Was that Uncle Vern we smelled at 500 feet above Balloon Fiesta Park???

The Albuquerque Journal has been writing stories in recent weeks about controversy over a plan to build a mortuary/creamatorium in the north valley just west of Balloon Fiesta Park.

Area residents have become alarmed that the facility will emit toxic and unwelcome smells, noting that a nearby animal rendering facility/crematorium nearby is already making the neighborhood more odiferous than they would like.

Smoke plume allegedly from “Lasting Paws” animal crematorium in Albuquerque North Valley

The human facility is to be located in a building that was vacated by a plumbing company. That made me wonder if one day, one of the customers will assume that a large white porcelain object left by previous owners in the back yard might be a new kind of funeral urn.

“Gladys, isn’t that one of them fancy new funeral urns? Maybe Vern would want to be in that,” Lester might ask.

“Um no, Lester, it’s a toilet,” responds Gladys.

The business planning the funeral home/crematorium has told Bernalillo County officials that the facility will be fully compliant with air quality regulations and will dutifully scrub toxic smells like those allegedly coming from the nearby animal depository.

However, it made me think of my years of flying at Balloon Fiesta, when on most days flying south, you could always encounter the sticky-sweet smell of Cocoa Puffs cereal being manufactured at about 250 feet above the General Mills plant just off Paseo del Norte.

If nothing else, it was always a good backup in case your altimeter wasn’t working.

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