Wednesday, April 27, 2011


YOU REMEMBER THE SONG: "Delta Dawn whats that flower you have on? Could it be a faded rose from days gone by?".....A story of a heartbroken and abandoned woman so shattered that she lost her mind then wandered aimlessly around town with a suitcase---waiting in vain for her lover to come. WELL----I MET A REAL LIVE DELTA DAWN ---BUT WITH A VERY DIFFERENT ENDING----THAT LIFTED MY HEART AND MADE ME CHEER.
I drifted a few days ago into a small New Mexico town--- settled into this empty lot---and walked around with my senses alert. I make it my destiny to detect useful drama----and I soon catch wind of a powerful story: Of a tiny uneducated mexican lady married 20 years to a man she made wealthy with her dilligent labor--- then was tricked into signing away her legal rights-- kicked into the streets with only a pick-up truck to live in. Worse yet, the stress brought on a debilitating stroke and for a long time she just barely clings to life and sanity on the mean streets of this small town. As with Delta Dawn---everybody knew! AND THEN----AND THEN-- She physically and mentally improved a bit....noticed a junker house selling for a song----made a deal to buy it---got a job cleaning toilets---and soon had a place to live. Working 2 jobs, she slowly renovated the place and leveraged it to buy a junker 4 plex. Life began to have purpose again. And Then a whole half block of abandoned store buildings came up for sale-----and she bought them with almost nothing down and a promise to pay. I will go find this lady and hopefully catch her spirit.

I found the old stores--4 of them--now conglomerated into one.

With minimal exterior fixing---

and this more-than-appropriate name. (I smiled at the misspelled word )

Meet Rosie---a heroine of hope and self healing---a bootstrap visionary, entrepeneur and even (as you will see) an empire builder.

She stocked an empty store with 300,000 items---all these screws and bolts.

Used items--tires wheels--household items

Row upon row of hardware ---she put every single piece in place.

one whole wing is a thrift store.

Next door a truck and lumber yard.

It had no roof---till she built it---personally rebuilding trusses, nailing down roof panels----THEN covering it all with tar paper and roofing-----it doesn't leak.

She poses with me----so tiny a bundle of indefatigable energy---and WILL. By comparison I am a lazy lazy bum unworthy of the hug she gave me.

BUT WAIT----THERE IS MORE--- I went home -- pondered this blythe spirit---decided I needed to know more. Next day, I tracked her down at her Motel----HER MOTEL??? Yes she bought a delapidated 51 room motel and began restoring it----painting, carpeting, tiles, tvs etc. 21 of the rooms are functional. She showed me the whole thing---a staggering project for one person to undertake. She is undaunted. She serves me tea while I ask the deeper questions.

She has never told her story she said--when I had finished. She wept once relating painful

details. What I want to know is the secret to her will, vision and energy. Later I will sumarize the story and share my guesses.

A glory shot-----she celebrates her motel. Now she can house the "team" she is assembling-to help her in the next phase of her empire. (Several workers--including her son)

She has plans for this old swimming pool-----to roof it and make a sunken tea room with fountain.
Here's her background: Born in Mexican town near Chihuahua; 2nd of 8 kids --given to her aunt to raise--then returned to a stern mother when the aunt died. As a child she sold ice cream then operated a horse and buggy transporting stuff and helped her father build an adobe house. At about 15 she slipped into the US at Douglas, Az and made her way to Benson where she got a job with her husband-to-be. Eventually they were married for 28 yrs producing one son. She worked unceasing for her husband and they got rich---perhaps a half million--sold out, moved to this town where the wretched husband played his dirty trick and absconded with the money, putting her on the street.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: I don't know why some people sink and some swim. I'm betting it's a long string of cumulative accidents that shaped our character. I'm convinced, however, that it's easier than we suspect to facilitate great personal strength in kids and in adults---that we can "catch" admirable qualities from our intrepid friends. I think Religion and other cultural forces often intefere. I was saddened that this lady avoids love interest and seemingly never plays. I was touched by her undefensiveness.


john patrick said...

Thanks, Randy. I really appreciate you sharing this with us.

Jim said...

What a great lady -- and a profound example of an indomitable human spirit. Per her X and his future? People wonder WHY when folks just disappear without a trace? I can only hope he contracts some incurable disease -- one where all *his* money won't do him one morsel of good.
Good on her for not seeking revenge; not sure *I* would claim such a moral high road.

Rustedgranny said...

An inspiring and uplifting story. All those who lament their fate and function not, should hear about this woman.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be nothing as motivating as disaster, especially devious disaster.
One learn limits, and within those limits can prosper.
Limits are under appreciated, in my opinion.

Randy said...

Interesting take, Bushman, on this story. To get a grip on your point, I imagined myself as an angel with no limits of time, place, energy---and thus no adventure----I would envy humans with limited time and energy and thus the possibility of adventure.
To be as seriously "down" as this lady was limited her options to "up".

Anonymous said...

Right Randy. Those poor souls you write about above (the article after this one) are like angels... they can live almost as long as they want. No limits. No happiness. No excitement.
No danger. No fun.
I certainly don't know the answer(s) but I think we're getting closer to 'em.