Tuesday, June 26, 2007
  Sundown Bob

Shortly after we crossed over into New Mexico, we stopped in a little place called, Pie Town. Pie Town has three claims to fame. 1) It sits squarely on the Continental Divide, 2) The Daily Pie Cafe, and 3) Sundown Bob. They have a horse friendly RV park there called Jackson Park. In a secluded corner of the park, beneath a tattered American flag, sits a little wagon. The wagon has car tires and hydraulic brakes. It is made out of a patchwork of mismatched pieces of wood and lots of plastic tarps stuffed into every place it might leak. There is a large can in the wagon that served as a wood stove and a crude plywood shelf that served as a bed. The door to the inside of the wagon is small, so I assume Sundown Bob was a small man. His boots are sitting where he left them as if they are waiting for him to put them on. Pots, pans and a few cooking utensils hang from the frame of the wagon. No one seemed to really know much about Sundown Bob, yet everyone knew him. He spent 50 years traveling in a circle from Montana to New Mexico and back again. Everyone that knew him, speaks of him reverently. They all miss him. On the front of the wagon is a sign that says, "September 7th, 2006... Gone to be with God." On the back of his wagon is a Marine Insignial. I wonder if he found it or was actually a Marine at some point in the past. Did he have a family? Was he a sad man or a man that had discovered that it doesn't take a lot to be happy? People who had known him say he was severely disfigured from atomic bomb testing that he was somehow involved with, years ago, in the White Sands testing area. We were told that he had only one eye and was badly scarred on his face and neck. Some of the people that I spoke with said that Sundown Bob laughed a lot and he always welcomed people at his campfire if they wanted to visit a spell. I arrived here too late to meet Sundown Bob. I would have liked to sit and talk with him a while. No vandals have bothered his camp. Everything is as he left it. For a moment we shared a place in time with Sundown Bob. I'm sure he was watching... Andi

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