A Picture
December 16, 2005

Albuquerque, New Mexico. 1973.

After the humidity of Houston, New Mexico seemed like heaven to me. As much as I love Texas, Houston just isn't made for asthmatic kids ... Albuquerque was easier on my allergies and my asthma ... and I responded to it by constantly wanting to be outside.

I was fascinated, as most three and four year olds are, by the pueblos we passed and the buildings made of adobe. But 1973 was also a time of stress for anyone living in "Indian Country." Native, white, black, latino ... tensions were particularly high. In 1972, the American Indian Movement (AIM) began talks with Washington, D.C., in an attempt to begin rectifying some of the terrible conditions on many of the reservations and general rights of native Americans. And, of course, the Wounded Knee "incident" was in 1973 as well.

I didn't know any of this back then, of course. All I knew was that the air was dry and I could breathe and the outdoors was beautiful and very very different from the towering pine trees and skyscrapers of Houston. We weren't too far from some "mountain" or another ... I've since looked at maps and it must have just been a mesa or tallish hill. But evidently after being outside-deprived for so long, I would bolt out the door at the slightest provocation, causing Mom tons of trouble. Instead of don't let the dog out, visitors heard, "don't let Red Monkey out!"

I would fly out the door and haul-ass to the nearby mesa, trying to make my way to the top before Mom could catch up with me.

The crowning blow for my mom was our trip to "The Mall" in Santa Fe. Evidently, I became fascinated with one of the local vendors and didn't notice when Mom walked off to go to another shop. I wanted to know what everything this poor guy had made meant. I was sure that every bit of it had meaning, from the crappy little vinyl pouch-thing in kid-fantastic bright turquoise with beads in a thunderbird design, to the little painted pitchers of red clay. I was busily quizzing this poor man when Mom finally came back for me ... just in time for her to hear me announce to the guy:

"When I grow up, I'm gonna be an indian, too!"

We moved to Oklahoma City shortly after that ... but I never forgot that fascination with New Mexico and running up the mesas.

Posted by Red Monkey at December 16, 2005 5:41 AM | People Say I Have ADHD, But I Think - Hey Look, A Chicken | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


EF said:

Wow Ender. I was born in Arizona. My parents weren't supposed to be able to have children so they were in the process of adopting an indian child when they found out they were preggers w/ me. Anyway, they were gearing up for a LOT of expected trouble over it.
Also, that picture is awful cute. It was taken 2 months before I was born. :D

December 16, 2005 7:18 AM


OldGuy said:

Very nice ender, I love child hood reminiscences, especially the happy ones.

December 17, 2005 9:56 AM

Nice picture Ender!! Cute!

December 18, 2005 5:34 PM


Andy Ternay said:

I see a lot of the present you in that photo. Thank you for sharing that.

December 19, 2005 7:11 AM
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