As I mentioned, I spent a lot of my youth in El Paso. We moved around a lot but it was one of the places that stuck. My mother was a teacher there, her husband, my stepfather, worked at White Sands. El Paso is the butt of a lot of jokes and a target of derision but I enjoyed my life there and in Las Cruces the previous year. Played a lot of sand lot baseball, swam at the Blue Dolphin, absorbed the Tex Mex culture. Trips to Juarez with my family to our favorite restaurant, the Alacazar. Elmer's restaurant on Montana.
I learned Spanish from the second grade in Las Cruces and became fluent at an early age. One of the things I liked most about El Paso was the fact that there was no racism that I could see in Cielo Vista, the community I lived in. Gussie Rodriguez lived across the street, people were honestly color blind in El Paso and they integrated, probably more than they do here today in San Diego County.
I was reading an interview earlier with an Arnold Sameniego, a 40 year old who works at the Walmart and I got to thinking; My best friend up the street was Eric Sameniego and he was my age. Maybe Arnold's dad, who knows? The age would be about right. My heart goes out to to all the people of my old hometown.