Walk a mile

Yesterday, I was reading my Facebook feed and a friend was tagged in the thread below because he’d made a comment and somehow I’m notified of this by Facebook.  Don’t ask me how or how to stop it.  I don’t get notified when every friend posts on a thread or to a person I don’t know but that that’s another story….
I give credit this to a person named Linda Tilson, a person I don’t know: 
Notes from Real America:
My mom and I had lunch at a restaurant a few miles from our rural Missouri home yesterday, and the talk at a nearby table turned to the Syrian refugee crisis, ISIS, and the Kenyan/Muslim/Interloper currently occupying the White House. A middle-aged white woman seated next to her husband was telling the couple across from them she felt sure President Obama was going to impose martial law any day now. So engrossed were the four that they missed the barely suppressed laughter coming from our table.
In that spirit, here’s this gem:  This one belongs to someone named Karoli,, link here:   

JESUS CHRIST THE SYRIAN REFUGEES AREN’T COMING TO WHATEVER GLORIFIED TRAILER PARK / FEMA CAMP / OPEN AIR METH LAB OR DYSTOPIAN INNER RING TRACT HOUSING AND STRIP MALL FART-FUCK OF A SUBURB YOU CALL HOME, THEY WOULD TAKE ONE LOOK AT YOUR SAD EXCUSE FOR A LIFE AND THINK “I’LL GO BACK AND TAKE MY CHANCES, DID YOU SEE THAT WOMAN WITH THE ‘BAD BITCH’ TATTOO HER TORSO LOOKED LIKE SOMEONE WAS BAKING BREAD IN A HALTER TOP.” THE FACT THAT YOU GOT A SECOND HARDEES (NEXT TO THE PELLAGRA CLINIC) DOES NOT MAKE PIGSKNUCKLE COUNTY AN APPEALING TERRORIST TARGET, IF ISIS ATTACKS THEY WILL ATTACK A CITY BECAUSE CITIES HAVE LANDMARKS AND PEOPLE WHO WALK PLACES. WHY WOULD ANYONE EVEN BOTHER TRYING TO KILL YOU WHEN THEY COULD SIT BACK AND LET CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE DO THE JOB, BE SURE TO BUY MORE GUNS THOUGH THEY’RE REALLY KEEPING YOUR VINYL SIDED RANCH HOUSE SAFE. YES THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT TO GET YOU BUT THEY’RE NOT CALLED “ISIS” THEY’RE CALLED THE COLLECTION AGENCY AND YOUR GUNS WILL ONLY IMPRESS THEM TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY WILL FETCH SOMETHING AT AUCTION WHEN YOUR PROPERTY IS SEIZED TO PAY THE MEDICAL BILLS FOR YOUR LAST SIX ANGIOPLASTIES BUT YOU REALLY SHOWED OBUMMER BY NOT SIGNING UP FOR INSURANCE YOU DANIEL FUCKIN’ BOONE RUGGED INDIVIDUALIST YOU

And the post is followed by smug comments from city dwellers, using big words that this country girl just barely understands  joking about people who don’t live in big cities, people who have not had the privileges they’ve had.  They have all had encounters with people whose politics they don’t agree with and those people are obviously idiots that they can barely tolerate.  And then several comments are just big old pats on the backs of the previous brilliant posters. 

Then, I saw this this morning: 


 And I can’t help but relate the things in my mind.

For the past few years, immigration has been a huge debate in the US.  Being from Texas, we see more from Mexico but other places have issues with other countries.  Last week Paris (France, not Texas!)  was attacked by ISIS, a radical, violent group of Muslims that seem hell bent on world domination.  They seem to be from several different countries in the Middle East, including some in Syria. I know that every person from the Middle East is not in ISIS.  Most aren’t.  And I’m pretty sure they would not be looking to attack Spur,TX but then I look at some domestic evils (the radical religious groups set up near Waco and San Angelo, in Texas alone) and I think that sometimes it’s easier to set something up in places that don’t draw a lot of attention. And I’ll be honest here…since 9/11 I do look at Middle Eastern people differently.  It’s not something I’m proud to admit.  And after working at AT&T for so long I have an added perspective after dealing with some of them there too.  I saw a lot of rude, in your face people who want something for nothing.  They seem to have a lot of money and seem pretty determined to take over.  Again, not proud of my bigotry, but there it is.  I tend to get rid of the bias one person at a time instead of giving them the benefit of the doubt.  The truth is I don’t understand the mentality of anyone who hates for no reason and I especially don’t understand a person who hates in God’s name.  I don’t know if the Syrians are good or bad.  And luckily, I don’t have to make that call.  I do believe, as Americans, we will continue to make the best of any hand we are dealt.

I cannot–and will not–judge anyone else for their beliefs and feelings, whether they be the butts-of- the-jokes from the above post or the posters above.  The funny thing about rights is that everyone has them.  Not everyone agrees with that obviously.  I don’t like the tone of the post above.  I think it’s mean spirited and smug but they too are entitled to say what they want.  And I am too. I cannot apologize for being a country girl who tries very hard everyday to look at all with compassion, even the Middle Easterns I run across.  I try everyday and sometimes I fail. I especially try not to write things that will hurt people but sometimes I fail there too.

