This is a reprint of stories first posted in 2010.

7 men in black ski masks were spotted walking up the gravel road into the mountains towards Marfa. They happened to be crossing the land of a man named Roma who confronted them in his bathrobe while packing an AK47. They surrendered immediately as they were tired and hungry. Seems they had been left behind after making a fellow drug smuggler mad. They turned out to be armed only with the 80 pounds of pot.

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Its the 4th of July and Dave and I are partying down in the big town of Candelaria. Dave is a perfect desert rat kermudgen. He’s 80 + years old (you can tell by the orthopedic shoes)  and wears that same damned Hawaiian shirt to every celebration. Aside from being an avid conspiracy theorist he is really a smart guy. When the border patrol pulls him over he tells them to get a real job. He says the one they have is just a government works project that isn’t even as good as the old WPA. At least with that one we got roads and parks.  Needless to say only the green BPs pull him over now.   RIP, Dave…..

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It’s so peaceful here that when the birds fly over you can hear their wings moving. It is a most beautiful sound. The quiet ruins of the fort belie the hopelessly perpetual human battles that are carved into the history here on the river.

2010

I live by the Rio Grande. My office is in the back of an old store and cantina from a hundred years ago. I was sitting at my desk the other day looking out my window towards the river when I heard the unmistakable sound of horses running fast on pavement. And there they went, two riderless horses with saddles and bridles running down the middle of the road in the rain. Hot on their heals was a border patrol Hummer going after the renegades. The Mexicans that belonged to the horses had apparently been on this side of the river looking for their stray cattle. They were on the ground looking at tracks when the border guys spotted them. The Mexicans took off running, dove into the river and emerged on the other side cursing the Mothers of the border guys. The border guys said they were trying to tell the Mexicans that they could come back and retrieve their horses and cattle but they couldn’t get a word in edge wise and the Mexicans just kept running. Now the horses are American citizens and that is that.

I went over to visit a neighbor named Olivia. She took me to her freezer to show me her latest treasure. In there on ice was a rattlesnake that had apparently died from getting caught in the chicken fence. While it was caught the chickens unleashed all of their collective feathery hostilities. Taxidermy is her hobby and, as such, she is compelled to do her best to give the poor fellow a bit of immortality.

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That’s the American Calvary in the top photo going after the Mexican Revolutionaries. Poncho Villa and the likes made fools of General Pershing and the U.S. army. Funny, a 100 years later they are still chasing Mexicans in a land chocked full of them. They are driving Hummers instead of mule trains but, damn, talk about a waste of time. Hundred years, really?

Both photos are at the same intersection looking in opposite directions. Poncho was said to have frequented the store in the bottom photo. But then again, he frequented just about anywhere he wanted on this stretch of border. Trivial fact, he was a teetotaler.

 

I was sitting on the cantina porch when my friend Tim drove up. I made the customary beer offering and then we took off to go hiking as I had promised. Tim drove and I hung my head out the window. I am almost always driving so I never get to look. As we approached my land I heard a horse whinny and saw the white horse that belongs to Olivia looking back at me forlornly from about 50 yards away.  There are three of them that stick together; one being her colt. I noticed yesterday that they were separated. This morning I took a jog and ended up following fresh horse tracks that led to only two of them. The white one was missing.

So to see her standing there now when I had just fed the other two down at my place just wasn’t right. I went back home and called Jim and Olivia and apologized for being a nusance but one of their horses did not look well. Maybe she was about to have her foal.  They came and picked me up and I took them to where she was. It wasn’t the foal. It was a horse thief. Someone had tied her up with baling wire. She had it looped around her neck in a manner clearly done by hands. And worse yet she had it wrapped around one of her back legs eight or ten times with the other end tied to a large metal object so that she was unable to move even a few inches. She had also been tied up in a mound of cactus. The wire around her leg was cutting in and had caused her ankle to swell considerably.

We got her home safely and all is well. Jim thinks that someone tied her up during the day in an isolated area planning to come back under cover of darkness to take her across the border to sell. No one would have seen her. I might not have even seen if she had not whinnied.  It could have been days before anyone noticed that she was missing. And no one ever would have known what had happened to her.

 

 

Found this guy at the last stop before Mexico. He was hitching a lift.

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That’s Abbie.P10402211-800x450

He is one of my older cats and he is fully committed to relaxation. He is the resident mascot for chillin’.

Ruidosa, Texas

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This little pony and his Mom were grazing along the side of the road in the big downtown of Ruidosa. Look at that face. Adorable. He is one of the newest additions to the semi wild herd that pretty much does as it pleases about town.

 

Still trying to save the church…..This is a fabulous group of volunteers putting in a couple of days of hard labor in the scorching Chihuahuan sun. in an effort to save this church.  Too bad it all comes undone when politics enters the mix and we all get to sit here and watch the hard work melt away.

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The left tower is going up! If you are thinking about building a house out of adobe keep in mind that it is back breaking work. But these guys are amazing!

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We started by making the adobe bricks on site and then letting

them cure for a month.

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Best photo so far of what the church could look like again if politics would stop getting in the way.

No one seems to know what happened to the bell.

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Zen Master Pratt and Tinker Bell.

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There’s my home in the top left. I loved my home.

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Published in: on December 27, 2012 at 11:01 am  Comments Off on This is a reprint of stories first posted in 2010.  
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