Have you noticed? Halloween candy is all over the place. In the aisles. On the shelves. Candy is even being flung at you, and I mean during parades, like the one for Indian Days at Alamo last Saturday. Its theme was “Honoring Our Elderly” and it was one of the best parades I’ve seen this year, even if you don’t count all the candy flying through the air. But hang on, the 49ers parade is not far behind. It’ll be rolling down California Street this Saturday morning, and hopefully the weather will warm up a bit.
That particular parade – New Mexico Tech’s homecoming – goes back years and years, evidenced by the home movies from the collection of Gary Jaramillo being shown on a flat screen TV in Hammel Museum during Oktoberfest. Those old black-and-white films go back from, I believe, the 1940s through the mid-fifties, giving us a rare glimpse of the way the 49ers parades were back then.
Sometimes I wonder if all the parades throughout the year are keeping the candy companies in business. I mean, we like to talk about what Socorro needs, like a bowling alley or a skating rick or whatever, but I’m thinking that if somebody started a candy factory here there would be no more worries about economic development. Or my sweet tooth.
By the way, you never know when a reference to Magdalena or Socorro is going to pop up on the internet. While checking my email the other night I saw a link for Smithsonite for sale. I couldn't help but click on it, and there was a picture of a 3x2x1 inch chunk, described as “a beautiful botryoidal blue Smithsonite on matrix from the famous Kelly Mine in Socorro Co., New Mexico!”
My, that sounds exotic. And you can have it, along with its own small decorative cabinet, for only $400. Yes, four hundred dollars... I think we have one or two little pieces of those rocks around the house, as do many people up here. Hey, maybe we could all be rich.
Incidentally, this peculiar mineral is named after James Smithson – the guy behind the Smithsonian Institution – who first identified it in the early 1800s, and there are examples of the bluish-greenish rocks at the Mineral Museum at New Mexico Tech. The dumps and tailings piles of the Graphite Mine in Kelly use to be dizzy with the stuff, until along came the Sherwin-Williams company and cleaned out the lot to use for a color they wanted to use for paint.
Anyway, my point is that our little corner of the world is quite unique. Rich in history and cultures, and just a downright good place to live.
I recently read an article in Sunset Magazine that had as its cover story, “The West's Best Places to Live.” I'm not giving away any spoilers here, but I was shocked, shocked I tell you, that Socorro or Magdalena was not on that list. Enough of this “best places to move to” nonsense, I’m staying put. Hey, we not only have the best green chile, but a stadium style movie theater and three pizza places.
Of course, we could use a bit faster speed on the internet, but as long as I can binge watch old shows it’s fast enough for me. We’ve come a far cry from the family having to all gather on the couch in front of a television set to catch the latest episode of Gunsmoke or Adam-12. Now, the family gathers together to look at their cell phones, I guess.
I was trying to remember what life was like BC; you know, Before Computers. I don’t mean way back to the era of room-sized Univac computers, but say, just personal computers and the like.
The world was, in a way, easier to understand, and if there was nothing to do you had to find something else to do, like read a book, write a letter, paint a picture, exercise, and other semi-productive things like that. That was back when going “viral” meant something bad. Or a cell phone might’ve been something in prisons. Or, when a browser was someone who didn’t buy anything. When Java was a cup of joe. Or Spam was just spicy ham in a can. Or a website was where a spider lived. Or hashtags might’ve been smothered in gravy at Waffle House. Yum.
I like to think before computers life was quite peaceful and pleasant and the world wasn’t so overly digitized. On the other hand, I like being able to boot up my I-pod Touch to check the weather forecast in the morning, or make sure my checking account hasn’t been hacked yet.
I have to confess I’m not ready to go back to the days before USB ports; it’s just that I keep hearing in my head the Borg’s mantra, “Resistance is futile. Your life, as it has been, is over.”
I think I’ll tweet that.