"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding watercolor, metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Clark Boys Reunion at Heaven's Bar
"Where the hell have you been, Mike?"
"Not hell, not Oklahoma--earth. You ought to know, Terrence you left me there, long time ago."
"Time slips away from us up here. Don't know what you mean. Seems like we've been waiting for you for eternity."
"All four of you left. You could be a little more welcoming...it got lonely down there, especially the last year.... What are you drinking Champ?"
"Everything...no drink limit up here, infinite mixes. Margaritas are better than in Juarez. Matter of fact, everything is better than Juarez."
"That's hard to believe...what about the shaves and food and you know, the girls...."
"Still the bachelor, aren't you, Mike? No girls, but, let me tell you about this bar...."
"Rex, it sure it sure is to see that smile again. Last time I saw you in that hospital, you weren't smiling, but I remember you told me to live every day...."
""No, I wasn't but I got well just like that. Amazing. Now we sit around this bar all day telling stories."
"What are you drinking, Louis?"
"White Russian, naturally, with all that raw cow's milk I milk every day. This is heaven for health food folks. "
"Some things don't change, do they?"
"Not up here, Mike. Say, how's Santa Fe?"
"Too much traffic, just like Taos. You wouldn't recognize it, Terrence, except those leather chairs are still there in the lobby at La Fonda."
"How's the leg, Terrence?"
"Fine. Never have to change stump socks, no itching. All I have to do is sit around and drink and draw portraits. Don't even have to sharpen my pencils. Just can't get the Big Guy to sit still for one."
"What drink do you recommend, Rex?"
"Isn't your favorite Cuba Libre? Ain't ever tasted one like this, not even when you were in the Navy in the Caribbean. Let's get you several."
"Last time I had a rum and coke was with Terry, Terrence. He's still too up tight, but he's trying. Said he missed not ever getting to drink with you."
"He'll get his chance...just not yet."
"Ok, guys, I 've been waiting to hear the old stories all over again--Comanche, family, New Mexico, the war, it all. This is one hell of a reunion."
"No, Mike. It's a heaven of a reunion."