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Voice: Think before you go out in the sun or drive past immigrants

June 19, 2002

"Poner dedo." "Ratfink." "Snitch." Ever had one of those pointed in your direction? Was that pointed finger for your own interest or the welfare of others?

How many of us have had the urge to punch those 800 numbers that are posted on the back of those vehicles "How am I driving?" Didn't want to get involved, you say. It was easier to drive around that rig and let the other driver worry about that call. Bang. Crash ?!*&.

Let me give you another vantage point, from the window of our friendly snoopy neighbor.

"Martha dear, come here! It's that Dennis boy again. Racing up and down the streets with that hot rod car. One of these days I tell you …"

"George, don't worry, dear. He's not our problem. We have enough to worry with Little Georgie."

Ring. Ring. Ring. "Hello, this is Martha ‘Mome'." "Ms. Mum?" "YES" We hate to inform you, there has been a car accident."

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Silence could kill.

Last year that blistering sun took the best of me. My bike and I almost had a meltdown on Main Street. Luckily for Bertha and myself I had a 3-gallon water jug attached to my bike. Every block or so I had to take a swig from that cold container.

Rules prevented that meltdown. Rule No. 1: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Rule No. 2: Follow that shade. Rule No. 3: Don't go there if it is not life essential. Mañana is another day.

What prompted me to write this was a commercial from my oldies station. "Last year 95 undocumented were killed in our Imperial Valley … 95? Yes, 95. That's only in our region. It reminded me of a story Cesar Gonzalez in one of my Chicano Studies classes at Mesa College in San Diego told us.

Two brothers were seeking their dreams by crossing the desert to enter the United States. With each step forward one of the brothers was getting weaker from battling that scorching sun. A mile or so from the borderline, the stronger brother noticed his brother's attempt to keep going. To keep his brother's spirits from fading, he told him how much money they were going to make. "Si," responded the sickly brother. "Mucho dinero para mis hijos y mi vieja." Money his sons or wife never saw.

"Desolate" dreams.

Now the finger question. You see a group of people crossing the desert from Interstate 8. Do you call the proper authorities to report that a group is stranded in the desert? Bang, ring, ring. Why, if you were the wife of that man crossing the desert? Would it be in the wife's best interest to have her husband at home eating tortillas con frijolitos or baking in that sizzling sun?

CHE-CHE PALMA

El Centro

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