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paddle shifters in spanish Q&A Review

What is your review of India-bound Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI?

Compactness is the new name of the game. Look at our cell phones, computers and many more things we use every day. It's all about packing in more in the smallest of sizes, so why should our SUVs remain large and burly, unnecessarily? Which is a reason why compact SUVs enjoy immense popularity today. And as one of the largest car makers in the world, how can Volkswagen not have a compact SUV in its arsenal? Which is why, the T-Cross. The compact crossover broke cover at gala events at three different locations across the world simultaneously, in Amsterdam, Shanghai and Sao Paulo last October, marking its importance as a global product. The Volkswagen is the German car maker's newest (and fourth) SUV and is positioned as a compact urban crossover Goes without saying, the T-Cross is the next big thing for Volkswagen for the Indian market too. In fact, the T-Cross will be the Volkswagen brand's first offering in India as part of its 'India 2.0' strategy. And why not – we've seen a steady influx of compact crossovers over the past couple of years, though the ,Hyundai Creta, is pretty much the name to beat. It has been bringing big volumes for the Korean car maker with its design, comfort and equipment levels. Coming back to the T-Cross, I was present at its global unveil in Amsterdam and was impressed, as the T-Cross felt premium, upmarket, youthful and all that. In addition, the display vehicle boasted equipment levels unheard of in the compact SUV segment. Fast forward to March 2019 and I flew to the Spanish island of Mallorca to drive it. First things first though, the T-Cross you see here is the European-spec and will go on sale there shortly. The Indian version will be different. In fact, in all probability it will get a new name for India! It will also be slightly longer than the European version (which is 4,235mm long) and possibly taller too. The Indian version is also expected to get slightly more flared wheel arches and few other design changes for a more muscular stance in keeping with Indian tastes. That said, the European T-Cross has a very chic appeal to it. It looks upmarket from end to end – the front end looks chiseled thanks to the way the headlamps are styled while the matte black grille offers a rugged feel along with the faux skid plate (on the R-Line trim only). The Volkswagen T-Cross has the classic feel of an SUV thanks to its boxy design and looks appealing, particularly from this angle The T-Cross looks boxy from the sides like a traditional SUV, while its tall ground clearance adds to the SUV-esque stance. The black cladding on the wheel arches tries to add a muscular feel, but I felt the wheel arches could have been slightly more flared. That said, I also liked the shoulder line and character lines on the side, which make for a rugged stance. The piece-de-resistance as far as the styling is concerned is the rear end though – the tail lamp design is appealing, yes, but more importantly it's the black strip across the boot connecting them that makes for a very premium appearance. This is a design trait we have seen on the ,Porsche Cayenne, and makes for lots of road presence on a compact crossover like the T-Cross. Interior design and layout are a standard Volkswagen affair, albeit in a more modern form than we see on its cars in India. There's tonnes of customisation options for the dashboard to make it look livelier, in case you don't like the standard black. Body-coloured inserts and mood lighting enhance the appeal further and also offer a youthful vibe. The star of the show here are the two large screens, particularly the 8 inch 'Active Info Display' that replaces conventional clocks. Like we have seen in Audis, you can customise what you want to see and have the option to choose from the regular speedometer and tachometer or use navigation in a wide screen format or simply get vital numbers on the screen. The interiors of the Volkswagen T-Cross feel premium and overall quality of materials is good, which adds to that feel The Volkswagen T-Cross comes with the option of Volkswagen's fully-digital instrument cluster called the Active Info Display, which allows you to switch views, thereby adding to convenience, say for instance, when using navigation The all-glass touchscreen for the infotainment system is just like the one we've seen in newer Skoda cars. Equipment levels in our T-Cross were top notch including two front USB ports, two rear USB ports, a wireless charging pad. The audio system is a Beats-sourced, 300-watt sound system with an 8 inch amplifier and integrated subwoofer. But what really impressed me was the radar-based stuff like lane