Daily Archives: January 11, 2012

Exploring Alley Oop’s Home Circa 1947

When my mom left her second husband near Apache Junction, Arizona  to move near my granddad’s place at Causey, New Mexico, I was considerable upset about it all.  I’d become overfond of the Arizona guy, liked him a lot despite his human flaws that bothered my mom.

Time proved my level of upset couldn’t be handled by beating it out of me, nor by any of the other usual ways people tried back then to nudge a kid back into being seen and not heard.  The Runaways, 1947

My first step-dad [Arizona] was fond of reading the Alley Oop comic strip to me and I was a huge fan.  Alley was a cave man skipping forward and backward in time thanks to a 20th Century scientist.  Alley even had a 20th Century lady friend named Oola. 

About the only thing I’d brought with me from Arizona was my stack of Alley Oop comic strips.  We’d travelled light across the desert.  And when we arrived in Causey one of the jobs my sisters had was reading those Alley Oops to me, trying to bring up my spirits.  Which I suppose it did until they’d finished reading them to me.

Something more permanent had to be done, and my granddad decided to have a shot at it.  He promised to take me to visit Alley’s home.  Mesa Verde, Colorado.

What a trip that must have been, me pestering him whether we were there yet, how much further before we’d see Alley’s home.  I don’t know how long we stayed, but I never forgot old Alley and his home.  I still had one picture of the cave dwelling he took back then until Y2K.

And of the hundreds of ancient ruins, documented and undocumented, I’ve poked around in during my life, I’ve never visited one, found one, without thinking to myself with a smile that Alley Oop might have lived there, visited there ahead of me.

When Mel King and I were exploring the ruin on Gobbler’s Knob and were driving back to Socorro when he reached into his daypack for something, came out with a human skull it was the first thing I said to him.  “What the hell is that?  You packed off Oola’s skull.  Get it the hell out of this truck!” 

I screeched onto the shoulder and he hid it behind a cedar until  we’d be headed back to Gobber’s Knob so he could put it back where it belongs.

Nowadays I think I have more in common with Alley Oop than with any modern human being.  If there was ever a right time for me to pop out of the gene pool it would probably have been more appropriate temporally in some other Universe where Alley Oop lived and breathed.  It made more sense than this one.

Old Jules


Unforseen Consequences

That vertical rift you see on Old Sol this morning is a consequence of neglect.  While the Reiki cats and I were praying him up this morning Shiva the Cow Cat got distracted looking at the full moon still high on the other side of the sky.  She got out of harmony with the rest of us and the result speaks for itself.

Life’s full of that sort of thing here on this planet.  You can’t have any confidence you can get by with anything.  A couple of titanosaurs in Bolivia a few million years ago have themselves a secret rendezvous and next thing you know it surfaces and human beings are poking around nosing into their business.

Some Ichnogenus Gigandipus in Utah puts his foot off the designated pathway and a few million years later you’ve got the authorities swarming his footprints catching him out.

A lot of people think it’s just cameras, but that’s not right.  Do you think this guy in Kenya a million and a half years ago would have done anything different if he’d known it was going to come out someday?  He’d probably feel he pushed a stale yellow light that turned red before he got through the intersection and the camera got him.  He’s sitting out there somewhere fossilized waiting to get the ticket in the mail.

The planet and the Universe have us brainwashed into thinking we don’t leave any tracks.  But it’s a trick, and if we wake up to what we’re doing, say with our tracks of one sort, it sneaks in and preserves some other sort without our noticing it.

For instance, back when they started replacing real audience laughter and applause on television shows in the 1960s.  Who’d have dreamed they were teaching all the coming generations to be Pavlov’s dog with their emotions responses to what went on around them fed directly off a cathode ray tube?

That Santa Fe Trail on the image above is where the routes for land traffic from Saint Louis to Santa Fe converged before choo choo trains got into the act.  It’s the tracks of thousands of wagons, horses, mules and oxen branded into the landscape.

On the ground it’s abraded vertical walled arroyos a hundred yards wide.  You can follow it all the way from Santa Fe to Saint Louis if you know what you’re looking for.  And you’ll be able to do it again a thousand years from now if the mood strikes you and you have the time.

I’m just wondering what the consequences will be for Shiva the Cow Cat letting her attention drift over to the full moon.

Old Jules