Abel Aguilar / Villanueva

My dad’s mother, the hardest working person that I have ever known in my whole life, she raised six, my grandfather was often gone working somewhere. He was a political person, he worked politics a lot in Vegas and he did other things, but my grandmother, which was his wife, she was an amazing hard working person, she did everything, she raised chickens, she raised turkeys, she raised hogs, she tended three fields, basically by herself, with a little bit of help that she got from her husband when she planted, the rest of the time she took care of the whole thing, and up until the harvest, up until the harvest time, there would be people helping, my cousin, and I would come from my hometown in the summertime to help, to supposedly help my grandma, yeah right, we did a little bit, she did the majority of it, three whole fields she would do. I’ve done the math, she was in her sixties already when we were little kids, early sixties, and she was working as hard as anybody at any age. She made her own soap. She used to make her kid’s clothes when they were really young with flour bags, sacos de harina, flour bags she would make their clothes. She would even make shoes sometimes with pieces of tires, pieces of leather, she was just an amazing person, you go up in her attic and there was wire racks of drying vegetables and there was always deer meat, somebody would always go harvest a deer, back then there was so many deer, you could harvest them and it wasn’t a big deal it’s not like today when they are rare, but she was an amazing, amazing, hard worker, and she lived to be ninety-six.

Yeah she died almost two years ago.

Yeah, her name was Altagracia, which means high grace and she was powerful, powerful women. Incredible worker and the other person that I know that’s a very hard worker is still as a harder worker as her, that’s my dad, her son, but she’s unconditional love. I remember one time they went to visit and I had been out with my friends getting high, super, super high, and I reeked bad because we were smoking some really strong stuff, that was back in the day when we were getting stuff from Hawaii called sin seminar. It was 200 an ounce and this was in the seventies and I got home and I said uh-oh, everybody is in the living room and I’m stoned and I’m looking at everybody. And my grandmother she got up to give me a big hug she was short and I saw her, she smelled my jacket and she went like this, she made an expression, and I said, OK grandma just don’t rat me out, and she didn’t.

Laughter

Unconditional love, she was absolute about protecting her own and would never bad talk or bad mouth anybody in front of somebody else, now if you were face to face with her she might tell you something. She used to get upset at me, that I was a big spender “you’re a big spender.” She was very frugal, but she didn’t know that I was spending money on tools and equipment, I was getting lots of shipments, I was living with them at the time, my grandparents. I was starting my business y me regaño but she didn’t rat me out that time. I don’t forget.

My dad is from a little town down the road, currently its named Sena, the original name of the town was El Puertecito because it was a real narrow opening down into the little area area right next into the village that was the only entrance into the town coming from the north and that’s why they named it El Puertecito and then later on it got changed to Sena because a lot of with that last name lived in the area and so they changed it. And I believe the names started changing when the post office mail was being more and more in use because the names were confusing. Uh like for example here Villanueva used to be called La Cuesta and I understand that they changed it to Villanueva because they were always getting confused with the mail from Cuesta, NM, and La Cuesta, so that’s one reason they changed it. And my mother is from a town, a little down the road from where my dad is from she’s from a town called El Pueblo. And the town she is from is called El Pueblo because on the other side of the river adjacent from the town is an old Indian ruin that was inhabited up until I believe the early 1800s and at that point that pueblo got incorporated into Las Vegas pueblo which got incorporated into Jemez Pueblo. Yeah that was a while back, and so yeah both of my parents married in 1959, still together, barely, but they are (laughter).

