August 27, 2012
We call ourselves the Three M’s, that is in Madaline, Michal and Mary. When Michal Houston moved to South Carolina, it seemed as though we would no longer be a trio. Michal is visiting the West Coast for an extended stay and we managed to get together. With Michal away, and me on the road so much, it was that much more meaningful that we could connect.
Madaline Krska won her election as Clerk Recorder two years ago and has a bag and sunglasses with her initials on it. Her win didn’t go to her head. She discovered a famous designer who has the same initials. Her best accessory has always been a marvelous smile.
Michal Houston has lived in many places and I was disappointed when she moved to the East Coast. But, you know, here it is, a year later and we are together and catching up on each others lives. She has the most amazing knack for making friends, a talent developed by being a friend. She can move from Coast to Coast, and on this trip, up to Oregon and back, to Mexico and find friends wherever she roams.
It’s been a tradition to meet at Camps, always share a cocktail or dinner-this time lunch. And who can get enough girl talk? We spent a happy three hours before it was time to part.
We didn’t change the world, but we cemented our good friendship and promised to meet again. And, at Camps, we think the waiters are trained to take pictures for their customers. It was fun, but too short, though nice to know we will do it again.
March 28, 2012
Bill Foster was an indomitable spirit. I believe everyone loved him because he always had a smile on his face and he calmly refused to die. He unreasonably wouldn’t die when every indicator of “death is near” came to him over and over in different guises. He held on to life even though it offered him limited mobility and comfort. No one beats the system, and my friend, Bill Foster died March 20th. This picture is from his 75th birthday party that I blogged last year. You can meet Bill there at this address:
I, like most people I know, dislike funerals. I am so grateful that celebrations of life are more common than funerals and his family’s request for a celebration of life, was to wear colorful, fun clothes.
His grandson, Cameron, managed to fit into his grandfather’s some other era golf clothes with the pants tucked into the socks. His son Steve, wore his father’s polyester suit of orange checks and tried to fill his father’s shoes. He did a good job, of it , too.
And no one ever expected Bill to do things like anybody else. He wanted to be a married man again. He had asked Linda Strangio to marry him. She finally gave in to that request and they were married 15 days before he died. He smiled all through the ceremony. And he died a happy man.
I met Bill Foster because of my friend Bill Foster (above). I went to an Arts Council summer music event in Arnold about five years ago, and was looking for a place to put my blanket on the grass in the park. My friend Barbara invited me to join them. I said, thanks but I was waiting for my friend Bill Foster. She said, “Oh, I know him, he used to be my insurance agent in Dublin.” I said, no, my friend Bill Foster is a retired cop. That happened three times that day and I decided, I’ve gotta meet this guy. Bill Foster the cop got me in touch with Bill Foster the insurance agent, and I joined a number of his friends who helped bandage his legs. (He needed bandages changed three times a day at that point.)
Bill and his wife, June were at the celebration of life as well. Bill (cop) always called Bill (agent), sonny, because he is slightly older than he was. They lived in the same town, golfed on the same course, were constantly getting each others mail, or the wrong chart at a doctor’s appointment, and phone messages meant for the “other” Bill Foster. The opportunities for humor were many, and Bill exploited them at the celebration of life. I am lucky to have had two great friends named Bill Foster. One here and one I’ll never forget.
March 11, 2012
We are still parked at the Pancho Villa State Park at Columbus, New Mexico.
Yesterday Mary and I attend the above named celebration of Mexican-American friendship held at Columbus, New Mexico.
Here’s a poster in Spanish about the Cabalgata…
As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...
We left the motorhome at 9:30 AM when the temperature was a bone-chilling 35 degrees coupled with a 15 miles an hour wind which made for a wind-chill effect of 25 degrees. BRRR!!! Remember me? I’m the guy who likes it between 65-75 degrees!
Are we having fun yet?
Part of the festivities was a bi-national Calvary horse parade. The American riders met the Mexican riders at the border 3 miles away and arrived in Columbus, New Mexico at about 10:00 AM. The festivities were held at the central plaza in the Village of Columbus, New Mexico. I estimate there were about 300 horses in the parade followed by a lot of vehicles that carried the families of the Mexican riders.
Here are some photos that I took throughout the day…
To see the other 31 photos that I took, click this link…
Finally, here’s a special treat for you. Click this link…
I have spent about two years…driving well in excess 10,000 miles in Mexico. The Mexicans are wonderful and friendly people. They love to party. Find the smallest reason and they will have a party! It’s truly a shame what the drug thing has done to their country…In excess of 45,000 people killed in the last five years. So much so that we now fear to take the motorhome back into Mexico. So, in this case, the Mexicans came to us.
Well, at least I have my photos which help preserve the memories of my travels in Mexico..
Despite the bone-chilling cold, we were both happy we attended this fun event for 2.5 hours. There was also lots of great food.
Spring is about 10 days away…I can hardly wait! The weather is supposedly going to warm back up where it’s supposed to be the week…in the mid-70′s. Hooray!
In other news…
This morning we will move the motorhome about 30 miles north to the Deming, New Mexico area. We hope to get into Rockhound State Park.
All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
March 9, 2012
We are staying at Pancho Villa State Park. Its comfortable and quiet here. We hunkered down from a terrible wind storm that had Highway 10 closed, and wind gusts up to 75 miles per hour. We stayed in and felt like someone was banging on a tin can as the motor home did a bit of rock and roll, the wind blasting away. Yesterday was clear and crisp and we walked the park. The park is very distinctive considering that it was the first airbase in the United States, Camp Furlong, and it is also the site of Pancho Villa’s attack on Columbus,New Mexico. Villa’s scouts counted 30 soldiers before his attack, but they were wrong and the attack met 350 American soldiers with a brand new weapon, a machine gun.Villa was quickly dispatched.
We walked to the top of this hill where a placque displays the battle of how Villa’s men attacked the base. And, of course he attacked the town as well, intending to take over Columbus.
The Citizens fought Villa and their account is in a nearby Museum and the old Custom House visible from the top of the hill. We visited here in January of 2010 and the Museum is really well done as well as a private museum in town that has a replica of Villa’s death mask and many first hand accounts from the citizens who lived there.
In the intervening years, Columbus has made a big effort to honor the long years of friendship with its nearby Mexican neighbors, and Mexican officials from Chihuahua have cooperated with Columbus on the Museum and come here once a year to celebrate Camp Furlong Days, a parade and festivities that we will attend tomorrow. The attack was 96 years ago.
Two adobe buildings from Camp Furlong’s headquarters are preserved on the site.
And the remains of a grease rack used to maintain vehicles here. It is humorous that the grease and petrol had to be packed in from the train station by mule teams.
When we visited in 2010, we crossed into Mexico and had delicious dinner in Las Palomas with fun friends and strolling musicians. With dismay, I noticed a sign at the park warning us that the most dangerous border crossings today are from Columbus, New Mexico, Fort Hix and Fabens, Texas. What a shame that the drug cartels have practically halted what was once a delightful place to visit. While it won’t stop the celebration being held here tomorrow, there has been, and still is, a lot of controversy about naming the park for Pancho Villa. You can click the two links below and read how people feel about it.
I prefer friendship to hostilities and agree with those who remember that America isn’t innocent of wrong doing and we should all move on.
Interestingly, the park water tank raises consciousness of the water crisis we will someday face and says: You are drinking ice age water….
…what will you drink next year?
Hmmm! Good question.