Friday, 22 March 2013

Stated again...and El Gringo Viejo will probably bring it up again


It will be said many, many times.   By this speaker.  Written many times before, and a few hundred more times, in what is left of the future for this Cosmic traveller....
      We grew up around guns;   our house out on the north edge of McAllen had a 12-gauge, single barrel, HR, single shot.   It had a winchester .410 shotgun, single shot, a .22 hi-standard 9 shot revolver with a 6 inch barrel, a .45 semi-automatic Colt 1911 military, Phillipine era service pistol, and a couple of very accurate CO2 powered,  .22 calibre Crossman pellet rifles, and my mother's little .22 "ladies rifle", a bolt action, single shot barely legal barrel.
     My mother was famous for bing able to shoot white-winged dove in flight with her little rifle...hit them on the fly, she did....without aiming down the sights.   My father could hit a jackrabbit at full run, at 30 yards,    Our workers from Mexico thought that jackrabbit was something edible.  My mother thought that such fare was "animalistic".   My oldest brother and I thought it was pretty good...along with the possum and carp the men would sometimes stew up or fry in lard and strange herbs on a "comal" ....(kind of a Mexican wok, made from a plough disc)....My mother never knew about our "special diet" out in back where the men stayed.
     The parking lot at McAllen High School was full of autos.  There were 606 graduating seniors in 1964.  The four-grade secondary was the only secondary in town in those days.  None of the 17 incorporated cities in the four-county Magic Lower Rio Grande Valley, nor their un-related but generally centro-contiguous independent school districts had more than one high school.  Not even Brownsville, the largest of all.  McAllen was the third biggest, and according to everyone in the Valley and Southern Texas...the best city of the lot.
     Of those autos, about two-thirds were those of seniors.   Of that number, about ninety percent were driven by spoiled upper-middle class, and well-to-do, conceited brats,  with your humble servant being among the poorest within that general grouping.  In those years, the non-Latin group was still in the vast majority, not only in the schools, but also in the general population.    In those days, there were very, very, very few people on any kind of public assistance....all the Latins spoke English, and about 10% of the non-Latins could speak good to excellent Spanish, and about 40% could understand and make themselves understood to some reasonable degree.
     In any regard, in all the trunks, and in various of the glove comparments of the autos in the McHi parking would be my estimate that 30 to 50 percent of the males' vehicles would have some kind of firearm.   During hunting season, for instance, the "guys" would show off their deer hunting rifles in theschool parking favourite was Tom Traylor's 30-30 lever actual 1874 model, built in  1892.   It was a piece of mechanical art....and Tom could  drive a #8 Common nail into a 2 X 4  at two-hundred yards.
     El Zorro had the number one most super neato, M - something  carbine, a semi-automatic, self-reloading .22 calibre rifle, of a type that was used by certain pilots in World War II and Korea in case that they survived a crash and found themselves behind enemy lines.   It was a really nice machine...but it was too short of barrel and had to have a special excise tax paid on it.  El Zorro never said whether  his father ever paid that tax, or where the rifle had come from.   My forte was pistols....but that little rifle sure was neat. the point.  From the time El Gringo Viejo came to Earth until the time we went to Austin....about 17 years...and my bothers...tack on another few years....back to 1936....and then with my father's presence in the same area going back to 1915....we never had a school shooting at McAllen, or any of the schools in the Four County cachement referred to as The Magic Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
     None of us were ever force-fed strange, behaviour-modifying drugs....the forerunners of which had been forced unto people in insane-asylums or in facilities for the severely to profoundly mentally retarded.
And that is the name of that tune.
El Gringo Viejo