"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, March 29, 2012

The Water "Games"

He was so old he could remember when there were five Great Lakes.

Today, there was only a ten-mile wide stagnant scum-filled pool where Lake Huron had been. Only old timers like himself remembered lakes. M. "Spot" Potter knew that water was no game. At age 89, he could remember when they're had been rain and trees, paper, printing presses, and a United States.

Now he lived in a tarp-covered shack on a deforested ridge in what had been southeast Oklahoma, which used to remind him of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, where he'd been  born. His folks named him Marion Spotsylvania Potter after their home town, and he detested both names. Early in his newspaper career he'd chosen to use the first initial and shortened the middle to Spot. He thought it made him sound more sophisticated. Sure, he'd had to weather the cracks about being named for a dog, but his reputation for getting scoops on breaking news made most people think it was a nickname for covering 'spot" news.  But that was back when there had been news, like the stories he broke on Oklahoma's water wars in the early part of the century.

Those were a mere drip in the bucket compared to what happened after "It" happened, with no rain, 10- month "summers," and retreating coastlines.

To be continued

No comments:

Post a Comment