1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Alex McLaughlin May 11, 2010

I have always been out there. I wonder how many standard deviations from the norm does it take to be a deviant. But I digress. Maybe I am not a deviant but merely a digression.
We could talk about races to be run. But that bores many on the Aldersonian. Also I have decided not to give my opponent any further advantages by either giving him insights into my racing thinking or provoking him to heights of athletic achievement by messing with him. It is back to the quietness and the loneliness of the long distance runner. 

But to the real stuff of this story. Now, it’s deadly quiet as I look out across the green mountains. But somewhere in sun swept beauty of Mexico our agent has spotted Richard Hughes. Charles Snyder, one time roommate and former resident of Asbury lives down there now. Okay you must have connected the dots. Charles, indeed, is our agent who keeps me and Allan Galloway up to date on Hughes, as he is sometimes called. A desperado.  

A global economy a shrinking world. Charles is living in Mexico and Rick is visiting Mexico. Mexican restaurants everywhere here in the states. Somehow this doesn’t seem strange to me now. But clearly from our perspective when we were growing up this would have seen unfathomable. Alderson boys in Porto Vallarta. Americans going to Mexico because it is cheap. Mexicans coming to America because it’s expensive. 

I wonder if I will someday have to go rescue Richard Hughes in Mexico again as I did on that sultry night at Elvin Keadle’s’ Exxon. Would the Mexicans even listen to my frantic pleas to save my friend? “No amigo we can not help you. Senor Hughes cannot be saved.” “But my friends I have to run a race with my amigo Senor Hughes.” And the brotherhood of runners that crosses all borders, all language barriers and political difference will transcend Senor Hughes’ transgressions. My Mexican colleague will ask “You and Senor Hughes are runners? I will say,” Si Senor”. The policia office, Senor Paco, will then say “I used to run in races my amigo but now I am too old and too heavy. You Americanos are runners. This means so much to me. I think that I can look the other way and let Senor Hughes off” And he holds out his palm. I am brought to tears by my new friend, Paco of the greased palm.
I know what you are thinking, racism and bigotry. But let’s be clear Paco’s bribery (mordita) is teeny compared to the bribery (aka campaign contribution) of a single American Congressman. We are number one. USA! USA! USA! Now is that more politically correct. I would hope so. 
 “A city for sale, and doomed soon to perish, once she finds a buyer!” Jugurtha a leader from northern Africa in the second Century BC said of Rome at that time. Nearly 2200 years later. He would certainly  say the same of Washington, D.C today. 

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. “Alexis de Tocqueville" 

Asbury, West Virginia calling Porto Vallarta, Mexico. Somehow with the physically shrinking, power condensing world a call from Asbury, West Virginia to Porto Vallarta home of the mordita or the little bite. does not seem so far away as a call to Washington, DC the home of the big bite.