Friday, October 23, 2009


Mexico, that is.

I think the only time Jean and I were in Mexico was one time when there was a Christian Stewardship Council seminar in San Diego CA.

We drove, so we could also visit my Sister Miriam and her husband Stanley in Phoenix, on the way.

After the Seminar, we wondered what it would be like to go across the border to the well known city of Tijuana. In fact, going across the Mexican border at all was an adventure for us.

In those days of “free access” to both Mexico and Canada, we had no problem entering and returning. No passport was needed.

It seems to me, though, that we may have planned on going in, since I believe I contacted our Auto Insurance Carrier about coverage in Mexico, before we left.

Crossing the border was uneventful. We just got in the long line of cars and trucks, and gradually crept forward toward the gate. I don’t remember what questions we were asked, except that I’m sure they wanted to know how long we were to be there.

My memory is that Tijuana is not far from the border, so we drove into and around the streets of the city. We didn’t, of course, know where we were going, but driving down a busy street, we saw some shops.

Being curious, we stopped and shopped. I don’t remember what we bought, but it was some souvenir, like a throw rug or something.

While on that street, I saw a “fast food” shop, open on the street - featuring Tacos. I had been eating Tacos at Taco Bell for a long time. In fact, the owner of the first Taco Bell here in Springfield was from San Diego, and we talked about the trip before and after.

Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to buy a REAL Mexican Taco, so I stood in line at the Cashier, all the while watching what was put into the tacos.

What I saw was NOT what I was used to seeing in a Taco, so I backed away from the shop before my turn came, and went to the car.

Being tourists, we drove around, and turned left at the next intersection, then left again, and ended up on the street just behind the Taco Shop. We could right away see the back door of the shop, and lo and behold we observed a worker “dragging” a side of beef ON THE GROUND, IN THE DIRT, toward the Taco Shop.

Uhhhhh………… I was kinda glad I opted out of the Tacos!

Again being tourists, we didn’t want to return to the US too soon, so we found a reasonably wide road going east.

The scenery was beautiful! The mountains were covered with round boulders, just like the small stones we see on the gravel roads here, EXCEPT that some of them were several feet in diameter.

When we reached Mexicali, I thought I remembered that there was a California city similarly named, so we went back across the border to Calexico CA. Uneventful crossing.

I’m not sure, but I THINK this was the trip that we took from El Paso TX northeast - clear across Texas in two days - ending up in Texarkana, on the borders of Texas and Arkansas. One city name - two states.

While traveling the two days in Texas, we saw some remarkable scenery, through Fort Worth and Dallas, on to Texarkana, then, Little Rock and Memphis.

At one of the towns in Texas (I couldn’t guess which one) we parked the car in the lot of a Motel, registered, then ate supper. (I should mention that we were then traveling with a dark blue WEEC Station Wagon, with the call letters splattered all over both sides of the car.)

Returning to our room, we shortly heard a knock on the door, and a man said,

“Is Mike Maddex here?”

“Uh….yeah. Who wants to know?”

“I saw the WEEC car outside and the Front Desk told me it was you driving.”

Turns out he was a listener to the station, and just wanted to greet us and thank us for the ministry of WEEC.


(I THINK this was the same trip on the way out west, that a man in a “Lum and Abner” store we stopped at, recognized my voice from the other side of a floor-to-ceiling book shelf)

(Another parenthesis: Timi, our Activies Director, still drops her jaw whenever someone recognizes me at some public function.)

“I knew you’d see someone you knew!”

I think, maybe “working the room” at some banquet or other function may contribute to that. I just can’t help it. I have to look around and see people.

Some folk say,

“Mike, you’d make a good politician.”

Meaning, of course, my “glad handing”, NOT my legislative ability.

Though this posting is about Tijuana, I must comment on our trip to and through San Diego on the same trip.

We’d never been there before.

The most striking thing I remember was the Coronado Bridge, linking San Diego to the Coronado Island. There was a ferry also, but the bridge was the fascinating thing - to me.

The Christian Stewardship Conference we were attending was in the area called “Mission Valley”. In fact, I was so uncertain of the name of that “valley”, that I called a friend of 20 or 30 years ago here in town, who told me about it at that time. He reminded me of the name today. He is a native of San Diego.

My memory of it is that the Conference was in a large Conference Room in a Motel, with smaller rooms available for side meetings.

After the meetings was when we decided to drive around San Diego, and then go to Tijuana.

Isn’t it just like me to remember some small “snippets” of information, then gradually, figure out a way to remember (sometimes “call for”), MORE facts?

That’s what I’ve been doing since last November on this blog. I just let my mind wander - or meander - on some experience I’ve had, then “follow the trail” of thoughts. I’ve had over 120 of these postings since then, and unless the Lord calls me home soon (or maybe lets me lose my mental faculties), I’ll probably keep on remembering - and sharing - thoughts, whether anyone reads them or not.

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