I know people who have had circumstances in their lives that put them in places far below where some are.  My daddy’s dad died when my dad was 10.  His oldest brother was 12 and that left my grandmother a widow in 1924 with 6 kids.  None of the kids finished high school because life happened.  My dad was “uneducated” but certainly not a stupid man. He read all the time. He watched the news.  He kept with up with politics.  He worked as a cowboy all of his life and would tell you he’d had the best life ever.  No city, no time clock.  Not a lot of money but a generous, honest, loving man, the best I’ve ever known.  And always willing to help a man up instead of putting him down.

I added the Mario Batali quote because I’ve met a lot of people who I could judge but I try not to.  For the moment I live in Las Vegas and they homeless people are everywhere.  And when I see the beggars with the signs that say ‘US Veteran’ it makes me sadder that I can say.  And it’s getting colder and I worry about them and I don’t even know them.  I do what I can.  I’ve given them the lunch from my bag.  But I don’t have a lot either, although I’m infinitely better off than they are.

I don’t know the answer for any of the issues facing this country.  I don’t know who does.  All I can do is what I believe to be the right thing and I do the best I can.  And I think that’s all anyone can do right now, whether you live in Pigsknuckle county or some mighty city.  I do hope we can find a way to face our enemies without turning on each other but I’m not sure that’s possible.  Let’s just say that #AllLivesMatter.

Prescott Trip

On Wednesday morning, I took a road trip to Prescott, AZ for a couple of days.  I was ready for a little cooler weather, to look around at a child that played a prominent part of my childhood and to just get out of town for a few days.

On the way, I stopped in Kingman and had a great lunch with my cousin Clarann.  Our dads are brothers and she is 11 years older than me.  It happened to be her birthday, which I did not know until that day.  We ate a Cracker Barrel and although their gravy sucked, the biscuits were good and I did not leave hungry.  I checked into my little Hilton, walked the mall across the street where I had to buy a new jacket and watched some World Series.  Apparently it was cooler weather.  Much cooler.

Here is a picture outside my hotel.  Check out the leaves.

On Thursday morning, I went to downtown Prescott.  Things have changed, of course, but they do still have an active downtown which is impressive.
When I was a little girl, this building housed Woolworth’s and upstairs, JC Penney.  It was the building on the left with the black and white sign and the red and black sign.  We spent a lot of time there.  At the end of the street–go right–no picture was Eagle Drug, that had an old fashioned soda fountain.  If I close my eyes, I can still remember the smell.  and across the street was a tobacco shop/news stand where I bought my Tiger Beats.  Whenever I hear ‘Silver Bells’ with the ‘City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in bright red and green’ this is what I think of, the Christmas street of my childhood.
And then I had lunch at El Charro, my dad’s favorite restaurant whenever we came to town.  The food was as good as I remembered. 
After lunch, I headed to Bagdad, the city where I went to school my first 8 years.  We left there when I was 13.  Along the road is a town called Skull Valley, where my Uncle Dub (Clarann’s dad) and my cousin Spike lived and are buried.  I was not sure where to look so I did not stop at the Cemetery.  I did see the cafe was still open.  My mom ran that cafe for about 4 months when I was in the 6th grade.  I’m not sure why…maybe they needed money…but she and I lived in the back room and I went to the school in Skull Valley, where the top grade was 6th and I was the only student in the 6th grade.  Junior high would have gone to school in Prescott, about 20 miles away.  Even then I always thought the grass might be greener on the other side.  Glad now that I did not have to face another school.  The kids in Bagdad weren’t nice to me particularly but by this time, they weren’t mean either.  The cafe is open again and the decor is a little different but really not much has changed.  No back room to live in though.  The new owner did not know anything about it.

Then, after a horrible 60 mile horribly winding road, I made it to Bagdad.  I kinda remembered the road being windy but I always got so car sick my mom got smart and gave me Dramamine to put me to sleep so I was not barfing the entire way.  Even so I barfed alot.  I certainly knew nothing about the 45 mph speed limit.  
Driving into Bagdad really did not provide me many memories because, of course, after 45 years there were changes.  Basically the whole town.  And not for the better.  It actually seemed smaller.  No businesses to speak of.  The mine–Phelps Dodge, last time I checked but who knows–owns the entire town.  Since all of the houses pretty much looked alike, I would bet they own all of them too. I looked for old streets, found one we lived on but completely different and the 2nd one was eaten up by a golf course.  And I could not find the ranch we live on about a mile out of town either.  It appears the mine took over the land.  We went to the Southern Baptist Church and I was surprised to see it still there.  There did not ever seem to be over 30 at any service and there was another Baptist church in town that had more.  I found the other church and it was standing but boarded up.  The Southern Baptist was where I was baptized for the first time, at about 8 years old.  That was the time we were supposed to be baptized.  I was re-baptized in college, when it was real. 

I spent about an hour and cannot imagine I’ll ever need to go back there again.
I had breakfast in Prescott  with a Facebook friend that I’d never met and she was a delight.  She is a potter and when I go back down to Prescott we are making a bell!
On my way out of town, I stopped at the Phippen Museum, Western Art & Heritage. George Phippen was a western artist who died too young of cancer.  He was from Skull Valley and very honored in the area.  Nice museum!!
I survived the road from hell (Kingman to Las Vegas, ugliest road ever and 65 mph for some reason). I don’t like paying for tickets but when an RV pulling a car honked at me on 65 cruise, I decided to speed up.  I waited for the perfect car to follow, thinking they’d get stopped first…never saw a cop but did follow a pretty silver camaro for several miles and made it back to Las Vegas alive.
Still in recovery mode …these trips tire me out…but had a great time.