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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks


Because I am technically a guest lecturer at UTEP for the summer, my family and I were invited to a staff appreciation “Splash ‘n’ Sparks Extravaganza” this week. We made arrangements to go, planning parking, timing feeding schedules, and coordinating vehicles. Judging by the title of the event, we were certain of two things; there would be some sort of fireworks display, and we should prepare to get wet. 

Avey was beside herself with excitement. She got to stay up late and get wet! All kids enjoy a good splash, but in Texas heat getting soaked is considered preventive care. We got her in her swimsuit with some other clothes that could get nice and drenched. To our dismay, however, when we arrived at the activity we discovered that the only water present was in prepackaged bottles meant for drinking. I spent the remainder of the weekend poring over the meaning of the word “splash”. Is there some odd colloquialism known only to El Pasoans? Is “splash” a Spanish word for “dry”? I knew I had not misread the invitation – they gave us commemorative t-shirts of the event – it says right there, “Splash ‘n’ Sparks Extravaganza”. Perhaps there was metaphorical splashing of sorts. Could it be that we were being “splashed” with entertainment and atmosphere the whole time? I suppose it’s possible, but I, for one, was far too distracted by the lack of literal splashing to take in the apparently deeper meaning.

If nothing else, the evening did provide some fun memories. For example, I was following Avey as she scoped out the grounds, and she turned to me and said, “Dad, I have an idea. You could be my helper who carries everything for me!” I, already overexerted from the heat, lamented, “Oh, that doesn’t sound very fun.” Avey, offering the best encouragement she could, replied, “That’s okay, you’ll get used to it!”

Well this pack mule needs a few days off. Thank goodness our founding fathers had the wisdom to sign the Declaration of Independence in July so that we might have some respite from the toils that come with freedom! Happy Independence Day to all!

#Happenings #LittleGems

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