Flowering Rosemary, front of an El Paso homestead.
SRV (Stevie Ray Vaughn), arguably the best blue guitar rocker ever born. An Austin patron saint with his statue along the edge of the lake. Passed it daily, sometimes two or three times, maybe more. The statue.
Every trip to El Paso reminds me of this, standing, caught in the crossfire. Ciudad Juarez with its teeming millions, unofficially well over the four million mark, the rampant violence, the cheap life, and El Paso, right at a million with more pouring in every day, as the base (Army’s Ft. Bliss) grow and expects 20,000 new troops to be stationed there, in the next year.
Las Cruces is the “space gateway,” between the new space port and the old missile base (Virgin and White Sands).
I remember working, I can identify which hotel, where we had breakfast when I heard the news, spurious details, the first time I read about a gangland-style multiple murder scene in Juarez, and that was the beginning. Long ago, years past, and that was the turning point. That was the high-water mark, the wave broke, crested and washed back out to sea.
It must’ve been a horrific scene, a bar at closing time, a table gunned down, the remaining patrons dead as collateral damage. That was the beginning – in my consciousness.