“Hey uncle Tom, we are coming down to Rocky Point for the weekend. I am bringing my friend, Paul, and my son Andrew. Is your buggy running? See you Friday, Mel.” I knew immediately I was in for a long weekend as soon as I received my nephew’s message. The last time they used my buggy they literary blew up the motor to the tune of about two thousand dollars worth of parts and work. The new motor is still in the “break-in stage”, with under 500 miles on it.

Friday night and Saturday morning was relatively calm, hanging out with Wayne & Lannette, in Laguna Shores. About 3PM they decided to go to the beach at Playa Encanto. I stayed at the Ranchito watching the NASCAR race and preparing a steak Bar-B-Q. At 6:30PM Paul drove up, alone, in my buggy saying that the entire battery was dead in Mel’s truck and they needed jumper cables. I gave Paul cables and told him they should come back A.S.A.P. that we would eat around 8PM. I also said, “check the gas” in the buggy. An hour later I got a phone call from Sandy in Ajo, that the buggy was out of gas on the dirt road to Encanto. Not having a local Mexico cell phone, Paul called Rusty (another nephew) in Las Vegas, who called Sandy who called my Mexico cell. I had a gas can, empty, bought some gas and found Paul about 2 miles in, on the Encanto road.

It’s now about 8:30PM. We drove to the beach and found Andrew and Travis and a Jeep that was broken and a lot of mosquitoes. Apparently Travis and Elizabeth have a home in Encanto, saw Mel’s truck stuck and jump-started him. Mel, not being familiar with the area took Elizabeth to look for Paul. A half hour later, they showed up. We hooked up Mel’s truck to the Jeep and my truck to Mel’s and after several tugs got the jeep out of the sand and towed to their home. I went back to the Ranchito to start the Bar-B-Q. After awhile everyone showed up, including new friend and good Samaritans Travis and Elizabeth. Dinner was being served after midnight. “Oh well, another day in paradise”.

Art Church well is a retired Navy man living in Blythe, California. Art has been drawing cartoons for fifty-five years, to quote him, he just never grew up. His cartoons have been published in various magazines mostly industrial safety and teachers publications. Many were sold to magazines in England, Ireland, Canada and the United States. Art has coffee in the morning with a group of guys where they sit around and swap stories. Once in awhile, he will go home and draw a cartoon representing a particular incident and add his own funny quote to the cartoon. One morning he drew a carton for a story that Bob Blair had told. Bob has a home in Blythe California, and also in Las Conchas, Rocky Point. Between the two of them they came up with an idea of a way to promote Arts cartoons. Bob, who has been a friend of mine for many years, explained their idea to me. After a few meetings I said. “Let’s try it.” By coincidence, I was going through one of our old photo albums at the time and found a picture of another friend of mine (a former Navy man who shall remain nameless). This particular photo was taken many years ago when family and friends of the shrimp boat owner/ captain were taken out to sea for four hours at the beginning of the shrimp season. A half hour at sea and ‘Mr Nameless’ was hanging over the side of the shrimper, white and very sea-sick.

I sent the photo to Art for him to make a cartoon interpretation. Somewhere inside this edition you will see the finished product! Bob and Art’s idea is that, if you have a photo of a memorable incident here in Rocky Point, Art will draw a cartoon, suitable for framing, for a fee of $50usd, ship it to you…and then, if you wish your cartoon will also be published in the Rocky Point Times Newspaper. For more information call Bob Blair (760) 854-3554 cell (951) 312-8408.

We are so happy to announce to everyone that 2 (of the 4) LANES OF THE NEW SONOYTA BRIDGE ARE OPEN TO NORTH AND SOUTHBOUND TRAFFIC!!! If you have been inconvenienced by the fiasco of the Sonoyta bridge (Hwy 2) being reconstructed and the only other route thru the city was through a wash which was opened and closed interminably because of flooding, you are not alone. I have waited as much as two hours to cross the wash. A friend living in Sonoyta had a seven hour delay going home, from Ajo. Believe me; Sandy has heard all of them on the Rocky Point Times Facebook Page. By the way, LIKE our PAGE and FRIEND Sandra O’Hare to get ALL our posts. We already are over the 2,500 ‘Like’ marker! We talk to, on average, over 5,000 unique people EACH WEEK! Week before last, we were up over 11,000!

Anyway, there are many that wonder why the powers that be picked the monsoon season, to demolish the bridge, it being the main access from the mainland to the Baja, without providing an adequate detour. Who knows the answer to that question? We don’t even care now that we have access to the new bridge. Most tourists can’t imagine the effect that his closing has caused besides the obvious of less visitors and suffering businesses. Imagine living in, say Scottsdale, AZ and relying on services, goods, medical, police, etc…from the only one road, and it is destroyed and you have to travel upward of two hundred miles, to go from Point A to B. Recently Sandy, Robert Lee and I took a weekend road trip from Rocky Point over to Ensenada on the Baja. (That is a story in itself, maybe next month). We took the new Coastal Hwy and as you pass El Golfo there is a military checkpoint called “El Doctor”. Like many throughout Mexico they check the vehicles for illegal drugs, guns. As we approached the checkpoint, we saw a long line of semi trucks and said, “Oh no, were going to be her for the duration”. Pretty soon a local Mexican pickup truck came up behind us and went in the oncoming traffic lane (no cars were coming) and passed the semis. We followed him, and as we got close to the soldiers the truckers had left a space to cross over to the right into the automobile entrance of the check point. I’m told that this is normal procedure.

By now you’re probably wondering what has this but to do with the Sonoyta bridge. Well, on our return back to Rocky Point Sunday evening through EL Doctor, we counted fifty semis waiting in line to have their loads inspected. This is done strictly with man power, no modern x-ray equipment. We stopped and spoke with two drivers about how long their wait would be. They said they would probably be waiting up to 6 hours before they were up to the front of the line to be inspected. Moral of the story is, our wait at the Sonoyta ‘Detour’, was nothing compared to what these truckers have to endure every day of their travels. Give a honk and a wave to the drivers you pass on the road, and don’t forget that a passenger vehicle can go around the semis parked, waiting for an inspection. When you do get to a Military checkpoint (there is one at the glorieta, just north of Rocky Point) you may pass the commercial vehicles. Then when it is your turn at the front, just follow the soldiers’ instructions. Some people have told me they were ‘intimidated’ by the soldiers and their guns. Well, let me tell you what we do when at a checkpoint, we SMILE first, answer their questions, exit our vehicle for it to be searched, and we even offer water and cokes. Sandy offered a half dozen fresh tamales last trip through, and guess what…then THEY were SMILING! Come on down, the weather is PERFECT!!