Across the way is a familiar looking bar----and suddenly I realize that I've been here before. (I remind my readers that on average I camp in 110 different places per year) Tonight---when things get hopping---I will go have a beer and engage some locals.
But AAAHH---A surprise awaited me. When I walked in--a voice rang out---LOOK---ITS THE KODGER MAN. Someone had been reading my blog---and recognized me from a year ago. He told me that my description of the town and the bar scene dynamics in particular were spot on accurate and created a few laughs.
The bar maid is different, however,---but no less friendly---as I quizzed her about the nightly drama of having to "cut someone off." Turns out that the very person who had been "cut off" last year had already been "cut off" tonight. I marvel that such a fragile looking lady could muster the gumption to handle liquored-up men. Consider how difficult the decision as to when someone has had enough---yet she seemingly had no problem discerning that fine line or making her decision stick.
I engaged this gentleman briefly---a regular it seems --- longtime resident and worker---as friendly and open as I could ask. It struck me that communities of two cultures (e.g. Blythe California) often have separate bars. But in this towns' cultures mix in this one bar enjoying each other.
I'll get back to the Epiphany subject--but I wanted to show two changes I noticed from my last visit. This teetering house that I photographed then--has now collaapsed. ( check the post of 3/21/10---A Night in a Dead Zone Town )
I took a photo of this church then and there's no sign of this huge century plant. The largest I have ever seen---maybe a world record--I estimate its height at 32 feet. We "westerners" know the dramatic story of a century plant in bloom ---It stores up energy for 15 to 20 years and then spends it all in a matter of weeks---thrusting up that stalk at a terrific rate---as much as an inch an hour---then blooms and makes seeds----AND THEN DIES. A great metaphor here about parents sacrificing their lives for their kids. (punch up century plant and read the brief Time article--good stuff can be made from this plant)
Now back to my Epiphany story. I meet people fairly often who have been "seized" in a mysterious moment----turned their lives around---and then boldly proclaim their convictions to the world---like this truck driver.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: The guy shaking hands with me in the bar---had such an epiphany--and he told me all about it as he drove me about the area. He suddenly "saw himself" as "off the path"! And then and there decided to get back on it----And he is doing it---for some months now he is keeping true to his vision. He still goes to the Bar---that's where his friends are---but he has stopped drinking. Most notable about him, he is not trying to evangelize his friends. They seemingly are still his friends --- accepting him along with his new manner and morality---not teasing or disparaging his experience. I speculated that in a very small town we are more likely to hold on to our limited number of friends---even as-- they make left,right and u turns in life.