.....The BiKeWriTer

Albuquerque: Tire is Flat and a Big Straw Hat

Albuquerque, N.M. – Marty Kuehn at the information desk at the Albuquerque airport was doing her job filling me with maps.

“Now be sure to get a big hat and remember water, water, water,” she said. 

You could barely hear her German accent as she recommended restaurants, good roads and the latest sweltering weather forecast.

“These are the hottest five days of the year,” she said. “And we’re barely through day three.”

Marty’s workmate at the desk was Sirpa. She was from Finland and wore a big straw hat.

L to R: Marty, me, and Sirpa

Both ladies came to the U.S. via marriage.

“My husband died of Alzheimer’s,” said Marty. “He was in his 90s. Boy those guys live a long time.”

Marty said her husband died at home surrounded by family.

“And I remember in his final days I left his bedside to go make breakfast and he had a moment of clarity and he reached out and put his hand on my leg and said that he loved me dearly and that I was the best woman he ever met,” she said.

Marty was clear about two things. “I’m afraid of the ‘big A’ and the ‘big C.'”

To keep Alzheimer’s at bay she’s taking piano lessons. “They say music really helps the memory,” she said.

A former music major Marty stopped playing and sold her Baby Grand piano when she got married. “My husband didn’t like classical music,” she said.

With maps in hand and plenty to fill a day in Albuquerque I set out to find a place to stay the night. Within a stones through of the airport exit doors I got my first flat. 


This is going to be an awesome tour!

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