 

There’s some real fascinating stuff in my mom’s side of the family we could trace her side back to the immigrants that came from España and France. My, grandfather, great, however many greats back, came from Spain in the 1700s with his wife from France. They settled in Albuquerque for a time and Peña Blanca up until the very early 1800s and then they moved out here and purchased an old Mexican fort and farm land, something like ten acres or something like that, and the Homestead. And they purchased all of that for two oxen and two bulls, yeah, that, the original document from 1822 is still in the family. It’s on my grandmother’s house on the wall from 1822, in the most beautiful written Castellan Spanish. I have copies of that. I wanted to have it deciphered cause it’s hard to read. I’m gonna take it somewhere and have them decipher it, it’s pretty interesting, and they were a pretty wealthy family generally speaking compared to others, they had just a really good start with that. They farmed in the mid-1800s, there was a bar that they had opened, one of the first bars in the area and that bar was in operations till about 1900. In 1900 they built a store there in El Pueblo, which was a county general mercantile store and it was in operation till probably eight years ago, 8 or 10 years ago. And in 1952 it was greatly reduced in size when the state road came through. When the state road came through most of the store got torn down and just one small part of it which was one of the storage parts, was then utilized as the store. To that point up until the 50s the road was just a very narrow road, which is mostly horse and buggy really for the people. My grandmother often told stories of the trips they would make to Las Vegas, which is 20 something like about 30 miles from her house. One day they travel on horse and buggy, then they spend a whole day shopping and they spend the night at some families and they come back a third day, so to go for provisions was a three-day deal. And they would do that often and that was done in the, they were doing that in the 30s when they got married, even into the 40s when they finally got a truck and started using the truck instead, but for the longest time the roads were dirt and that was problematic no matter what you drove, you know, flats and broken axels and this and that. 

My fondest memories as a little child are from this Valley. I was here from just a little after birth, probably from about a year and a half old till about four and a half years old and I can remember a lot of things. I always liked the nature and the quiet and that’s why I’m here. I could be, I could live in other places and work and make money and whatever, money is not worth it, that’s not everything. I have a lot of trades that I can do, but I am living here because of the quiet and tranquility and I feel at home. Anytime I go to a place that has been inhabited by Native Americans I just feel like they are my family, it is part of my heritage, my grandfather’s grandmother was apache, what he always called “captive Apache lady.” What we think that means is she probably escaped some kind of turmoil somewhere she might’ve even been during the time when native’s where rounded up and taken to reservations, she escaped, we believe, and was taken in by a man and that was her husband. She stayed with him willingly and so there is some Apache blood and that was very evident in my grandfather in the way he lived, the way he ate, I mean, for him it was nothing to slaughter and animal and eat certain parts of it raw and he said that was just what he was shown by his grandma and that was the Apache way, I guess, and he lived to be in his late 90s, so he was healthy. He never had diabetes, he never had high blood pressure, he never had anything. He would take a goat, kill it, cut the slice, remove/detach the kidney from the animal, slice a piece off the top, put salt on it and get a big‘ol bite and say here you want some (laughter). I don’t want any, “you don’t know what you’re missing,” is that right, but he would do it. So going back, there was a little diversion there, but going back to the valley, I have good memories as a child just the peace and quiet and I remember my grandfather when I was coming back with animals that he hunted, I remember just out the front door from the little trailer we lived in he was shooting quail one time and he shot some quail took them to my mom’s she cooked them in the pressure cooker and I remember how delicious that was and I was probably four years old, just phenomenally good, just a very peaceful quiet place. The people in this valley in the past, not so much now because we are modern now and you could buy your stuff wherever, but they used to be interdependent and they would support one another, through the farming community. Any way that you could help your neighbor, people were doing that. Like my grandfather’s mother raised poultry, that was her specialty and she would trade poultry for vegetables, other things…etc. And my grandmother, my other grandmother, she farmed, so she had lots of vegetables that she would trade with and the story has been told by many elders in this valley that during the time of the depression they had almost no clue that there was a depression because this was an inter-dependent, a very self-reliant place, you know, as far as community is concerned, with one another, so everyone helped each other out, there was a community grinding mill, there was all kinds of things that everybody could use when somebody needed to build a house or work on a house, everybody would show up at somebody’s house if somebody’s house burned down everybody would show up, you know the way it should still be. And so at about 5 years old I moved away, I remember my mom teaching us English so we would know how to speak English in school and so I lived in Grants till I was 18…19…20 years old thereabouts, then I moved to Santa Fe, then in 1994 I started my own business, metal manufacturing and wielding, and moved out here cause this is as far as what’s peaceful for me and comforting as far as a place. This is it for me, pretty much, I love the river, the water, there is just a real nice life cycle out here, you know, and a lot of really interesting people come in and out of the valley, yeah.

