25 June 2009
Once Upon A Time
Recently, I vaguely mentioned in passing a small incident from my checkered past, and there has been a demand for the particulars.
Was I in a place where there was a growing field of alfalfa? Yes, I was. Was there a fenced enclosure of alfalfa to prevent incursion by the neighboring bovines? Yes, there was. Did this fenced enclosure prevent an adventurous bovine from entering the alfalfa field and munching on same? No. It definitely did not. Did I innocently, rousing from a dream of sleep look out the window and notice said bovine meandering through the alfalfa? Why yes I did. Did I leap from the bed clothed only in my skin while inserting feet into boots proceed to chase the bovine back to where it belonged? Why, yes I did (and proud of myself I was).
Now for the rest of the story.
Once upon a time (Don't all the best stories start that way), I was recently divorced. It was a much more innocent age and I had gotten married ten years before when good boys married good girls who happened to find themselves bearing the next generation of "premature" infants.
It was 1972 and I had a job with a firm in Los Angeles that had a property down in Mexico. Once a month I had to drive from Los Angeles to Ensenada to deliver funds to the property caretaker. It didn't hurt that this caretaker was a handsome Canadian. One thing led to another and for the next three years I ended up diving off yachts in Ensenada harbor, meeting child star expatriates, being cartooned in Hussongs, and generally racking up more Hemmingwayesque memories than any life really needs.
I would love to destroy the romantic images right about now with the exploding refrigerator that burned off eyebrows or being expected to kill and pluck chickens or the rattle snakes wrapped around cans in the pantry, but they were just inconveniences. It really was a wine fueled, kerosene lamp lit dream time with a man who serenaded me with another Canadian bard:
It wasn't forever, but it was what I needed to recover and come out into the unfamiliar real world, and for the majority of the time on the rancho I was comepletely nude except for boots necessary to keep you from the hazard of stepping on unfriendly reptiles. We only donned clothes to go into town.
So I saw the cow munching. I leaped out of bed into my altogether and into my boots. I stormed out of the adobe to put my shoulder into the ass of a stubborn cow to encourage it back where it belonged, and later that day, the Canadian and I clad only in boots and work gloves pounded the fence posts that the cow had crushed back to where those posts belonged.
It is unfortunate that in the almost 40 years since that the cruise lines have discovered Ensenada harbor. It is sad that Hussongs no longer has a time from Monday to Thursday when you can play chess and dominoes with folks from the boats and has now become nothing but a drunken tourist trap on the weekends. I am so sorry that the Baja from Rosarita to Bufadores is nothing more than cheek by jowl tract homes.
There really was ... once upon a time in a land far far away a special place that will never come again ... Once Upon A Time
As to what happened after "happily ever after". Why it wasn't of course. The Canadian returned to Canada. I returned to Los Angeles and, believe it or not, met the "Great Love" in 1976 when the fireworks weren't just for the bicentennial. For both of them a wonderful song:
Didn't We Almost Have It All