Fishing in Milltown

I grew up in a tiny clapboard house on concrete blocks in the Milltown area of Conroe, just north of Houston, Texas. I remember it as my shabby childhood castle. It goes without saying, it was much more shabby than castle.

It was the 1970s. I enjoyed roller skating on the concrete ramps of the industrial park across the street, drinking sweet tea and threading buttons with the 80YO woman who lived next door. I remember biking with my friends, mostly immigrants. It was an almost entirely immigrant neighborhood then and remains so today — dotted with pawn shops, mechanics garages, carnecerias and Western Union booths.

I also remember nights when the raids would take place. The nights when La Migra descended to “clean up our nation”. I remember how it struck terror in my heart. The sounds of screaming immigration officers rattled in my head as I lay safe in my yellow poster bed. I knew that sound meant there would be fewer kids at school the next day, the same school named after my American hero, Neil Armstrong. These were the nights when I felt most afraid of my country, even though I was safe inside my shabby castle. Simply because I had won the latitude lottery.

When a fisherman casts his net out into the sea and draws it up, sometimes unintended lives get caught in the net.

I’ll save the talking points, because that’s my story.

Welcome back to 2017.

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