The economics challenges is the greatest, but there’s a trade off, but you ask yourself do I want to be somewhere economically well and not be happy and I have had that question with myself and I chose to be happy and I trust in that God provides and so I believe that I get provided for and I really believe that, so the tradeoff is economically, it’s not the greatest. You don’t have as much freedom as you could have if you had more money, but that’s one kind of freedom, the other kind of freedom is to be less stressed and to enjoy the nature. I love this place, this whole place to me is (special) very comforting, special. It is special because it’s comforting, the little community where I live just south of, my southern view is a big flat wall mesa. I remember that view as far back as I can remember and that view itself will calm me down and make me feel at peace and at ease and tranquil and I have had people tell me, what are you doing living over there hiding, you’re hiding, you’re hiding. I said no I’m not hiding I just wanna live there. I like it, it feels great, I mean, I enjoy it. I have gone away for periods of time but I always come back even when I lived away I could see myself coming back. When I lived in the town where I grew up we would come on weekends once or twice a month and it was always a great big feeling you were coming back to just a basic life that’s not all complicated, and that’s kind of the way I see it, it’s a basic life that not that complicated and that why I like this place if I were to say. There’s lots of family who is that way, I have an uncle, my mom’s brother, boy I which he was here, talk about an interesting man, he is right now doing a prehistoric archeological survey. I don’t know what the right term would be, but what he is doing is cataloging the years up to the millions of years and he is cataloging animals that live in the area that are cataloged by their footprints, because he owns land and my family owns land that are former ancient swap lands that’s where they get flag stone from.They are former ancient swap lands, and he has footprints of ten thousand year old sloths you know the giant sloth that used to live here, he’s got footprints of an animal called a (dinosaur name)  which is actually way back, way, way back in the dinosaur days. And he’s got all kinds of footprints, he’s got a few footprints of animals that have nowhere else been found and his, he’s college educated and writes his own stories on that and he’s cataloguing it and actually if you were to go on the web, I don’t know his site, I forget, but he actually sells fossils. You could buy million year old fossil footprints from him and he’ll tell you what animal it was and everything. Very interesting stuff and he has a lot of really, really cool things, he is just somebody that I am very proud of, his in my family I’m very proud of him. He is very, very smart.

IMG_5044

I want to tell you one story my grandfather told me when I was a little boy. They were living in a place back here called La Pintada. La Pintada is about 40 miles south and one day they heard a lot of commotion outside. His father had taken off somewhere with a horse and a wagon and they took the family rifle and I don’t think… no actually I take that back, he didn’t take the wagon, but he went on horseback somewhere and he had taken the family rifle and he is gone and I heard my grandmother, grandfather and his brother heard a lot of commotion outside and they looked out the window and they had no choice and they watched a pack a wolves slaughter a mule train. They had a mule train to travel on wagon because they traveled long distances, and they watched the wolf pack slaughter the mules. They wanted to go outside and throw rocks at them my grandmother wanted to go outside and they all knew how to handle the rifle but they didn’t have the rifle, and so that’s one reason the people have historically not liked wolves, cause that’s the moral of the story. But that’s the one my grandfather told me, he always, he said, any time after that, that anytime he saw a wolf he always got rid of it because of their experience or whatever. When my grandfather grew up, when he got to be an age that he started noticing girls, they had gone on a trip to visit some family and he saw my grandmother and he said, “man that’s just the prettiest lady I’ve ever seen” and so they went back and he said he couldn’t get her out of his mind and so he literally… that he literally, many times, walked the whole distance, and his main intention was to see my grandmother and yeah.

