After the rigors of the Autodesk University (AU) 2010 in Las Vegas, entombed in the bowels of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, I recuperated for a week with friends in Corrales, a small town in New Mexico about 10 miles outside Albuquerque and approximately 50 miles from Sante Fe.
It was a charming area made up of small holdings and farms, rural businesses such as nurseries, tree lots, horse breeding, and a few vineyards bordering the Rio Grande river. Many of the locals worked in nearby Albuquerque and in Sante Fe using the local train whose doors went ‘beep-beep’ like the Road Runner every time they opened and closed at each stop along the way. There were also several telecommuters like our friends who worked for Fortune 1000 companies, traveled regularly within the United States and internationally but chose to make their home in this rural area.
We managed to catch the annual evening Christmas parade consisting of a variety of tractors, vintage cars and trucks, and various styles and sizes of wagons – over 50 vehicles of all shapes and sizes covered in a variety of illuminations, electrified Santas, and electrifying reindeer - over 60 floats in all. In fact, there were so many people in the parade, there were barely enough people to line the street and muster a decent cheer. Talk about 1-9-90 – it was more like 70-30 – we definitely needed more lurkers.
Although not religious, on Sunday we went to the local church with a congregation of about 30 and listened to a great sermon – anytime a vicar quotes Woody Allen in a sermon has my attention – something about the lion shall lie down with the lamb “but only one will get a good night’s sleep.” It was interesting as well as disconcerting to see members of this peace-loving congregation come to our friend’s house afterwards with gun racks in the back of the truck and in one case, a magnum 45 on the dashboard. Even though I live in one of the more violent cities in the US, Oakland, it took me back for a while, but of course when you think that when you call 911 out here, it can be 2 to 8 hours, not 2 to 8 minutes before the authorities arrive, you need to be your own police, judge, jury, and executioner. It was old time religion in an old style community. And long may it continue.
Happy New Year everybody, and all the best for 2011!