Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Repeating History

Here we are in the twilight of the 21st century and we still haven't learned from decades of past mistakes. Seems like we are on a never ending journey on a highway that keeps taking us back to the point of origin. Recessions, depressions, ups, downs, wealth, poverty, all revolve like a carousel out of control.
After completing watching a PPC documentary about the evolution of New York City, so much of what this city endured through the past 200 years has been repeated time and again throughout these United States.
Trying to understand the root of so much hatred running rampant against this elected government and our President. I thought I would try looking back at previous events to find some common ground.
A recent gathering on the Lincoln Memorial by certain groups chanting to restore America's core values under some sort of religious movement, reminded me of speeches made by a dictator in Germany in 1923. Those speeches of long ago incited hatred against any race, creed, or color not accepted by the speaker..This appears to me as the same type of message being instilled in minds of Innocent Americans seeking an answer to turmoils facing every citizen. I can only pray that the past does not repeat itself.
I wonder too, if all these modern gadgets won't eventually be our ruin. I see people of all ages addicted to cell phones, either talking or texting and being oblivious to their surroundings. Every new invention of communication is an invitation for some crook to find a way to invade, steal, or slander. Give me back my pen and paper and an old fashioned telephone, I'd much rather hear a pleasant voice than read an abbreviated message I don't understand.
Bring back some good music that have lyrics that one can understand, love songs and sweethearts can do wonders to a world in need of love. No matter what our religion, color, political party, social status, if we all learn to respect one another this world will be here long after we are gone.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The business portion of town of Pagosa Springs Co. was all on the north side of the San Juan river. The business’s that I remember the most are the Morehart Chevrolet , Citizens Bank, Roy’s Liquor, Pagosa Bar, La Cantina Bar, Hershs’s Mercantile, Ace Hardware, Jackish Drugs, Metropolitan Hotel, Mesa Theater (Liberty), Liquor Store, Goodman’s Dept. At side walk level of the hotel was a set of iron steps which lead to a pool hall in the basement level.
The pool hall was a favorite hang out for all the high school boys and retired old men. Curly Nelson ran the place and always had card games such as rummy going ‘till late hours in the evening. Young boys could enter and play pool only with the permission of parents who had to give that consent in writing. Knowing how my Mother felt about men hanging out in a smoky pool hall or the “Devils Den” as she referred to it, I knew she would never approve of me being there. I came up with the bright idea of forging my Mother’s name on a permission slip and worked for a long time cleaning and racking balls until one day I had to explain where I was getting spending money.
The local theater was sold to Albert Petry along with the hotel and liquor store. Dad continued working as the projectionist and everyone in the Willett family worked there at one time or another. The art of running the projectors was
passed on to the oldest son Ronnie, Inez worked the ticket booth, Jerry, and Butch took tickets and did janitorial duties.

Changing Employment:
The west side grocery was sold to Jim and Gay Whitfield. Jim was the founder of the Baptist Church and held services in the grocery isles on apple crates. He eventually was able to purchase property to build a church on highway 160 near the town park. I am proud to say that the corner stone of that building was done by the author of
this text. The Whitefield’s changed the store into a Gambles Dept. store.
Frank Brown purchashed a house just west of the old building and across McCabe creek where he once again opened a small grocery. That property was sold to Harry Cole and Frank then opened a new business next to the court house. A fire destroyed that business and when it was rebuilt a five and dime store was opened in its place. Ira Rupp was the proprietor and Inez (Mother worked for them).
Mother and Dad tried making plaster of paris figurines in our kitchen. They seemed to sell quite well in the local gift shops. Frank Brown built a store building on his property for Dad to open a novelty store and the rear of the building housed the local newspaper “The Sun”. As the building was going up, passers by would stop and ask,“What’s it gonna be?” The curiosity gave Dad the idea to name the store “The What’s It Shop.” It wasn’t very profitable so Dad went back to painting signs and buildings. He painted just about every house and road side advertisement.

Winter Time:

Winters in Colorado were long and cold. If all the chores had been done properly and the wood and coal put away, then playing in snow could be a lot of fun. there were Igloos to build to play in, sledding, skiing, or ice skating. Many a skinned knee was had from tying a rope to the back of a car and being pulled along the icy road until the sled flipped over. Ice skating parties were always fun, smelling tires burning to keep warm as we skated the San Juan or the pond at a place called Catchpoles Mistake. Old tires were gathered and burned along the river bank for warmth.
Earaches were a common occurrence for me; it was nothing for Dr. Thompson to bundle up and come to our house in the middle of the night to give shot or a dose of some awful tasting medicine.
Somehow the old school was always having frozen pipes from someone leaving the water on. That always resulted in the school having to close for a day.
Like any youngsters in America, a favorite season is fall when Halloween was celebrated with a much mischievous vigor and imagination as one could muster. Like the time we managed to put an old “out-house” in the middle of main street. The next morning a sign was found hanging on the door saying “Dr. Anderson’s Office.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

From My Window Seat

The Internet can be a wonderful tool for research but then such things as social web sites can be a breeding ground political, religious and family feuds.

I recently tried going down the memory trail to find information on places where my family once resided. Starting with the towns that my parents and brothers were born and then looking for places my father would have been employed. I found a site referencing a town where my family lived in 1951. This site gave a very interesting detail of the demographics of the area, and photos of the Theater where my father was employed. The description of all the types of prejudices that were rampant sent shock waves down my spine. It made me so glad that we did not stay in Texas very long. Recently I've seen first hand that such mentality still is the root to the teachings in that state to, the term "Redneck" is really too polite to label those with no tolerance with anyone who disagrees.

Social websites such as Facebook can be a wonderful tool for interacting with friends and relatives, to visit and keep in touch with those whom we selom see face to face. However lately I am finding it more a place where the english language is becoming something of the dark ages and replaced with four letter profanity or coded abreviations that only those under the age thirty can understand. Political and religious views even between family members can errupt into verbal wars and threats of physical harm. These thoughts and ideas would never be mentioned face to face but the ability to write them on a site shared by so many give the writer a sense of bravado.