THIS APPEARS to be a bedroom. There’s the antique bed that’s been neatly made up. There’s an armoire to the right.
And an apparatus to repair flat tires rests in the foreground, and an electric welder sits between the bed and the armoire which has a picture of Jesus attached.
Someone repairs auto tires and does welding to boot. It also appears to be Home Sweet Home.
The bedroom/business is open to the street. The only thing separating it from the sidewalk is an old, chain-link fence. There’s a makeshift roof overhead. A good night’s sleep would be a challenge beneath rain, lightning, thunder.
Strung vertically is a line with cloth that can be pulled down to make a curtain to hide the sleepyhead from people passing by on the sidewalk late at night.
I snapped this photo through the chain-link fence. There was no one home at the time. Or at work either. It was late Friday afternoon. Perhaps he was out for a beer.
Odds are that this fellow is not married. He appears to be a hard worker. Neat too. He makes up his bed.
LET’S LOOK at illegal entry into the United States. Leftists, those marvelous language-twisters, have melded illegal entry-invasion with the broader, milder topic of immigration.
They label this stew of issues with one word: immigration. Yes, that is correct. The U.S. legal system by which foreigners apply for and — if they are fortunate — receive visas, and the issue of criminally tunneling or climbing fences into America is one and the same. No real difference, ya know.
Leftists’ intentional combining of the different issues does this: It smears those of us who favor law and order, a positive thing, with the stench of xenophobia, a negative thing.
Leftist command of language is remarkable, and conservatives’ lack of such is lamentable. Leftists are so skilled that they’ve donned the lovely cloaks of “liberal” and “progressive.”
There are basically two groups who favor open borders: (1) Confused Christians and (2) Flower Children.
Sometimes a person is both.
Christians cite the need to care for the unfortunate. South of the Rio Bravo and, especially, south of Mexico, there is a multitude of unfortunates. The confused Christians favor letting as many as possible move to the United States.
It’s the Way of Jesus. Glory, hallelujah!
This is admirable, dreamy-eyed, and absolutely unworkable. America cannot support all the world’s unfortunates, or even a sizable percentage of them.
Like Marxism itself, it’s a beautiful notion — a pipe dream — that’s totally unrealistic, undoable.
Flower Children: This category is far broader than actual Flower Children left over from the 1960s. It includes everyone who hums Kumbaya and lacks reasoning skills.
These folks invariably support the Democrat Party.
The distinct issues of legal immigration vs. illegal sneaking across the border should never been confused. If you support the former and oppose the latter, speak out when leftists maliciously accuse you of being anti-immigration.
Immigration is a far cry from the graver problem of a nation that picks which of its own laws to obey, something we see from the Oval Office down to sanctuary cities.
When you hear people pretending that they are one and the same, give them your elbow. Then haul back and kick them in the shins. You’ll feel so much better for it.
Don’t remain quiet.
It’s criminality that conservatives oppose, not immigration.
WE SPENT two nights in San Miguel de Allende that, by pure chance, sat in Semana Santa, Easter Week.
We drove there to visit an old friend who had flown down from Texas with a couple who had invited him to share a few days in a vacation rental in the Gringo-infested town.
The old friend and I had planned this get-together months ago, neither realizing it was Semana Santa. It just dawned on me about two weeks ago.
Semana Santa, to Mexicans, is Spring Break with Jesus Christ. We have a multitude of religious ceremonies and Easter parades here on the mountaintop and tons of tourists, but I figured it would be calmer in San Miguel.
I could not have been more mistaken.
It was almost like Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Downtown was mobbed with people. Lines waited outside restaurants.
Streets were blocked.
We arrived Thursday for two nights and one full day — Good Friday — in a downtown hotel, and we left yesterday.
We had a great visit with the friend, and we came away with these two faces — photos — of Semana Santa.
A third photo shows another face, a sad one, a man who passed on the street in the best way he could. Every few feet he would stop, squat upright on the street, and jiggle his coin can.
What struck me most about him, apart from his disability, was that his hair was trimmed and slicked back very neatly.
WHY DO CATHOLICS have a Main Man, but Protestants do not?
The Catholics, due to having a main man, get lots of press coverage. Protestants lack that. They are a fractured people.
I am neither Protestant nor Catholic, but I believe in balance.
So I propose that Protestants unite to choose a Main Man — maybe even a Main Woman because Protestants, as a rule, are less hidebound than Catholics. Well, some of them.
A convention must be held, perhaps akin to Burning Man, where Protestants can come together. This will require plenty of compromise because Protestants are a mixed bag, ranging from high-toned Presbyterians to Westboro Baptist Church crackpots.
After a Main Man — or Woman — is chosen, a Protestant Vatican must be decided upon. Outside of the United States is preferable so visits to Washington will seem more special, inspiring more press coverage.
Somewhere in the Middle East is a fine choice since Jesus Christ walked thereabouts. As the Catholic Pope has armed guards and a bulletproof vehicle, the Protestant Main Man — or Woman — will need this too, due to being around so many pissed-off Mohammedans.