assist, pedestrian monitoring and front assist, all of which are standard across variants for Europe. There's additional equipment that can be configured as well like blind spot detection, rear traffic alert, driver alert system, adaptive cruise control and park assist. That is a lot of options for a compact crossover and most of this isn't stuff you won't even expect in the segment! Space management is excellent – the cockpit is roomy given the overall width of 1,977mm, but what impressed me more was the space at the rear. At an inch under six feet tall, I had good leg and kneeroom at the rear, even with the driver's seat set to my height. The 60:40 rear bench can also slide forward or backward to adjust luggage space and available boot space with the rear seat up can thus vary from 385 litres to 455 litres. The rear seat of the Volkswagen T-Cross can slide forward or backwards, to adjust legroom or boot space depending on the need We only drove the petrol version powered by Volkswagen's three-cylinder, 1.0 TSI engine. The engine is on offer in two states of tune – 95PS and 115PS. There's a 1.6 TDI on offer in Europe as well but we stuck to the 115PS petrol, as Volkswagen is most likely to skip the diesel option for India, initially at least. The T-Cross will effectively mark the 1.0 TSI motor's debut in India. The three-pot motor can be had with either a six-speed manual or Volkswagen's seven-speed DSG in the T-Cross. We drove both and it was interesting to note how different the crossover felt in both forms. The DSG tries to offer a sporty feel by the way of paddle shifters but I found it best to let the gearbox choose ratios. As for the engine, it feels peppy and is quick to respond to throttle inputs, while turbo lag is near non-existent. The three-cylinder 1.0 TSI petrol engine offers good responses throughout, except for a slightly strained feel towards the top of the rev range Acceleration is brisk and the T-Cross was quick to make progress on Mallorca's traffic-free roads. Initial grunt and midrange punch are impressive though the engine did feel stressed as I closed in on the redline and was accompanied by a slight hint of vibration from the floor. That said, engine performance is adequate and there was nary a moment when I felt the need for more punch or a bigger motor. The DSG goes about its job with aplomb but feels slightly boring. In comparison, the manual version of the T-Cross feels more engaging to drive as it lets you eke out engine performance better. The six-speed gearbox also offers slick shifts and even eggs you to push harder. The Volkswagen T-Cross feels spacious and roomy - be it at the front or the rear, while the seating position is tall and offers a good view of the road ahead The T-Cross's handling felt familiar – it has the precise feel Volkswagen's cars are known for. The suspension setup is firm, while the steering offers good feel and feedback, adding to the engaging feel. Our test vehicle was running on 18 inch rims shod with Pirelli rubber which added to my confidence on Spain's well-paved roads, allowing me to explore the crossover's sportiness. Needless to say, the T-Cross is based on Volkswagen's MQB-A0 platform which is a derivative of the MQB, which explains its impressive handling. I expect the Indian version, which will be based on the - more specific to India - MQB-A0-IN platform to offer a similar feel and impress on the ride and handling front. There is no all-wheel drive version on offer currently, but the ample ground clearance should allow you to tread off-tarmac if needed. The Volkswagen T-Cross looks promising and is a good driver's car as well, like most Volkswagens. The Indian version will differ slightly, but we expect it to offer the same sporty feel and boast excellent equipment levels, while looking more muscular than the European version here To sum it up, the T-Cross does possess the fireworks for it to carve a new niche for itself. It will be launched after its cousin, the Skoda Kamiq. The compact SUV segment, which is not only immensely popular today but is also teeming with interesting options already should thus witness even more intense competition next year. Like I mentioned at the start, this is the European spec T-Cross and I expect the Indian version – likely to be out mid-2020 – to offer slightly plusher ride quality without sacrificing the likeable handling characteristics. It is more or less confirmed that the 1.0 TSI engine will ,power the Indian version, in its higher state of tune. More importantly, we expect it to come equipped with class-leading technology and features including the all-digital instrument cluster. We expect it to be priced well too – prices could begin around the Rs 10 lakh mark and go up to Rs 15 lakh, which should help it bring Volkswagen right back into the volumes game.

