So I finally arrive at the next location to meet with the VFP, and lo and behold, calls are not answered, messages not returned. As I poke around town doing my usual recon, I discover that no one here has even HEARD of VFP, let alone profess much sympathy for the Peace/Anti-War movement, such as it is.
On my first night here, I made haste to the store to get provisions which were much needed, as I had been on an involuntary hunger strike for nearly 2 days.
After bogging down the "stone" (hiker parlance for backpack) I went on over to the local Chamber of Commerce/ Visitor's Center to pick up some maps and chat with the local know-it-all.
Patsy, as her name turned out to be, is a very sweet and helpful young lady, very much involved with the local civic scene, and she pretty much painted a fair picture of this Mayberry like, red neck dominated town. After giving me several contacts to the relevant institutions (VFW, Am Leg, Boy Scouts, Library, City Hall, newspaper and radio, etc), she let me print up a bunch of literature I needed to replace, saving me about 10 bucks in printing costs.
I then made my way to the local (nearest) saloon for a tasty beverage, which I had the misfortune to not be able to cherish for about a week.
There, I met two women about my age, very friendly types who further educated me about this fair haven in Western Texas, and we swapped stories and laughs until it was time to go to the next joint, which happened to be the VFW Hall.
The night turned out swell. I lined up a radio interview for the following morning, thanks to Jerry Sotella, the Justice O' the Peace, and a newspaper interview for Monday (the 24th). I spent the night with the girls at Tammy's place (her lovely companion turned out to be her cousin Lisa) and we watched some hokey but sweet Richard Gere/J-Lo movie about dancing before we passed out. (the coolest guy in the movie was Stanley Tucci, playing a straight guy everyone thinks is gay, but he just like dressing up).
The Morning Show, on KVLF 1240 AM (The Voice of the Last Frontier) began at 7:30 am, the commuter slot, considered by many to be a prime time radio position, and I was interviewed by on Ray Hendryx, whose family had owned the station since the Korean War. He himself began DJ'ing for the old man when he was a teenager, barely escaping the draft for 'Nam in 1967.
The interview lasted 10 minutes.
I stayed on message, peppered with humor and a little personal background, and pitched the websites at the end. ("To support our cause, please send your contributions to Veterans for Peace .org, and to help me with my mission I accept donations at occupyveteranssanfrancisco.weebly.com or on the spot, 'cuz I am usually pretty hungry").
I realized later that day I had left my phone at the VFW hall, so I hung out there and read a little (Backpacking, Step by Step) until homey showed up. I then went on over to meet with the guys from the American Legion, where I was politely informed that "our" help was not needed in Alpine. By "our" I mean Veterans for Peace or any other hippy-dippy interloper group.
Basically as cool as the AM Legion guys were, they made it known that they neither wanted or needed any help in town.
"We take care 'r own, and we just FINE, thanks for stopping by, kid, good luck."
(also, and this was nice, the guy pointed out the Jane Fonda/Hanoi Jane piss-targets in the urinals, as if to underscore his earlier point that "We cain't support no "peace stuff" when we got boys in conflict.").
I have to stay in town for the Monday thing. I am pitched up outside town near the library, and will continue efforts to link up with the 151. Camp is disguised as a pile of debris, and since I haven't seen any syringes in the gutters or trails, it feels fairly secure.
Once again this is a lovely town with great people, so I am content to just camp out and enjoy the place, take generous advantage of the liberal library policy, and hunker down until Monday, at which point I will head out for San Antonio.