return to index
Two tales involving "Siesta Lovers"
I use the term "Siesta Lovers" because trying to
name the Spanish/NativeAmerican folks who tend
to use the Spanish language is fraught with problems.
I can call myself "Gringo"
as people can call themselves whatever
and still be Politically Correct.
OK, lets introduce
Volunteer Ignacio (Iggy) (center, behind the oscilloscope)
has been keeping the 7 1960s IBM tape drives going
for the past four years - inspite of
a) mechanical parts well past their expected service life
b) past storage in moist conditions
- such as rusted iron transistor and diode leads
But now he is REALLY retiring to a less costly, traffic ridden
environment than our hurly-burly Silicon Valley.
Iggy has taken to teasing the rest of us with photos of himself REALLY relaxing ;-)
-------- tale # 1 ----------------------
Having quit college, rather than being drafted,
I had enlisted near the end of the Korean Conflict
to go to Nike school,
I spent a year (1953-54) in the Army artillery school
at Ft. Bliss, near El Paso, Tex.
(named after a person, not the environment)
So - what to do with the time off on week ends?
One weekend, myself and several classmates
decided to climb the South Mt. Franklin,
just to the west of El Paso.
- El Paso is about 4000 feet high
- South Mt. Franklin is about 6,700 feet high
- (North Mt. Franklin is about 7,142 feet high)
Our little group were complete novices at
- desert survival
- walking up mountains
- didn't even have a local map.
With full (false) confidence we filled our canteens,
put on our combat boots and fatigues,
stuffed some ?c-rations? in our pockets,
and drove to a subdivision being built at the foot of South Mt. Franklin.
We parked the car, and started up a valley.
And walked and walked, and got thirsty
(warm/hot desert climate) and drank from the canteens.
Soon the water was gone, but we were only part way up.
Eventually we came to the top of the valley, onto a ridge.
We could have followed the ridge southward to the summit.
BUT - we were tired and SO THIRSTY !
We could see the area where we had parked the car --
but it looked so FAR AWAY !
To the north we could look down and see a green valley, much closer -
must be WATER there.
Lets head for WATER - worry about the car later !
We get to the little green valley,
many "Mexican" families were enjoying the place.
Water, water melons, beer, ...
I'm confident we would have sold our souls,
and maybe even our boots
to get some of those fluids.
But they said - "No pay, enjoy" -
HUH?? We gringos always want to get paid -
What is going on ??
But, asking no more questions we guzzled down offered water,
and slices of water melons, and even a beer.
Ever since then I've had a soft spot in my heart for
I've decided that their more relaxed life style
has many advantages over us hard driving "gringos".
------ tale # 2 -------------
Many years later I have a family in Silicon Valley
with pre-teen boys, and a small 40 Hp runabout boat.
One of the closer places to put the boat into water
was at "Anderson Reservoir" just east of nearby Gilroy.
(The Sacramento Delta is an hour further away.)
We would go boating on "Anderson" on weekends,
but it was noisy and threatening with
powerful speed boats (with short block Chevy engines)
One Wednesday I decided to take off work,
the kids were on some sort of "break",
to try boating on "Anderson" without so many people.
But there were a lot of small boats, fishing.
Many "Mexican" men had their kids there,
in small "bass boats" - and were they catching fish !!
I thought - what a relaxed way to live !!
We "gringos" slaving away during the week,
to pay for fancy houses,
and cause turmoil at "Anderson" on the week ends.
The "Mexicans", without the fancy houses
and high power speed boats,
enjoy "Anderson" during the week.
Yeah - that seems a better way.