What was like to live in rural areas in the United States during the 1940s?

I was born in 1949 in Dallas, so I can only answer this as it relates to my childhood in the 1950’s and time at the family ranch in Texas. The roads were lousy. ,There were no interstate highways, so a trip across county was on state and federal highways that meandered from town to town - like Route 66 - from one Texaco or Gulf station to the next. This was the heyday of billboards, ,including the sequential Burma Shave ads,. It was a lot of fun to travel by car, bus or train - I rode passenger trains all over Texas and as far north as Milwaukee, including a Pullman sleeper car attended by courtly black porters - ,when I was 12. There were no fast food chains ,with the notable exception of ,Dairy Queen,, which, late on a Saturday night, was often the only light on in town. How people socialized before Dairy Queens, I haven’t a clue. Most restaurants were Mexican cafes, cafeterias, one-meat-and-two-sides cafes, BBQ joints or simply glorified truck stops, like the Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls. The finest restaurant in Texas was the Old Warsaw near downtown Dallas. The Cattleman’s Steak House was the place to go in Ft. Worth. No alcohol served at restaurants., You brought your own booze and bought a “set up” to pour it in. The way around this was to join a “club” which you could do for a fee at most restaurants. Or join a country club - most small towns had one, even ,Archer City (“The Last Picture Show” and “Hud”) Everyone went to church. ,If you could not get to church, you listened to the church service on the radio (there were only a few TVs and the programming day was limited.) You could still hear Lutheran services coming from New Braunfels and Fredericksburg (Texas German enclaves) in ,German. ,The best church services were the black churches - the singing, the preaching, the testifying. Funerals were a particular treat. Radio, not TV., You could listen, to Mexican super-stations, from hundreds miles away particularly if the cloud cover was right, even on a crystal set, which was all I had, tied into the bug screen to get a better signal. The music was primitive rock ’n roll, starting with Bill Haley and the Comets. The Caravan Show played Ray Charles and ,Lightnin’ Hopkins. We went to Mexico for vacations., From where I lived, the closest major international metropolis was Mexico City. So a trip to Mexico City by car was special. Both grandparents drove all the way to Acapulco on separate trips - well over 1000 miles on bad roads. Kids held up iguanas by the side of the road so that you could take their picture (for a price). Rural poverty could be positively medieval. ,Whether poor whites or blacks, some extremely poor people in the country lived the way people lived in the Middle Ages - no health care, no family services, sometimes no electricity. In tar paper shacks. One shantytown was called “Lolaville.” In rural Texas, I don’t just mean Dickensian poverty, I mean like ,Tara ,after Sherman had marched through. Poverty in America like only a Southerner can comprehend. Right out of ,Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. People were frugal,. Nothing went to waste, not pennies, not nails, not even rubber bands. Everything was re-used and repaired until it ,disappeared,. My mother made many of her own dresses and preserved fruits and tomatoes in Mason jars and Ball jars. We did not have toothpaste, we brushed with salt and baking soda. Everything was made in the United States., ,Everything,. I can distinctly remember items that were ,not ,make in America - a Rolleiflex camera, Swiss watches, British lead soldiers, Jaguars, MGs and Triumphs, Scotch, German kitchen knives, Mexican sombreros, Italian switch-blades and chianti wine bottles in straw covers - ,and that was it., Anything made in Japan was considered ersatz. Everybody worked ,- the men until they dropped dead (my father went to the office every day until three months before he died at 98), housewives without help in the kitchen, did laundry, cleaning, if they had help, they did volunteer work via the garden club, Junior League, or church. Blind people re-caned chairs. I worked