Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sometimes it pays to pull over on the side of the road if your curiosity is piqued

Inside the abandoned Presbyterian church between Taiban and Tolar, New Mexico is a range of earthly writings. Some like exhibit one above are exuberantly positive. Others like exhibit two are as dark as dark can be. 

Several years back I re-visited Fort Ord, the long closed army base where I partook of basic training in the summer of 1960. There, too, I came across wrenching graffiti in the barren halls where young men laughed and learned to be soldiers. As best I could figure, squatters had bedded down in the decaying barracks and left us mementos of their angst and desperation. 

My examination of the little church's interior walls affected me the same way.

I applaud the message of the headline I purloined from the south facing wall.


John Farnsworth said...

Hola Amigo,

Not long after my stint at Fort Ord, about the same time as yours, I was stationed at a Nike Missile radar site on Milholland Drive in L A, overlooking the San Fernando Valley, pulling guard duty in a little 'phone booth sized guard shack. On the wall, some other, bored, lonely soldier had scrawled "here I spent a lifetime". That bit of graffitti has stuck with me ever since.

Good work, compadre!

Steve Immel said...

Juan, graffiti pudo llenar muchos libros, no?

Blacks Crossing said...

Just as your photograph gives life to the abandoned church, the graffiti adds to that lifetime, whether, as John said, "here I spent a lifetime" or "sometimes is pay to pull over on the side of the road if your curiosity is piqued". Nice little slice of a number of people's lives at a certain point in time. It can fill many, many books. Is yours one of them, Esteban?