Their lucky if they walk a mile…(Laughter) and so my grandfather said, me and my dog,  would bring a few water containers and would start the trek. And he went to the house and of course in those day’s you had to be very formal and ask permission and he knocked on the door and her dad would answer and that was Papa Felipe. I’ve only seen photos of him and he’d ask Papa Felipe if he could see her and sometimes Papa Felipe would say no you can’t see her and close the door. He said “40 miles all for nothing”…(laughter)…and so, but there were many times when he did that and finally when she was only 16, she was 16, they got married at 16, but that was common back then. People would marry at that age. And he married her and he said that she was the prettiest lady he ever saw and never got her out of his mind and he said “I’m gonna marry her” and he did. He was like 6 years older then her.

So they married in the thirties and they started in a house that used to be his mother’s house and they added on to that house and that was his and my grandmother built it together they built all things together. They got the (Bigas) ready together, everything, everything, and my grandmother was a very strong woman, when she flexed she had the arms and muscle like a man, and she worked like a man, and could do everything a woman could do, and what a man could do. And so she had arms like a man, at home, she was a midwife, and back when everybody was rugged, I guess, but she certainly was, she’s a big part of our whole family, you know she is the rock solid part of our family, she is the steady one, you know. And so you can’t talk to anybody in the family very much without her coming to the forefront, it’s just not possible because she is just…and she was very humble, she didn’t like attention, she didn’t like for a big deal be made for her, well you notice how we keep talking and I keep bringing her. She is just amazing.

I think that was typical for women of that time, yeah, and my grandmother, not to be boastful but from what I know of different women and there are others too but she is one of the one who was quite extraordinary because of all her kids and all of their siblings and all of their friendships and in all of their circle they were well known. My grandmother was known to have raised many kids as her own, there is one story of a man in the valley, shortly after he was born his mother passed away and he happened to be born the same age as one of my grandmother’s daughter’s and she nursed him all the way through like if he was one of her own and other’s you know. She did that also, you know, that action, she…,but  you know you look at that time period, at that time period people relied on one another and helped one another, more than they do now, because of the way it was, you know you didn’t just drive to the grocery store and pick up your stuff. And you know, things change, and so my dad farmed in the 50’s as a young boy before he got married and he had to quit school to work the farms to help support his family and because that was how you supported your families those days, is off the land, you know New Mexico was still that way in those times, other states had already changed some, not all, but some, and New Mexico didn’t catch up modern wise like other state’s did and would’ve been better if we didn’t at all…maybe, right, but anyway… he quit school and he farmed and his generation you know was when men started leaving to go work instead of living off the farm. You know some had done it before, but not many, it was in his generation that it happened in a large scale and he took off to work in the newly discovered uranium mines in northwestern New Mexico and that’s what he did. And so he lived out there and worked in the mines and finished working in the mines and retired. He had a chance to work in a mine in western half of Papa, New Guinea which is part of Indonesia and he also worked in Chile for about eight months he worked mining and he got so good at it and he was internationally known and could teach anything about it and went in that capacity to do it and teach and he retired working in the mines and test sites in Nevada. But my dad was very much like his mother, was a super, super hard worker and no slack, no playing games just do what you gotta do.

 

There are some great photos that he brought back with him from Indonesia. I forget the name of the tribe in the early 60s when this part of the island was discovered or tread upon by outsiders and to be developed by miners. That tribe at the time was known to be cannibal and I read about them, they were cannibal and there was some big shots from the mining company that maybe they were delicious, but they were never discovered again (laughter). Yeah and, so he brought back some photos of some real traditional guys that are still clinging to their traditions with all of the traditional harvested clothing and the weapons they make, bows and arrows, all that stuff, and then you have them, and then you have the people that have come in with modern society that are dressing and everything else, you know, that have changed their beliefs or whatever, everything that goes on when that kind of thing happens.

