My Southwest Adventure Part~4

13 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites



The next day I was tooling along across West Texas when, all of a sudden, I found myself 1on a 2-lane road out in the middle of nowhere.  I had not studied the map too closely, but thought I remembered that all I had to do was to stay on U.S. 84 (4-lane road) until I picked up I-40 at Santa Rosa, NM.   In reality, U.S. 60 had split off from U.S. 84 at Fort. Sumner, NM and I didn’t realize I had missed the turn.   I had traveled several miles without seeing a road sign of any kind, and began to worry about my being stranded on this lonely road that looked like it never ended.2

 Have you ever prayed for a road sign?  Well, I did.  And, a few miles later, God provided a U.S. 60 road sign, and I knew I was on the wrong road.  I stopped and checked the map closely, discovering that if I just continued on U.S. 60 to U.S. 285, I could still connect with I-40 at Clines Corners, NM, without having to do any backtracking.  Whew! What a relief, especially since I would have enough gas to get me there.  Somewhere along that desolate stretch of highway, I went thru Muleshoe, TX and Texico, NM as I slipped across the border into “The Land of Enchantment”, and finally to I-40.

Back on Interstate I-40 heading West, my next stop was Albuquerque, NM to visit my 3childhood friend, Leon, who still lives in the same house he did when we were growing up together in the mid-1940s.  We had a great time recalling our younger days and he introduced me to his cat, Rusty, and gave me a tour of his model circus railroad project.  Later he went with me to the National Nuclear Museum and the Ernie Pyle Library.  We experienced one of New Mexico’s dust storms late that afternoon, and I remembered how the wind could almost knock you over, and the wind driven sand could blast the paint off the front of your car and pit your windshield, if you were foolish enough to drive into one of those storms.  And, there was no way you could get your house windows closed tight enough to keep that fine sand from filtering into the house, and getting all over things.

The next day, after breakfast at Leon’s favorite restaurant, we toured the Sunset Memorial Park where his and my parents were buried.  I had made arrangements with a couple for lunch that day, and we met and visited over a great Chef’s Salad at the famous Frontier Restaurant across the street from the University of New Mexico, where DiVoran and my sister Judy had attended.  Of course, Norm is an R/C model airplane enthusiast like me, and his wife, Pat, is the sister of our Chiropractor in Florida, so we had lots to talk about.  What a joy it was to meet and get to know them.

After lunch, I decided to take a trip down memory lane by driving the length of Central Ave. (which was the 2-lane U.S. Route 66 when I lived there).  East of town, many of the 4motels I used to throw papers to were still in business, and the Highland Theater where DiVoran worked selling tickets was still there.  Leon told me he was a ticket taker and usher at the Highland Theater about the same time that DiVoran was working there, but he didn’t remember ever meeting her there.  The Ice Arena had been turned into part of a shopping center, and Highland High School, where DiVoran and I met, all those many years ago, was now three times as big as it was when we attended.  Further down Central, our football rivals, Albuquerque High School had been closed and converted into condos (of all things), while the First Baptist Church, which my folks and I attended all the years we lived there, had moved and their buildings were now empty and up for sale.  What a shock that was!



                                                                        —–To Be Continued—–

One Response to “My Southwest Adventure Part~4”

  1. Interesting Things April 4, 2019 at 7:22 am #

    sadly i don’t think First Baptist is doing all that well. they did what several other churches did- they went to the Westside so there they all are right together competing with one another. Downtown has made a huge comeback and I really think they would have thrived by staying right where they were. Hindsight 20/20 I guess.


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