Saturday, May 8, 2010

Meanwhile Back In Ramona

At first glance there's not a lot to Ramona, California.  There's a main street and a motel and a bar and a service station.  About thirty six thousand people call it home.  It's hot in the summer in Ramona and cold in the winter -- kind of like things are supposed to be.  Brush fires love the place and every so often threaten at its doorstep to burn it to the ground.  Most lives in Ramona, in fact, are informed by stories of fires.  Time is marked, often, by -- that was when the fire almost got our house -- or -- yeah, I remember, that was when they lost their house.  Chickens roam backyards and peacocks announce the dawn.  Evening talk is of vegetable gardens and the best way to harmlessly get rid of ants.
 Yep.  At first glance there's not a lot to Ramona, California.  Except that almost too shy to come out in public is a tiny Jewish community brave enough to rescue a Torah Scroll earmarked by Hitler as a trophy of a destroyed people and brave enough to, just last night, hold evening services on that very same main street in the civic center across from the Turkey Inn and the blinking Coors sign in a room with practically floor to ceiling windows and no curtains of any kind announcing to the world - Here we are.  We live here.
At second glance there's a whole lot to Ramona and much of it is called dignity and courage.

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