Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Conversations with Random People: One

I am neither the most affable nor the most sociable person in the county, but people interest me.  I find that if I show an inkling of that interest to a near-stranger, or even a complete stranger, an interesting conversation is likely to ensue.

There are snobs and too-busy-to-live types who won't give anybody beneath the rank of "Earl" the time of day; but I am not talking about them.  I am talking about most people.  For the simple reason that 1) I have not cleared the presentation of these accounts with the principals, and 2) in some cases I don't even know the real names of the participants, I am using random names from, well, a "What to Name the Baby" book, if you will.

In a campground in Texas which we have frequented on several occasions.

We met Candy and her husband Jim at Sunday morning church service.  A conversation on our way out led to the discovery that while she is twenty years my junior, Candy and I were born in the same county in Southeastern Colorado.  The two little towns of our nativity are less than eight miles apart.  While my parents moved us away from there when I was yet an infant, Candy grew up in her home town and graduated high school there.

I have been in Candy's little town many times, and in fact when I was a child I had an uncle who lived there.  We visited Uncle Wayne and his family on a number of occasions.

The lady asked me where Uncle lived, and I told her he was the section foreman for the Santa Fe and he lived in the company house beside the tracks at the west edge of town.

It is I with Uncle Wayne and Aunt Stella in Southeastern Colorado.

"That," said Candy, "is very interesting.  My grandfather probably worked for your Uncle, for he was one of the Mexican citizens who came to the States to work on the railroad.  He came to America with the promise of a job, and ultimately citizenship if he so desired.  My grandfather chose to become an American, and that is how I happened to be born in Colorado!"

Interesting, indeed.

Gandy dancers.


Secondary Roads said...

At times, the world is incredibly small.

I had an uncle with the middle name Earl. However, I doubt the snobs you describe would care to talk with him even if he were alive today. That's a pity he was an interesting fellow.

Vee said...

The pictures remind me of an uncle who used to swear at us kids in Spanish so we couldn't understand what he was saying. But Aunt E. knew what he said and, when she heard him, she laced him up, but good.

Shelly said...

I love stories like that. I know a good number of folks descended from people who came from Mexico in that very program. Good citizens, all of them.

vanilla said...

Chuck, I've had two friends named Earl; neither ever put on airs.

Vee, he was a feisty little rooster, but she was just the hen who could handle him!

Shelly, unfortunately, young people today seem to have no concept of how this nation was built. Well, good luck to us all.

Sharkbytes said...

What a great story! My paths have almost crossed with many a couple of generations back.

vanilla said...

Shark, I have been amazed over the years the number of people with whom I had a sort of connection in the past.

Grace said...

I love small world stories - especially when I'm in them - got a few, got a few...

vanilla said...

Grace, they are fun; do tell.