Back in the good old summer days in Red River, NM, it took lots of young people to work the tourist season. High school and collage aged kids came every summer to work and earn money for college. Girls usually worked as waitresses or in gift shops. Boys usually worked as jeep drivers giving mountain tours or as maintenance for lodges. Since my parents spent their summers in RR, I worked the summers from the time I was tall enough to buss a table till I married and then some. Working and playing with all of these kids was great fun. We had a blast together and made memories and friends that would last a lifetime.
I recently heard from Bear and Anny, a couple who both worked in RR through the summers and later lived there – right next door to us for five years. I could go into the details of how we all met and came to be friends or tell you some of the crazy things we did together, but then I would need a book – not a blog. I will try to stay focused on one little silly story.
Our homes in RR were so close to each other that it was easier to shout out the window rather than call on the phone. Our kids played together, my cat ate their mice, and we shared kitchen appliances. If that last one sounded a bit odd, well, there in lies the tale. When their freezer was too full to put anything more in it, they borrowed ours (yum, that elk meat was good). When the electricity was out (very often) our house was all electric, so we had to practically move in with them using their heat and gas stove. But the funniest thing we shared was the propane tanks on our grills.
Red River is fairly isolated. It is not like you can run down the street and fill your little propane tank. It took a trip to Taos or Questa. Propane tanks tend to run out of fuel when you need them most – when there are burgers or a steak waiting to be cooked and guests waiting to eat. When this happened, we would steal each other’s tanks (maybe leave a note, or not). It got to be quite the joke to slip over to the other’s house and snitch the tank.
In Anny’s email the other day she sent a little story that brought a smile to my face. It has to do with grills. I am going to copy and paste it here for you to read:
I was just looking over your blog and I thought of a story that I must share. This last summer a couple of weeks before father's day Brian came back from the local dump with the biggest smile on his face...your see he had brought home a bbq grill that he dug out of the dump. He was sooooo proud of himself only to find that it didn't work. On fathers day I found myself with not much money and being the creative person that I am I decided to repair the grill. I went to Wal-Mart and got a new burner and a new propane tank (we thought of putting our name on it just incase you guys came to borrow it) and a can of easyoff oven cleaner and I gave it to Brian for father's day....we call it the dump grill. It looks just like that one that you and Toby bought that time that had the little shelf where you could cook corn or potatoes...it made us laugh....
This story is funny on several levels. If you knew Bear and the things he has brought home to "fix", you would really laugh. The fact that he rummaged through the dump (landfill if you please) is also ironic, but the fact that they thought about putting their name on it is really funny. I think I will have to share some more Bear and Anny stories in the future. Life with them was never dull.