Originally published 17 February 2014
Back to the place of my birth
People use the phrase "going native" when they visit a place. Today, I didn't have to go native............because I was born here. My father was in the military when I was born. At the time of my birth, he was stationed at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. They moved back east when I was around a year old, leaving me to rely on photographs and stories from my parents to know what it was like. Today.....I saw where I came from.
Bill and Vaughn, 1963
I can remember back almost everything to age 3, with bits and pieces before that. When I lived on base in Fort Huachuca, I don't really remember. I've seen pictures, including one of me with the kid next door named Vaughn......and I'm posting the picture of he and I in the yard, fifty years ago. I'm the tyke in the kiddie chair, and Vaughn, the kid next door, was sitting on the ground next to me. Today, I got the 10 dollar tour of Fort Huachuca, and my guide was Lt. Colonel (Retired)........Vaughn Laganosky.
Fort Huachuca Barracks
Vaughn had made the army his career, and was posted to Fort Huachuca for a pretty fair part of it. He still works on base as a civil service employee. My mother had recently made contact with Vaughn and his mother and put me in contact with him. Today was presidents day, so he had the day off. He graciously offered to spend his day off carting us around and telling us about the land of my birth.
Cathy and Laurie sampling salsas in Bisbee
I really didn't know Vaughn. Yes, we technically knew each other, but I had no idea what to expect. I figured if he was somebody that I really didn't have much in common with, we would spend a few hours with him, thank him for his time, and go our own way. We ended up spending 12 hours with Vaughn and his wife Cathy. He took us on base, we met Cathy for a fantastic Vietnamese lunch, then we all rode to Bisbee, saw the copper mine, wandered the town, and then all of us had a great dinner with two of Vaughn's army buddies. It was a whirlwind of a day.
Vaughn, Dottie, and Bill
Vaughn's mother, who I had not seen in 50 years, lives in an assisted care facility near their home. She had asked that I come by so she could see me. We stopped to see her this morning, and she told us stories about the old days when we were little children, and our fathers were young army officers living together on base, in the middle of the Arizona desert. Dotty is 83 now and very sharp....recalling so many details of when Vaughn and I were small. It was truly a joy to see her and spend time hearing about the old days.
Bisbee Copper Mine
Vaughn and Cathy also took us riding about in Cochise county, surrounding the base. We saw all the sights and even got a look at the border in Naco. There is a Naco, Arizona, and a Naco, Mexico.....separated by the border fence. I remember my dad telling stories about going to Naco as there was a liquor store on the Mexican side and it was very cheap to buy liquor. They could bring a bottle per person back......no matter what the age of the person...so if my mom, dad, and I went to Naco, they could bring back 3 bottles!
Looking into Mexico
The border is fairly heavily fortified now. I have pictures of the fence and border station which I'll post. I'm fascinated by defended borders...and this one counts as defended. The border patrol is everywhere here. Every side road near the border has a border patrol truck sitting up it......doing what they do.
Naco border station
As we headed north tonight, to come back to the motorhome, we had to pass through a border patrol checkpoint, just south of Benson. They took a cursory look, and wished us a good evening......just as I will wish you a good evening. It's been a long, very enjoyable day.
Tomorrow holds new adventures. Goodnight everyone.
Quote of the day- "Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none, travel alone."- The Dhammapada (Note- Today, I did not travel alone. I traveled with my wife and two others.)
Song of the day- Wonder why we ever go home- Jimmy Buffet
I'm Bill. My wife Laurie and I love to travel and share our stories. We especially love it when we have been able to motivate our readers to start traveling on their own, and making their own stories.
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