He said that they were just incredible people, he said that you could be somewhere like fishing in the stream or hiking and you’d see a whole family come down this steep hill from the mountainside, the family would come down, the women in their grass skirts, no top, carrying their children, and the men with no shirt and their stuff on and they’d come and they were curious. They’d go meet and greet and then he said they would leave and he said those people could climb those hills and do their thing he said like nothing, barefoot, you know, and he was very amazed at how a primitive culture could be so mobile, but they are used to it. They were very mobile, he said, and very sturdy, and he also talked about working with guys in the mines from New York with a lot of guys from the Philippines and he worked with some guys there from Indonesia too, and he said they are just incredible, incredible workers, he said I don’t see how they can do, being as small as they are. And he said, I don’t see how they could do it, and they don’t eat as much as we do he said and they just they do. And the mine workings was at, back in those days, it was in 1990s when he was there, that company was making a million dollars a day profit, gold mine, gold mine, he said that they used to fly up by helicopter up to, I think it was, thirteen or fourteen thousand feet and then they go down the shaft in the mine and they’d fly up to this area and at a certain time of day you’d see the sun reflecting on the mesa back there and you could see the gold reflecting on the mesa, just super, super rich in gold, of course, it’s part of Indonesia and they harvest whatever agreement they have with the mining company but that mesa is off limits to any production. And in Chile, when he was in Chile, the experience that he talked about in Chile that was really troublesome to him was the  low pay that the workers got. They had to so much for very little. He as an American working for this company was making so much money, he said he felt, he said he almost felt embarrassed that he made the money he did and he said that’s the way it was, and so he said he almost felt embarrassed about, and so that’s the way it was. And he was in northern Chile and before he left Chile he said he took the train that goes all the way south, and he took that train ride all the way south and then came back.

He did Chile in 91. He did Indonesia in 90 and he did 91. Indo was for like seven months, Chile was for like 8 months, and he wanted, he had opportunities in both places to stay, but he didn’t stay, my mother gave him an ultimatum both times, “you come back or that’s it,” and so he came back.

We wear the pants, but they take them off kind of thing (laughter).

Mi papa si, más o menos, yo también, no tanto como quisiera, pero si se practica, yo me acuerdo de joven que hablábamos puro Español, mi mama tuvo que ensenarnos el Inglés para ir a la escuela y tuve que hablar Inglés pero…when I was seventeen by the time I was seventeen I had almost forgotten all my Spanish, I was speaking very little Spanish. When I was working as a bus boy at a restaurant I made Friends with a guy call Sergio Villalobos from Juarez and I used to tell him let’s talk in Spanish at least at times and then at the end of the day, correct me, tell me on the things I say wrong or say correctly and he would do that. Sometimes he would tell me “te sales,” you are way off, but I really love my friend from Juarez, he had a very colorful past. He actually was, I found out later, took him a while to admit it to me, and I found out it was true, I found out through his sister and stuff. He had to escape from Juarez as a young guy, like about 15, cause he was in a gang fight and he stabbed a guy and killed him and so he had to escape and for a little while there he was changing his name and we would go to this one’s guy house where he would get a different social security card and two different times. We went and he’d get a social security card and he’d say this is my name, he’d say “this is my name now.” He changed his name and he was doing that up until he was pretty much release from having to face that whole burden there. I remember that I was with him and you know he got a call from his sister and, but at that point his sister told him that there was no longer any legal worries about that whole issue and so then he moved back. He married a pretty blonde lady in Kansas and I never saw him again…

(Laughter) Se lo llevaron

They took his pants off and that was it…(laughter). We tell it like it is, don’t we?

Well we were Mexico at one time, not that long ago. My one grandmother and one grandfather of mine were born when this was a territory of the United States you know and go back further than that, it was Mexico, and so it was basically the same people you know. I have Mexican decedents, you know some people don’t like to say that, it’s crazy. “I’m pure Spanish” yeah right. And what’s the big deal anyway? Yeah, it’s crazy.

