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“The Bear”

Abuelo “El Oso”

by Steven Donnini

Written by Steven Donnini


Library of Congress
Copyright Steven Donnini 2003

Austin, Texas
Orlando, Florida
Sdonninifilms@aol.com

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10 year old Jesse Santiago is dreaming of gliding

through the air in the twilight with his arms

stretched out. Although he loved his dreams about

flying, his favorite one is when he runs across his

little league baseball field in Phoenix and lifts

off into the warm summer sky. But, this dream was

different.

A wind gust lifts him higher than ever before. He

thinks, never look down, keep your arms extended,

cup your hands. He looked, just a glance to see

the ball field getting smaller, so small that his

confidence began to slip away. He knows it’s the

belief that he can fly that makes it so. Suddenly

the lift from the air is gone. He frantically

waves his arms to catch some lift, but nothing

works. He falls faster and faster toward the

ground. Suddenly he wakes up in his Grandfather,

Roberto’s, arms. Roberto was a World Class weight

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lifter and professional wrestler, during his

professional career. Roberto’s chest, arms and

legs were photographed many times for bodybuilding

and wrestling magazine covers. Now, he’s a little

too old for professional wrestling, but he has many

adoring fans that still recognize him wherever he

goes. They called him “El Oso”(The Bear), because

he would bear hug his opponents until they passed

out and then throw them on to the canvas. Jesse

looks up at Roberto with relief knowing he is safe.

They are riding in the back of a Trailways Coach

Bus on a trip to the mining town of Jerome, 125

miles north of Phoenix, Arizona. The tall Saguaro

cactus stand shoulder to shoulder most of the way

along Interstate 17 from Sun City to Camp Verde, an

amazing sight. Jerome is a simple place with many

tiny wooden homes desperately clinging to the side

of the mountain. It’s a small town with restored

collectable stores that sell artifacts from the

copper mining days in the 1800’s.

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This is a trip that Roberto had planned all winter,

after the traffic accident that killed his daughter

and son-in-law, Jesse’s parents. For Roberto the

idea of being a parent to a young boy is like

getting a second chance at something that he had

not done to well the first time around. Roberto

was on the road working most of the time that his

daughter was growing. He wanted to spend some time

with Jesse and to visit his brother Ed in Pason,

and Ricco, a friend, who had moved to Jerome a few

years ago. It was going to be a week that they

would never forget. As the Trailways Coach rolled

to a stop, Jesse looks out the window at a sign

that read “Welcome to Camp Verde.” The Verde River

runs through the town, which is clustered among

hundreds of mature cottonwood trees. An oasis from

the 125 degree summer desert heat. Jesse and

Roberto retrieve their bags and cross the main

street to a car lot that rents used cars and

trucks. Roberto is instantly recognized as “El

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Oso.” The owner asks him many questions. Did he

really squeeze his opponents until they were out on

their feet? Naturally, there’s always drama in

professional wrestling.

So, Roberto answers, “It was a Saturday night in

Ft. Worth when I earned the name “El Oso,” The

Bear. I was in the ring with “The Undertaker” and

he had me in the death grip.”

Jesse comments, “Oh yeah, the death grip.”

Roberto, “There was no way to get loose. I

wiggled, turned around, put my arms around him and

squeezed his body until he went limp. I had never

done that before. The ring announcer called me El

Oso. It stuck and I used the bear hug from that

point on.”

Roberto asks for directions to Tuzigoot Indian

ruins in Clarkdale. The car lot owner showed them

the way on a road Atlas. He explains, “Tuzigoot is

a deserted hilltop ancient pueblo, it is easy to

imagine what life was like in this ancient village

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built by the Sinagua. It was built around A.D.

1000. You can see Sinagua Indian spirits that

appear as flickers of light after dark. I suggest

you arrive at dusk and watch them dance over the

ruins.”

He gives Roberto the keys to an aged Isuzu Trooper.

The drive up the mountain to Jerome is a slow

winding road with sharp turns and steep grades.

Jesse reads to Roberto from a travel booklet as

they wind up the mountain, “At the turn of the

twentieth century, the town of Jerome was a

collection of houses and buildings, not beautiful,

seldom comfortable, but durable. Those who came

were willing to put up with conditions at the time.

Jerome, Arizona was for making a stake and going

somewhere else to spend the easy fortune. It was

above all else a copper mining town. Most of its

people were young men drawn by the advantages of

steady employment and excitement. Jerome became an

around the clock, three shift town boasting 13

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hotels, 21 bars, and 8 houses of prostitution with

names like "The Cuban Queen," and the less elegant

"Cribs." Belgian Jenny, the honky-tonk queen of

the houses of light love was Jerome's most famous

Madam.”

Roberto parks the truck in front of a general

store. They walk down the old town street until

they see a restaurant, there is a man sitting in a

chair on the old wooden sidewalk.

Roberto asks, “I’m looking for a friend that lives

here. His name is Ricco, do you know him?”

The man answers, “Ricco? Yeah, he spends his time

down the street at the Copperhead Saloon.”

Jesse asks, “Who’s Ricco?”

Roberto isn’t forthcoming with anything that would

incriminate himself.

He answers, “We’ve been old friends since we were

in grade school in Tucson.”

Jesse is only more interested, “You played ball

together?”

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Roberto, “We didn’t have gloves or bats, so we

played stick ball or soccer everyday after school.”

Jesse, “Grandpa, what’s prostitution?”

Roberto explains, “It’s when woman sell their time

with men.”

Jesse looks up at him, “Did Dad pay Mama for her

time?”

Roberto answers, “No, they were married.”

Jesse, “Then when you’re not married, you have to

pay?”

Roberto, “Not always.”

Jesse, “Do girls pay boys for their time?”

Roberto, “No. Well, yes sometimes.

This is not something you should be thinking

about.”

Jesse, “Did Jesus pay girls for their time?”

Roberto annoyed, “Jesus didn’t have to pay anybody

to spend time with him.”

Jesse, “When we go to church everybody gives him

money.”

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Roberto frustrated, “That’s not the same thing.”

Jesse confused, “OH!”

They walk into the busy Copperhead Saloon. The one

large room has pool tables, floors covered with

sawdust, dark raw wood walls, antique wooden tables

and hundreds of snake skins stapled to the wall

behind the bar. There’s the smell of stale beer,

tobacco smoke and fried food hanging in the air. A

sign over the bar reads “Nuke the gay whales for

Jesus.” Roberto stops to look around the bar,

taking it all in.

He takes a deep breath, “This is my kind of place.”

Jesse looks around, pulls up his baggie pants, “It

smells bad in here Grandpa.”

Roberto, “It’s an acquired smell.”

He pulls out a chair for Jesse at an empty table.

“Set here, I’ll get us something to drink.” He

walks to the bar and orders a draft beer and a root

beer. The bartender Sam is drying glasses and

drawing beer for customers.

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Roberto asks, “Do you know Ricco?”

Sam answers, “Who wants to know?”

