Two-Meat Tuesday

In the machine. In the airport. On the ground. Dallas is full of ghosts. At least, it’s full of my ghosts.

But I didn’t run into any of them. Which is weird. Not entirely, though, as I wasn’t thinking about ghosts. Got lost, more than once, trying to navigate where streets, whole city blocks, have been leveled and redeveloped into, I can’t say for sure, something new. Old apartment building have been plowed under, and I wonder if the fields ever laid fallow for a spell. Inner-city. Probably not. Scary to see a city soar around you, and construction wasn’t ceasing. Didn’t even seem to be slowing down.

Passed one place, used to be a cheap apartment building, knew someone there at one time, and the building had a nice set-back from the freeway.

All of that was flattened, and it looked like it was prepped for a zero lot line, no freeway clearance, new construction. Begs the question about urban renewal and when is it suburban. The “burbs” stretch long past farmers fields, way I remember it. Scary. Well, it is Dallas – couldn’t happen to a nicer place.

“Did you ever see Dallas from DC-9 at bight?”

Struggle & Marriage:
Dallas Love Field has a long, slow, uphill ramp to get to the boarding gates. I had just spent a nervous few hours with my own Dad, watching him wrestle with a motorized wheelchair. Not mastering the joystick yet. Which would be a problem, but then, he’s not of the joystick generation. He’s more analog.

So in the airport, there was this stooped old lady, carrying a suitcase and trying to push an old man in a wheelchair. She tried to duck back through the security to see if she could find a porter. No luck. I offered to help push the chair up to the gate.

I got to inquiring, as is my style, and they were more than forthcoming, as in, they were married for 61 years.

“60 years, I think,” he said, a feint of a smile across his lips.

“61 years, we’ve been married 61,” she chimed in. He was retired army, flying home to San Antonio.

His secret to a long marriage?

“9 children, 14 grandchildren, and we fight a lot. Every day.”

He looked at her and smiled. I couldn’t tell for sure, but I think she made a wrinkled roll of the eyes at him.

“Times changed, though,” he said, “kids don’t ask for a dollar or two, not now, they ask for 25,000 dollars. I came up with 24,753 for her. Daughter, wanted to be buy this house. She paid me back. Every penny.”


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  • ssmith04 Jul 22, 2008 @ 13:44

    50-60 years sure change your perspective on things, both in reality and in metaphor-land. When the old Greek (Heraclitus?) said you can’t step in the same river twice, guess he knew what he was talking about. I didn’t think I’d care, but when I found the old house torn down and an apartment building built on its footprint (and beyond), the ghosts did writhe a bit. Still, though, given the choice, I wouldn’t go back to that time and place, because I’d make different decisions and who knows? the ones I made turned out OK, and the ones I might have made might have been disastrous. It’s all good, all the time.

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