspect there will be plenty of it coming.
Bazookas are old technology but World War 2 vets will tell you a thing or two about their effectiveness in the war they fought in.
This plastic army man, with his bazooka pointed at me,his helmet securely fastened, his feet planted and secured by a heavy application of scotch tape, looks at me with a stern no nonsense attitude.
Mounted atop the snack bar register, he is protecting the money, and, throws me back to grade school days when we kids actually played with these Army men, taped firecrackers to them and stood back as they were blown up with the striking of a match.
These days, Army men still wear uniforms and helmets, but they have put their bazookas in museums. Army men, these days, are likely to be killing people with their computers, sitting in a room thousands of miles from the battlefield.
This cash register is protected, and, at night, when employees have gone home, this army man goes to the refrigerator and helps himself to a beer.
Fighting makes one thirsty and there doesn’t seem any end to war.
The season of spooks and goblins, pumpkins and puritans is approaching.
Our local Home Depot has dedicated aisles and displays to Halloween and looking for utility wire and masonry nails to secure a few plants to my back yard block wall, so they will grow up straight and be out of the path to the back of my house, I am greeted by grisly figures and demons from the spirit world..
There are ghosts peering down at shoppers from higher shelves, opening their arms and long thin fingers to grab us as we walk underneath. There are green skeletons and little girl apparitions in white dresses that I wouldn’t want knocking at my door any time of day or night night. All of the props in this holiday section are properly scary but not scary enough to make little kids cry. Most parents, these days, take their kids to school or church functions where it is safer than walking them house to house in neighborhoods where they don’t even know their neighbors.. It is hard to figure how a Christian country, like ours used to be, could perpetuate Halloween on any scale.
Even more grisly than these blown up spectacles is what comes on the 24/7 news scream.
The development of new and more destructive weapons is still on going. Wars and revolutions play out around the world as men and women. elected and non-elected politicians. make and enforce their rules that everyone else has to slavishly obey. Television promotes drugs, lawyers, doctors, the need for insurance, the need to buy services you didn’t know you needed, the obsession to look and feel perfect. Homeless legions beg on the streets.Wall street rolls in money created by a government and financial system that rewards them for their efforts and keeps the rest of us competing with shadowy workers from abroad who keep business profits high and shareholders happy.
There is much to be scared of in this Devil’s playground.
Somehow, I don’t see much reason to celebrate Old Scratch.
Elevating him and his minions to holiday status to sell merchandise seems a bit short sighted, but altogether human.
Saving us from ourselves was even too much for Jesus.
I’m lucky today. Home Depot has my utility wire and masonry nails.
When stores stop having what we depend on, you are really going to see evil spirits come out to play.
My garage is the most recent resting place for artifacts from the house we kids grew up in.
Smaller things have been boxed up till brother’s are able to come to Albuquerque to go through old photos, personal and business letters, ancient sales receipts and copies of contracts completed, old coins, mementos from family trips and reunions, political pins, old Time magazines and National Geographic’s, items of clothing that don’t fit any of us.
These larger artifacts keep me from using my garage and photos have been emailed to the guys to claim any of these larger items before they are donated to charitable organizations.
Seeing these items out of their original places is disconcerting.
What is more difficult than disposing of stuff is dealing with memories.
How we hold thousands and thousands of memories between our ears and still function is very much a miracle.
We can share our memories but we can’t give them away, trade them for a newer model, or sell them at the flea market.
This stuff comes with lots of memories, and when the stuff is out of sight, memories will be largely out of mind.
Too many memories ,juggled at once, makes keeping one’s equilibrium nearly impossible
As soon as we say we haven’t seen deer, we spot a few in one of the smaller canyons that break away from a larger canyon we are trekking through.
This family unit inspects us as they nip leaves off branches, ears cocked, knowing we were here long before we spotted them. They are large animals with delicate faces, soft lips, long tongues, long thin legs that don’t seem they could support their big bodies, large wide open alert eyes and ears.
