I don't know and it's only a philosophical pregunta
anyway. And, purely as an aside, Mary Ann and I and our son
Miguelito, then one year old, lived in Spain, on a bluff near
Torremolinos and overlooking the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea
and that wild place we call Africa. On a clear day we could see
the tall mountains of that continent. From our small place in
Benalmadena-Pueblo and in the spring a goatherd led his small
band down the steep slopes of our hills to where the grass was
greener. Occasionally one of the female goats gave birth during
the day; the man would carry the baby back up the hill in the
late afternoon as the sun was setting. He'd often see us
watching and would hold the baby up for our appreciation. Our
world was filled with tiny delights.
Friends flew down to our house in Bahia de Los Angeles a few
days ago for a too short visit. They landed their Cessna at the
dirt airstrip just south of our house. Bob taxied it up and atop
of a small cement slab, the only one, and tied it up to buried
old and well-worn tires. They make a perfect device for securing
a small plane against the wind.
Gato, the guard of the gate to the strip and the small array of
houses adjacent to the runway, was there to help our friends in
any way he could. I have met Gato and, because of my simple
prejudices, was somehow intimidated by him. It was my issue, not
his, and he has always been friendly to me. It's just that
he's a guard I guess. Because of my friends we got to
talking with him and enjoyed his company. He is a gentle man.
We spent three days, our friends and Mary Ann and I, talking,
eating and sharing experiences. Bob and Mickey, with whom I
worked for many years at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, took our
boat out and visited all the local islands of which there are
many. All of us are more than familiar with the peninsula and we
had a number of experiences to swap and it was a great visit.
Before they left for their return to the States, Bob took us all
up into the air in his Cessna. While I have seen Baja California
from the air as far back as the '60's, there is
nothing like sharing her glorious views with friends. Bob flew
us all around the bay and as far south as Las Animas. A
beautiful flight on a clear and warm day. It is a unique
perspective from the air, painting an entire picture. On landing
we had learned to utilize the southern portion of the 2000 foot
strip as it was somewhat smoother. Gato was there to assist us
again in tying the plane down.
The four of us shared time and space for the days our friends
had. Airplane fuel had been unavailable to the north; they had
talked about stopping by San Francisquito but could not due to
low fuel. I was secretly pleased as this meant more time to
share. Time seems to discretely slip away even here in our
tranquil paradise. There is no better place on our earth I think
and visiting children or friends only improve the environment.
On the final day of their visit they gathered their gear, packed
the aircraft and were prepared to depart. I was sad to see them go.
"Take care you two," I said. I was startled to hear
myself say "I love you guys." It's not something
most guys say to each other, but it just jumped out of my mouth.
I left the words there, hanging, somewhat embarrassed but
knowing I actually did. Only in this small lonely place can you
feel these emotions grow like weeds. Somehow, here in the barren
desert emotions can grow more rapidly than they do in more
"Clear!" Bob hollered out the pilot's window. The
prop cranked, caught and the engine fired. Mary Ann and I backed
away from the dust of the strip. Bob and Mickey taxied to the
south end of the strip and worked into the weather and they
waved and were gone, north toward another home.
It's been days now since their departure. I know how silly
this sounds but I'll write it anyway. I still miss them.
True friends are few and far between.
While I don't deserve it, I am blessed.