Excursion 57, Part 2 (Crossing the Streams)

Growing up in West Texas, as I did, I acquired the habit of looking down over the railings every time I drove over a bridge.  The reason why, of course, was to see if there was any water in the arroyo or canyon or streambed or riverbed below—because more often than not, there wasn’t.  If you did see some water, it was like a pleasant little surprise, something always to be remarked upon as you drove past.  In Ohio, of course, there’s always water under the bridge, but it took me many years for my subconscious to pick up on that, because I was always looking.

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Excursion 9, Part 4 (The Safe House)

In which our intrepid hero discovers the safe that could not save itself…

For the past 18 years, I have had to travel a lot for work.  That means a lot of stays in hotels.  After all these years, I know exactly what I want and don’t want from hotels (don’t worry, I won’t list them).  Hotels rarely surprise me, although sometimes they definitely still do.  Things were a lot different when I was a kid, though.  Hotels—or, more typically, motels—were rare and strange creatures.  We could rarely afford to travel much, so the few vacations I went on as a kid are pretty much engrained on my mind.  They weren’t really very far—places you could get to by car—and were all in the Southwest:  Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, etc.  As a kid, I found motels both exciting and a drag.  They were a drag, because we’d typically get a room with two double beds and my sister and I would have to share a bed and we got little sleep (plus, my parents snored).  But on the other hand, they were unbelievably cool.  Even things like ice machines seemed strange and exotic.   There was stationery in every room!  More than once, we had those “Magic Fingers” beds you could pay a quarter to have vibrate.  We couldn’t get enough of that.

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Excursion 3, Part 3 (Death and Grapes)

In which our intrepid hero provides veritas and vino, entirely coincidentally…

Farms interest me.  I am a city boy, through and through; I have spent virtually all of my life living in one of three cities:  El Paso, San Antonio, and Columbus.  But I do have a small amount of familiarity with farms, because relatives of mine owned a cotton farm near the Rio Grande in southern New Mexico and we visited often.  In fact, for a considerable number of years I was there pretty much every weekend, because my father bought a horse (for deer hunting purposes) and reached an agreement with my great-uncle to build a corral on his farm to house the horse and the horse of a family friend.  My dad went out each weekend to ride and brought me along to clean up the corral for him.  So I can say, if nothing else, that I shoveled tons and tons of manure on a cotton farm in my childhood.

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