Roberto, “I’m Roberto Suarez, an old friend. I

haven’t seen him in years, but I heard he was

living up here in the mountains.”

Sam asks, “Are you the law? There are a lot of

people up here that have gone missing, you know

what I mean?”

Roberto, “No, I just want to see him again. Like I

said, it’s been years.”

Sam is reluctant to say more, “He comes in about

noon and stays until we close. He’s a regular.

That’s all I know. I don’t ask too many questions.”

Roberto carries the glasses to the table and sits

looking at his watch.

Jesse asks, “Where’s your friend?”

Roberto, “He’ll be here soon. How about a burger

and fries?” Jesse is into the root beer, he just

shakes his head yes.

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When Ricco appears in the doorway Roberto doesn’t

recognize him. By the time he gets to the bar, Sam

greets him with a drink. The bartender puts burger

baskets on the bar and signals Roberto to come get

them.

He leans forward and points to Ricco, “That’s him.”

Roberto gives the burger to Jesse and returns to

the bar beside Ricco.

Roberto, “Ricco, it’s me.”

Ricco looks at him, “Roberto? What the hell are

you doing here?”

Roberto, “I’m here with my grandson. I heard you

were living here.”

Ricco, “I’m kind of laying low. There’s some people

in Texas that would like to get their paws on me.”

Roberto, “No doubt.”

Ricco, “It’s quite up here most of the year. I do

odd jobs, painting and such. What have you been

doing?”

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Roberto, “When the ground soured in Texas I drove

to Payson to visit with my brother Ed. He has a

camping supply store up there. But, he’s a hard

case when it comes to government stuff. So, after

six months of splitting wood and listening to right

wing conspiracy talk, I packed it in and moved to

Phoenix where my sister lives. Ed is a little

touched in the head after that 5 year jail term in

Florida. He has an arsenal you wouldn’t believe.

It was kind of scary when his weird friends showed

up.”

Ricco lowers his voice, “There’s a lots of Arizona

Militiamen living up in these here mountains.

They’re all into camouflage clothing, easy to

spot.”

Roberto glances around, “There’s half a dozen guys

dressed like that.”

Ricco, “That’s a problem, there’s a lot of

wannabes. You never know. The best thing is to

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make friends with one of them. It’s a good idea to

be agreeable with their anti-government talk.”

Roberto, “I’ve rented an SUV, would you like to

take a drive with us through the mountains to go

see him in Payson.”

Ricco, “OK, that sounds good, let’s go in the

morning.”

Roberto and Jesse spend the night at Ricco’s place.

In the morning, they pack the SUV with Ricco’s

camping gear and drive down the mountain to

Cottonwood.

The trip east through the mountains is

breathtaking. There are many campgrounds and

National Monuments along the way. Jesse wants to

stop and see all of them. They agree to stop at

the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. They set up a

campsite and settle in for the night. The sky

above the campsite is crystal clear except for the

campfire smoke curling up to meet the stars. They

are all around a campfire.

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Ricco is lying back on an Indian blanket. “It’s

always magic to me to look at the stars in the

mountain sky. Oh, look there goes a satellite

through the stars.”

Jesse, “It could be the space station. Mr.

Higgins, my science teacher said we could see it

clearly.”

Roberto, “The Sinagua Indians that lived here must

have seen the stars as part of their lives in a

totally unremarkable way.”

Ricco, “Yeah, they didn’t have TV, satellites and

space stations to distract them.”

The next morning Roberto cooked his famous jalapeno

tortillas in a cast iron skillet along with Jesse’s

favorite food with scrambled eggs and hot salsa.

They packed up and hit the highway to Payson. The

summer sun is heating the newly laid black asphalt,

making it soft and sticky. By noon the traffic is

thick with vacationers at Ed’s camping supply

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store. Roberto finds a parking spot out of the way

of store customers. Roberto, Jesse and Ricco enter

the old wooden store and waits for the customers to

clear out. It’s a small store packed with

everything a camper would need, toothpaste, toilet

paper, trail mix, canned foods, dried fruit,

cigarettes, waterproof wooden matches and fire

wood. Ed is packing the last foodstuffs into paper

bags for a customer. Ed looks up at Roberto, “I’ll

be! What brings you to these parts old man?” Ed

walks over and hugs Roberto.

Roberto answers “We came for a visit. How the hell

are you?”

Ed, “You should have called, this is the busy

season here at the campgrounds. I won’t have much

time to spend with you during the day.”

Ricco, “Is there anything we can do for you?”

Ed, “Sure, there’s a pile of wood out back that

needs chopping.”

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Roberto, “I’ll do it, I could use a little

exercise.” Jesse steps up, “Uncle Ed, I can bag

for you?”

Ed is working the cash register, “OK great, but

don’t drop anything.”

Jesse “Yes, sir.”

Ricco walks behind the front counter. “Where’s

your new bride?”

Ed, answers without looking up. “Rita’s in the

trailer out back rehearsing her comedy act. She

has a gig tonight. I’m going to video tape it.”

Ricco, “Can we see her do her thing?”

Ed, “Of course, we can all go to the Starlite

lounge, it’s 25 cent beer night. There should be a

big crowd.”

Ricco, “What kind of stuff does she do?”

Ed, “I’ll only spoil it for you, so let it be a

surprise.”

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That night Ed and Rita load the minivan with all

kinds of boxes, bags and a full sized stuffed dummy

she calls “Studly.”

Ed says, “Be careful his head is getting loose, I

didn’t have time to do any repair work on the

props.”

Rita irritated, “I asked you to do it yesterday.

You said it would be handled.”

Ed, “Don’t worry, everything will be fine, it’s not

that bad. He’ll hold up for the next few shows.”

Rita gets into the van and slams the door so hard

that the van shakes.

Ed, “Jesus, Rita your going to break the door. You

don’t realize your own strength.” Rita, “Now, I

suppose your going to blame me for breaking Studly

in the first place.”

Ed rolls his eyes and closes the sliding door of

the van and walks around to the driver’s door.

Ed, “I told you not to be so rough with the props.”

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Rita, “When the strap on the hard hat came loose

and ruined the gag, you didn’t fix it. Did you?”

Ed sheepishly, “Yeah, but we were in that small

motel near Vegas and we slept late that day, we

wouldn’t have had time to make to the next gig.”

Rita, “That’s no excuse. I was so embarrassed when

it didn’t work. I’m a prop comic Ed. That means

that the props are the joke.”

Ed, “That’s the problem.”

Rita, “What’s that mean?”

Ed, “Nothing.”

Ricco knocks on the driver’s side window, “Are we

ready to go now?”

Ed, “Yeah, just follow me, it’s just 3 miles down

the mountain.”

The caravan rolls out of the dusty parking lot at

Ed’s Camping Supply Store.

Ricco, Roberto and Jesse can see Ed waving his

arms.

Jesse, “What is Uncle Ed mad about?”

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Roberto, “It’s just his way. He’s a Scorpio.”

Jesse, “What’s that?”

Roberto, “It’s an astrological sign.”

