February 10, 2016
El Paso, Texas
Road trip today! Three towns with their respective churches along the Mission Trail—San Elizario, Socorro, and Ysleta—had rich stories of the genuine West! Our favorite stop was San Elizario. Recently, this town has made every effort to portray itself “as the West really was”. First of all, the preferred language here IS Spanish. We witnessed it in the Spanish-speaking, singing priest who spoke just as much with his hands as his mouth during today's Ash Wednesday mass. We tasted it when we ate genuine Mexican fare at Sophia's while drinking horchata (rice milk) and eating machaca (shredded beef & scrambled eggs). We saw it when Sheriff Manny swaggered down the pueblo garrison boardwalk (actually art shops) with a sheriff's badge pinned to his shirt, his cowboy hat resting squarely on his head, his cowboy boots clacking along the boardwalk, and his 6-shooter on his hip. He proceeded to take us to the authentic cell and sheriff's office where Billy the Kid broke into jail. That story, abbreviated in the above link, came to life with Manny's detailed descriptions of the interrelationships involved in Billy's life. Manny's drawl, accent, and his slow Texan manner took about a half hour to tell. San Elizario was the highlight of our day!
Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) are career professionals who are currently pursuing life-long interests in photography and digital imaging techniques, respectively.