Friday, July 16, 2010

Prairie Party Life in July

Ah, the prairie. Hot. Dry. Tumbleweeds to a minimum, replaced by tiny, baby tumbleweeds. Firecrackers still popping off. When they cease exploding at night, you'll know Fall has arrived.

Slow walkers, slow jaywalkers and people in even slower walkers. Slow cars, most clunkers that were the only family car before the recession. Front and side yards full of more clunkers, a sign of wealth or luck or thriftiness in Bessemer. Considered part of the yard art in most neighborhoods.

The family restaurant in walking distance is trying hard to become the bar the neighborhood citizens demand. Crushed ice only, six or seven small bottles of hard liquor, four wine glasses. Actually, three of them broke and so we stopped at Wal-Mart and bought another six. They've been out of orange juice for a week. They are planning to expand the building, purchase an ice machine that produces cubes and pick up another dozen tumblers.

A corner business at "D" Street and Victoria has tried to be a chicken place and then a brat works stop. Each lasted about two months. I looked into the chicken place one afternoon - it had a clever logo and may have been pretty tasty - and the woman (owner?) was at the counter, tapping her pen and staring across the empty room. It could be my imagination, but she looked dejected. I vowed to stop by there soon. I forgot. When I remembered, the eatery was gone.

I stop by the Colorado Workforce office, not to find a job but for other business. I take a number and sit at one of the small tables, with others looking for work on the office computers and placing phone calls on the office phone. Looking for jobs, asking for rides, counselors helping them apply for jobs that, as far as I can overhear, they have no hope of attaining. I am the only one with a 3-G phone and carrying a Kindle. I feel self-conscience and zip it shut before they call my number.

A recent trip to Denver reminds me we have no Costco, Maggiano's, Old Chicago, suburbs, decent zoo, suburbs, subdivisions, light rail, great bus system, Cherry Creek Mall or a Whole Foods. I imagine I sound like a snob. I have to admit the residents here don't seem to need them.

As I peer above the enclosed patio of our condo, I can see the top of a tree in the light post where 'our' dove (Eurasion Collared Dove, I think) used to perch every morning this spring:

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