In the town where I’m from which used to be called Sena which used to be called El Puertcito, if you look in the history book it mentions El Puerticito. I have, we believe, we are pretty sure because of some correlating histories and stories, we have a grandfather in the line here that was a very, he was very much a big part in fighting the Tejano’s, during the Civil War when they fought in Glorieta. Yeah he helped fight the Tejanos, he gathered up people that were willing to fight, hawk arms and different things and went to fight and for a long time he was pursued for a long time after the war he was being pursued by Texas law officials as a law breaker or whatever, and he used to travel back and forth and he would either hide here or hide in Montezuma he would hide back and forth. He was never caught. We believe he is a relative because my great, great grandmother at the time would have known him, because he was still alive, she would have known him as her grandfather or great grandfather one of the two and she talks about how he would be for a short time and leave be here for a short time and leave. He was always back and forth and she could never understand that and he was Salazar. And so we haven’t been able to trace it 100 percent sure but he was from El Puertecito that’s where she was from and there were only two Salazar families, the other family I talked to them and they don’t seem to have any kind of correlating story so we believe that, which as you know it’s very interesting, yeah. And the town where they live, El Puertecito, used to be also a Mexican Military town. They had a presence there as a military guard and they lived there and guarded there and so wherever you dig around there, you know people have found really old relics, you know, that are not native relics but you know old Mexican relics and a lot of stuff like that that have been found there, pretty interesting.

I’ll tell you one story, this is an awesome story, my grandfather’s mother and his father, actually his father, I’m not sure on a certain part of it, but there is a lady they took in to live with them who was from Queretaro, Queretaro, Mexico and she came up this way during the Revolucion de Pancho Villa and so she came. She was coming up this way during the Revolucion de Pancho Villa. Her name was Viviana, I don’t remember her last name. Viviana, she was like a family assistant, like she was more like his mother and his grandmother and she lived with him from the time she was a young lady up until she passed away in the fifties and she lived with him that whole time. Well she told the story of when she was coming up with Pancho Villas soldiers, they confronted her and they, she came up with her son who also stayed here with her and a baby and they got her baby and smashed him dead on the rocks, but she came up with her son and lived there with my grandparents up until her death. Vivianita they called her and they said that she was just, boy they loved her, all the old people that knew her that talk about her oh they loved her. She was really something… she was really something, but think about a hardship like that, that is hard to imagine, that is unimaginable, yeah.

Oh man, oh man, and she would recount the story and how they just took him from her and smashed him on the rocks, yeah, cruel!

There’s a bad apple like this in every bunch right. Especially wartime thing atrocities happen. You hear about it all the time, people that are in war, the atrocities that they face, the atrocities that they do, the atrocities that they see, and it’s just… I guess, it was one of those kinds of things, but I’ve always thought it was very wonderful that somebody could come, a stranger, and be accepted and welcomed and integrate with a family, that’s a nice thing.

She just ended up over here. She was wanting to escape, I don’t know the full story what she was escaping the part of Mexico that she was living, but it was when she was coming up north, somewhere around the border where the conflict was, is where that happened and…, but she was very, very, very loved, very, very, very accepted, you know.

