I hung out with Tim, Jeff and Sandi, and toasted Diane and Nick after their wedding in Fort Morgan Colorado.
Two days later I saluted as “taps” sounded for Tommy in Taft California… My friends, my two hometowns.
“Saigon... sh**t I’m still only in Saigon... Every time I think I’m gonna wake up back in the jungle.”
Uh, sorry….. Denver; not Saigon….. stuck in Denver once more waiting for a DFW hookup. Dunno if it’s just Mile High or if someone’s high here.
I’ve covered about half the country on back-to-back flights the last two weeks… yin and yang… wedding and funeral in my two home towns.
And if I’d wanted to be in Mogadishu, Beirut or Tijuana, I’d have flown to those places instead of the two small towns to which I owe my first 14 years of education. Ninety percent of my life-long friends lived or still live in those real-life versions of Norman Rockwell’s America as it was 40-50 long years ago.
Sadly, those towns no longer exist, the remains burned out husks, illegal immigration and/or the flood of those more interested in establishing a Muslim, Hispanic, Buddhist or Hindu enclave in my America.
My Sis says, “that’s diversity.” And I say… “not what I signed up for; don’t like it, won’t accept it.”
On a frequent basis over the last three days I’ve been unable to understand in Spanish, West African, Somali and Fillintheblankistanish accents, and gawd knows what other languages; I have been stared at blankly when speaking English.
Fort Morgan Colorado is gone.
Taft California is gone…. neither will be coming back. Taft was the site of the 1910 Lakeside Gusher, the biggest oil gusher ever seen in the US, which destroyed the derrick and sent 100,000 barrels a day into a lake of crude.
Some of the best years in my life were in Taft, a Standard Oil Co. company town that provided huge tax dollars to my education that I couldn’t fully appreciate from age 15 to 20.
On the streets of the historic oil boom town in Central California the most frequent sight is Hispanic males, 18-30, with backpacks and carrying at least one or two plastic grocery bags…. and just dropped off by the coyotes.
Mexifornia reached the San Joaquin long ago.
Fort Morgan is also overrun with illegals, every third store on Main Street is Mexican and just for flavor, Somalis are flooding in courtesy of a left-wing, do-gooder church that cannot seem to find any Americans to help.
Waiting outside LAX for a rental car shuttle was a nightmare and very much like the sci-fi movie Blade Runner, set in 2019 Los Angeles . You can only count on the airport police to be English-friendly. Ask for directions, pick-up schedules from those waiting for the shuttle was fruitless… and most were employees wearing LAX ID cards.
And on the Denver leg of the trip just two hours before, I was busted for dangerous, potentially terrorist…. toothpaste.
Sergeant Oaf Isshus of the TSA glared at me, “Sir, you have undeclared liquids in your bag.”
Angry White Dude: “You wanna put your paycheck on that?”
Sgt. OI: no response—first round to me on points.
Naturally I have to schlep all my boots, belt, computer, sport coat, two bags and three plastic tubs over to where he waits, hands on hips in that I-have-a-GED-and-no-one-can-take-that-away-from-me look. It’s the kind of look we see often on this horse’s ass face:
Sarge places both hands on the my bag.
“Sir, is there anything in here that will hurt me?”
I have several options in such occasions…. I tend to group the possible retorts under:
and Barely Contained Contempt.
I decided on “Hardly” from the Sarcasm folder,… complete with the smirk and additional facial combinations of all the above expressions. There may have been an under the breath snort.
He immediately goes to the shaving kit and there retrieves a small, near-empty toothpaste tube and a brand new tube of that $4.50 paste guaranteed to turn your teeth bright as Chiclets over night.
Like Perry Mason holding up the smoking gun evidence just before the defendant would have been acquitted, he growls…"these are in excess of the 16.37 deciliter/gram micro dram limit (or some other bull crap communist measurement I don’t understand).”
AWD: “Well, I got here with ‘em.”
Sgt. OI: (triumphantly) “But we found ‘em.”
A one-second riposte lay lightly on my tongue:
“Your mommy must be so proud.”
Knowing I had to get to Taft, I straightened to near-attention and instead said, “Yours for a safe America.”
He had nothing…. he clutched the TWD—“Tubes of Mass Destruction”; and returned to his post to call E.O.D., still unable to tell the difference between Shari'ah, Wahabi, Hindu or Paki, but I can guarantee that he nabs every 75-year-old granny with a walker.
Fort Morgan was the loveliest little town in Eastern Colorado up to the 1980s, now many areas appear to have been airdropped from the Ozarks or deep, deep in the coon ass woods of Louisiana… or what I imagine Fallujah to be.
These pics represent what Fort Morgan’s down town looks like… I’d say about 35% of the business are devoid of English signage.
Note plywood over the window.
Had this happened 40 years ago the hardheaded Krauts that populated Fort Morgan would have marched on city hall.
This is the duplex I lived in during seventh grade. The best thing about the place was the huge back yard of luxurious grass…. just right for a giant whiffle ball diamond (the garage roof was only a ground rule double.)
Even weeds won’t cover the yard now.
I lived in this small tract home while in grade school.
Yeah, some wildflowers and shrubs, but over grown with grass and weeds for the most part.
Not far away the mother of one of my gal pals in the 1970s lives the the same trailer park sub-division she did then; since then it has turned into a way station for scores of wet backs.
She appears to be the only Anglo and only female senior in her neighborhood.
I always loved this post office, it’s neo-classical style is timeless and always reminded me of the nation’s capitol and the best postal system in the world….
To my friends in Taft and Fort Morgan, this isn’t intended as a criticism of the towns that are still your bedrock, the homes and community you devoted your lives to preserving …. it’s just that I’d hoped for far more as we near the last few innings of this game.
Or at least to hold our own.