Ricco, “When you are born, you come into this world

under a sign that is about the position of the

stars and planets. You must be a Gemini.”

Jesse, “Why?”

Roberto, “Because, you ask so many questions and

talk too much.”

Jesse, “Oh.”

Inside the Starlite Supper Club, Ed is setting up

the stage and video camera. Rita is at a table

going over the new jokes and gags. Ricco, Jesse

and Roberto are setting at another table in the

dinning room.

Roberto asks a waitress, “What would you recommend

for this young lad?”

Waitress, “The chicken wings, or the Beefalo

sandwich plate.”

Ricco, “What’s a Beefalo sandwich?”

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Waitress, “These ranchers out here breed Buffalo’s

and cow’s. It makes them tougher than cattle.

They can handle the harsh winters better. It’s

really very good.”

Roberto, “OK, great. Jesse and I will both have

one.”

Ricco, “I’ll go with the Chicken wings and a draft

beer.”

The club begins to fill with men from logging

company crews that are working in the area. Seth,

the club owner and host, introduces Rita onto the

stage. Ed is in the back of the room operating the

video camera.

Rita takes the microphone, “Welcome to the Starlite

Club. I have a few things to say about men and the

way they treat women.”

A man in the front row says, “Let’s have it.”

Rita, “You asked for it. So, I want you to meet

the perfect man, his name is Studly.

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She lifts anatomically correct Studly onto a stool,

where he is facing the crowded room. Rita

continues, “As you can see he’s very excitable in

all the right places.”

She pushes a button on his back and a dildo whips

straight up from between his legs to put a bulge in

his pant.

Rita, “Now, that’s what I call a real man.” The

crowd goes wild laughing.

A guy shouts, “That’s my evil twin.”

Rita, “This one doesn’t talk back.”

The guy says, “Bite me.”

Rita, “I’d have to find it first.”

The crowd laughs.

Another guy stands up, pulls his pant down and

says, “Bite this one, baby!”

Rita, “That looks like a frightened turtle.” The

crowd laughs.

Another guy says, “Take it off. Lets see what

you’ve got.”

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Ed doesn’t like the way the guys are talking to

her.

So, he walks down to the stage and glares at the

guy.

Ed, “Watch your mouth buddy.”

One guy says, “She’s the one with the dildo.”

Ed, “That’s my wife you’re talking about.”

One of the guys stands up to Ed and pushes him

backward onto the stage.

Rita screams, “Stop it right now.”

Ed gets up and another guy jumps on him. Ed moves

back and falls over Studly and the stool onto the

other props. Rita runs off the stage crying. One

guy is punched and a brawl breaks out in the first

row of tables. Ed has Rita’s comedy props in each

hand. He smashes a guy in the head with one dildo

prop and then again with another.

Ricco stands up and shouts, “Ed, what the hell are

you doing?”

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Roberto and Jesse stay at the table eating their

dinner.

Roberto, “This is more fun than the days in the

wrestling ring.”

Roberto tells Jesse, “Stay put in your chair, I’ll

be right back.”

He makes his way to Ed. He is at the bottom of a

pile of lumberjacks. One by one Roberto peels away

the guys off of Ed. “Your too small for this.”

Roberto throws a guy over a table, “You’re too

skinny to be fighting.”

He throws another guy off the stage and grabs two

guys by their necks and bangs their heads together.

“And, you guys are to stupid.”

He pulls Ed to his feet.

Ed, “No one is going to talk to Rita that way.”

Rita is at the bar crying her eyes out. “All my

props are gone, I’m finished.”

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Seth comes out of his private office to see the

mayhem. He knows that this night will cost him

dearly. He hurries over to the bar.

Seth asks the bartender, “What the hell happened?”

Bartender says, “Well, the best I can figure,

Rita’s husband, Ed, got pissed at one of the

customers and he started fighting with him in the

front row of tables. Then the guy’s buddy jumped

on Ed and they fell… ah, backward I think.”

Seth, “I get the picture.”

Seth walks down the bar to Rita, “What happened

Rita?”

Rita explains, “This guy in the front row of tables

jumped on Ed and they fell back onto the stage.”

Seth, “Collect your dildo’s and get out.”

Rita, “What about my pay?”

Seth, “Get out before I make you pay me! You’re

both banned from here.”

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Ed picks up what is left of the props and walks out

the door to the parking lot where Rita is waiting,

posed with hands on hips.

Ed, “I did what any man would do.”

Rita, “You have destroyed my dreams.”

Putting the broken props into the minivan, Ed says,

“What was I supposed to do?”

Rita, “Let me handle things, it’s part of the act,

I had them in the palm of my hand.”

Ricco opens the SUV door for Jesse.

Ricco, “Wow that was fun.”

Jesse, “Is uncle Ed OK?”

Ricco, “Yeah, he’s fine.”

Jesse, “He must have a hard head.”

Ricco, “If you only knew. That’s why they call him

Ed Head. He always ends up landing on his head.

Just ask your Buelo.”

Roberto gets behind the wheel of the SUV.

Jesse, “Why do you call Uncle Ed, Ed Head?”

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Roberto, “Jesse, I don’t think it’s time to talk

about this but, Ed is thick headed. Let’s just

leave it there.”

The next day at Ed’s store an unmarked government

car is parked at the front door. IRS Agent Louis

is standing at the door. Ed drives his van along

side the white Ford sedan, gets out and walks up to

Louis.

Ed, “Can I help you?”

Louis, “Let’s step inside.”

Louis moves his coat to expose a 9mm pistol on his

hip, Ed opens the door and walks in, Louis follows.

Ed grabs Louis’ arm, twists it behind his back and

pushes him face first onto the floor and then

handcuffs him before the agent can take his gun

out. Ed takes his gun. Standing in back of the

counter Ed asks, “So, what can I do for you?”

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Agent Louis, “I’m an agent of the US Government.

Un-cuff me or you’ll be in more shit than you can

handle.”

Ed, “Is that all you have to say for your self? As

far as I’m concerned you came in here and

threatened me with a gun.”

He reaches down to retrieve a small tape recorder

and ID from Louis’ inside coat pocket. Ed, “I

think I’ll keep this.”

He walks to the telephone and calls 911.

Ed, “Hi Doris, it’s Ed, can you send Billy over to

pick up a criminal I found at the store.”

Louis, “I’m FBI. I need to call my office.”

Ed, “You’ll get the customary phone call after

you’re booked at the town jail.”

Sheriff Billy walks in the door with Rita, Roberto,

Ricco and Jesse. Sheriff Billy, “Looks like you

caught yourself an office worker.”

Ed, “Yeah, he’s a real nasty one, he threatened me

with this.” Louis, “You’re all in deep shit.”

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He hands over the gun to Sheriff Billy. Ed

continues, “I think he soiled his draws. I want to

file charges. He was standing in the doorway and

forced me inside after showing me his firearm.

I’ve got it all on audio tape.”

Billy, “OK, the judge is going to be pissed. He’s

gone for the weekend. So, this one will have to

stay in lock up until Monday morning.” He lifts

Louis off the floor.

