La Veta’s Man on Main
By Gary Rollins
LA VETA– During my very first interview, I had a pleasant, lengthy chat with a couple from Nebraska who were “driving through” and stopped to enjoy both the scenery and some of the fabulous ice cream that serves as a magnet for Charlie’s Market. That’s another sure-fire way to spot a tourist!
This couple had driven down from Nebraska to escape the seemingly endless, throbbing Nebraska Cornhuskers football drumbeat that begins shortly after the 4th of July and continues through the annual barrage of bowl games that begins nanoseconds after Turkey Day and ends sometime next January. Not everyone in Nebraska is a football fan. This couple proudly claimed they were not Husker addicts and were rather proud of it.
He is a photographer and was attracted to the wonderful sites that only a photographer could see and appreciate. I recently attended a function where the exceptional talent of a National Geographic photographer was on vivid display. The chap had proclaimed his photographer’s mantra, “If you believe it, you will see it.” And if you truly believe you will, eventually, just “see” the right shot, you will. Pretty simple stuff. It sure worked for him! If you don’t see it and don’t believe it, it ain’t gonna happen. (With apologies to my many English teachers who recommended some other line of work.)
This fine gentleman from up northeast of us raved about the wonderful vistas that he only wished he had time to expose, pardon the pun. They shared the lament that many of us feel about an almost desperate need to “get away” from the turmoil and the heat and the political angst that is hammering away at all of us. There is a certain solace that is to be found in the Spanish Peaks and it is truly quite intoxicating to many visitors who first visit and later come to spend extended periods of time in our Huajatolla and Cuchara Valleys. And can we not all remember that feeling of dread we fought against as we drove back to those homes in flatland places where people have to live, as opposed to where they would truly love to live?
This couple planned to drive on to Alamosa and return the following day on the train. They did confess the tickets were rather pricey, so they were crossing their fingers that they’d enjoy a trip that was worth every cent. How nice it would have been to have hooked up with them after their trip on the train. I have tried so very hard to imagine what it would be like to step off that train and wonder, “Now what? Where, oh where, do we go from here?” Great question, right?
It pleased me, a few days ago, to receive a nice e-mail from the fellow that filled in some of the blanks about their visit. He promised to get in touch before their trip next year.
If all of the interviews are as pleasant and interesting as this first one, this will be a lot of fun!