Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1993 20:14:32 -0700
Subject: WHTMIP

[mawkish story follows - please delete if such is not to your fancy]

A few weeks ago I returned from an ugly trip to Mexico. Well, they're ALL ugly, FWTW, for some reason. For some other reason this time I was hit by the emotional fougasse instead of being just a confused bystander. (It's a French term Akio, et al.) So, upon returning home I decided my best course of action was to get the hell out of Dodge, tout suite. Since I was already packed I just threw my duffle into the Navajo and hit the road to Vegas. No, I wasn't going there, but it was a "road not [yet] taken", and that was all I needed...

Going up Schnebly Hill I pushed the Maza to it's limits - until I also realized that I was going past 'motor enthusiast' terrritory on a road with no guardrails and approaching 'death wish' country at entirely too high a rate of speed, so I calmed/slowed down and proceeded to Prescott at a more stately pace. I checked into the Hassayampa Inn and set out to see what sport Friday would afford...

There was a mirror in my room. There was a mirror in the hotel bar that showed a middle-aged bald-headed man drinking scotch alone. there was a mirror in the Mexican restaurant that showed the same damn channel. I also met an ex-student of mine, which shows that it's important to remember that you never know when you might meet someone, so, keep your nose clean... 8-/ After dinner I set out upon the streets, but there was NOTHING WHATSOEVER GOING ON. I boxed the courthouse square - statue of Bucky O'Neill, the *real* leader of the Rough Riders, and all - nearly alone. Whisky Row was damn near deserted, and on a Friday night, too. Can you believe it? Anyway, as I turned the corner my eye was caught by a jewelry store that had taken in the stock from the window for the weekend...almost... The rings and watches had been stored away from any miscreant with larceny and a rock, but, there, in the corner of the window...left for anyone with two minutes and a brick...

Lladros. A whole rack of the damn things.

Pink and ugly as a litter of new-born rats.

Something no self-respecting Hummel collector would spit on.

Something even *I* wouldn't give shelf space to.

Something no self-respecting thief would even consider.

But, I smiled. Broadly. Something I hadn't done in days.

My friends, as the sun sank past the Bradshaw Mountains on that Friday night so many weeks ago, my heart soared to the heavens as I, for some reason, thought of all of you. Yes, all of you. I stood on that Prescott sidewalk in front of a closed jewelry store and thought of the wordslers, and then turned to walk back uphill to the hotel with my spirits arising for the first time in a month, and hope in my heart for longer than I can remember. It was a trenchant moment, and I'll be damned if I know why. I don't care. You were all there with me, and it meant something at that moment, and that's all that mattered...

Thank you.