Thursday, August 27, 2009

News from Nevada

Paid a call on Hugh today. We talked most of the afternoon. He asked me about Bolivia and the situation down there. When I said that the government was so small and couldn’t really bother the little guys, he said “I wondered about that. I thought it might be that way”.

He showed me some of the work he has been doing on his maps. He’s opened four portals and gotten in 270 feet on the GW claim, but hasn’t gotten past that because he doesn’t have a loader and can’t hall it over the dump. He said he’s had to fight off a few claims, one from a Canadian exploration company that looked like a nuisance claim, and one that was a mistake, where they mapped the claim way out in the wrong place. But it’s all time wasted. And on top of that, they dropped four thousand dollars on the claims, that the claims this year are up to one forty, which is a lot of money, but there you go.

Also his mother hasn’t been well, and he’s had to be with her, taking care of her. It was a little sad to see her struggling, but it was also really sweet to see Hugh taking care of her, helping her walk around, etc. She was watching "Shane" at full volume in their den when I got there, which made me happy.

And we talked politics a bit too. He’s worried about America, about the military. What was interesting was to hear him repeat one of the things that Peter, among the WASPiest of my WASP friends (sorry Peter), said, namely that if we don’t start supporting manufacturing, we won’t last very long as a super power.

And he surprised me, as he often does, with a comment he made when we were talking about the social problems that often plague the international companies that work down there. He said "they won't figure out how to work it out. You've got to work with the people, and you can't expect them to see things the way you do. You've got to understand that... And you may want them to change the way they think, but you can't expect that right away."

How does a miner from Nevada who's never been to Latin America understand that in a way that mining companies that have worked there for dozens of years can't manage to figure out?

And he worried, and he railed against the environmentalists, and he complained that the last good truck that he got was a 1978 Ford, “Not that I’m complaining about that truck that I got out there, but the last really good truck I got was a 1978. They used to make trucks for working.”

So it was good to check up on an old friend. We agreed to keep in touch to send letters every now and again.

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