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  The Gauntlet

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letters, opinions, editorials

Dumped trash

 re: open letter to whomever believes it is okay to dump trash along the roadside of Tecolote

Twice I have collected your garbage: neatly tied up in white plastic bags and presumably tossed out of the window of your vehicle, landing in the trees, in the dirt, in the arroyo, and sometimes, on the road. The bags continue to pile up in the same general area along Tecolote Road.

Countless times I have driven by those white trash bags, meaning to pick them up and put them in my own garbage bin, which I pay to have collected from my property. My outrage has prevented me from wanting to handle the garbage of anyone who is so lazy or so uncaring about the natural landscape that they continue to toss out their garbage on MY road—the road I travel daily—to and from my home nearby.

I’m pretty sure you travel the same road regularly because your trash seems to appear on a regular basis. And you are not the only one. Others throw their McDonald’s and Burger King trash. And some toss out their beer cans and bottles, soda cans, water bottles, clothing???, and other disgusting items.

I am astounded that anyone who lives in, or visits, this beautiful place can believe it is OKAY to mar it with their garbage. Those white bags are tied up so neatly that I’m sure whoever is behind this travesty must have at least an ounce of common decency, and that you will cease this behavior at once! And, I trust YOU will pick up those bags that are there right now—so I don’t have to. 

Thank you. 
—Linda Spaulding, Placitas

[The letter posted from Sandy Johnson in the March 2014 Signpost, regarding the Wild Horse Task Force, was printed with the Signpost’s addition of her title “President, Las Placitas Association.” That title should have not been added as she was not speaking on behalf of Las Placitas Association. We regret the error.

            —Signpost Staff]

re: the desperate hours

Dear Friends Back East,

Thank you again for the kind invitation to visit your Big Apple lodgings a day prior to another numbing, glaciating blast of snow and ice. The fact that I accomplished this frigid visit east with only minimal loss of tissue on face, feet, hands, legs, and torso was wonderful and freakish.

But please don’t think I regretted the experience. Our stroll up and down Fifth Avenue in the midst of it all was, as you pointed out, bracing and invigorating. In fact, I don’t recall a more bracing experience since my youthful adventure with Bonaparte when we retreated from Moscow in the winter of 1812 hoping to get to Smolensk before we lost any really valuable extremities and before the bars closed. (Of course, our Fifth Avenue experience did not include sanguinary assaults by hordes of annoying Cossacks, and that made our recent walk even more pleasant).

I do apologize for making off with your New York Times on the horribly arctic day of my departure. I’d forgotten I’d stuffed it in my socks until going through security at LaGuardia.

I suppose if I had to do it over again, I’d not agree to employ my rental car to take us all to that pizza joint in central New Jersey. Yes, the pepperoni was great, and the beer was cheap, but making the one-hundred-mile round-trip in a snow-and-ice mix seems rather foolish in retrospect. Especially since it took nine-and-a-half hours to complete our journey to and from Piscataway when your own NYC neighborhood boasts of 25 to thirty pizzerias per square mile.

Speaking of Piscataway, however, I again compliment you on your ingenuity when the four of you began experiencing the pressurized need to release the now-fully processed pitchers of beer you had consumed at the pizza parlor. Because we were at a standstill amid three lanes of traffic, I feared for my handsome rented upholstery. Until, that is, you retrieved the tire iron from the trunk, removed the hub caps, brought them into the vehicle and converted them to fashionable, solid steel, chrome plated chamber pots—each proudly bearing the Pontiac logo on the underside.

As we sat on that icy road in unmoving traffic, I will not soon forget the sober faces of my once-jolly fellow travelers, clinging to your hubcaps with unblinking stares, praying for the magical appearance of a rest stop. But as I became fully engaged in managing our white knuckle, ten m.p.h. slither back to the city, I could not focus on your plight, other than noticing the periodic opening and closing of the doors.

Upon our return, I was pleased to see that my rental car had suffered no interior defilement, so you boys clearly handled things with skill. I suspect, however, that the same is not true of certain stretches of routes 18, 287, 95, the Holland Tunnel, Canal Street, and Lower Broadway.

(You may wish to exclude this dubious adventure from your autobiographies.)

I’m glad to report that our splendid old Patrick Cat was alert enough to welcome me home and happily share the flannel sheets with me that night. The pet sitter reported that Patrick had done little but eat and sleep, except for watching the final episode of Downton Abbey, and that he seemed happy. Best wishes to you for an early spring and thanks again for your hospitality.

Your Friend,
—Herb, Placitas


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