All of this will require money, so an expanded tithe must be applied to all Protestant denominations.
Twenty-five percent sounds about right.
This will finance a huge Protestant Palace among the Mohammedans. And then there’s the Wardrobe.
As the Pope wears women’s clothes, the Protestant Main Man should do likewise. It will attract attention. If a Main Woman is chosen, a James Bond tuxedo will serve the purpose.
After a Main Man (Woman) is named, a Protestant Palace situated, armed guards hired (with suitable frippery), at least two bulletproof Hummers at the door, the only thing left to do is make smoke and water holy.
AT 4:23 AM, 70 years ago today, a scrawny, unhealthy baby was born at the Emily Winship Woodruff Maternity Center at Crawford W. Long Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
It was eight months before V-E Day, nearly a year before President Truman dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and 21 days after famous firefighter Smokey the Bear appeared on the scene.
My mother was weary because I was a long time coming down the birth canal. Was my father there? I don’t know. He might have been in a bar.
I had an affliction. An intestinal valve did not work right, and I could not digest food properly. The prognosis was grim. I hung on, skinny and wan, for a couple of months until an experimental drug was first tried on me — and it worked. I’ve been digesting well ever since.
It’s strange to be this old because I feel good. I have no major health issues, and I’ve never had any. Knock on wood. My last hospitalization, for nothing serious, was over 50 years ago when I was 19. I’ve never broken even one bone. The only obvious signs of this passage of time is that my hair is white, and my energy level is not what it was 30 years ago. You do feel that.
Alexander the Great, Lord Byron, Adolf Hitler, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix and Jesus Christ all lived fewer years. There is some debate about the last one.
There is one quite noticeable aspect to being 70: You know it’s the end game. Oh, it might come 20 years down the road, like it did for my mother, or just five years more, like it did for my father. It could come tomorrow, and nobody would be surprised. No one would say: So young. What a shame. Young has vanished.
This age brings a sweet calm but also a sadness, una tristeza. Many things won’t be repeated: barreling 100 miles an hour on a motorcycle down a California freeway in the middle of a cold night; bicycling the perimeter of Puerto Rico, a long-ago, unfulfilled dream; having the sole motor of an Aeronca Champ conk out at 800 feet, forcing a spiraling, white-knuckle descent to a New Orleans runway …
… speedily bolting a crib together alone at night after my wife heads to the hospital earlier than expected; having my daughter call me Daddy; visiting a Cuban dictatorship with a Mexican; visiting a Haitian dictatorship with a Frenchman; a first view of England from the seat of a DC-10; seeing notes of music dance with DNA helices over a Florida lake while listening to frog songs sung far, far away; moving to Mexico alone with two suitcases …
… getting married yet again.
Best to enjoy the calm, an uncommon sensation decades ago.
I never amounted to much, as we Southerners say, but that goes for most people. Most of us simply breathe and live. With luck, we do minor damage and some good. The most the majority of us can hope for is that we made some small difference, sometimes in the life of only one other person.
“If I can stop just one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.”
Emily Dickinson wrote that, and I believe it. The flip side is that you do not break hearts. Twice divorced, I fear I have been remiss in that.
I committed one major error. I drank too much. It went on for 25 years, from age 26 to 51. I was never a raving drunk. I never spent a night in jail. I never lost a job. I was a low-level boozer, blotting things — mostly myself — out.
I quit one sunset evening in March of 1996. I was sitting alone in the outdoor patio of a taco restaurant in Houston, Texas. It was a conscious decision.
I remember marveling at my clear-headedness. It was easy, and life made a 180-degree flip overnight. Things have been great ever since.
So I was born twice. Once in 1944 and again in 1996, so I’m not really 70 years old. I am 18, and my child bride is not really my third wife but my first. I’m just getting started.
“Death should take me while I am in the mood.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne
MY CHILD BRIDE had a little medical issue a few days back, so we called a new clinic here on the mountaintop and made a same-day appointment, high noon, with an internist.
The doctor arrived about five minutes after we did and, while she was being tended to, I stepped out into the too-small parking area where I noticed the prayer place in the far corner, a chapel.
So, if the doctor can’t help you, perhaps the Virgin Mary can. I mention the Virgin Mary instead of God or Jesus Christ because I often think Mexicans feel far closer to her than the two guys, Father and Son.
I too generally prefer the company of women to men. Actually, at times in my life, women have provided me heavenly moments. Men, never. But let’s not veer off-topic.
As you can see below, there is no pew, no spot to sit at all, so you must speak to the Virgin standing up. If you want to kneel, that ceramic floor is hard, but many Mexicans believe self-abuse of that sort speaks of devotion.
I simply stepped back into the clinic, picked up my wife, and we went home. She’s much better now.
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(Note: Prayer is oración in Spanish, so Oratorio is a place to pray.)