Jumper Cable Detour

traffic scene in downtown Taos

The hill is considerably steeper than it appears!

This local wrangler isn’t sweating blocking one whole side of the road to lend a stranded stranger cranking power. Right there is a metaphor for the ages. If that were my truck and horse trailer fifty yards from the center of town with traffic creeping by, I’d be way too nervous to do the right thing with the jumper cables.

Ever hook one up wrong? I did once, helping a driver with a stalled car at a drive-through window at my bank in Austin: the top of my battery exploded with a bang like someone shooting a shotgun next to my ear. I ran into the lobby of the bank shouting, “Where’s the restroom? I have battery acid in my eyes!”—which wasn’t exactly true (although I thought so), but got everyone’s attention. I had it all over my face, at any rate, and flushed my eyes a long, long time. To this day, I can’t remember how I got back home. Even with a partly shattered case, the battery must have had enough juice left to start the car and get me on the road. Don’t try any of this at home, please, but at least you know it can be done.

John Hamilton Farr lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. with his classical pianist wife. “Possibly the only place I can get away with this,” he says. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore (Bush’s Brain) put it in a review of John’s first book, Buffalo Lights is the work of a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” John is the author of BUFFALO LIGHTS, TAOS SOUL, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, and THE HELEN CHRONICLES. He has been publishing online since 1996 (Zoo Zone, Farr Site, MacFaust, GRACK!, FarrFeed) and blogs regularly here at JHFARR.COM. See also → John’s Twitter profile, Amazon Author Page, video channel at YouTube, and website photos at SmugMug. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page.  

  • KarenK in Portland June 4, 2016, 12:07 PM

    Yikes! I know right where that is — not a convenient place for a breakdown! Thank goodness for the friendly (and likely experienced) local who stopped by to help.

    • JHF June 4, 2016, 11:33 PM

      I know! It’s really steep. Funny how that doesn’t come through so much in the photo.

  • Marti Fenton June 5, 2016, 4:58 PM

    I drive up that hill almost daily. Sorry I missed that event. I guess practical help isn’t dead in Taos. Funny how one adjusts to reality. When I first came to Taos, I hated the slow traffic on the main drag. Now I just expect it and take in the human scenery.

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