Wayne's Weekly Reader

by Wayne Klick

October 14, 1998

Often I've heard people bitch about how hard it is to spell that word.  Relatives, customer service operators.  I've seen some pretty funny variations. Bruce Springsteen, at a concert here a couple of years ago, said that when he was a kid, he used to have fun saying it. Once when I was in L.A. I heard a TV weatherman pronounce it, 'Al-buh-cure-cue'.  (I'll assume you know the correct pronunciation, even if you are from back east [Springsteen's from Jersey.].)  Locally, they're not even sure how to spell it.  There are trolleys running around Albuquerque with 'Alburquerque' painted on the side.  The mayor who did that is now running for governor.  (This is typical of New Mexico politics.)  Anyway, that word represents a place where I have lived for most of the past 15 years.  In fact I just had my 15th anniversary as a Burqueño.  It was on October 1, 1983 that I rolled into Albuquerque from the east on my bicycle, having just completed the 850 miles from Houston. 
{That's always a good one to hit people with when they don't know you very well.  They generally are very impressed.  However there's a better story than that.  I don't know if I'll ever get to it here.}  I fully intended to stay for a year, maybe 18 months, and then go on to California.  But I'm still here.  As it turned out, California came to me, but more on that another time. 

Albuquerque is a very bicycle-friendly city, unless you try to ride on the street.  There are many miles of bike trails so that one can ride in relative peace.  And in mid-October temperatures are still in the 80's.  It's not a terribly exciting place, but personally I don't think I could ever leave this climate, having grown up with the tempestuous meteorology of Kansas.  I could leave the economy.  I could leave the politics.  I could leave the drivers.  But I don't think I could ever leave the warm December afternoons, the consistently blue skies, or the exceedingly unhumid atmosphere.  And it's definitely a mystical place.  This is really what keeps me and every other freak in disguise from finding greener pastures and houses that aren't made of mud (or made to look like they're made of mud).  And this might also very well be the general subject of my column. 'This' being the general 'this' of this individual column. If you think you know what this is, please email. Thanks.

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