Ironically, to Native eyes, Europeans were the nomads. As Chief Seattle put it in 1855, “To us the ashes of our ancestors are sacred and their resting place is hallowed ground. You wander far from the graves of your ancestors and seemingly without regret.”
In response to Ermilia’s Picture It & Write.
Things had not been going well for the Holden family. Willie had been terminated from his job working for the New York Central Railroad after 15 years with the company. “Downsizing” was the term the human resource person had told him. Fifteen years down the drain in one 30 minute sit down with the company representative. His wife Margie had been cleaning homes in the neighborhood to make ends meet for the family. Their son Donald was four years old and required special medical treatment for a very rare bone disease. A disease that Willie never understood.
Willie and Margie had both agreed that they would be better off out west. Arizona had been recommended by their son’s doctor. Since neither had any immediate family they could make decisions by themselves without affecting anyone. Together they managed to get everything they owned in Willie’s old ’54 dodge.
They were on Route 66, just leaving Flagstaff when the dust storm hit. Margie saw a sign that read next rest area 110 miles and suggested they stop. Willie, wanting to make good time, ignored her and continued on west.
He looked like the Del he remember from this side angle view he had. Same mop of red hair, constantly pushing up his horn rimmed glasses. He had met Del when they both worked for the railroad in Wyoming. He had worked there for almost ten years when Del showed up as a new hire. They became friends almost at once. Both were single and in their mid-thirty’s and making good money compared to the rest of the working community in the same small town.
He figured he would work for the railroad for the rest of his life and earn his golden spike. Del had other plans for himself besides staying here in the “backwoods” as he called it. Del had been accepted to the Masters program in Fine Arts at the University of Arizona in Tucson. And he was putting the hard sell on Dan to join him in this “adventure”.
Finally Dan accepted and they both moved to an unfurnished apartment in Tucson. Del was working as a carpenter when he wasn’t going to school. Dan worked with him for a few months before he accepted a job with IBM. IBM then transferred him to the West Coast and that was the last time he saw Del.
In his career with IBM Dan was transferred all over the world and had recently retired from his executive position with the firm. In all that time Dan hardly ever thought about Del. He knew that Del had dropped out the Masters program at UofA and was back working in construction.
Until today. He was out looking for retirement homes in the Southwest and was looking at this latest development that had received great reviews from all the “where to retire magazines”.
He called out, “Hey Del, is that you.”
The figure turned around and shouted, “Dan, my god, is that you Dan? The IBM executive that once worked with me when we first moved to Arizona. The world traveler and famous tech exec.”
“Yup, Del, that’s me. Looks like your still working construction. I’m out here looking to purchase a new retirement home. Any recommendations?”
Just then a young girl ran up to Del and said: “Mr. Webb, you have a conference call with your development managers scheduled in 10 minutes. The development managers from Florida and California can’t make it but all the others will be on-line.”
“Hey Dan, while I take this call, why don’t you go with this young lady and she can set you up with a few nights in one of our Villas here and you can look around. No rush. My treat! If you can’t find something here I can fly you and the wife to one of my other developments.”
Inspiration for this posts goes to “The Jittery Goat”.
Leaving (Part 1)
Gloria told her parents she would be leaving home in exactly one year. They didn’t believe her. She had said this many times before but both sensed that she may actually leave this time.
She was an only child, now 35 years old. She was a graduate of Montana State University with an undergraduate degree in Sociology, with a major in Women’s and Gender Studies. A hell of a lot that did for her here in Deer Lodge. She did a Google search and found out their were 48 job openings within 25 miles of Deer Lodge. Most of the jobs were on ranches, restaurant’s, or the largest employer, the Montana State Prison. Working there would be a nightmare.
She hated her job as an Office Manager with a local law firm. Ok, she had started out as an administrative assistant and then “promoted” after a year to Office Manager. It was the same old shit with a different title. She knew they did not want to lose her because they knew they could not get anyone else as efficient and dependable for what she was being paid. But what could she do to improve her life. She did not want to spend the rest of her life in this desolate place.
Her best friend Holly had been accepted at the University of Arizona. She would be working toward her Masters degree in the Drama Department.
At dinner a few months ago Holly had floated the idea of them both moving to Arizona and sharing an apartment together. For sure this would be better than living in her little run down trailer which was parked on her Aunt’s property. The rent was reasonable, but she always felt that her Aunt was keeping an eye on her.
Gloria had thought about this for a couple of months before making her final decision. She would go with Holly. Her decision was hastened by the fact she did a “Johnny Paycheck” with her boss and told him “to shove it”. And then to add insult she added that if he were twice as smart he would still be an idiot. She knew where the door was but he showed it to her anyway.
According to Google Maps it was 1,219 miles, almost a straight shot south from Deer Lodge to Tucson. They figured a 3 to 4 day trip would get them there.
Since Gloria rented her trailer and Holly had a small unfurnished apartment, they were able to get all of their worldly possessions into one 4 by 6 U-Haul. Gloria had the better car, a 1977 Buick regal. Holly had a 1963 Ford Ranchero that her brother gave her. He was a carpenter and had build a wood top for the back of the Ranchero. Looked like hell but it still ran and she did not think she would need a car in Tucson anyway.
They had a small going away party, which her parents never attended, the night before. They had planned to leave around 10 the next morning. But they did a through cleaning of all the liquor containers, beer cans, and roaches that were the result of their little party. It was almost noon when they finally departed. Holly led the little convoy. As they left an empty beer can fell off the back bumper of the U-Haul.
Their adventure had begun.