Monday, June 05, 2006

Summer Camp & the Cowboy from El Paso

Yesterday evening we dropped Son #2 off at camp. It's a week-long (almost), sleepover camp located not too far from where we live. It's sponsored by a religious organization. He and Son #1 went last year, and Son #1 went alone the year before. This year Son #1 has opted to go to Boy Scout Camp later in the month.

Anyway, Son #2 has really been looking forward to it. He's a very sociable kid and makes friends easily so I'm sure he'll have a blast. While we were checking him in (visiting the nurse's station, the registration desk, the 'bank' table, etc.), Son #1 got a little weepy. I asked whether he was sad not to be going this year and he shook his head 'no' and said he will miss Son #2. Go figure.

After we make all the necessary stops, we unload the van and bring Son #2 and his gear to his cabin. "Bye," he says as he dashed in to claim his bunk. Bye. That's it. Barely a wave. So...dismissive. I just stood there. Speechless. Finally, one of the teen counselors calls him, "Hey, come back out here an hug your mother. You won't see her for a week." I love this teen counselor. So I got my hug from Son #2. And didn't feel guilty about taking Sons #1 and #3 out to dinner.

We dined at Mi Mamacita's Mexican Restaurant. Very small, very quaint, pretty good food. Son #3 actually ate the cheese quesadilla (which wasn't that great) and Son #1 ate a beef soft taco without cheese, lettuce or tomato. Mychicken enchiladas weren't rolled as they traditionally are, but were very good. Dear Hubby enjoyed whatever he ordered.

Anyway, since the restaurant is so tiny, we struck up a conversation with a man dining alone. Son #3 was impressed with the man's cowboy boots. When the man said they were made from alligator, Son #3 said, "oh, mine are Crocs." Turns out the man is a cowboy from El Paso, Tx. We didn't catch why he was in town, but he showed us a picture of his 3 year old granddaughter, Abigail. He told us the story of how he had this old mostly blind horse - a mare - that he wanted to donate to a local orphanage, but instead ended up selling it for a small price to an acquaintance (allegedly so the acquaintance's kids could ride). However, the acquaintance ended up selling the horse to the same orphanage that would've gotten it free from the Cowboy from El Paso. Dear Hubby said that what goes around comes around, and the Cowboy said, yep, the acquaintance died a couple of months later. Hmmmm. The Cowboy used to live in Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, California (didn't care for it there) and a couple of other states before moving back to Texas.

Somehow we got on the subject of cowboy movie heroes and he said that when he lived in Roanoke, Va., he was sitting on the porch drinking homemade apricot brandy when he saw a small train that he thought was in trouble. He thought it crashed in the mountains, but a buddy said that, no, he was nuts. Turns out it was Audie Murphy's fatal plane crash on May 28, 1971. (I checked the details on Audie Murphy's Official Website .) For those of you unfamiliar with Audie Murphy, he was an actor, but also the most decorated soldier to have fought in World War II. I'm not familiar with his movies, but I first heard of him when I came across his gravesite at the Arlington National Cemetary, where my father's cremains are interred. Anyway, it was a fun dinner.


Anonymous said...

What a long day you had. I have never heard of that guy. My hub likes John Wayne, that's all I know. Hee Hee.

Elle*Bee said...

yeah, it was a before my time, too. The name was vaguely familiar (probably from TV Guide). I learned a bit about his history when we first toured Arlington Cemetary. I don't watch westerns, generally.