Rita, “Ed don’t you think this is over the top.”

Ed, “No just a little off center.”

Ricco hides his face behind a magazine as Billy

takes Louis to the patrol car.

Ed stands in the doorway holding the tape recorder

and FBI ID, “Louis, don’t worry, I’ll call this

interview in for you. We don’t want any

misunderstandings back in Phoenix.” Roberto, “I

didn’t think there was this much action up here.”

Ed, “I came here to get away from all this crap.”

Roberto, “You must be a crap collector.”

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Ed, “Only the finest.”

That night Roberto and Ricco, set up camp in a

clearing not far from the Ed’s store. The campfire

is fueled with Ed’s seasoned wood. Jesse has been

fed and put down for the night. Ricco, Roberto and

Ed are sitting on Indian blankets, huddled around

the campfire.

Ricco opens a can of beer. “It’s been a long time

since we were all together like this.” Roberto, “I

know.”

Ed, “Yeah, I have got to admit, I’ve missed you

both.”

Ricco, “The last night in Dallas we were over

served at Lockers Bar.”

Roberto, “Some of us did things we now regret,

right Ed.”

Ricco, “Let’s not get into that. It was a long

time ago.”

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Ed, “I still have a dent in my head where I hit the

ground.”

Ricco, “You asked for it.”

Ed, “I was over the line, I must admit.”

Ricco, “Right, you flew over the car and landed on

your head.”

Roberto, “I felt real bad about that for a long

time.”

Ed, “I don’t think you could pick me up like that

now.”

Roberto, “Let’s just leave it at that Ed.”

Ed, “I mean it.”

Ricco, “That’s why everyone calls you Ed head.”

Roberto, “Its true, you always do things head

first.”

Ed, “Very funny. The next day I went back to the

spot where you stopped the car. In the daylight

very thing looked so different. I never did find

the left lens from my glasses. I developed a tick

in that eye.”

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Ricco, “I was in my mama’s kitchen in Ft. Worth

when I saw you and Rita get married on the Sally

Jesse Raphael Show.”

Roberto, “I wish I had seen that.”

Ed, “That was Rita’s idea.”

Ricco, “Mama said, you looked scared.”

Ed, “I was sick from the night before.”

Roberto, “You knew this was your last free night,

right?”

Ed, “No, I was too sick to think about that. My

best man Danny took me to a Sushi Bar around the

corner form the hotel on 74st.”

Roberto, “So you went to a bait shop to eat?”

Ed, “Yeah, but it wasn’t my idea. Dan was paying,

so I said what the hell, I’ll just eat cooked fish.

Well, I had a couple of glasses of hot Sake. Danny

told me, I was marrying my mother. Later, I got

stomach cramps and was up all night on the

crapper.”

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At sunrise, Jesse is the first up. He walks to the

store to get something to eat. Rita is behind the

counter.

Rita, “Hi Jesse, what are you hungry for?”

Jesse, “I like honey buns.” Rita, “You’ve come to

the right place.”

She turns to a box on the counter and takes out a

hand full of plastic wrapped Honey buns out.

Rita, “Want me to heat one up?”

Jesse licking his lips, “Oh please.”

Rita, “Here’s coffee for the boys.”

She puts everything in a cut off box top and hands

it to him.

Jesse, “Thank you, Mrs. Ed.”

Rita, “I’m your auntie now, sweetheart.”

Jesse, “Oh yeah, that’s right. Cool.”

Rita, “Honey, I’m very sorry about what happened to

your mom and dad. They were good people. There’s

never a good time to bring it up. I just wanted

you to know that you’re always welcome here.”

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Jesse, “Thank you, ma’am, I mean Aunt Rita.”

Jesse walks away from the store thinking that if he

had been with them in the car that night, he would

be with them in heaven. When Jesse arrives at the

campsite Ricco is up and covering the fire with

sand. Roberto is folding up the tents and packing

them into bags. They’re happy to see the coffee

and honey buns.

Roberto, “Good work, Jesse.”

Ricco, “Ah, room service with a view.”

Later they drive around to the front of the store,

where Rita is standing in the doorway in a

housedress. She is smoking a cigarette.

Roberto asks, “Where’s Ed?”

Rita, “He’s in the trailer.”

She lifts the wall phone up and dials.

Rita, “Ed, the guys are going to leave, get your

butt out here.”

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Roberto walks around the store with Jesse shopping

for supplies for the trip ahead. Ricco, “Rita, I

thought your show was very funny.”

Rita, “Sometimes Ed gets mental.”

Ricco, “I would have done the same thing.”

Rita, “I’ve had enough humiliation therapy to last

me for a while.”

Ricco, “What about all the props?”

Rita, “Oh well, Ed couldn’t keep them working

anyway.”

Ricco, “Can’t they be fixed?”

Rita, “Forget it, I’m going to become a

cartoonist.”

Ricco, “I didn’t know you could draw?”

Rita, “I can’t, I’ll take a course at the community

college.”

Jesse, “What kind of cartoons?”

Rita, “I have an idea about fat girls living in a

trailer park.”

Jesse, “What do they do there?”

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Rita, “Its about girls who are bored with life and

just want to have fun.”

Roberto knows where this is going, “Rita, so you’re

going back to school?”

Ed walks in the front door. “Yeah, she’s going to

be an artist.”

Roberto, “Great. We’re headed out to the Tuzigoot

Indian ruins in Clarkdale.

Ed, “That’s a full days drive from here.”

Ricco, “I know I’ve been kicking around these hills

for some time.”

Roberto, “I want to see the dancing spirits.”

Ed, “That’s just a story for the tourists.”

Roberto, “That’s what we heard.”

Ed with a knowing wink, “You might just be

surprised. Anyway, have a good trip. Don’t be

such strangers. We’re always here now.”

Rita, “I’m usually here. Ed has been hanging with

the Militia up here.”

Ed, “They’re Arizona Militia.”

35
Roberto, “Those guys are gun nuts.”

Ed, “Most of them are gun collectors. They just go

to gun shows.”

Rita, “They come up here dressed in camouflage,

drink beer and polish their Pistola’s. They’re

harmless.”

Ed, “There’s a short cut to Tuzigoot ruins. It’ll

save you 2 hours and the view is spectacular.”

Ricco, “That sounds great.”

Roberto grabs an Arizona state map and opens it

onto the counter, “So, we are here.”

Ed, “When you pull out of the parking lot turn left

down the first mountain road. It’s used by loggers

and forest rangers, a little rough going, but

you’ll be fine.”

Ricco, “That’s OK, we’ve got the SUV.”

Ed, “Gas up, there’s no place to stop for about 50

miles.”

Roberto, “Where will we come out to black top?”

Ed, “Over here. Got it?”

36
Roberto, “I think so.”

Ed, “You can’t get lost if you stay on the main

road. If you get lost call me on the cell phone.”

Ricco, “Let’s hit the road.”

Roberto, “OK, we’re off like a herd of turtles.”

