Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quartzsite's unsung heroes

If you follow the news about Quartzsite, you'll find plenty said about politics and scandal, courts of law and courts of public opinion. You've heard enough of it elsewhere. We're here to talk about the unsung heroes of Quartzsite.

You may know some of them, others you won't. Nameless here, these folks and ones like them are the "salt of the earth" folks who make your day a little nicer, ones who take the edge off what could have been an otherwise rough day.

There's the woman who sits outside in the heat and cold at the refuse transfer station.
This morning it was 104 before 9:00 and she was still happy as a clam, and came out to help me get the garbage cans out of the back of my truck and their contents emptied into the dumpsters. Never mind the also-nameless idiot who was dumping his sticky, yucky garbage--not just into the dumpsters--but on the ground outside those bins. When she made a polite reference to his lack of manners, he reacted with fire and venom. I would've been happy to see him fall into the refuse bin but kept my mouth shut, while she simply dealt with a difficult situation with dignity and aplomb.

Then there's the guy behind the deli counter down at the store. Always a cheerful word, a helpful suggestion, a broad smile. Never mind that he feels the pressure of being a businessman in a town that's presently being torn down the middle by political infighting. These folks are his neighbors, some his customers. Sadly, some want him to take sides in a volatile issue where he just wants peace.

How about those men and women who volunteer their time and energy out on the desert on BLM lands? They help snowbirds get registered for their winter stay, point them in the right direction, keep them from falling into real or symbolic cactus patches. One older gent spent years camped out across the road from the dump station at LaPosa South, keeping an eye on things. I can think of a lot of places I'd much rather RV than downwind from that operation, but it was a job that needed to be done. He did it, right up until the summer when he died.

Time would fail us if we went on about everyone in Quartzsite who makes life a bit easier for us, those who come to warm up in the winter and those who stick it out year-around. The young fellow down at the postal counter who manages to smile, even while being fairly well cussed-out because somebody didn't like standing in line for a half hour to buy a stamp. The folks down at the library who dig through the stacks for us, smiling when we give them a ribbing about their clocks running five minutes ahead of the rest of the world. The guys and gals at the hardware store who'll bend over backwards to help you fix some weird plumbing or electrical problem. The unknown person who took time to wander around in our yard to locate the valve that shut off a broken water line when we were out of town and would have otherwise been left with a big water bill.

Yeah, these are the folks who ought to be make the news. Thanks to all of you.