by Calendar Hacksaw
Well, old Calendar got into serious trouble with the Editor and Publisher for not contributing useful information, in apparent violation of my contract, so in order to make amends I hereby offer a score of recommendations to the newcomer, the part-timer, the weekender, or whatever you call yourself, based upon the lessons Ive learned while walking a few miles in your shoes during the past eight years. Theyre numbered for easy reference.
1. Some newcomers dont understand all the waving that goes on among motorists in Twin Oaks and through Caliente Canyon. You dont need to understand it; just do it. Its the only thing that separates us from civilization.
2. Piute Mountain School has the best Special Education Program on the planet. If you have a child who has special needs, youd do well to pull up stakes right now and move to Walker Basin. Your career might suffer, but youll have you child to thank you. You make the choice. And its not just the Special Ed teachers; its also the Special Education Aides. They make the difference.
3. Open Range is just that: open range. If a 1,200-pound steer makes a deposit on your doorstep, just say thanks. Let it dry out, scoop it into a cardboard box, and take it back to the City. Put it on your neighbors lawn or your boss desk. Spray it with water, and itll come right back to life, just like freeze-dried foods. Who says you cant get something for nothing anymore?
4. This area is home to literally hundreds of vertical mine shafts, each of which is filled to the brim with the skeletal remains of thieves. I understand its a particularly miserable and lonely way to die. I, for one, do not intend to find out, and I recommend that outlook for others as well.
5. The bisquits and gravy at Shockeys are the best Ive ever had. Put lots of pepper on them, and chase them with a cold Bud.
6. Most newcomers have seen the Refuse Collection Point (The Dump), over in Caliente. But you need to know that theres a closer one. Its less than a ¼ mile behind Shockeys on Sand Canyon. You can tie this in with the biscuits and gravy if you time it right.
7. Basins have no natural drainage, other than seepage. Walker Basin is a basin. Consider the ramifications. Dont do anything foolish.
8. If the property you bought came with a worn-out 1947 travel trailer that barely measures 8-feet in length and is infested with vermin, go ahead and sleep in it for a few years before deciding on new accommodations. All the rest of us did, and it builds character. It also helps you to become humble, and not be so critical of what your neighbor is doing on her property.
9. Wayne Moody is the best columnist in the Fence Post. He just gets better every month. Someday he will be famous.
10. There are still plenty of Native Americans living around Walker Basin and the Piute Mountains. If youre lucky, you might make friends with one of them. I did.
11. If youre from the City, youll have to learn that some problems cant be resolved without a little killing. Come to think of it, if youre from the City you should already realize this. Bad bears and bad pumas have to be dealt with; there are no socila programs available for either.
12. Be innovative in satisfying your energy needs. Dont rule out anything: Coleman fuel, kerosene, 12-volt batteries, solar, propane, inverters, small windmills, whatever works. Theres nothing worse than darkness when theres no alternative. Plan ahead, and have a back-up plan ready, too.
13. Dirt bikes and ATVs tear up dirt roads. Dont be so stupid as to think you can use your dirt bike to innocently rip the hell out of a dirt road - public or private - and expect no one to raise an objection. Use your brain. Its costing someone a lot of money to buy fuel for heavy equipment to grade these roads every few months. What was your contribution? Did you pay for the easement? If you contributed nothing, and have to legal right to use the road, you are a thief and should be treated accordingly (see #4).
14. Read the Fence Post every month, and pay particular attention to the Walker Basin/Twin Oaks Crime Report. After a few months of doing so, everything should become clear to you.
15. Those little white vertical signs you see ever so often along Caliente Creek Road, comin or goin, tell you in miles and hundredths how far you are east of the intersection with Caliente-Bodfish Road. So if you come across some emergency and need to get to the nearest telephone to report it, write down the mileage on the sigh before you leave the area. Itll read something like 6.87 or 3.36, with the fractional number smaller than the mile number. Paying attention to this could save a life and save you from a lifetime of guilt.
16. The Fence Post would be shirking its journalistic responsibility if it failed to tackle issues or espouse opinions whenever its warranted. If you dont understand that basic Constitutional principal, its time to return to high school civics. You cant get your way by trying to intimidate a free press. If you cant live with that, ol Calendar will provide you with a list of countries where you can invest in your own Country Reader And throw your weight around all you want. In the meantime, quite thinking that you have to get your way every time. Get over yourself. Get a life.
17. If you see a lot of your neighbors wearing firearms, you should sleep a lot better. Theyre wearing them for a reason. Feel free to ask them why.
18. Know your identity, and avoid labeling yourself. Walker Basin is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic community, where a person is known by her worth. If you neighbor asks who you are, dont answer by saying something like, Im an unemployed ex-con. Those are labels. All labels have to be left south of Tejon Summit. Be something real instead, like a retired oil field worker, and art student, a cowboy, a waitress, a hiker, a deer hunter, or a property owner.
19. There are some labels that are used in these parts: loser, deadbeat, and thief, just to name three. Theyre up for grabs, so if you see one you like or one that fits, go ahead and adopt it (see #4).
20. Its easy to co-exist with an enemy in a big city, but if you have an enemy in Twin Oaks youre going to run into her every time you turn the corner (theres only three). So learn when to apologize, and dont hesitate to do it.
21. Fritz the Mechanic is as honest as the day is long. Ive had three dealings with him so far, and Id take any one of my vehicles to him before Id take them anywhere else. Now Fritz has to live up to the praise. Lifes tough when youre good, Fritz.
22. Al St. John and the Twin Oaks General Store has the best vanity telephone number in Twin Oaks. Its 867-2359, or TOS-ADLW, which stands for Twin Oaks Store: Al Doesnt Like Windmills. If you dont believe me, just look at your telephone keypad.
Next month: Calendar tells a bunch of lies. Stay tuned.