I almost let this slip by me, but last Saturday, June 4, marked nine years since Magdalena’s Trujillo Well went dry.
It didn’t actually go dry — that same well is happily pumping water as we speak — but for some reason, in June of 2013 its submersible pump thingy wasn’t getting to the water table. It was quite the experience and lasted for several weeks. The old saying, “you don’t miss your water ‘til the well runs dry,” was made abundantly clear, and since then everybody’s tried to be water conscious.
Just don’t get me started on the San Agustin Plains water grab. I guess it doesn’t need to be said, but Barry Goldwater once put it this way, “A man from the west will fight over three things: water, women and gold, and usually in that order.”
We’re well into the month that rhymes with moon and spoon, June; the gateway to summer, and it couldn’t come at a better time. May was a month of good days, bad days, overwhelming days, I need more coffee days, I’m awesome days, I suck days…you get the picture.
As an example, the entire month was epitomized for me a couple of weeks ago while shaving. Like a lot of guys, I’ve never been one to use an electric shaver, relying on what they call now a “shaving system,” that is, shaving cream and a five-count-‘em-five-bladed razor.
I find shaving rather relaxing, letting my mind wander off in its own thoughts while focusing on not cutting myself. I don’t know if this has happened to you, but my mind got to wandering so way, way, off that the next thing I know I’m shaving off one corner of my chin beard.
My knee-jerk reaction is to go to the other side and even things up…and then go back to the first side, and before you know I was whittling the thing down to something resembling the puny tuft I had at 17.
I know I’ve gone on and on about beards before, and I’ve sported one on and off over the years, but I’ve never attained my ideal beard. One like Errol Flynn in “Robin Hood” or perhaps Steve Reeves as Hercules in those movies I saw when I was a kid.
A lot of friends sport crumb catchers of some sort: Fu Manchus, goatees, muttonchops, full beards and what have you.
But for some reason all that doesn’t apply to politicians. They all must have that clean-shaven respectable look, apparently. For example, I can’t envision any gentleman running for president with a beard nowadays, although that doesn’t necessarily apply to local officeholders.
Looking at Gordy Hicks or Magdalena’s mayor Richard Rumpf, I’m trying to picture Ravi Bhasker with something like an Obi-Wan Kenobi beard. The Alec Guinness one, not the Ewan McGregor one.
I guess beards come and go, but it all comes down to what society calls for. Looking at history, there were some really cool beards, especially during the Civil War period. You’ve got Abraham Lincoln to Robert E. Lee to George Armstrong Custer. Great beards all.
But that wasn’t always the case. A couple of years ago, I ran across an article on the internet that referenced a book published in 1786 called Pogonologia, Or A Philosophical and Historical Essay on Beards.
Apparently, at that time, beards were going out of style, and the author takes aim at the clean-shaven man by saying, “You pretty fellows of the present day, Jeremy Jessamy parsons, jolly bucks, and all you with smock faces and weak nerves be dumb with astonishment. I foretell it, you will soon resemble men.”
Hey wait, why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard? I guess conformity goes only so far.
By the way, next Tuesday is National Flag Day, for it was June 14, 1777, that our forefathers passed a resolution adopting the American flag. It went something like this:
“Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
I like that…stars for a new constellation.
But what does it mean? Here’s something I read once that got to me.
Our flag means all that our fathers meant in the Revolutionary War. It means all the Declaration of Independence meant. It means justice. It means liberty. It means happiness… Every color means liberty. Every thread means liberty. Every star and stripe means liberty.
As we lumber through June I’m reminded of something Mark Twain once said. “It is better to be a young June bug than an old bird of paradise,” and that sums it up for me.