New Mexico (cont'd)


I continued south. To the north I could see most of the city now, an irregular green splotch on the dusty tan landscape.



I flew past the airport down at the south end of town. I imagined the panic that would develop at most airports if a UFO was seen cruising past their runway. However, Charlie and Barry at the Roswell control tower were on the balloon rally committee, and were just waiting to see old Andy Bulatovic drift by with the hot-air balloons.



The philosopher Fdfsudkul, who after years of wandering the wastes of the Crystal Desert,returned to civilization with what was to become the central tenet of one of our great belief systems. It is impossible to translate exactly into human speech, but can be rendered approximately as: "[*randomly*] it occurs [*excrement*]".


That seems like the story of my life, pretty much.

Stranded in the galactic middle of nowhere, I was initially desperate to get home. But over the years, as hope of rescue faded, I found that life in Roswell could be pretty decent. There was some money for me tucked away in the Chamber of Commerce budget every year, and I did pretty well with my Amway distributorship. Over time, I made quite a few friends in town. I played a bit of golf and once bowled a perfect game in the Thursday Night League at the Town and Country. And behind the scenes, it was rewarding to know that I was helping to build up the town economy -- every last t-shirt, inflatable alien doll and UFO conspiracy theory book.





South of the airport was a straggle of trailer homes, giving way to open country.


Watching the drift of the hot-air balloons, I could see that the wind at the surface was coming up intermittently. It looked like time to think about landing.

Up ahead were some empty fields accessible from a road. I cut away some flotation pods and started down.




As luck would have it, just as I got near the ground, the wind picked up. I skimmed and dragged along the ground quite a way before my friends Bob and Marj, who had been following in my truck, got out to run after me and managed to bring me to a stop.

It beat my first landing here on Earth, but not by much.



It had been wonderful to fly this one last time, to float above the place where I had lived for all these years. For the first few decades it had been a place of exile, a place I longed to escape, but over time, I had grown to accept it. Now, my last flight done, I felt at peace.


We tidied up the "debris field", making the whole thing plausibly deniable should some irate landowner complain to the balloon rally about our landing on their property.


And then we headed back into Roswell, New Mexico, my home town.




Celebration XLIII

Crew Chief: Bob Dunnington

Special Thanks to: Old Timers' Balloon Rally (Bill Glen)

Roswell, New Mexico
Jennifer Youngblood, Rocky Rodriguez



Crew: Shaun Glen, Michael Glen, Chris Glen, Bill Glen, Susie Glen, Craig Cathey, Judy Kasuboski, Wayne Kasuboski, Danny Kasuboski, Anisa Kasuboski, Janet Cathey, Suzi Flynt, Bill Flynt, Linda Walker, Ronnie Walker, Rick Massey, Frank O'Neill, Kim Barnett, Pat Freeeman, John Freeman, Joseph Dominguez, Timothy Dominguez, Marj Walters, Chelsea Day, Sara Day, Rocky Rodriguez, David Rhoads, Tanya Walker.

Photography: Marj Walters, Bill Glen, Bill Flynt, Kimberly Barnett, Andelko Bulatovic.














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