High Desert Life

by Miles Hutchins

Small world number ... I forget, but this one really hit close to home.

We have met several Oregonians, some that were referred to us by former neighbors and friends from Redmond or Bend, but this latest meeting blew us away. Because our internet service is temporarily out, we have been eating at Pancho’s deli market a lot so we can use their wi-fi.

So, after church, we were waited on by a new guy, who turns out to be just filling in a bit to help out the owner during the Sunday morning rush. He was wearing a T-shirt with North Carolina something or other on it. Naturally, Bobbi asked him if he is from North Carolina.

When he replied no, the natural follow up was, where then do you hail from. And, of course, when he said Oregon, we asked where in Oregon. “Bend.”

Oh well, off we go.

Turns out, the man is Brandon Jackson, a former golf pro from Bend golf club. And not only that, but he’s a former instructor of my grandson, Joel, who made the all-state golf team his junior year at my alma mater, Bend High. So we did have quite a bit to talk about. You just never know what surprises are in store for you at good old Lake Chapala.

Speaking of which, we visited the lake today, in the town of Chapala, on the malecon (a stone-built embankment) to see the improvements being made to the shoreline. Lots of cleaning up and new sod planted in the shore end of a walkway leading out into the lake. At the end of the walkway is a statue of Jesus, the Fisherman. In between is a colorfully designed water feature, spouting water from several points of something like a compass.

Pretty snazzy, I must say.

Recently, the governor of the state of Jalisco came from the capital of Guadalajara to Chapala to plant tilapia and carp in Lake Chapala. Not the fish and wildlife department, but the gov himself! The challenge is on Oregon, Gov. Brown.

Another adventure to report.

We finally made it to a movie theater after living here two years. We saw “Aladdin,” in English, with Spanish sub-titles, which after a while you don’t notice. In addition to a great performance by Will Smith, and all the cast in my opinion, a most enjoyable two hours of movie-going.

A side issue to enhance the experience happened before and after the movie. About six elderly and some wheelchair-bound folks were brought in to the theater by assistants we assume were caretakers at a local care facility. The dignity and gentleness with which the whole group took part in seating and exiting, for what we take for granted was notable.

Another memorable moment and learning experience of the cultural goodness in Mexico.

— Miles Hutchins is a retired former Redmond resident who grew up in Central Oregon and now lives in Mexico. Contact him at milesredmond@gmail.com .