I feel like I’m missing out on summertime. I mean, we just passed mid-summer, you know, the solstice and my mind has started to wander, like the days and weeks are running together.
I suppose I’m not alone on this, and if the newspaper didn’t come out every Thursday, I wouldn’t know what day it was. In old-normal times you could keep track because there were places to go, people to see and things to do, but now we’re pretty much left adrift with a new normal which, to my mind, is abnormal.
Not to be whiny or anything, so far this year we’ve missed out on the Blues and BBQ Festival, Cinco de Mayo, the Kelly Fiesta, the Fishing Derby, Trinity Site and VLA open houses, Magdalena’s Frontier Festival, and of course all the graduation ceremonies and school sporting events.
But life is more than a bowl of cherries, it’s a bowl of virtual cherries.
Take the big New Mexico Tech Fourth of July celebration. It has been social distanced out to go internet only, rain or shine. That’s except the fireworks show, which although is closed to the public, can be viewed from anywhere since it will be staged from the top of M Mountain.
That’s more than you can say about sunrise over Stonehenge. Over in England all the druid and pagan types who normally gather en masse at Stonehenge to oo-and-ah at the sun rising over the megalithic rocks at the summer solstice last weekend weren’t allowed in. That’s right. Stonehenge was also closed. Instead, the folks at the Stonehenge chamber of commerce (if there is such a thing) decided to stream the sunrise to a worldwide audience live on the internet. That would’ve been great, but since it is England, the 37 million viewers who logged in saw … ahem ... just another cloudy day.
I’ve never been there, but Stonehenge looks to me like somebody wanted to build a castle but either didn’t have a clue how to do it, or the prehistoric Home Depot had trouble back-ordering 25-ton cinder blocks. Whatever the case, I’m surprised no one ever thought to ProPanel a roof and live there as is.
OK, that’s getting too silly, but then again, when you consider the Stonehenge made of out of old cars in Nebraska or the Fridgehenge outside of Santa Fe, maybe not.
I don’t know if you realize it, but it was 70 years ago today, June 25, 1950, that the Korean War began when the North Korean army invaded South Korea. Most of the actual combat occurred in the first year of the war, but it dragged on and on. Truce negotiations began in 1951 and went on for over two years, that is until Dwight D. Eisenhower ran for president in 1952 on the platform that he would end the war, and when he was elected that’s what he did.
The last battle of the war was at an out of the way place called Pork Chop Hill - named after the shape of hill’s terrain - which is also the title of one of the best movies about Korea. Plus, it stars Gregory Peck, who seemed to keep his cool while leading his men by munching on raisins.
Wait, why do I always remember what people eat in a movie? Skip it.
I know they called it a police action at the time, but you can’t tell the vets who were there that’s all it was, and my hat’s off to them.
One thing, if anybody thinks a face mask is a nuisance and uncomfortable, just be glad it’s not a flak jacket and steel pot.
Today, by the way, is also National Goat Cheese Day, and I can’t think of that without remembering Nancy Coonridge’s goat cheese out in Catron County. Unfortunately, she shut down her dairy operation last July, but for 37 years it was legendary.
The Coonridge farm is north of Pie Town down about 15 miles down an unimproved road and you need no less than a Korean War jeep to maneuver that bumpy road. They get by very well with a woodstove for heat, a water catchment system, a garden for veggies, and an outhouse down the hill. Totally off the grid with all the comforts of home.
But that’s Catron County for you. The doctrine of many folks over there is DIY. Do it yourself.
Just like my late mother who grew up in the Depression era on a cotton farm in middle Tennessee with cows, pigs, and chickens. It was there, years later when I was a child, I learned with horror where the term “chicken with its head cut off” came from.
But I digress. Here it is, the first full week after the solstice, and mass-gatherings or not, I’ll be switched if I can’t get out and enjoy some of our New Mexico summer.
Just as long as they don’t cancel the monsoons, that is.