Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fairview Heights

A Veteran's Project

In the beginning it was all sagebrush..........

For many years, like an itch that will not go away,  we have been bothered by the fact that there is no written record of the Fairview Heights years.

The vibrant years when we were all young, when the Cawston Bench rang with the voices of children, and the Nighthawks, in the summer evenings when the downdraft brought the insects, feasted and thundered along Barcelo Road,  their own peculiar peen cry echoing through the orchards.

There is no record of the effect this sudden influx of young veterans had upon the small village of Cawston;  no record of the clouds of dust that permeated everything,  or the burning scent of sagebrush as the transformation from dry semi desert began to morph into ground crops that would supply cash flow until the small sticks of fruit trees grew into orchards.

And in the midst of each ten acres unplumbed, unfinished " Veteran's Land Act" houses. 

But they were mostly all young, full of enthusiasm, eager to take on the challenges of life for which they had been spared.  And above all, they were brave

There are no Veterans living on the Cawston Bench now.  There is one Veteran's widow, some Veterans' children, but the orchards and a few vineyards are gradually being bought up by East Indian farmers,  and soon there will be nothing left of that era, except whispers in the night and in the minds of those few Veterans who are still alive and cherish the memories.  And in the memories of the children who had the benefit of these wonderful childhood years,  - hard and spare but full of the riches of the land and the hills and the incredible closeness of this community of men who had given their early years to serve their country, and who now, with their wives, embarked on another adventure that would find them in turn embracing and struggling with the land.

So we will plunge into research, and poke around in the rusty compartments of our minds where all the remembrances of these years are kept, and when we have finished with all our blog postings we will have them printed,  and this, at least, will be a small memory and memorial.