at a cafe, mowed lawns, my friends had paper routes. No video games ! ,We played checkers, chess, cards, board games - Monopoly, marbles, played cowboys (Hopalong Cassidy and Davy Crockett), tree houses, Christmas tree forts, rope swings, and made our own gunpowder (salt peter + sulphur + powdered charcoal) for bombs. Whoever invented the bottle rocket should be in the schoolboy hall of heroes. We ate a lot of canned food, - vienna sausages, canned tuna made into casseroles, canned spinach, Wolf Brand chili and ranch style beans, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bologna sandwiches, frozen fish sticks - quality cuisine ! Plus fried chicken (scrawny flavorful chickens) and fried fish - preferably crappie (perch) breaded in corn meal. With ketchup, everything with ketchup. But not on homemade pecan pie, or homemade apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese on top. Hardly anyone was fat., Men tended to be thin, women slender, an older man might become “portly” an older women “plump” but nobody was morbidly obese - I only knew of one such woman and she was pretty much a recluse. Everyone had served in the war. ,My father had been a captain in the Army. my mother was a nurse, my future wife’s father had been an (gaijin) officer in the ,442nd Infantry Regiment,. The more combat you had been in, the less you talked about. Our pal Congressman Jim Collins had been an Army officer in the ,Battle of the Bulge, and he didn’t talk about it at all -, ever. Nicknames, - everyone had one. Anglos had Spanish ones - Lupe Murchison, Pancho Sutherland, Paco Hunt, Quatro Tolsen and El Rey Mullen. Girls had guy’s names - Toni Jacoby, Toni Franke, Toni Trojack, Micki (aka Spic) McNamara, Kelly (my mother) but only one man had a “girl’s” name: ,Carrol Shelby,, whose son’s Pat & Mike went to my high school. (And yes, they had the coolest cars). There was C.B. (Cigar Butt), Bubba Giant, Red Dog, Black Jack, Peachy, Patches, Bubbles, Sugar, Potly, Snake, Drifty, Shorty x3, Mullet, Odor and ,Nostril,. I was Stretch. A Coke was a rare treat, - bought from an ice chest at the corner store, pulled from a metal rack via a metal trap - Royal Crown Cola, Dr. Pepper, Nehi Root Beer, 7-Up - read the top and take your pick. Social events, consisted of church picnics (horse shoes, three legged races, spoon races), softball games, barn dances, square dances - including ,Musical Chairs,, the ,Cotton Eyed Joe ,and later, ,the Chicken Dance, - bingo, birthdays outdoors, weddings outdoors, funerals in un-air-conditioned churches, first communions and the 4th of July parade, complete with patriotic floats pulled by trucks or tractors. We rode horses,, my grandfather’s ,Tennessee Walker, was called “Lucky Strike” - my mother’s walking horse was “Sally Foot.” A saddle was a prized possession. My great grandfather invented ,one of the modern western style saddles in 1890., My walker is named “Blevins,” after Jimmy Blevins in ,All The Pretty Horses. Peddlers ,would come down the road pushing a cart, the most common of which was an Italian who sharpened knives ! Sonic booms ,- every time an Air Force jet broke the speed of sound, you’d hear a horrific boom that could shatter windows. This happened regularly without warning, at a time when we lived in constant low grade fear of a nuclear attack. Fallout shelters ,- people had fallout shelters built so that they could go hide in the event of nuclear attack and the resultant fallout of radiation. The McEntires had a real beauty of a shelter built in their backyard. Buildings had fallout shelter signs posted directing you to the basement. Trolley cars, were being phased out ,to electric buses, that hooked onto overhead electric lines via ,pantographs,. Daredevils on bikes would hitch a ride hanging onto the side of the bus. Children rode the bus alone - even to another town - with a note pinned on them. Parades and Pageants ,- small towns amused themselves, told their story and attracted visitors by throwing annual ,festivals/fiestas,, parades - like the ,Tyler Rose Parade,, and pageants, such as the ,Fort Griffin Fandangle,, (mocked in ,Waiting For Guffman,) or plays, usually associated with the local high school or church. Kids