Hannan’s White Sands Follow-up

An amazing memory, John – the only thing I’d change is that I was traveling in a Honda 600 Sedan not the Pacer when we did the Great White Sands hum job.That was in 1973 and the Pacer came along in 1978 when we traveled to Pollock Pines via San Diego, Monterey and Sacramento.

Lucky we were in the Honda that early morning in ’73 – the gas tank held only 7 gallons and I think I asked them for a couple of $ worth – that filled up the tank. and I didn’t have to fill up again until Albuquerque on my way to Denver/Boulder to see Cranny and Maus then down to Phoenix to see Fridena and Woody Diekman.

Then on to Santa Barbara to see Hog and Pier for a few days with plans to head to Sacramento to see the Kellers.

My plans were changed when I learned from a phone call to Elizabeth that my best (college) buddy’s 18 year old brother’s body had been found – the victim of a mass murder in Galveston, Texas.

I headed home to be a pall bearer. That was my last big road trip as a single man – when I got home I asked Elizabeth to marry me and the rest is (happy) history.

The next time I saw John was to appear, as a surprise, at his and Caroline’s wedding. Thanks for the memories John! Life is good.

John Michael


3 Responses to “Hannan’s White Sands Follow-up”

  1. dmills Says:

    (From MadDog via Dee)

    Dear Michael Mike Mikey O dominoe,

    Perhaps I should have responded earlier (early-i-er) to the BALTA group, but reticence on my part prevented it. Nevertheless, I must now tell you what a strange impression this response of yours made upon me. For it so happened that you responded to this description of our marvelous morning journey to White Sands that took place on that most remarkable morning in 1973; you responded on the very day of our (Carolyn & my) 25th wedding anniversary – April 16, 2008! And remarkably, co-incidentally?, in your communication you did refer to attending our wedding, which did occur exactly 25 years earlier to the day – on April 16, 1983.

    Yes sir! You and Elizabeth were there, as were my late father, Russ; my living stepmother, Gerry; my great little brother Thomas Daniel (and his 2nd of 3 wives, Cindy); and Carolyn’s sisters Ellyn and Sylvia (along with her husband Joe & children Andrew & Allie); Carolyn’s late Uncle Kurt (from Austria) and living Aunt Felicia from Berkeley; among quite a few others.

    You know, I did think that the car that we traveled inside of was something other than that Pacer with which you transported me and yourself to Pollock Pines in 1978. But, for the sake of getting the story from without my head while it was still fresh therein, I just left the “Pacer” to be there, however inaccurate I felt it to be out there on the page.

    I must tell you that there were other times when you came to Las Cruces, other times times 1973, 1978 and 1983. Mike, you came here once in the winter. You were driving some sort of home-made motor home of a size not dissimilar to that of the Banana-Vana. In fact you were on your way to Taos from Texas and you stopped in Las Cruces. Not only that, but you also delivered me to old my home in Albuquerque. We showed up and surprised my parents. I think it was my parents. My mom, Ruth, died in September of 1974, and I didn’t have a step-mom until October of 1975. It could have been the winter of 72 or 73. Or perhaps that of 75 or 76? Do you remember when you had that motor-home?

    Before 1975 or so, I didn’t have a telephone. How did we communicate? Letters and pay phones most likely. When my mom died in September of 1974, my brother-law’s uncle-by-marriage, Keith Hennig, drove over to my apartment to break the news to me. I was a student then, living in that little green duplex on the corner of Jordan and Wyoming Streets in Las Cruces. It was where you came on that evening before the morning we went to White Sands. In 1978, I lived in a different apartment over on Espina Street. That was before I knew Carolyn. Strangely, her husband at the time, Alvaro Lopez, was living in the same apartment complex, just three doors from me. In fact, we went to parties in each others apartments. Carolyn was in Colombia at the time, and I didn’t know her. We met in 1979 when Alvaro had gone back to Colombia, and Carolyn came here to Las Cruces.