Ricco pulls the SUV up to the gas pumps and fills

the tank.

Ricco “It’s hard to say goodbye.”

Roberto, “Never say goodbye, its bad luck.”

The trip down the mountain starts with some

hesitation. The road is full of potholes and

washouts. A bright yellow warning sign reads,

Logging Road, Authorized Personnel Only! Roberto

saw the sign too late to turn around, because the

trees grow up to the edge of the road.

It’s a one-way trip. Roberto puts the SUV into

4wheel drive. He knows if he pushes in the clutch

he won’t be able to stop. So, he must steer around

rocks, potholes and let 1st gear keep it from going

37
too fast. Roberto is getting the hang of things

when Ricco needs to stop to make a deposit.

Ricco, “Please pull over somewhere I so I can leak

the lizard.”

Roberto, “So why didn’t you do that before we

started.”

Jesse to the rescue, “I need to stop too.”

Roberto, “OK, all this talk and bouncing around is

making us act like a bunch of girls.” Roberto

waits for a safe place to stop. He pushes in the

brake and the SUV stalls on the road. He pulls up

the hand break.

Roberto, “Ricco, get two big rocks and put them

under the front wheels.”

Jesse, “I can help.”

Roberto, “No, let Ricco do it. Just get out and

watch where you’re walking. There’s copperheads

and black bears out here.”

Roberto stands in front of the truck peeing on the

road and enjoying the mountain view. Ed was right

38
about that, it’s beautiful. They finish up and get

in the SUV, but Ricco forgot to remove the rocks

from in front of the tires. Roberto turns the key

on and lets the brake off. They don’t move. He

lifts the clutch and the truck leaps over the rocks

and they take off down the mountain. Jesse pulls

his seat belt tight.

Ricco smiling, “If I had known it was going to be

this much fun I would have stayed in Jerome.”

They are winding around the switchbacks when they

see a GMC hunting truck in the road and must stop.

There’s no one in the truck.

Roberto gets out to look around for the owner,

“Hello! Is anybody out here?” There’s no answer.

Ricco get out of the truck and walks over to

Roberto.

Ricco, “What do you think?”

Roberto, “If we wait long enough someone will come

back for their truck.”

39
Ricco, “Or, we can push it off the road out of the

way.”

Roberto, “Maybe they’re out there hunting.”

Ricco, “Probably, I say lets push it.” He walks

over to the driver’s door and tries to open it.

Ricco, “It’s locked. Looks like we’re going to

have to do this the old fashion way.” He walks

back to the SUV.

Ricco, “Jesse, get me that wire coat hanger from

the back seat.” Jesse hands it to him. Ricco has

done this hundreds of times, but not for a few

years. In fact, this is what got him in trouble

with the law back in Texas when he was a gang

banger.

Roberto, “What are you doing?”

Ricco, “Sometimes you have to use old skills.”

Roberto, “What if they come back and you’re trying

to break into their truck?”

Ricco, “Remember, I’m the fastest gun in the west.”

40
Ricco goes to the window and pushes the wire hanger

down into the door, setting off the burglar alarm.

Roberto. “Oh great!”

Ricco, “I’m almost there.”

The door pops open, Ricco looks under the dash and

pulls out a wire stopping the alarm. Ricco, “Get

in the SUV, I’ll get this out of the way.”

Roberto hops into the SUV and starts it. Ricco

puts the truck in neutral and releases the hand

break. It starts to roll down the road, but

because the motor isn’t running the power steering

and brakes don’t work, so Ricco runs into a tree to

stop it. The front right light is smashed and the

fender is bent into the front wheel. Ricco gets

out and runs back to the truck.

Roberto stops to pick him up. “Ricco, that was as

bad a job as I’ve ever seen.”

Ricco, “Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve done

any automotive work.”

Roberto, “So, that’s what you call it?”

41
Ricco just smiles, “Yeah.”

They continue down the road only a lot faster.

Jesse, “Why are we going so fast?”

Roberto, “OK, I’ll slow down.”

Ricco, “Don’t worry, they’ll think it slipped out

of gear and rolled off the road.” Roberto, “What

about the wire hanger. Where is it?”

Ricco, “I can’t be 100% sure, but I think its …well

could be in the truck on the seat.” Roberto, “That

blows the it just rolled of the road idea.”

Ricco, “Well…Yeah.” Roberto, “It’s coming back to

me.”

Ricco, “What’s that?” Roberto, “You always come up

with half baked ideas that get my ass in a crack.”

Ricco, “You just have bad luck.”

Roberto, “Only when you’re around. What about the

time we went to Mexico with Ralph to find a

manufacture for those wooden colonic toilet seat

back splash device.”

Ricco, “I never said it was fool proof.”

42
Roberto, “You said Ralph had the money for gas,

food and motel.”

Ricco, “I didn’t know he meant that the girl, Tracy

was going to pay for the trip.” Roberto, “She got

wise and I wound up paying for the entire trip.”

Ricco, “Yeah, I know, she went shopping and spent

all her money so she wouldn’t have to pay for

everything.”

Roberto, “Smart girl.”

Jesse, “Grandpa there’s some guys in a big black

truck behind us.”

Ricco turns in his seat, “Minga, they’re holding

guns.”

Roberto, “They’re in a hurry, let’s get out of the

way.”

He slows down and pulls off the road. The big

black GMC passes them, pulls sideways in the road

and three hunters get out of the cab and walk back

to their SUV.

43
Roberto gives instructions, “Cool it and stay put,

I’m going to get out and talk to these guys.”

He opens the door, gets out and greets the hunters.

“What can I do for ya’ll?”

The Hunter takes a drink from a bottle of Wild

Turkey and passes it to the biggest guy John, “By

chance did you push my truck out of the road back

there?”

Roberto, “Yeah, I sure did. It was blocking the

road and there was no one to be found.” Hunter,

“OK, then you better have a check book and some

insurance.”

Roberto, “I’ve got insurance, but I didn’t hit your

truck. I just pushed it out of the way.” Hunter

points his gun at Roberto’s head, “I don’t care if

you like it or not.”

One of the hunters is a wrestling fan. He realizes

that they are face to face with “El Oso.”

He turns to the other hunters, “Yeah, this is El

Oso the champion wrestler.”

44
The hunter John, takes off his hunting jacket,

“I’ve always wanted to be in the ring with one of

these fakers.”

The fan, “Man don’t mess with him, he’s bad.”

Roberto, “Wait, I’m not going to fight you.”

Hunter, “I knew it, they just act the part.”

Ricco gets out of the truck, “El Oso is the most

powerful man to ever get in the ring. You don’t

want to mess with him without a bet.”

Hunter, “Exactly what do you mean?”

Roberto, “Shut you mouth, Ricco, you’ve caused

enough trouble.”

Hunter John, “Let’s hear it.”

Ricco, “First man thrown off the road wins. If you

win we’ll pay for the truck damage, but if El Oso

wins we go on our way.”

Hunter John, “OK, I’m up for it. Let’s do it.”