I’ll tell you about the town I grew up, its Grant’s, New Mexico it’s about seventy miles west of Albuquerque, that’s where I grew up. That was a mining and exploration town. People that lived there worked in the mines or they were exploring with group outfits they’d be exploring to find more areas to mine, back when Uranium was being harvested from the ground and so there was a lot of money in that town. Everybody had money. And anybody that worked or wanted to work had money. And so growing up there as a young person was in a lot of ways not healthy because I quickly was getting involved in these giant party scenes. We used to have… I used to be in parties that would last four days. I’ve been to parties where I saw fifty kegs of beer, 20 kegs of beer, this was like almost every weekend, you could go to a party that was just all that you wanted because guys would get together and buy all this booze and either charge a cover fee or not even charge a cover fee and then it didn’t matter how old you were, you could be a punk kid in there partying with everybody and so there was a lot of alcohol abuse on my part and other things that I was doing to, you know experimenting with pot and everything, back in those days when it was super cheap. I don’t do any of that stuff now. I haven’t done anything, I haven’t been high on anything other than life and God since 1980, probably 84. I haven’t touch it but, but I don’t judge anybody that does . Before that I was doing a lot of things like that, so in the sense that you could get lots of work, it was a healthy place to live, but in the sense that there was anything you wanted, cheap, you know in abundance, and you were an experimenting kid, in that case, it wasn’t healthy, so I grew up with a lot of friends that became addicts, that died for some alcohol related thing or some drug related thing. A really good friend of mine was murdered only because he owed fifty dollars to a meth or crank… what they called crank in those days… I don’t know if it’s the same as meth, I think it is. So I had what a lot of people call fun in those days a lot of those things going on, but ultimately it turned out that it was not a healthy place for me, I ended up getting in trouble because of driving under the influence, I had several of those and that’s why I had to stop doing the things I did and then I moved to Santa Fe. Worked in Santa Fe doing electrical work and Santa Fe was a very good, good place. I liked the atmosphere, it’s pretty good, I used to do a lot of bicycle racing in those days. I used to spend a lot of time in my bicycle all over northern New Mexico. I would drive right about seven to eight thousand miles a year, I’d do a lot of racing, it was a lot of fun. Oh it’s a blast, I love it. And then I was there from 84 till 94. In 94 I moved back out here, but in 86 I was living in Santa Fe, but in 86 I moved to a little town called La Cienega which is just west of Santa Fe and the little town that I lived in was very like this valley, they have an irrigation system, they have their fields, it reminded me so much of this valley. I liked it so much that I said you know I will try this valley and it worked out for me. In 94 I was working doing t-shirt printing that company shut down, it went bankrupt. The market changed, everything changed, and I said I’m going to start my own wielding business and within two months I had an established wielding business. I went to see a client to look for work in Glorieta conference center and it just turns out that I went at the right time, they needed another contract wielder and they put me to work and I had a lot of great projects and I gave them good fair deals and they gave me lots of work and that really established me and up until 2008. I was servicing lots of contractors building architectural things building staircases, building handrails, doing structural steel wielding repairs of any kind, all kinds of metal, stainless steel kitchen work. All kinds of work that I was doing, all of it based out of here and then I vanished because the place where I had my shop is a piece of property that was basically given to me by my dad and that property there is one of the very old houses in Sena. You can trace back to about three different owners and it’s probably from about the middle 1800s that it was built, yeah, part of it, and then it’s been added to two times than that. That I would like to restore at some point but it’s going to take some money and some work. So up until 2008 I was very, very busy, from that point on things haven’t been too great but that’s looking at it from that perspective. From the other perspective, things are great, you know, there is tranquility, there is freedom, it’s good.

Well I didn’t ride a motorcycle till after I had been riding bicycles for a while. I rode bicycles for a good while. I’ve never really wanted a motorcycle, but I rode bicycles for a few years. I was already doing racing and everything and bicycling trained me to the motorcycling, bicycling, I guess it would work the other way too. I had an uncle who had bought a little 125 Kawasaki and he used it a few times and he didn’t really want it so he sold it to me for 400 bucks and I said I’’ll ride this thing but it’s not like my bicycle, no way, and so I would use the bicycle and things and so on a small scale I was riding the little motorcycle. I’ve had different motorcycles and I had a big 1150 bmw which is a road dirt combination kinda bike and my other bikes are all dirt bikes, enduro’s which are big along the street and good for dirt and if anybody is gonna ride a motorcycle you should get an endure because that gives you the ability to have the right geometory, if you want to go up hills and different place it’s harder on a crouch rocket or a street bike then it is in an endure. A friend of mine recently, a young guy, he bought a crouch rocket. I tried to talk him out of it but he didn’t want to listen. And so I’m like, I don’t blame him, but he would’ve been better off with an endure. I’ve taught about 20 or 30 maybe even more kids to ride the motorcycle. And I have the proper way of teaching them how to ride the motorcycle. You ride the motorcycle in first gear you don’t go past first gear and stop and go you learn how to use your brakes, you learn clutch, and throttle and before I teach them how to ride, they ride with me and I don’t do stupid things. It’s only the right kind of riding never stupid. So if you’re going to show somebody show them the right way. You know you gotta respect the bike. When you go down and it’s you vs. the pavement, the pavement wins, the pavement wins, and so…

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