would put on costume shows to amuse themselves and the neighbors, right out of ,The Little Rascals., ,Carnivals ,would go from town to town, but if you wanted to see the circus or the ,Ice Capades,, you had to go to a city. State Fair, - before Disneyland and other mega amusement parks, ,the state fairs ,were the main forms of mass entertainment - an annual pilgrimage to the Midway, the livestock shows, the Auto Building, Big Tex welcoming the crowd, the extravaganzas at the Cotton Bowl (,Elvis in 1956,), salt water taffy, cotton candy, candied apples. It was ,the best,. Everyone smoked., We kids smoked dried grapevine. Men smoked hand rolled cigarettes, Lucky Strikes, Camels, Pall Mall and Chesterfields - no filters. Men smoked pipes and chewed tobacco loose out of a pouch - Red Man - or cut off of a “plug” of compressed tobacco - Bull of the Woods or ,Day’s Work,. I rode my bike to the store and bought chewing tobacco for the yard man Shorty Robinson when I was ten years old. Totally Huck Finn. Women smoked filtered cigarettes like Kents. There was very little dope,. The Mexicans may have had some marijuana, but I never got any until I was in high school and it was ,garbage ,-leaves, stems, the whole plant. Booze, - I had my first beer when I was about 10. It tasted ,nasty., Beers were local, Pearl, Lone Star, Shiner, and the Wisconsin beers - Schlitz, Hamms, Miller. Men drank bourbon. Mexicans drank tequila or ,pulque,. The only wine was ,Gallo ,and kosher - Mogen David (Mad Dog) 20/20, “Man, oh man, oh ,Manischewitz ,!” Later Lancers and ,Mateus, from Portugal. Yum. Adults didn’t “exercise.” ,The notion that someone would go “jogging” down the road in shorts and T shirt would have defied comprehension. There was one local gym frequented by “body builders.” Kids rode bikes, grownups did calisthenics with Jack LaLanne on TV, played golf with caddies carrying their bags, or pulled a bag cart, or they played tennis ,in all white garb, - with Wilson/ Jack Kramer, Dunlop or Imperial wooden rackets with “cat gut” strings. Football ,- we (boys) all played football, with the highlight to play “under the lights” when it was cooler at night. The social, athletic, ambience and ,gestalt ,of a school could revolve around football. No game with the regional rival was complete without a fight under the stands or on the field. The terror of all 4A teams statewide as ,Odessa Permian High School - MOJO, - whose exploits were made into the movie “Friday Night Lights.” Hunting and fishing, - We all hunted and fished. George Norsworthy and I would come home from school, get our BB guns and ,proceed to kill every bird we could find,. My mother fished and when she caught a big bass, she would cut its head off and nail it up onto the side of the garage. I killed my first deer when I was 14. Buying a new Remington 700 BDL bolt action 30–06 was one of the biggest events of my life. I still have it. Dove season was the highpoint of the hunting year - they’d come in like drunken jets to the maize fields. Picking lead shot out of duck meat as you ate was a real culinary adventure. Driving tractors, jeeps and trucks, before I got my farm hand “hardship” license at 16 was a blast. We had a tractor that ran on butane - the same fuel we cooked with. Whenever we filled it, flies would swarm around the filler cap thinking it was something else. Plowing a field in a tractor with a lot of low end torque and a tight turning radius is a treat only known to farm kids. Opening that rig up on a dirt road - with the rain flapper bobbing up on the smokestack - was solid glory at 30 mph. Cars had stick shifts - “4 on the floor” or “3 on the tree.” No AC, “bat-wing” swivel windows, roll down side windows, no seat belts ! Wind mills ,- were common in pastures without power; a top hand was one who could keep them working; Chicago Aermotor was the Cadillac. The rhythmic flap of the vanes in a breeze was soothing. Even the squeak of the gears sounded good, sounded ,country. The aroma of new mown hay was wonderful,. The crackling sound of the cicadas in the summer was magical. The pulsing glows of hundreds of lighting bugs along a creek was amazing. An in-coming thunderstorm was sublime, Wizard of Oz