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Baja California Information Pages

Stories by Mike Humfreville

Adios o A Dios?    ( Posted April 28, 2006 )

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. <\p>

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. <\p>

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. <\p>

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. <\p>

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. <\p>

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. <\p>

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. <\p>

"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 structured environments. <\p>

"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. <\p>

It's been days now since their departure. I know how silly this sounds but I'll write it anyway. I still miss them. <\p>

True friends are few and far between. <\p>

While I don't deserve it, I am blessed. <\p>

Copyright 2003-2006 Mike Humfreville

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