Friday, September 02, 2011

Cat O' Nine, Tale O'Five

There's this couple I know. One I've known for most of my life. The other I knew for awhile before they got married, almost thirty years ago now. Pretty smart, both of them. Got that extra nickel and dime to go with their IQ dollar. They both have college degrees. Both did some graduate work. One has a Masters. Neither has ever been unemployed since they got married. One has a mid level civil service job. The other owns and operates a small business. "Biddness", as GW Bush was so fond of saying in his time. Salt of the Earth, don'cha know. Backbone of America, yeah.

I remember, they flew down to Cancun for a quick, five day honeymoon. Got a real good package deal, as I remember. Saw those Inca ruins. Splashed in the warm, blue waters. Laid in the white, Sunny sand. Bob had never been out and around much before that honeymoon. He was so green he didn't realize the snacks, sodas and little bottles of good liquor in the "complimentary" mini bar of their room weren't really free. They replaced them every day, of course. He went through a couple hundred bucks worth before he learned the awful truth. He had to call home and get somebody to wire the money to cover it because he was too embarrassed to tell Peggy. I don't think they've been on a vacation since.

They live out in what is referred to in SoCal as the "Inland Empire", where the denizens of the snaking, multi culti, urban sprawls of LA, Orange and San Diego came not so gently together, to miscegenate in the once rich farm and ranch land of Riverside and the barren, arid rolling hills and cholla studded, semi desert grasslands of San Berdoo, producing huge bedroom communities of largish, air conditioned, boxy, stucco homes, mostly built since the late 70s.

My friends raised three boys. One's still in high school. The other two are still at home though. College didn't work out and there's no jobs. Never were, really. The real jobs were always 30, 40, 50 miles away. "Were" is the key word here.

Anyway. My friends are in bankruptcy. Their house is in foreclosure. There were expenses. They became over extended. "Biddness" isn't as good as it used to be. Gubment jobs is cuttin' back and downsizin'. Tea Party style! Yeah, man! I guess they'll be starting over. At 60. They're still workin' though. Praise the Lord! Better days ahead.

1 comment:

W.C. Varones said...

Inland Empire is brutal. Used to be just run-down brutal. Now the old part is still run-down brutal and what used to be agricultural land around it is miles of brand-new vacant condo and tract house brutal.

San Bernardino is a pretty good place to get murdered if that's what you're looking for.

But it ain't just Inland Empire folk who are struggling. My neighborhood in a desirable beach town is full of multi-generational households because there's only one job for three generations of adults in the family.