I pause for photos,and ,in this natural setting, the animals are majestic.
It is bow hunting season in Albuquerque and some of these guys will be hunted down because they have a set of horns that turn them into trophies.
When American prairies were covered by huge buffalo herds, the Plains Indians would say prayers before riding into the sea of buffalo and bringing a few down for their basic needs. I say a little prayer for these deer this morning as the sun comes over the Sandia’s and the humming of I-40 freeway traffic grows louder through Tijeras Canyon.
I wish these guys and girls good luck and pray hunters forgo hunting season this year.
When the only nature we see is in zoos and photographs, it is too late for a wake up call.
I don’t know for sure, but I think I see a big buck pointing his big telephoto lens at us, getting closeups for his Facebook page..
Going through a hunting season as the target doesn’t seem like much fun.
At an annual celebration of the famed World War 2 correspondent, Ernie Pyle, at his home in Albuquerque, N.M., a docent tells the small group about the permanent closing of Pyle’s childhood home, in his birthplace,in Indiana. As the docent continues, he reminds his aging audience of the steady inexorable disappearance of American history, the necessity of knowing our collective past.
Ernie Pyle was a celebrated World War 2 correspondent, but, today, there are many Americans who don’t know much about World War 2 except what they see in the movies. They don’t know Ernie Pyle, or Julius Caesar, or Frederick Douglas. They believe the American Civil War was only about the abolishment of slavery and the United States Constitution is outdated and irrelevant, written by stuffy white men who owned slaves and wore white wigs..
Where does history go when it is behind us?
Does God put His memos, research papers,videos and photos on shelves in his personal library? Does he go back and review his plans and progress for the Universe, make changes in the roll out of his vision ? Does knowing history mean we can stop or modify what is happening to us while we are in the middle of its happening?
On this pleasant afternoon, we are taken on a guided tour of Ernie Pyle’s life and times, in a place he fixed bacon and eggs for breakfast and read his newspaper thrown on the front porch by a neighborhood boy on a bicycle.
His house feels like a home and I walk away suspecting that Ernie would offer me a cold drink of lemonade on a hot summer day and have some good jokes to soften the wounds of World War 2 as we both set at a little table on the front porch with empty vistas of the Rio Grande Bosque several miles away.
He came from humble roots but was placed in the middle of one of the worst wars in human history.
His writings and his home survive him, and remembering is something we do for still.
Ernie volunteered for the war but some would say reporting on everyday Joe’s from the front lines was his destiny.
The beauty of his writing is that it seems like it was written for everybody but him.
The UNM south golf course is a championship course that is way too much championship for this golfer.
It has ankle deep grass in the rough, tricky greens, deep traps, rolling fairways and a few doglegs that would make a dog blush. You wouldn’t want to walk this course unless you were a mountain goat and a masochistic one at that. The greens on all the holes have multiple breaks and the greens keeper always puts the pins where you would expect with someone who fights with the wife a lot.
On the back nine there is a short par four dog leg to the left that wraps around a little pond with a huge cottonwood between the edge of the left fairway and the pond. Long hitters can try to fly the cottonwood and drive the green while the rest of us mortals lay up to the right and have a wedge shot into a small tight green guarded by a big trap.
The pond is shaded by the cottonwoods and a gaggle of ducks live there. When we golfers drive our carts down the fairway, the ducks waddle out to meet us and sample treats we bring from home and have stored in our golf bags.
Growing up with ” Donald Duck” makes ducks seem approachable though we know these guys have a dangerous bill that gets aggressive if the duck feels threatened. If the ” Donalds ” get really bothered they usually turn back to their lake and paddle out to the middle where they can weather people storms.
Today, we give them treats and they stay close to us. We all hit our approaches to the green but no one makes a birdie. Walking off the green, we can hear the ducks quacking like television sports announcers.
Whether they are ” cute” or a ” Nuisance” lies in the eyes of the beholder but they make a tough day on the course a little less disheartening.
Even championship courses need diversions, even ones that waddle and quack.