Ely Online welcomes American columnist Lester Pete. OK Lester, introduce yourself…
My name is Lester Pete. I was born and raised in the South Western region of the United States. Much of my education and upbringing has been Ameri-centric and as such, I have a tendency to see things as an American (go figure). I have traveled through much of North America, taken a trip to Denmark and also played in the South Pacific. I hope to visit the United Kingdom in the not too distant future.
As we venture forward, I would like to share local events from my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona USA as well as my spin on various world events.
I have a personal belief that underneath our individual cultures, people from across the globe are very much alike. We just see and experience things with a little different â€œflavourâ€? (see, I can be taught) I hope that the upcoming journey in these pages will become a beginning of the realization of truth to my belief. This column will help me learn about you and perhaps show you a little about me and who I am â€“ you know, in case there is need to close the borders when I purchase my plane ticket on British Airways â€“ there is a non-stop from Phoenix to London â€“ scary, huh?
To Be an American â€“ Reprise
Recently, I wrote an article chastising certain Americans abroad and received a number of comments from fellow countrymen, some in agreement and some who took exception to my thoughts. At one point I mentioned that other peoples were taking shots at us. One reader in particular, who has traveled Europe extensively, vehemently denied ever being the target of anyoneâ€™s shooting. He insisted it was merely random gunfire. There was another individual (well, I hope just an individual and not a movement or coalition) who was determined to see me â€˜tarred and feathered,â€? but apparently wasnâ€™t sure if it was anti-American, ultra-British, or simply too messy. One reader, a Canadian, went so far as to suggest that yearly international travel become mandatory for ALL Americans lest we begin to think we have a culture. The Legislature will be voting on it next session â€“ right after they vote on another bill to regulate the number of personal vibrators an individual can possess, up to a maximum of three. (I wish I was kidding with that last part.)
I think a majority of Americans are actually appalled by the extreme antics of certain uncivilized people
I think a majority of Americans are actually appalled by the extreme antics of certain uncivilized people. This is likely found in most other cultures as well. There are always those few individuals that ruin things for the rest of us. As is the case with the oil starved squeaky wheel, it is very easy to understand where the attention is focused.
Desert on Fire
I have lived in the desert all my life (well, not yet) and still, this seems rather odd to me: our desert is on fire. This brings forth images of flaming sand, smoldering dunes, and molten rock. Hereâ€™s the scoop. This past winter, we had record rainfall, which stirred many a dormant nonnative seed and brought forth a wonderful spring of colorful flowers and desert grasses. Scattered among the venerable native cacti, the new vegetation turned the rural landscape into a bright mixture of yellow, red, blue, purple and orange all on a thick bed of lush green.
â€œSo far this year in Arizona, over 2,000 fires have burned almost 500,000 acres of desert scrub land
Then along came record breaking temperatures of summer and within a matter of weeks the brilliant colors all faded to brown. This is the desert after all. But this year, there was much more of the brown stuff than usualâ€¦. Brown stuff as in kindling. Summer thunderstorms, which in the desert are often sans rain but with serious lightning, ignited of a number of fires in rugged terrain in many parts of the desert. The dry fuel, aided by 114 plus degree afternoons, was a fire waiting to happen. And it no longer waits. So far this year in Arizona, over 2,000 fires have burned almost 500,000 acres of desert scrub land. The sad part is that the native varieties of cacti are not fire resistant. A number of desert ecology experts agree that the desert will not likely recover from these fires. Ever. There is too much nonnative plant life able to bounce back and get the upper hand in the struggle for limited water resources. If you have ever witnessed the blooming of a saguaro cactus, you know precisely how big of a loss this will be.
I invite you to comment or ask questions as you see fit. If you are curious to read about my take on something, feel free to throw it at me. If you are wondering if we suffer from similar plights, ask away. I bet weâ€™ll learn that the Atlantic Ocean isnâ€™t really all that big.