Overheard at Carlsbad Caverns: My Father is Such a Cowboy

DANISMdomesticpartner1952NELSONCARPENTER

Todd and I eat like dogs, tucking into our food. In the visitor center we were eating all the more like two dogs with bowls side-by-side on the floor, because we both sat on the same side of the table in order to enjoy the view (seen over the rim of our bowls, so to speak). To my other side at the long cafeteria table a young man in a U of Arizona cap was talking to a pal. “When we get to San Antonio, I want to call my cousin. I haven’t seen her since my sophomore year of high school. She lived with us during her first year of law school, but then moved in with a boyfriend. My father had a falling out with my uncle–with his whole family–so we never saw her anymore. A year ago I sent her an email. We’ve exchanged a couple messages. My father’s such a cowboy.”

The subject changed to whether they’d sleep in the car or pay for a room somewhere. I wanted to interrupt and ask what the falling out was about, and whether in high school he had a crush on his cousin, and why he said his father was “such a cowboy.” But I reminded myself that I’m a noisy old writer, at the moment eavesdropping, so instead asked Todd if he liked his chicken tacos.

The photo above is reblogged from the beautiful tumblr of Nelson Carpenter, attribution there: Danis: Domestic Partner, 1952. The photo immediately below is from the visitor center, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, July, and the two below that are from the road to the visitor center.

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This entry was posted in autobiographical memory, fathers and sons, Historic photographs and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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