Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Rain on My Parade, but not on Theirs

According to Allen Price, a winemaker for Casa Nuestra, all this effin' rain is supposed to be up in British Columbia. But it's here in Napa instead, raining on my head while I'm trying to do my thing. And the further North I go, the more I'm gonna get.

I know I shouldn't be complaining, since my guess is the Texas summer is going to kick our asses this year. I should be reveling in the not-ninety-plus degree climate. Sorry, but no: cold rain sucks no matter where you are.

I've been posting less the last couple of weeks. I gotta admit, between the craziness of the SF leg and the physical demands of interviewing, writing, hiking and power drinking, I burned out. I realized that I was desperate for normalcy, a chance to sleep late, do laundry in a residence, pet cats, and read. I finally got the opportunity to do that with my friends in Napa, and it's been refreshing.

Napa (the actual city, that is) is an old farmer's town. Prior to wine fame, this area was known for its prunes. There's a significant population of Mexican immigrants here, and on Monday many marched to the local park dressed in white tee shirts, trailing the American and Mexican flags behind them. Whole families filed along Jackson Street, some chanting and others strolling, taking the opportunity to enjoy the few precious hours of partial sunlight while they made themselves visible to the community.

I've encountered a lot of the protests, since I'm in the smack-dab middle of where immigrant labor--both legal and illegal, I'm sure--has a tremendous impact on economics. The issue of illegal immegration is profoundly complex right now, and doesn't lend itself to easy solutions regardless to which side of politics you might lean. I understand that 11 million illegals in the country is a big problem and a drain against already dwindling economic resources, but the idea of making it a felony is rediculous and counterproductive. Mostly, when I see these people walking down the streets is the desire for due respect, recognition that they have put their asses and elbows into the work they've found, and deserve more than to be sneered at or refered to as a "drain" on a society to which they have contributed.

Beats the shit out of me what the answer is. I haven't been able to delve far enough into the options since I've been on the road, and I hate to put my half assed theory out there and get it mangled by someone who knows the details better than I do. What I do know is that I want what's going to work best for them because I respect what they do.

I'm feeling better now, and as long as I can find freakin' wireless access (not so easy to find here; there's here at Ana's Cantina and some Burger King in Napa proper, and Starfuck's but they have that T-Mobile bullshit you have to pay for. WTF??) I'll be keeping up better.



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