Chapter 3-2: First Impressions

Three impressions remain from those early days: the heat, the drab colors of muted browns and pale greens, and the crumbling mud colored buildings. The town was rather dirty, trashy and unkempt and yet even as I saw all this, I felt I could be quite happy here. I would be an impoverished graduate student for the next four years and there was nothing of material wealth surrounding me to make me regret my decision.

Lomas de Las Canas Cliffs

Within a few months I wished I had a car to take me across the Rio Grande to the Lomas de Las Canas cliffs that lie to the east or up into the Magdalena Mountains to the west. Fortunately, secondhand cars are cheap in New Mexico because they do not have to pass any safety standards or emission tests. Well, maybe safety.

My knowledge of cars had not improved since my road trip to Yellowstone. A fellow graduate student was willing to sell me his Mustang for a hundred dollars, which seemed too good to be true, which of course it was. You get what you pay for, and I should have known that towing the car from his parking lot to mine was not a good sign. Ricky, my landlord told me that Dr. Bob could fix the Mustang. I did wonder why a doctor would be able to fix this car. On a sunny, Saturday May afternoon Dr. Bob appeared in my driveway wearing cutoff jeans, and a white T-shirt. To be quite frank my first thought was that he looked like a seedy old hippie. His hair was a mop of unruly curls but then he smiled at me with twinkling blue eyes. And my second thought was "He's the kind of man I'd like to marry". My third thought, on closer examination of Dr. Bob, when I realized he was at least forty, was that I needed to get my head examined!

But my second impression of Dr. Bob turned out to be correct as four years later we were indeed married.

Dr. Bob