Wednesday, April 25, 2012

To Live Well

As a young man my world was expand by a big table radio that sat on a table next to an easy chair in our kitchen a million miles from civilization.  Among those shows that transported me to far away places was the Lone Ranger.

Hi-Yo, Silver! A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty "Hi-Yo Silver"... The Lone Ranger! With his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early Western United States. Nowhere in the pages of history can one find a greater champion of justice. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. From out of the past come the thundering hoof-beats of the great horse Silver. The Lone Ranger rides again!

There were 2956 radio episodes of the Lone Ranger.  I think I heard them all, as well as all the television shows and movies that came out as well.  I even had a copy of the Lone Rangers creed that I lost when we moved when I was 10.  I found it again just a while ago on the internet.

 I believe...
that to have a friend, a man must be one.
that all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.
that God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.
in being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.
that a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
that 'this government of the people, by the people, and for the people' shall live always.
that men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
that sooner or later...somewhere...somehow...we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.
that all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever.
in my Creator, my country, my fellow man.
---John Francis Reid (The Lone Ranger)

It is not so much that I ever actually memorized the creed as I absorbed it into the mind through all of its example in the stories.

Of course it all blended together with the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes and the philosophy of Captain Kangaroo. 

So this is the way I decided to live.  Like every good Lone Ranger I didn't do it perfectly, or even most of the time.

As I grew up I also found that it was not so wise to wear a mask and ride a white horse while you followed that creed.  So it was that when I read  Descartes I picked up on my over arching concept to live by even as a Lone Ranger:

               “I desire to live in peace and to continue the life I have begun under the motto:   'To Live Well You Must Live Unseen” 

― RenĂ© DescartesThe Principles of Philosophy

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Meeting I Did Not Attend

The window was completely blown out.  The desk was upside down and the legs were splintered.  The small round conference table was blown up against the wall smashing two of the chairs around it.Paper was everywhere. The walls were peppered with shards and bits of glass from the windows. There were bloody hand prints on the walls next to the office, they led down the hallway.

I was looking at the room because I was the Agency's Emergency Coordinator.  A job nobody had wanted, but one I was relieved of the next day so people better situated to help, could take over. But that morning I was there looking for two employees that were unaccounted for.  We found one safe later and the other had been already transferred to a hospital.  A fireman and I search every room until another ranking fireman ran me out and sent him on to another task.

The room I described had special significance for me.  Up until 8 a.m. that morning  I was scheduled to be in a meeting at that room at that table at 9:00 that morning.  But the test company representative had made an agreement with the head of the division the night before and had gone home early.  So both the division head and I were at the main office doing other things when the bomb went off.  Five minutes latter we were downtown counting employees at the designate out of office emergency meeting place and making sure our people got medical help.  Then I was headed into the building to find the two not accounted for.

That was on April 19, 1995.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Mexico 1928 Route 66 from Glenrio to San Jon Along The Frisco RR

This old stretch of Route 66 has got it all.  It is the original gravel road.  It has ghost towns.  It follows a fallen flag railroad, the Rock Island, and it has wild life.  Did I mention an upside-down tree and longhorns?

"Glenrio is located in extreme northwest Deaf Smith County, Texasand along the eastern border of Quay County, New Mexico.
To get to Glenrio, while traveling west along I-40, you will take exit 369 off of I-40 (Endee exit), turn right at the stop, and left onto the north frontage road.
When traveling eastbound on I-40, you can take the Bard Exit 361. Note that the majority of the road from Bard to Glenrio is dirt and gravel."   Source of text:

"Straddling the border between Texas and New Mexico is the forgotten ghost town of Glenrio. Once a monument along the boom and bust highway of Route 66, it now remains home to only the critters and the blowing tumble weeds of the vast prairie."

"In 1901 the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad came through the area and two years later Glenrio was born. The name Glenrio, which stems from the English word "valley” and the Spanish word for river, is neither in a valley nor along a river."

"A post office was established on the New Mexico side of the community, but the mail arrived at the railroad depot located on the Texas side. Sitting in its precarious location crossing Texasand New Mexico, Glenrio became the subject of a long battle between both states for tax rights."

The last Motel in Texas and the First Motel in New Mexico, unless you are coming from the other way.  Texas is on the right side of gas station/office door and New Mexico is on the left side.

"By 1920 Glenrio had a hotel, a hardware store, and a land office, as well as several grocery stores, service stations, and cafes. A newspaper, the Glenrio Tribune, was published from 1910 to 1934. There were no bars on the Texas side of the community, since Deaf Smith County was dry, and no service stations on the New Mexico side because of that state's higher gasoline tax."

Longhorns are occupying the Railroad grade of the old Rock Island Line that runs parallel to Route 66 along this stretch.

They provide a dis-incentive to hunt for R.R. relics along the right of way.

"In 1905 the region was opened to small farmers, who settled on choice 150-acre plots and a year later the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway established a station at Glenrio. The settlement began to bustle with cattle and freight shipments. Initially the area was primarily populated by large cattle ranches but as time passed much of the surrounding land was planted in wheat and sorghum and the farming expansion was responsible for most of the growth of the area population."

  "Five miles past Glenrio is the ghost town of Endee, New Mexicowhich had a population of 110 in 1946. Along the way you can view several abandoned homes and structures before arriving at Endee."

This old Endee Motor Court sits south of I-40 on original Route 66, now a dirt Road. 


"Continuing down this old dirt road to Bard, you will see the remains of an old Rock Island trestle. The settlement of Bard was also said to have been a wild town during the cowboy days, where drunkenness and shootouts were commonplace. In the 1940's it was a trading center for local ranchers, consisting of a store, a gas station and several houses."

"Continuing west on old Route 66, the dirt and gravel road will take you all the way to San Jon, if road conditions permit."

P.S.  If it is wet or looks like rain, don't do it. Save it for a dry day.

Monday, April 16, 2012

No Sympathy For The Devil

“No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride...and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well...maybe chalk it off to forced conscious expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.” 
― Hunter S. ThompsonFear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream