Sunday, February 10, 2008

Proper and Improper Nouns

1. After a comforting exchange with Square 1 (see The Fanciful Muse at Blogger dot com), I was reminded of yet another kind of venue, one with visceral strings attached--all of them good. Ghost towns.

Virginia City, Nevada: for being able to trace the footsteps of Mr. Twain, and for having the privilege of contributing to the same paper he did.

Goldfield, California: more like a set from a Hitchcock film, a haunted place where you could hear the whispers of all the miners, looking for the glory lode. In later years, my father, somewhat less a devotee of thoroughbred horses and their relative speeds, was assigned by Nevada Stat Senator Martin Duffy to auction off one of the last mines. You can be sure I was a frequent visitor while Jake set the merchandise in order.

Bodie, California: more or less on the way to Virginia City from L.A., up off 395; the shacks and shanties rich with the patina of weathered wood and broken hopes.

Panamint City, California: just on the western slopes before Death Valley. Turn north at the alluvial fan, then wind up the hillside. Sometimes, Don Pettit, Jerry Williams, and I, still in our twenties, not completely taken up with the way our lives were going, would debate another pitcher of beer at The Rack on Pico, or a run to Panamint. Often Panamint won.

Jerome, Arizona: everything you'd like a ghost town to be, including a cadre of resident artists, stunning sunsets, a sense of being somewhere where things might happen in the desert night.

Bisbee, Arizona: stuck on the side of steep hills like a gob of last-minute icing on a birthday cake, the feel of the mines , the reek of the stale hopes, and the roar of racous past history making for a sense that this, too, would be a place to settle in and start a weekly nespaper.

At least once a year I dream of being in Virginia City, jostling my way through Twain's dreams of the 1860s and my own a undred years or so down the line.


=====================This line separates apples and oranges======================================

Terrorist Organizations in the Unitd States:

1. The Central Intelligence Agency
2. The Ku Klux Klan
3. The National Rifle Association
4. Blackwater
5. Wal-Mart

1 comment:

Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

dotted lines. now that works.

word verification adds: "dvurgmjn."
translation: "but that's just me."