The Other Daughter

A blog by Lara Jackson’s sister

Posts Tagged ‘El Paso’

Texas, or NCAA Wednesday

Posted by Carly Rose Jackson on March 28, 2009

texas-shapeI had been looking forward to NCAAs since Christmas.  I couldn’t wait to see my family — I hadn’t seen my dad or sister for a year– and to be someplace warm.

My parents drove to College Station from El Paso.  They brought Lara’s best friend from high school, Danny Motoya.  You know he’s a very good friend because he spent nine hours in the car with my parents.  My dad made him listen to Mark Levin podcasts.  Now Danny has Mark Levin on his own iPod.

Lara didn’t know Danny was coming.  My parents and Danny kept it a secret for a whole year.  Danny even sent faux “good luck!” text messages to Lara on Wednesday.

Mom, Dad and Danny picked me up from the College Station airport, the smallest airport in the universe.  It was smaller than a Wal-Mart.  There was only one gate and one baggage claim.  I’m certain that 90 percent of the people on my flight were there for NCAAs.

Aw Texas.  There’s a saying in Texas,”I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could,” (I found out this phrase has been imitated by California and Montana among others, but those states are just fooling themselves.)

Well, I was born in Texas — technically.  El Paso is really it’s own place, which I already wrote about here.  But I have road-tripped extensively through North Texas and Central Texas.  This is what road-tripping in Texas looks like:

The blue sky, the green grass, the open road.

The blue sky, the green grass, the open road.

I couldn’t stop looking at the sky!  We don’t have sky in Boston, we have tall buildings and a gray space.  There’s something about open space that makes you feel like you can breathe.  I miss that.

The other major difference about Texas is how people talk to you.  On Wednesday night we went out to dinner and the waiter was very attentive.  He made eye-contact with every person at the table, and there were five of us!  Can you imagine a New England waiter taking the time to wish you a good night and look you in the eye?  I have yet to find one.  At first I thought he was just working for his tip, but no, that’s just how people are in Texas.

Back to the reporting: Lara’s fan club (Mom, Dad, Danny and me) were at the hotel when the team came back from the pool.  Danny hid behind a large column.  Lara came in and she hugged us.  I was ready with my camera.  Then Danny came out from behind the column.

In the crowded Hilton lobby, Lara yelled, “What the f*** are you doing here?” and jumped on him.

Here are my pictures: Danny Surprise

Then she whispered, “I said the f-word really loud and people looked at me.”

Advertisements

Posted in Meet coverage | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Out in the West Texas town of El Paso

Posted by Carly Rose Jackson on March 12, 2009

cristo rey el paso from citydatadotcom.jpgEl Paso, Texas.  The Sun City.  Imagine the state of Texas in your mind.  See that far left pointy bit? That’s El Paso, squished between New Mexico and old Mexico.
Famous El Pasoans:

Don Haskins led the first basketball team with five black starters to NCAA victory, and then they made a movie about it.

Lee Trevino got his start at a golf tournament in El Paso.

Debbie Reynolds was born in El Paso.

And don’t forget Marty Robbins:

Though technically within Texas borders, El Paso does not, like every other major Texas city, claim to be home to the only “True Texans.”
Fun facts about El Paso:
It has a slightly larger population than Boston.
It is the fourth largest city in Texas.
It is the home of Chico’s Tacos.  NOT for the amateur.
Most El Paso residents are of Mexican descent.

When we were little babies, my parents put Lara and me in the care of a Mexican lady, Toni.  Toni weaned us on refried beans and Spanish rice and homemade tortillas, and menudo.  Mmm menudo, and I don’t mean the Ricky Martin band.  Here’s a site with more information than you will ever need about menudo.
desert pic el paso planetwaredotcom.jpgDespite four years each in her care, Lara and I do not speak Spanish.  It’s probably the biggest shame in my life.
Lara has not forgotten her home town — she mentions it whenever the press ask where she’s from.  And her home town has not forgotten her.

Lara was nominated to the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame on February 18, 2009.  Flip Lyle, triathlete and Hall of Fame treasurer, nominated her.  In Lara’s category three out of 10 to 15 athletes are chosen per year.

“I was excited and delighted to nominate Lara,” Lyle said over the phone.  “She is obviously an extraordinary swimmer.”
Three people must speak on the nominee’s behalf.  Lara’s high school coaches, including Wright Stanton, spoke for her and my parents assembled a resume of her achievements.
view from franklins.jpgLara still finds it “surreal” to think that so many people pay attention to her career.  Lara doesn’t think of herself as bigtime yet, but she said, “It feels good to be supported by your hometown.”

Posted in Swimming memories | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »