Friday, February 10, 2006

A Walk Down Oregon to the Plaza

Wednesday was cabin fever day. Yes, I could sit at Jamocha's or the student union cafe, cramming for Latin after the class ended at 10:30. That meant I would then have until 4:30 to wait for my Aesthetics class with Dr. R. Now I know I should study, but if I did that, I would certainly crash during R’s lecture.

Instead, I decided I would walk to the Plaza, go to Jack's for lunch, and take the trolley (all of 25 cents) back up the hill to school. So I did and took several pictures of apartment buildings along Oregon Street on my way into downtown. It was a beautiful day and productive for I discovered what became of the daycare where my daughter’s went while I worked.

After lunch I waited for the no. 10 trolley and I spoke with an older woman who had dropped her cane at my feet. I handed the cane back to her and she began talking to me. She was short, round, white-haired and very cheerful. She wore a navy sweat suit and told how she got to El Paso.

She told me she had driven semi-trucks hauling volatile fuels for 33 years and after 3 heart attacks, the state of california revolked her trucker's driver license. Because of this (and other things, I'm sure,) her abusive husband pulled a gun on her one night.

After she calmed him down, she told him she was going to take a walk and get a cup of coffee. She did, but she also didn't return; she just kept going. She hitchhiked to El Paso and has been here since, which to me sounded like it had been at least 3 years. She doesn't drive now and either hitches or takes the bus. She said that she has taken about five or six computer classes at EPCC. When she said this to me she beamed with pride. She also said that on Sundays she hitches to one of the big truck terminals at the edge of town so she can attend the "trucker's service."

I don't care about whether or not she goes to church, but I do know that i'm glad I decided to take a walk downtown yesterday. Although I'm sure Dr. L would rather i stayed on campus and studied my Latin.

Later that day, I posted my pictures from the walk in a set on Flickr and I want to take more of the trolley ride; the no. 10 which goes all the way to the bridge, back to the plaza, then heads up the hill, through Sunset Heights, and finally enters campus at the Southern entrance. Not bad for 25 cents; 50 if i took the trolley both ways.

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