stuff. People had storm shelters. I remember many tornadoes - several near misses - and each one was ,thrilling. No air conditioning,- except in movie theaters and banks. At night, you slept on a cot with no sheets on a screened-in “sleeping porch” sometimes under wet sheets. You had an ,evaporative cooler - a “swamp cooler”, in the living room. After Sunday supper (lunch) the men would take a communal nap ,on the living room floor, - where it was cooler. If you could, you got out of Texas in the summertime - to the Ozarks, New Mexico, Colorado or to the Sierra Madre of Mexican - Cuernavaca, Taxco (where I got ,Montezuma’s Revenge,) or San Miguel de Allende. School ,- we rode bikes to elementary school, then took the bus to junior high and drove to high school. The ‘hoods’ road motorcycles. In addition to the 3 R’s (readin’, ‘ritin’ and ‘rithmetic) boys took wood shop and metal shop, girls took home economics. If we misbehaved, ,we were paddled with a board like a cricket bat., I was paddled more than most but it didn’t seem to register, probably because, to plagiarize Gertrude Stein, “there was no there there.” The largest “ethnic minority” in my school were Mexican Americans, followed by Native Americans, including Lois Matthews, who was ,gorgeous., There were no blacks due to segregation. We got into fights., In a street fight in high school, two guys squared off, Jay Neathery was smoking a cigarette, he cooly removed the cig and flicked it past the other guy into the crowd, Bryan Wildes turned to look at the flying cigarette and Neathery cold-cocked him. John Norsworthy was particularly adept at feigning being hurt - doubling over in mock pain, the other guy would stop and then John would gut punch him. What was important was speed, hand speed, which I didn’t have. I teased a guy, Keith Phillips, about having an older girlfriend. We went to the gym to fight it out with boxing gloves. I held my own. Keith killed himself a short time later by hanging himself. More going on there than I realized at the time, but clearly teasing him and fighting him was not particularly helpful. Larceny and mischief ,- we stole things: shifter nobs, hubcaps, we disconnected distributor wires, shoved potatoes up tail pipes. Randy Hancock and I would put our school books on top of Playboy magazines and walked out of the store - then sold them to other boys. Riding bikes down an alley pulling over trash cans was considered quality entertainment. UFOs, - we made fairly convincing UFOs by taking plastic dry cleaning bags, sealing the openings with tape, then filling them with natural gas and fashioning a fuse of cotton lightly dipped in gasoline. We took these gas bombs out to a field in my truck (my first car was a truck) lit the fuse and released them - they would get a couple of hundred yards up before they exploded. We did this often enough to have these “UFOs” written up in the local paper. College ,- about half of my high school class went to Texas Tech. Almost no one went out of state except a football star that went to Yale. Until my senior year, I had no clue if I would go to college, then I applied to Brown and got in as a “geographic diversity/token hick” acceptance - along with some other generally clueless Texans. My best friend was an American Indian from Texas who was recruited to play football. My GPA 1st semester was 1.6. The only reason I didn’t drop out was because I had no particular beef with the Vietnamese. Drought ,- ,the 7 year drought in the ’50s in Texas was so bad,, many people had to go get water from other people’s wells - and the other people shared their water; I remember this distinctly, the sharing. Politics ,- everyone was a Democrat in Texas in the ‘50’s. My parents made an exception for Eisenhower (who was born in Texas), and then went for Goldwater in 1964 - to the horror of their friends. Nixon’s “Southern strategy” kicked in and Texas flipped Republican. ,For awhile. Being a rancher or an oil man was all we aspired to., The first movie I remember was ,Giant. ,The bad guy wildcatter - Jett Rink - was played by James Dean. I wanted to be Jett Rink. All of my friends wanted to be Jett Rink. To this day, when we compliment a guy for being clever