Everyone agrees. Jesse gets out of the truck and

comes to his grandpa’s side.

He walks up to the hunter. “You’re not so big.”

45
The hunter pushes him down to the ground. Roberto

rushes to pick him up.

Ricco, “You shouldn’t have done that, man. You’ve

pissed him off.”

Roberto, “Stay with Ricco.”

Roberto takes off his plaid shirt and throws it on

the hood of the SUV. Everyone backs away, but

John.

John taunting, “Let’s go grandpa.”

Roberto doesn’t say anything, he just moves around

John several times sizing him up. John takes a

swing and misses, then another and another, missing

again he leaps at Roberto and falls to the ground.

Roberto keeps circling.

The other hunters says, “Get up, or I’ll shoot you

in the ass.”

John gets to his feet, “Stop running grandpa.”

Roberto waves him in closer and grabs his arm and

twists it behind him. He kicks John behind his

knees and he falls to the ground. Roberto reaches

46
around John’s chest from behind with both arms and

lifts John to his feet. He leans backwards and

John’s feet lift off the ground. He squeezes John

until he passes out.

Roberto lets him drop to the road like a sack of

grain. He walks over to the hunters, “As I said,

we just pushed your truck off the road.” He takes

out his wallet and opens it, “What’s the damage?”

The hunter, “We made a bet and you won. That’s the

hazards.”

Roberto, “We need to push off.”

The hunters struggle to their truck and drive it

out of the way.

Ricco, “That was a close one, let’s get out of here

before they change their minds.”

Roberto, “That’s the last time I listen to Ed.”

Ricco, “You still have the magic touch old man.”

Roberto, “He had a disadvantage.”

Ricco, “What’s that?”

47
Roberto, “He though all professional wrestlers are

actors.”

They drive down the mountain road to the highway 87

and headed West. Roberto and Ricco are talking

while Jesse reads Harry Potter in the backseat.

Ricco, “When was the last time you talked to

Caline?”

Roberto, “It’s been a while. She’s in school in

Monterrey.”

Ricco, “That girl has been in school forever.”

Roberto, “I wish I didn’t love her so much.”

Ricco, “She used you.”

Roberto, “I know, you don’t have to remind me.”

Ricco, “Sorry, you got to remember I was your best

man.”

Roberto, “The first time I met her I knew we were

soul mates, even though we were years apart. I’ll

always love her.”

They drive in silence for a while.

48
Ricco, “What happened to the shredded used tire

deal you had going?”

Roberto, “That was a Ralph’s idea too.”

Ricco, “Ralph was going to buy used tires in Texas,

export them to Mexico to be shredded, then ship

them back to the USA. Then you were going to cover

a land fill in Tyler, Texas that was going to

become a public golf course, if I remember right.”

Roberto, “Don’t remind me. I lost $15,000 and my

self respect on that one.”

Ricco, “What happened to the amazing motor oil

patent you had?”

Roberto, “That was another one of Ralph’s deals.

We were going to buy recycled motor oil from

trucking companies, then run it past electro-

magnets that would clean out all the heavy metals.”

Ricco, “That sounds good enough.”

Roberto, “Ralph always comes up with these half

baked ideas that sound good.”

Ricco, “What happened?”

49
Roberto, “He took a gallon of old oil and put a

electro-magnet in it. We did get a lot of metal

out of it. But when we tried to take it to Mexico

to sell the idea, we got busted at the boarder

crossing at Brownsville.”

Ricco, “For what?”

Roberto, “Ralph had gotten stopped so many times at

that crossing his photo was on the watch list.

They took the sample oil, and that was that.”

Ricco, “Let’s stop at a rest area and have lunch.”

Jesse, “Yeah, I’m hungry.”

They drive down the road until they come to a rest

stop with a view of the red rock mountains. They

park beside a 20 year old Winnebago, it’s surface

is covered with seashells, crucifixes, small

reproductions of religious paintings and

rattlesnake heads. The music coming from it is

accompanied by Hare Krishna chants. The side door

handle is a pair of vise grip pliers.

50
Jesse gets out of the SUV and walks over to the RV

to look inside. He is met by Greta, a 75 year old

woman dressed in wild layered outfit, obviously a

fashion statement of sorts. Around her neck hangs a

bear claw.

She looks down at Jesse and says, “Hello, young

man, we have met for a reason. What do you think

that could be?”

Roberto interrupts, “Jesse, come here I need your

help.”

Jesse looks at her, “Excuse me, my grandfather

needs me.”

He walks away, but glances back at her. She smiles

at him. Ricco and Roberto are gathering wood for a

cooking fire near a wooden picnic table.

Roberto, “Jesse, go into the woods and pick up some

small pieces of dry timber we can use for cooking.

Don’t go too far.” Jesse walks off into the thick

pine forest. As he walks along he gathers wood.

51
Back at the picnic area, Greta approaches Ricco as

he unpacks food for lunch.

Greta, “Hi there, sailor, what’s for lunch.”

Ricco, startled at her appearance. “Well, you are

very colorful. What’s your name?”

Greta, “I have many names. Gypsy women have been

known to do this.”

Ricco, “So, what is it today?”

Greta, “Today you can call me Greta.”

Ricco, “Your RV is very unusual too.”

Greta, “I prefer to be less obvious, but my husband

is a Leo. He has a hot glue gun and an eye for the

eclectic.”

Ricco, “So, what are you doing out here?”

Greta, “We are always looking for new experiences

in places that are off the grid.”

Ricco, “I’ve been off the grid for sometime now.”

Roberto walks to the table carrying wood. He

comments, “What a beautiful day.”

Ricco, “Meet Greta, she is a traveler.”

52
Roberto, “Where do you travel?”

Greta, “Henry, my husband is a bit touched in the

head. When we have used up our welcome we just

move on.”

Roberto, “So, where’s your husband?”

Greta, “He’s in the woods gathering pine pitch.”

Roberto is alarmed that Jesse is alone in the woods

with a mad man, “I’ll be right back.” He quickly

walks off into the woods calling out to Jesse.

Jesse is on his way back to the picnic grounds when

he notices a tall man following him through the

woods. He is frightened, because the man is trying

to hide behind trees as he follows him along the

path, stalking him like a hunter.

Jesse hears Roberto calling and answers back, “Over

here Grampa. They meet on the path.

Jesse, “I was scared. This man was following me

along the path.”

Roberto, “Where is he?”

Jesse, “Out there somewhere, I can’t see him now.”

53
Roberto, “Sorry, I should have stayed with you.”

Jesse smiles, “I’m OK, now that I’m with you.”

Roberto is warmed by the comment and smiles

lovingly at Jesse. They walk back to the picnic

table.

Ricco, “Looks like you’ve got enough wood for an

all night campfire.”

Greta, “Did you see Henry out the woods lurking

around?”

Jesse, “Who is Henry?”

Greta, “It’s my husband. He likes to wonder in the

woods and play hide and seek.”

Roberto, “He gave Jesse a scare.”

