When I went to bed
last night, snow seemed to be on the way. But when I got up
this morning at 4:45, only a light dusting was on the ground.
Nor was the temperature28 degreesbad for this time
of year. So I set out as usual, at 6, on my walk.
The pavement was
slick in spots, where the snow had fallen, then melted, then
frozen. After a couple of slips I almost changed my mind about
walking. But after a quick lap around the little park in front
of my house, I felt comfortable enough with the ice to proceed
on to the Plaza. By the time I got to Cerrillos Road, I had
hit my normal stride.
Walking along, I
thought about my 84-year-old mother, who had just returned from
Palm Springs, California. I worry about her in the winter, when
she is in Santa Fe, because I'm afraid she will slip on the
snow, fall, and break a hip. In Palm Springs, even though I
miss her, she is safe from snow and ice. Yet she misses Santa
Fe too much to stay away for the whole winter. So I always hope
that we get our snows early, and that by the time she gets back,
the winter weather is gone.
Suddenly a New Mexico
State Police cruiser zipped past me, heading south on Cerrillos.
Minutes later another one followed. The combination of the police
cars and the thoughts about my mother reminded me of a story
she told me many years ago, about a very handsome, popular and
flamboyant state trooper in the late 1940s.
This fellow, whom
Ill call GG, was also an impeccable dresser and a gentleman's
gentleman. He had turquoise inlaid in his pistol grips and the
sides of his whistle. He always took off his hat in the presence
of a lady and had all the other charms and manners that women
love. The young women of Santa Fe, and I'm sure all over New
Mexico, found him most attractive.
He was married, but
was having an affair with a beautiful divorcee. After a number
of years, he divorced his wife and married his lover. Then the
pair decided to move from the new wifes apartment into
a larger one, owned by one of New Mexicos U.S. senators,
Bronson Cutting. When moving day came, however, the policeman
was on duty and was not available to help his wife. The lady
had a volatile temper, and as she struggled with all the heavy
boxes she became more and more angry that GG wasn't there to
share the work.
As the story goes,
by the time GG came home that night, his wife was ballistic.
The apartment was in total disarray, and she was fuming as he
walked in the door. Having had a long day, GG, not realizing
that his wife was mad, took off his gun, put it on one of the
moving boxes and went to fix himself a drink. This apparently
was the straw that broke the camel's back, because she let him
have it with every abusive word she knew. An argument ensued,
and although nobody but the wife ever knew for sure what happened,
GG ended up shot to death.
Obviously the new
wife was the prime suspect, and was arrested. She hired a very
well-known Santa Fe lawyer to represent her, and he managed
to get her out on bail. At GGs funeral, his first wife
kneeled by the coffin, caressed his face and wept, while the
new wife stood back and expressed no emotion.
opinion was that the new wife had killed GG. Yet at the end
of the trial, the court concluded that he was shot by an unknown
person or persons. The wife never served any time, except the
day or two before she was bailed out. And so ended the life
of a very dashing New Mexico state trooper.
Walking along, I
wondered what the lesson of the story was. Was it that if you
are a cop and are having an argument with your wife, don't leave
your pistol lying around? Or was it that whether or not you
are a cop, when you come home after a long day, you might want
to consider that you might not be the only one who works hard?
What do you think?
Have a great day.