Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Friends and Neighbors

by Pa Rock
Desert Rat

Being old, and cranky, and single has led me to have an odd assortment of friends. I don't like to clean house or cook, and I am not a mechanic, so I rely on others to assist with those tasks. This group of helpers - along with my co-workers - form a cadre of my "friends" in Arizona. Here are a few:

I have written about Ramon before. He owns a local auto parts store and garage next to Luke Air Force Base. He was recommended to me by friends soon after I moved here as someone who would work on my car, get the problem fixed, and charge reasonable rates. In the nearly three years that I have been here he has been the only one to service my vehicles, and he has solved numerous mechanical mysteries. Whenever I step into his shop, I am always greeted with a "Hi, Rocky. How are you doing today?" Ramon's good work and reasonable prices have led to many of my co-worker's taking their car to his nondescript little garage.

Patsy is one of my neighbors. She is also a very young grandmother who stays involved in the lives of her grandchildren. Patsy cleans houses for a living, and she comes to my place once every couple of weeks to give it a deep cleaning and get things back in order. She is good at her job, and trustworthy beyond measure.

Salvador works at the local McDonald's - also next to the air base. He quit for a few months to work somewhere else. When he came back to Mickey D's drive-up window, he not only remembered me, but my regular breakfast order as well. Sal always has a cheerful comment for his morning customers.

Jose also works the drive-up window at the local McDonald's. He began his career there working weekends, which is when I met him. I began calling him "Weekend," and that name has stuck. Weekend, like Sal, is always happy and makes the customers feel welcome.

Norma is the lady at McDonald's who actually hands me my breakfast most mornings. She never fails to tell me "good morning" and "have a nice day." She is as cheerful as the little cactus wrens who chirp around my car when I get to work.

Jesse is a clerk at the Circle K next to Luke Air Force Base. Circle K's are the ubiquitous convenience stores in Arizona, and there are two within an easy walk of Luke. Jesse is very professional and very personable. He is quick, courteous, and always has a pleasant comment to share.

Jaime is the weekend drive-thru worker at the Jack-in-the-Box just off of the air base. I usually visit him for breakfast on the weekends. He is a polite and inquisitive young man who wants to know how I am doing and seems to be genuinely interested in what I have to say.

Pancho works in the trailer park where I live. He is twenty-two-years-old and more responsible than most people twice his age. He is my go-to guy whenever I have a maintenance issue, and when I am gone on long trips he takes care of my watering. Pancho works long, hard hours and always has a smile and a big wave whenever he sees me.

Ramon, Patsy, Sal, Weekend, Norma, Jesse, Jaime, and Pancho all have three things in common. They work hard, they are very caring and courteous, and they are all Hispanic. I have no idea whether they are documented or not, nor do I care. They are all good people and good neighbors - and I am a better person for knowing each of them.

I heard on the news this morning that our Hispanic friends and neighbors have begun a mass exodus out of Arizona after the passage of SB 1070. They are leaving, and its not just the undocumented who are packing and going. Those Hispanics who are in Arizona legally are fleeing the racial prejudice that has been loosed by this ugly piece of legislation. Our good friends and neighbors are heading to destinations that are saner and safer, while the loony loudmouth miscreants remain and are kicking back with cold beers, celebrating their success at racial cleansing.

Arizona will be much poorer for driving off our good neighbors. The exodus will leave us with less sales tax, less income tax, less diversification, less intelligence, and fewer happy faces to see us through the day. Arizona will be whiter, dumber, and much, much poorer.

Support the boycott of Arizona - help to save us from ourselves!


molly. said...

I must say I am jealous you have someone to deep clean your house for you!

Reed said...

With politics and relationships aside...stop eating so much fast food!