Greta, “Oh, he’s harmless. It’s just that he lost

his childhood somewhere along the way and is trying

to recapture it.”

Roberto, “He should be more careful.”

Greta, “He’s a wrestling fan, I’m sure you can make

an impression on him.”

54
She looks across the picnic grounds to see Henry

standing in the shadows.

Greta, “Henry, come over here and meet El Oso.”

To Roberto she says, “He is your biggest fan ever.”

Ricco, “You can run, but you can’t hide old man.”

Roberto, “That’s the price of fame.”

To Ricco, “And you stop calling me old man,

geezer.”

Jesse, “Is he sick in the head?”

Greta, “Not really, Honey, he’s just eccentric.”

Henry slowly walks to the picnic table.

Roberto, “Come on over and have a seat.”

Ricco, “Looks like we’ll be having guests for

lunch.”

Greta, “I’ve got a full kitchen if we need

anything.”

Jesse looks at Greta, “Do you have any peanut

butter? It’s my favorite.”

55
Roberto, “He’s a very picky eater. He won’t eat

his cereal in a bowl. He just sits on the floor

and eats out of the box.”

Jesse, “I love frosted flakes and Count Chocula.”

Ricco, “Pure granulated sugar, breakfast of

champions.”

Henry, “I like Slim Fast.”

Greta, “It plugs him up to the point where I have

to give him an enema every two or three days.”

Henry, “Greta!”

Ricco, “My Mama used to give us cod liver oil.”

Roberto, “That stuff will give you the squirts.”

Ricco laughs, “No shit.”

Jesse, “So, does grandpa’s Jalapeno tortillas when

he makes them too hot.”

Rain drops begin to fall on the picnic table.

Greta, “That’s enough talk about that end, now

let’s feed the other end. How about having lunch

in the peace wagon, out of this rain?”

56
They gather all the food and picnic supplies, the

drops of rain become a downpour after they are all

safe inside the RV. The inside the motor home is

decorated with anti war posters, bumper stickers

and literature.

Jesse looks around, “Wow, look at all this stuff.

My teacher has this poster in class.” Greta,

clears the stove. She asks, “How about burgers and

beans?”

Ricco. “We’ve got some tortillas, can you heat them

up?

Greta, “Sure thing.”

Roberto asks, “Can I use your bathroom?”

Henry answers, “Let me see if Eva is finished with

her shower.”

Henry taps on the bathroom door, “Eva are you done?

Someone needs to use it.” Everyone waits quietly

for an answer.

Eva, “I’m almost done. I’ll hurry.”

Henry, “We have company for lunch.”

57
Eva, “OK, I’ll be right out.”

She opens the bathroom door and peeks around it to

see everyone quietly looking at her. Roberto melts

into his chair at the sight of her. He can’t

believe how beautiful and elegant she is. She is

wrapped in a terrycloth robe with a white towel

around her head.

Greta, “This is Eva, she is visiting with us from

Spain. We met at a anti-Globalization march in

Italy last year. She’s a sociology graduate

student.”

Jesse waves hello, “How old are you?”

Eva answers with a sultry Spanish accent, “29.”

Ricco, “Are you still in school?”

Eva, “No, not now. I want to live in America, but

it’s hard to get a student visa these days.”

Ricco, “If you were to get married to an American

you could.”

Eva, “Yes, I suppose it would be easier.”

Ricco, “Just get an old guy like me to marry you.”

58
Roberto, “Maybe she would like to get dressed.”

Eva, “Yes, I’ll be right out.”

She gathers some clothes to put on, opens the

bedroom door and closes it behind her. Greta,

“Roberto, do you still need to use the bathroom?”

Roberto entranced, “Oh, yes, as soon as she’s

finished.”

Henry, “Eva is traveling with us to visit the

Native Indian ruins.”

Eva exits the bathroom and goes into the bedroom

compartment. Roberto goes into the bathroom.

Ricco, “We are going to Tuzigoot Indian ruins in

Clarkdale.”

Henry, “We can caravan. It’s better in case the

bus breaks down.”

Ricco, “I’m sure we can find the way. I know the

roads.”

Greta, “It’s a good idea, Henry is mechanically

challenged. So if things were to breaking down we

could be stranded for sometime until we could get

59
from the Tuzigoot Indian ruins into Clarkdale

help.” Roberto comes out of the bathroom.

Jesse asks, “Buelo, can we caravan with them?”

Roberto, “I could hear ya’ll through the bathroom

walls. I don’t see why not.”

Ricco looks at the bedroom door, “It’ll give us

time to get acquainted.”

Roberto asks Greta, “When are you planning to drive

on?”

Greta, “After lunch, OK with you?”

Roberto, “Sure.”

Jesse, “Can I ride with Greta in the bus?”

Roberto asking Greta, “Is that OK with you?”

Greta, “Yes. We have 2 way radios and you can talk

with Jesse as we drive along.” Jesse beams,

“Great.”

Ricco, “I’ll drive the SUV.”

Eva opens the bedroom door.

Eva, “So, we’ll have an escort to Tuzigoot?”

Jesse answers, “Yes.”

60
Eva, “Great! Lets eat, I’m hungry.”

She sits down next to Roberto. He notices she has

sweet smelling wet hair, he knows this is trouble.

He can’t afford to fall for a young woman without

her feeling the same about him. His instant

attraction to her is too strong. His thoughts and

feelings race, as he tries to eat the tortillas he

made for the trip.

Eva, “These tortillas are the best I’ve had. They

don’t taste like this in my country.”

Jesse, “Buelo made them, he puts jalapeno’s in

them.”

Eva, “They taste wonderful. So you’re grandpa?”

Roberto, “His mama was my oldest.”

Eva, “You are in great shape for a Buelo.”

Jesse, “He’s a famous wrestler, they call him, El

Oso.”

Eva, “The Bear?”

Greta, “He’s a professional wrestler.”

Roberto, “Not anymore.”

61
Eva, “Tell me more.”

Jesse, “They call him the Bear, because when he

squeezes you, you pass out.”

Eva, “I’ll bet.”

Roberto, “Ah, I think that’s enough about me.”

He looks out through the steamy windows to see that

the rain has stopped. A few minutes later they’re

on the highway toward Clarkdale. Greta is driving

the bus as Henry and Jesse are sitting at the

dining table talking. Eva is riding in the window

seat in the front of the bus reading a book.

Jesse points at Henry’s hat, “I like that pin on

your hat. Can I see it?”

Henry takes off his ball cap, “Sure.”

Jesse touching the Army Special Forces pin, “What

is it?”

Henry, “It’s a Special Forces insignia pin.”

Jesse, “What’s Special Forces?”

Greta, “Jesse, you opened a can of worms with that

one. Tell him Henry. Henry’s a Vietnam War Hero.”

62
Henry, “I signed up for the service when I

graduated high school. The war in Vietnam was in

high gear in 64’. I didn’t want to be left at home

alone while all my friends went of to the Army.”

Jesse, “I bet it was fun.”

