The picture shown above was taken just a few years ago and all of the development on the Point, hence the town's name, was not there back in the late '60's. It was at the time just a dusty little village with friendly, mostly poor people and I can remember walking down the street and giving change to children. And, of course, we gave a fiver to a teenager to guard our car that was parked on the street, knowing that otherwise we might come back and fine it stripped. In a poor town, people look for any way to get money for necessities. It was a question of survival, and by buying our beer from a little market in the town, plus ice (just making sure we didn't drink the water), we never had any serious issues. I think there must have been an unwritten rule that if we from the States spent money, we were to be left alone, excepting a few panhandlers.
And then there was the question of security at night, for we had a campsite where we pitched tents, cooked over an open fire and slept, but only after sitting up under a beautiful sky and listening the gentle sound of water lapping onshore to the accompaniment of seagulls, a sound I truly missed. We brought a forty-five with us, knowing that there were some bad hombres in the area, despite the danger of being caught with a gun. The risk paid off on occasion when the camp was approached. I don't know if we would have been physically hurt, probably not, but you can bet all of our possessions would have been taken, likely the wagon as well. Reporting a crime in Mexico is like a crap shoot, sometimes you get help and sometimes you are just ignored, but we found the trips fun for where else could we swim in warm salt water and just take a few steps up the beach into a wild and untamed desert. Shades of North Africa, perhaps.
Today, however, the types of things we worried about on a trip like that are nothing compared with the current situation. And what made me think of Puerto Penasco this morning was a horrific article I read on one of my internet news sites. It seems that in a remote location not far from Rocky Point were found fifty eight graves courtesy of one of the warring cartels. Anything near the border in Mexico these days is a war zone and that forty-five we had with us would have been laughed at by a gang carrying heavy duty weaponry including major assault weapons, not semi-automatics like the AR-15. And that's why I am sad to report this, for like the rest of the world in chaos and turmoil, beautiful Rocky Point is now in a war zone. But the memories of days gone by are good ones and I'll just have to pray for the good people there, for they are the real losers in what goes on. That friendly little owner of that grocery store, a hard working man, probably left behind relatives who would no longer have the opportunity to independently operate that story for the cartel would probably demand most of the profits for it to stay in business. I for one, will never go back to Mexico again and the culture of poverty in that nation continues to grow as the divide between economic classes gets even worse. That's why I title this commentary as I did, for a beautiful little place now has some seriously bad vibes about.