The news from Watson
(And if anyone can tell me how to make an accent mark on this text, I’d be grateful–the above is supposed to have one over the o, so it’s en espanol. And that could use a tilde, as well. Alas, I really should return to the stylus and clay tablet. Anyway…)
I love local newspapers. The weekend edition of the Register Pajaronian (I kid not, that’s the name) has as its central piece an article about a blind horse rescued from a ravine, whence it was pulled when the redwood it was standing next to fell during the rains you may have heard that we’ve been having here in California. Photos of a vet examining a poor, white-eyed and very muddy horse just choke you right up.
But the chief chest-sweller is the next article over: “Sun-fueled apartment complex is completed; Solar-powered housing is largest in the nation”. That’s right, folks, little old hick town, strawberry-and-apple growing Watsonville has quietly plunked down the biggest solar powered electrical system of any apartment complex in the country. And to top it off, a lot of the apartments are low-income housing designed for larger families (which around here means Hispanic).
I first saw this area when I was eighteen, driving out for the day with my boyfriend in his already ancient Rambler. I was a hippie, complete with gold-rimmed glasses, long dress, unbound hair, and sandals. We went through Freedom, surrounded by pickups with guns in their racks (this was 1970, and it was still legal) and prayed vehemently that the old car didn’t break down until we got back to civilization. We all knew what These People did to hippies.
But in 1982, I became one of These People, when we moved from Santa Cruz to Watsonville, where we could afford a bit of land to raise kids and some apples of our own.
And you know what I found? A conservative farming community with eighty-five percent of its school children Spanish-surnamed, isn’t at all a bad place to raise kids. So long as you avoid certain topics during the Home and School Club meetings.
And the local papers are most entertaining.