    On June 28, 1900, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria married Sophie Chotek. On there 14th wedding anniversary, Franz and Sophie were assassinated by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo. As a result millions died. But, aren’t we so lucky!! Imagine if this assassination hadn’t happened! Well, indeed it’s unimaginable!, because millions would have lived (and likely many of the living would have died under different circumstances), and the world would have been so altered by future events that likely we would have never been born. So, let’s give a toast and a cheer to that bastard, Gavrilo Princip! Likewise, three cheers for the Great Plague, the Black Death, the Thirty & Hundred Years Wars, etc. Without these, and millions of other chance? events, then we would have never gone to White Sands, never got the free ride, and this wouldn’t be happening now!, because we would have never been born. What are the chances, huh? … and inevitably forward to our predestined goals.

    There was a time that you came here in January of 1984. It was right after our daughter Chandra was born on January 15, 1984. You came one or two days later. A co-worker from the NMSU Library was also here. She was a black lady from Vado, New Mexico named Gladys Boyer. She was a real honest to goodness character.

    There may have been one or two other occasions when you came to Las Cruces in the 1970s or 1980s. I can’t recall them yet, if they do indeed exist. Nevertheless, “There but for fortune go you and I!”

    Nero / Round Eyes / Spider / Slurme / Mad Dog / Pterodactyl

  2. dmills Says:

    (From Hannan per Dee)

    Hi John-

    I’d like to claim that I remembered your wedding anniversary date but that would be (as the talking heads might say) disingenuous of me. So please accept my best wishes for 25 years together – that’s a quarter of a century, you know! Elizabeth and I will celebrate our 35th in November. That’s a wonderful accomplishment but is indicative of advancing old age…..and I hate that.

    The homemade motor home was a 22 ft GMC Step Van – it was a similar length to Roseanna but it was much higher and much wider. That was the last trip of any consequence that I made in the “Texas Tugboat”. The cold weather froze all the water pipes so I sold it several months later in it’s un-repaired state. I remember the date of that trip because it was on Elizabeth’s Birthday – Jan 10th, 1976.

    The (answer to the) question of our method of communication is unclear but I loved writing letters in those days and did so on a regular basis so it must have been so in our case. I am spoiled now with e-mail but I do make use of the wonders of the electronic media at every opportunity. But for the use of the World Wide Web and the Internet, I would, no doubt, be a stupid doddering old man – now I’m just a doddering old man. I am impatient by nature (less now than ever but still impatient) so being able to sit down and ask a question of a “typewriter” and have an answer show up in front of me on a “TV screen” in a couple of seconds and have enough information on the subject to fill a hundred books might be the second greatest thing in the world. I consider friendships and personal memories as first.

    The January 84 trip must have had something to do with my LaQuinta work – I was (most likely) headed for the Arizona/Utah high deserts for new images – that deal went on through the middle of ’86 then life became much less financially productive until now when we are totally broke. I guess I’d better get to work.

    Yes our lives might have been very different. I “met” a Swedish man who was born in a Siberian Prison, probably on the same day as me, to missionary parents who were incarcerated along with his Paternal Grandparents. He lived his first 7 years in the prison then his family was released to work for the state – the son was schooled in Siberia and eventually in Moscow in Soviet history and languages. He eventually spoke all the major languages spoken within the USSR and English. He was sent to the United Nations to be an interpreter and one day just walked away – he now lives in West Virginia after being granted political asylum in the 1980s. I tried to correspond with him so we could write a story about 2 men who were born on the same day but to two dramatically different situations. I never met him face to face – just by email when he wrote to me to ask about how to make prints like mine – he found them on the Internet somehow. Just an Accident of Birth – the title of my book if it ever happens and an essay I wrote some years ago for the local newspaper.

    I’m done now and will spend the evening doing my pre-op exercises and consider my fate in just 10 days when “they” amputate my leg then put it back with a replacement joint – I hope I wake up and I hope they will have put the leg back together properly. For this I humbly pray.


  3. Fool Says:

    I don’t believe asny of this. i wasn’t there. i wasn’t there because of the Thirty and Hundred Year’s War. I wasn’t there becasue of the Armenian genocide or because the Princep’s family intermarried with Russian red dwarves. I wasn’t.

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