I wasn’t sure how welcome we were on this land down the river from Neely’s Crossing, site of Homeland Security’s planned 4.6-mile fence in the middle of nowhere. Bill insisted everything was fine as this hombre padded through an arroyo and up to where we were inspecting the graves of three Buffalo Soldiers killed in the ongoing struggle to displace the Apache from West Texas in the late 1800’s.
Turned out he was more angry about fence plans that could find their way down to this remote site just outside a series of sacred Indian hot springs.
The county road leading in from the intersection of Interstate 10 and the “tiger” truckstop where some moroon once kept live tigers as a truckers’ attraction was lined with offroad treadmarks leading into dry washes and hilltops. Then the road turned to dirt and all evidence of offroad travel stopped.
More than 50 white pelicans lazed on a sunny day in some wetlands lining the river. We drive this way for an hour or more before we come to the graves — and Mundo’s casita.
Now Mundo can’t read or write, but he has some eloquent and very “American” words on freedom, walls, and security: “No system is perfect,” he tells me over a table of (“no chemicals”) undocumented chicken grilled in a pit in the front yard. “But our freedom. Our freedom should be perfect.”
As opposed to the academics and political philosophes choking on theories of liberties (and the guaranteed ones we wonder if we’ve lost) in urban centers choking on traffic light laws, out here on the River, Mundo is close enough to it, to perfect freedom, to know of what he speaks.