Selective, or Snooty?


April 24, 2017, Prescott- 

It’s no deep secret that I have issues with those who build walls of snobbery around themselves. I’ve found them everywhere, from my home town of Saugus,  to Jeju, Korea, and to my present home base of Prescott.

Usually, snobs rely on “isms”, to validate their choices.  There are those who fall back on their self-perceived intelligence, while forgetting that the late George Plimpton, and others, routinely ridiculed their insolence.  There are others, “hipsters”, who brag about their sense of aesthetics, overlooking the beauty of simplicity.  Money, status in the community, and a misperceived “racial purity” are other sources of walls. Even in small communities, and communities of colour, subgroups operate to either maintain a false sense of superiority or to ingratiate themselves with those in power.  Seventeen years ago, a woman spread filth about my family and me, in a small desert community.  She had arrived  ten years earlier, from Ohio.  Here in Prescott, another individual, an attendant at a local fitness center, turns her head, sharply and disdainfully, whenever anyone over the age of forty approaches.

I have my own sense of selectivity.  I stay clear of fast food restaurants, many chain stores, and most Big Box establishments.  There is no shortage of people who would cry “Snoot”, at this information, and perhaps they’re right.  I do not, however, treat others with disdain, based on age, physical appearance,  mannerisms,perceived intelligence level, economic status or skin pigmentation.  Even the snobs get a fair hearing.

I have made the observation that fear is behind most snobbery.  If the wall-builders would stop and take several deep breaths, perhaps they would realize that nothing of consequence would befall them, were they to open the blinds, and take off the blinders.

The Road to 65, Mile 26: Homage to a Chief, and Hail to the Heathens


December 24, 2014, Vail, AZ-  Growing up, and especially in my teens and twenties, Christmas Eve almost achieved a holiday status all its own.  As a young adult, it almost became a not-so-dry run for its sister Eve, a week later.  This morning, I scouted around for a breakfast place in Lordsburg.  The Pilot Truck Stop store turned out to be the closest thing to such an establishment, since I swore off fast food chains, a while back.  (Well, I do go in Subway, now and then, but you get the picture.)  Armed with a blueberry muffin and high test coffee, I checked out of Holiday Motel and headed west.

Cochise, the famed Apache warrior chief, was a complex man.  His thoughts on the state in which he found himself and his people were summed up by his observation to General Crook that the common enemy of both Apache and American was the Spaniard, who had long since disappeared from these lands, to be replaced by the Mexican, whom Cochise neither understood, nor trusted.  He didn’t particularly like Crook, but he did see the General as a man of his word.  The feeling was mutual.

Cochise would probably like the way in which his old redoubt, the Stronghold that bears his name, has been kept largely wild.  There are horse camps and vacation cottages nearby, but the campsites that are set aside, for those who come to pay their respects to him, are primitive.  Pack it in, pack it out, just as the Chiricahua people did.

I walked a short distance, from the Day Use trailhead, to the base of the Dragoons, and said quiet prayers to the Father of us all.  Like Quanah Parker did, at the Sipapu in Palo Duro Canyon, nearly three years ago, Cochise communicated with me:  “You are ever welcome at this place.  Return, at length, when you are able, my son.  For now, go in peace and harmony, and above all else, keep your word.”

SAM_3498 SAM_3502 SAM_3504 The ruggedness of Cochise Stronghold was soon replaced by the wild yapping of those whose owners call them the Heathen Hounds.  Hacienda Ranch lies a fair stretch down towards the road from Vail Steak House, one of my homes away from hom, when I’m down this way.  The Heathens and their people came this way, from Oklahoma, about six months ago.  These are hounds (chihuahuas) that like all such little critters, would gladly enjoy me as their breakfast.  Bob and Tamy are of a different opinion regarding yours truly, and so I was given a fine lunch and a nice little guest room.  So, I hailed the Heathens from the other room, and went off with Bob, exploring the low country, and a winding hill.

SAM_3505 After such a repast, the confluence of the Chihuahua and Sonoran Deserts called out pretty loudly.  There are no sahuaro, or yucca, in this transition zone, but everything else is here, including the javelina and coyotes.

SAM_3508 These ancient rocks are found along a wash, just southwest of Hacienda.SAM_3509 SAM_3511 SAM_3512 Bob and i went a bushwackin’ through the scrub, and found this seasonal tank.  He thinks a larger one lies just to the west of this one.  Maybe on a future jaunt, one or both of us will find it.SAM_3513 Th scene is recorded for posterity.SAM_3514 These next scenes are from the winding road up a nearby hill.SAM_3516 SAM_3519SAM_3517 SAM_3521 In the absence of sahuaro, the ocotillo take full advantage.  The dogs didn’t take advantage of me, but even if they tried, I’d have loved to death.

This Christmas Eve was spent watching a rebroadcast of A Christmas Story 2″, which bored me to tears, and . another, of “Pearl Harbor”, which delivered the full horror of that awful day.   One element of surprise, though, led to another, and as Admiral Yamamoto said, the sleeping giant had been awoken.