Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Heavy Cloud, No Rain

Sadly, if you drive along the newly completed section of Loop 375, you can see those who are most likely to care less whether downtown is revitalized or
Franklin Mountain Poppies
not—the northeast, far east, and Mission Valley areas of town. And why? Well, IMHO it's because they believe we have no mass transit to get the homebodies into and out of the downtown/entertainment-to-be districts.

Yet last week, The Judge and I had a good time, driving from I-10 West/Transmountain, through the mountain, gliding past Parkland Middle School and over Dyer Street, onto the newly refurbished Loop (by Ft. Bliss and Airport land.) Around the bend, flying over Montana, we then headed onto the newly completed eastern Loop section, which was the reason for our adventure. And as clouds followed and surrounded us the entire time, we hoped for rain.

From the highway, we saw miles and miles of tract housing stretching out
LaBola de Oro :: I drove downtown to the border highway one Saturday morning
eastward, surrounding Montwood High School, a place which when first built, used to be in the middle of undeveloped land. We continued and drove past the eastside manufacturing and call centers, then drove along the newly constructed section with its elaborate bridge details at I-10 east at Avenue of the Americas. Finally, we began our count of high schools that lie along the Ceasar Chávez Border Highway, which is the southern stretch of the loop—Del Valle, Riverside, Bowie.

Approaching the downtown area and Segundo Barrio, we saw the elaborately tagged and graffed boxcars stopped next to the border near South Florence and made the final and semi-hazardous 45 degree turn to the right onto Santa Fe Street. Approaching Paisano, we saw a halfway demolished Tampico bar and
Holga Sunset
upper tenement apartment building (across from the now defunct fire station whose number escapes my memory, but one thought to be haunted).

Turning onto Paisano we headed for home and by the time we past Asarco’s tower, we had logged about an hour since we began. Sadly, my odometer is on the fritz, so I don't know how many miles we traveled. Yet, in that one hour we saw “heavy cloud and no rain*” views—lots and lots of anonymous plots where people live individual stories that we will never know or appreciate. And while we don't have lightrail, a third rail, or non-stop a/c'd super trollies, we do have a mostly completed loop that is a near circuit around the city--and it will help. In fact, someone from the hinterlands near Montana could conceivably drive non-stop to the downtown area in about 20 minutes. And I think that's pretty slick.

*Heavy Cloud, No Rain
Sting, from the album Ten Summoner's Tales

Turned on the weather man just after the news
I needed sweet rain to wash away my blues
He looked at the chart but he look in vain
Heavy cloud but no rain

Back in time with Louis XVI
At the court of the people he was number one
He'd be the bluest blood they'd ever seen
When the king said hi to the guillotine
The royal astrologer was run out of breath
He thought that maybe the rain would postpone his death
He look in sky but he look in vain
Heavy cloud but no rain

Well the land was cracking and the river was dry
All the crops were dying when they ought to be high
So to save his farm from the banker's draft
The farmer took out a book on some old witchcraft
He made a spell and a potion on a midsummer's night
He killed a brindled calf in the pale moonlight
He prayed to the sky but he prayed in vain
Heavy cloud but no rain

Heavy cloud but no rain

The sun won't shine till the clouds are gone
The clouds won't go till their work is done
And every morning you'll hear me pray
If only it would rain today

I asked my baby if there'd be some way
She said she'd save her love for a rainy day
I look in the sky but I look in vain
Heavy cloud but no rain

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