By Joseph L. Fuentes
For The Cordova Times
Just past the mid-point of my life, I was looking for a fresh start. I suppose it all started when I landed at a small, hidden place called Hippie Cove. Even for the 2,000 locals here, it’s still a rather anomalous place; shrouded with both secrecy and hidden judgement, based upon both truth and much conjecture. Since I knew nothing of this heavenly place, I had only personal perception to gauge the reality I suddenly found myself in. As of this date, I’m happy to report that I have not only started anew but have also met some fascinating and rare individuals among a place that can only be described by the use of many words in the proliferation of truth, void of any needless exaggeration; for I find this fishing village pulsing with the blood of physical perseverance, perspiring with a spirit of psychological survival. I believe it to be worthy of my writ and at the very least, inspiring to those that are well-endowed in and throughout, this off-road, rural existence. Y’all have brought this weary traveler peace of mind by means of closed arms and wide-open hearts.
Allow me to share my unique perspective and contribution.
Today, I woke up with an insatiable lust for milk; little did I know where my desire would lead. I walked to town and into the local main street grocery with that thick, white, creamy, yumminess on my tongue. I was counting the money I had in my head to see if I could afford cookies while I secretly hoped Oreos were on sale again.
When I arrived at the cooler, I noticed there was a huge gaping hole in the inventory behind the glass refrigerated gateway to heaven. There was a note on the door that promised milk as soon as the barge arrived, delayed due to inclement weather. Surprised and a little deflated, I turned and walked out of the store; not fully understanding what I just saw. Naively, I thought I might be able to purchase milk from another purveyor of satisfaction so, I headed down the hill to the other grocer in town. As I approached the glass doors at the back of the other store, I was met with excitement to see one gallon of milk in the cooler. As if someone had specifically saved it for me, awaiting my arrival; it may as well have had my name written on it with a Sharpie.
When I lifted the five-pound jug of hallelujah, there was a sign underneath it apologizing for the inconvenience but as soon as milk arrived, it would be stocked as soon as possible.
At first, I thought it to be ingenious. As I walked away, feeling the frigid temperature sink into the grips of my hand, I began to walk slower and thought carefully as I began to recall.
I raised two children in the suburbs of a metropolitan city in the lower 48. When they were babies, we had two gallons of milk in the refrigerator at all times with regular stops to obtain more during the course of the week. I stopped when I remembered the comment I made to a local during the beginning of the school year as I noticed how many children there were here. The response was cute and obvious as he made reference to the lack of outside stimulus in the cold, dark, winter months in a village with no stoplights. Then I gave it some thought. I would have wept with the mother of my sons knowing there was nothing I could do to provide the valuable sustenance they needed. Coincidentally, I had stopped right in front of a great big sale sign underneath the Oreos. Instead of reaching down, I turned around and put the milk back in the hopes that someone’s father would see his name on the milk instead of mine, grateful he could feed it to the children of his wife.
There are many good families here because it is a great place to praise one. It is my honor and privilege to contribute, down to the very last drop.
Thank you for welcoming me into your beautiful, Cordovan culture.
By the way, Oreos are always good when they’re on sale. They were especially delicious this time, sans milk. They’re still Oreos. Yum…
Joseph L. Fuentes came to Cordova for the fishing, participating in this year’s season, and decided to stay. He currently works at AC and has taken part in Little Shop of Horrors hosted by Barclay Kopchak.