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  • After witnessing three sets of white dudes comes to blows in downtown Denver, my trip back to the US sauntered down to my hometown of Colorado Springs.

    I hadn’t been back in four years and it felt so good to be back there. Home, an assured place in this world. I quickly made plans with family and friends. One of the friends I always make it a point to visit is Becca B. I have known her since first grade. Becca and I have shared some mountain adventure growing up, building forts and climbing things. Plus, I have never seen someone with better penmanship nor smaller feet. Plus, she also has the one of the biggest hearts I have ever seen. She is a lifelong friend.

    However, on politics, over the years there had been some times where we have come to disagree. She leans to the right whereas I have come to lean the other way. So, there has been an impasse at times. However, we have never had harsh words, no yelling back and forth. For me, I think, it is whenever this happens, I see Becca’ s heart go to play. She tries to understand. She tries to make sense. She shows concern and above all, she shows respect. I have learned a lot from her in the few times this has occurred.

    So, needless to say, Becca B was one of the first people I called when I arrived to the beautiful (in the summer) Colorado Springs. She asked if I wanted to go SUPping. I said sure. I had been in a third world country three days before and had not a clue what SUPping was, but it was with Becca, so sure.
    So, the next day, my dad drove me to meet her boyfriend, Dee, at the Denny’s, so he could drive me to Becca’s house, which is nestled in a pine enclave us, Coloradoans, call in, Ute Pass.

    Once we were there, more people gathered and we climbed into Subarus to go further into the hills. The Colorado hills were beautiful that day, blue skies, red rocks on the side of the highway. I basked in my home’s beauty.

    Then, we arrived to Evergreen where I learned what SUP was, which was standup paddle boarding. I was in awe we could SUP in the near center of Evergreen. It was a beautiful afternoon. I saw another friend I hadn’t seen since high school, Jessica G. someone who has gone from cheerleader to belly dancer, which I think is really cool. She is a dancer. It was good to see her. We shared a picnic in the high altitude sun. Then, we were done, so we headed back into the hills with our Subarus, stopped for a microbrew and called it a day.

    `Since I didn’t have a car, I rode with Becca’s boyfriend back down Ute Pass, which us Coloradoans call, ‘the hill.’ On our drive to my dad’s house, we started talking about the state of the world. Seems it is an inevitable thing to come up these days. I told him about seeing three sets of white guys almost come to blows at a Sting/Peter Gabriel concert. This caught Dee’s attention who turned this conversation to guns. I could see he wanted to see what I thought about these. I shared what I always shared…I come from a family hunters. I was raised around guns. Then, I shifted to the current violence going on in the US streets in the summer of Black Lives Matter. Dave responded with a very well research retort. As I listened, I thought of Becca and I could see he was just like her, someone with very well intention. He also far more researched me on the subject, so I learned.

    As he was talking about this article of that, we passed by Cheyenne Mountain High School, the rich kid school of Colorado Springs. Dee stopped what he was saying and motioned towards it and said he went there. I smiled because I went to one of Cheyenne Mountain’s rivals, the almighty Manitou Springs . I probably said something like how the Mustangs always won. We laughed. The mood lightened up. He said,

    “You remember the cowboys, don’t you?”

    I had to laugh. I did. That was a breed that was rare anymore, but I remember them in high school pulling up in their trucks and their Wrangler jeans. Then, he said,

    “You remember their gun racks back in those days?”

    I had to think for a second. I don’t think I looked that close. Yet, Dee had and he said,

    “Those guys used to come to school with those racks full.”

    I thought about that for a second. He realized he was right. I could see those gun racks in Manitou’s parking lot as well. I was amazed.

    Dee said, “Did we ever have any violence like we do now?”

    I shook my head. No, we grew up in Colorado Springs, a pretty sheltered and idyllic crew.

    Dee pulled up to my dad’s house and I thanked him for the ride.

    Later that night, when I sat on my dad’s patio looking at that beauty us, Coloradoans call Pike’s Peak, I thought of Becca and how we have, I hope, achieved the ability to agree to disagree for the our lifetime so we can always be friends. I thought about Dee and what he said about guns and how well researched he was. Then, I thought of those cowboys who not so long ago would pull up in the high school parking lot with a rack full of guns and I wander where those cowboys had gone...
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