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One big borderland

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Migration – December 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Ed,

I didn’t make it to the Headwaters Conference again, though I heard a half-hour’s worth of excerpts on the radio. I have the following afterthoughts about borderlands:

There was in the late seventies a substantial group of Spanish-surname Americans who didn’t seem to fit in the categories proposed by the conference, namely, well-established-and-integrated families whose livelihood depended on the Climax Mine, or on the mine population – considerably prior to the 1980’s dateline and considerably north of the Hispanic perimeter as I think of it (south of deAnza’s Poncha Springs ramblings). Maybe some reader can fill us in on the histories of these families. Did they arise from San Luis ranchers looking for new opportunity?

Shouldn’t we see the entire world as one contiguous borderland? The Mexican and Anglo populations are themselves amalgamations, as is just about any nationality on the planet. Or perhaps we might say there are really just two nations here on earth: one nation of people who are content or resigned to the daily grind of the present, and another nation with a roving eye for real estate and growth, plus a third group or sub-group of refugees driven out by the predators? Parallels can be found in the histories of less-hospitable regions adjacent to the Sahara, the Kalahiri, the Gobi – fighting over crumbs, perhaps – though all of our major cities are also borderlands, in that sense, too.

Slim Wolfe

Villa Grove