we say “He’s so Jett.” Dean paced off the boundary of his place “Little Riata” by goose-stepping the metes and bounds. I was 7 and I knew right then and there what I wanted to be in life -an oil man, preferably a ,wildcatter. ,When I walked out of the theater, I goose-stepped just like Jett Rink. I was on my way. All public places were segregated,- in the county courthouse there was a “colored” water fountain. Black people did the most menial jobs., At the ice rink at the State Fair, old black men would lace up your skates for tips. When I went up North to military academy, I saw a white man pushing a lawn mower. My friend George and I had never seen a white hired-hand pushing a lawn mower before, so we assumed he was retarded. When we spoke to him we were astonished that he was normal ! The domestic help, - the maids, yardmen, etc. were black. Trudy Miles, the cook, Shorty Robinson, the yard man. They raised us white children - ,all of the kindest, friendliest faces of my childhood were black. ,They worked hard all their lives, never complained, treated us kids kindly, ,and never had half a chance. No one in my family ever used the “n” word., Never. No one. Honest. It’s not that we were so ,enlightened,, it was just considered low class. We all said “colored man/ woman.” If I had said the “n” word, my mother would have washed my mouth out with soap - which she otherwise did, ,often. Our church -Holy Trinity - was not segregated., About half of the congregation were Mexicans and there were many black members, mainly Cajun creoles from Louisiana. When Kennedy was shot, we went to the McEvoy’s house and just sat their stunned watching pastoral American scenes loop on the TV. In Texas, Kennedy was our ,political redemption, - a Catholic President. Everyone else was a Baptist or Methodist., When I told my friends that there were more Catholics in the world than Baptists, they did not believe me. They had to look it up in the World Book encyclopedia. There were very few jewish kids. I can remember only 4 and they were all my friends, including Louis Silver, who, when his father died, my mother baked them a cake and I delivered it. No one else was there, just Louis and his mother and me and the cake. It was the saddest thing. Jackie Schnel had a sad smile and was killed when her Trans Texas Airways flight crashed in a storm. Beth Eldridge, a super bright gal, was my dance partner at cotillion where we won the Fox Trot contest. Richard Goldman was a “spastic” who Glen Shepherd, the captain of the football team, befriended and made clear that picking on Richard - which had not been uncommon - was thereafter a one-way ticket to Fist City. I don’t think anyone ever picked on Richard again at our school. Richard died in a convalescent home recently. Glenn lives out on a ranch near Italy, Texas, pronounced ,IT ,-lee. Queers ,- One of my best friends growing up “turned out to be” gay. I didn’t know it growing up, I didn’t know anyone that was homosexual - that I knew of, but when I learned that Charles was gay, I was convinced of something profoundly: that being gay is not a whole lot different than being left handed. Because Charles was such a great kid - one of the best guys on our block - and if he was gay, then being gay must be OK. Years later, he asked me to accompany him to what turned out to be an ugly ,confrontation with gay bashers in Fort Worth,. Accompany him I did, armed with a semi-automatic pistol tucked into my belt. No one bothered Charles that day. Mexican Americans were our friends,. They were our priests and nuns - who were, Sisters of Charity,, aka Flying Nuns. My first ‘sort-of’ girlfriend was Olga Gonzalez, or that’s what she thought. The ranch hands were Mexicans, - ,vaqueros,. They would come wandering up the road asking “,Tienes trabajo, ?” - “Do you have work ?” I remember them fondly: Cruz, Moises, Luz. ,Vaya con Dios companeros. Cisco & Pancho,. When we got a TV, my favorite show was “,The Cisco Kid,.” When he came to Dallas, my mother took me to Love Field to see him. His sidekick, ,Pancho,, had a sign-off at the end of every show: “See you soon !” ,(Hasta la vista,). To this day, I don’t say goodbye, I say “See you soon.” Just like Pancho.