Henry, “I had the time of my life. We went to Fort

Derrick and then to Country. We didn’t know

anything. We thought it was going to be just like

hanging out with the guys. The first week it was

hot and rainy all the time. The boots they gave me

came apart. So I had my Mom send me some sneakers

and T shirts in the mail.”

Jesse, “What did you do?”

Henry, “We would ride around in a chopper all day

looking for Charlie.”

Jesse, “Who’s Charlie?”

Henry, “That’s what we called the Vietcong.”

Jesse, “OH.”

63
Henry, “We couldn’t see them through all the trees.

So, then the Army started spraying the trees with

Agent Orange.”

Jesse, “What’s that?”

Henry, “It a chemical that makes all the leaves

fall off of the trees.” Henry pulls up his pant

cuff to expose a 6 inch scar on his leg, “I got

this after the leaves fell off the trees and the

Vietcong could get a clear shot at the choppers.

The bullets would come up through the floor of the

chopper. I got one in the leg. Most of the time

though, you would get one in the butt.”

Jesse looking at the deep scar, “That must have

hurt.”

Henry, “Yeah, but it’s better than getting shot in

the butt.”

Greta, “That Agent Orange stuff is bad shit. See

if you can get your grandpa on the radio.”

Jesse, “OK, great.”

64
Jesse picks up the radio and pushes the talk

button. “Grandpa are you there?”

Roberto answers, “I hear you clearly. 10-4.”

Jesse, “What are you doing.”

Roberto, “Just talking to Ricco.” Roberto leaves

the radio open by accident.

Ricco asks, “What do you think of Eva?”

Roberto, “I wish I was 20 years younger.”

Ricco, “Yeah me too. I think she’s fine.”

Roberto, “She has a very different way about her

than American woman.”

Ricco, “You got that right?”

Roberto, “American woman want to run everything.

You know they don’t really like men. All they want

is sex and money. Eva isn’t spoiled yet.”

Eva, reaches over to the radio and pushes the talk

button.

Eva, “American woman are spoiled that’s for sure.

But, you guys are living in the dark ages.”

65
Roberto lifts the radio from the dashboard and

turns off the talk button.

Roberto, “OH Crap!”

Greta takes the radio, “Come back, we heard it all

boys.”

Ricco takes the radio, “I guess there’s no shame

here.”

Roberto takes the radio, “Sorry, Eva.”

Greta, “Boys will be boys.”

Later that day, they stop in Clarkdale for gas and

refreshments. Roberto and Greta are going over the

area map in the bus while the others are filling

the gas tanks of the bus and SUV. Roberto points

at Tuzigoot Indian ruins, “Here it is.”

Greta, “How far is it?”

Roberto, “About 20 minutes follow me, Ricco has

been there before. He said there’s a place there

to park the bus for the night.”

66
About 9:00pm Greta parks the bus into the

campgrounds. She asks everyone to get an Indian

blanket and drum, then follow her down a path to

the ruins of Tuzigoot.

They walk single file about a ¼ mile into the ruins

and stop in a clearing.

Greta opens her blanket and places it on the

ground, she says, “We must sit down in a circle

facing outward to experience and visualize the

spirits of the Sinagua Indians. Their spirit

protectors who come in the form of Eagles, Mountain

Lions and Hawks.”

Roberto, “Is it dark enough to see them?”

Greta, “Not yet, but it soon will be. We must

summon them with our drumming.”

She reaches into an Indian pouch and takes out some

seeds.

She instructs, “Now you will take this seed and

place it under your tongue. It will help you in

your meditation.”

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Roberto, “Is it safe for Jesse?”

Greta, “It’s only a distraction for the conscious

mind. We can’t experience the spirits with our

consciousness mind. We must therefore keep it busy

with other things. Have you ever looked at the 3D

art that changes when you move it away from you and

then you can see a hidden picture in it? It’s the

same idea. Just follow what I do and you will see.

No talking.”

Everyone takes a seed, placing it under their

tongues.

Greta, “First we must meditate, hold hands. Relax

your mind, let it drift away from your body, it is

free to do so, because we are humans having a

spiritual experience, or if you like Spirits having

a human experience. Both are true. We are all

made of the stuff of the Universe. When the

universe was created there was a void of

consciousness. God created everything in his/her

consciousness. All the things in the universe that

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we call real are the creation of our God

consciousness, and because we are conscious, we can

see and feel the presence of other spirits if we

choose to. So, open up your mind and watch the

show.”

She starts drumming, then Roberto, Eva, Ricco,

Jesse and Henry join in with their drums. The sun

passes over the horizon and the stars become

brighter. Translucent lights move across the sky

as they take form. A hawk flies across the old

Indian Village. It catches the wind and other

hawks join it in a circular pattern. A mountain

lion walks into the clearing and sits in front of

Jesse. A deer steps into the circle. The village

comes to life with Indians. It appears as it once

did over 2,000 years ago with women sitting around

a campfire making baskets and talking, the men

sharing a pipe. They are talking about the need to

dance for rain needed to grow the corn. They

collect around a campfire and drum with exactly the

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same rhythm as Greta and the others. It’s starts

to rain with thunder and lightning all around them.

Lightning simultaneously strikes into the sand in

front of each one of them. Then suddenly, it is

all over. Greta and the rest are covered with tiny

black droplets of black glass.

Roberto looks around to see if Jesse is OK.

Jesse stands up and says, “I saw my momma and

daddy, they said they were OK. They said they were

my guardian angels now and that they are with me

all the time.”

Jesse leaping and dancing about, “They told me so,

they told me so! I’m so happy! They said they

have been with me always and they will guide me.

Yahoo! And, if I want to speak to them all I have

to do is sit quietly and listen, and they will be

there. Did you see them? Did you see them?”

Eva, “What you saw and heard was for you and you

alone. This is a healing place and each one of us

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experienced something completely different. It was

our soul that these spirits are meant for.”

Roberto, “Why can’t we do this on our own?”

Greta, “Our dreams are our spirit consciousness.

We just need to learn how to remember, that’s all.”

Eva, “We have forgotten how, so we need help to

remember. The Sinagua simply vanished centuries

ago.”

Ricco, “Were they killed off by the Hopi?”

Eva, “Some believe they inner married and were

assimilated.”

Henry, “They were farmers in this river valley for

thousands of years. There was a long drought.

Without water things could have taken a turn for

the worst.”

Roberto, “In my vision there was a drought and the

Sinagua were trapped. They killed all the children

and took all their women to a safe place in the

western mountains where there was plenty of water

and game.”

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Jesse shocked, “Why did they kill their children?”

Eva, “It was better than seeing them waste away and

die of starvation. They had to conserve their food

and energy. They knew that if the women could

survive they would have other children when the

conditions were better.”

Ricco, “Didn’t they believed that they were spirits

and could change form?”

Greta, “They could. They became birds and flew

away.”

Eva, “Yeah, we are always in need of survival

strategies, right?”

Jesse looks up into heavens, “In my dreams, I know

that if I believe that I can fly, I can really

fly.”

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