When in Rome, do as the Texans
Today’s a special day. We are not camped at a scenic place – Del Rio, TX is a small town on the TX/Mexico border – but yet I know the image of it will persist for years. We humans, being social animals, look for interaction, peer approval and above all, understanding. Understanding of our own problems, feelings and emotions. Yet, we fear rejection and disapproval, so we avoid expressing ourselves in a way we perceive might damage our projected image, masking our emotions in an elaborate dance of complicated steps.
Stop. If you’re expecting a turning point or revelation, you’re wrong. However, what’s becoming apparent is that people, at places where one least expects to, can be genuine, funny, interesting and willing to empathize, regardless of age and race. And these, I will carry away as indelible memories, for all the sunsets in the world, majestc as they may be, will infallibly repeat without or without us, long after we’re gone.
We arrived in Del Rio at dusk. Our hosts Janet and David, a 77 year-old Mormon couple originally from San Diego, met us at the gate of Hidden Valley RV Park. We hit it from the get go and registration turned into a long conversation with many personal details exchanged. We learned about their children, one of them a student in Morocco, another a rocket scientist working for *** (censored by ***).
This morning, we witnessed the Del Rio Fiesta de Amistad – a joint amity parade b/w the cities of Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña in MX, a few km across the border. I was shocked, especially after all the “border security” talk in the media, to learn that Mexicans were freely issued day passes into the US, no visas or other formalities involved. “Our groundskeeper comes from MX once a week on a day pass.”, Janet clarified. And why not?
We met Miss Val Verde County – turns out she’s attending the same church as our hosts.
I should point out that peace and serenity at this tightly knit community comes at a price: Acuña and the whole region is tightly ruled by a single drug cartel. Competition is long dead and the local drug lord likes it this way, so he keeps things in order and competition under ground. A true monopolist… He’s got a business to run and trouble is bad for business. Note to self: add to my “Golden Rules of Business” notebook.
Janet was our private chauffeur for half of today, hauling my sweet a*s from junk yard to junk yard until I could find a replacement rim for Malkia Muk. We finally managed to get one, then sped up to Mario’s tire shop to get the tire mounted. I know, mundane details, but when was the last time you (or I, for that matter) took half a day off to drive a stranger around town? As Janet summed up “We’ve seen lots of good from other people and we just like to pass it around.” Back at the camp, I was busy changing tires when Janet came strolling about with a hot pizza. Thank you!
On the agenda for tomorrow: talk to a senior border patrol officer about a safe place to cross into MX, get dentist contact info in cd. Acuña to get a crown fixed on the cheap.
As always, I’d like to hear your voice, so keep it coming!
P.S. Sorry to disappoint, but no wind tonight.