Archive for February, 2014

JACUMBA’S GHOST STAGE.

Don’t worry we’ll eventually get to Jacumba.

In the 1800’s there was no border fence. You could look south and not see anything but open country. You’d need a map and a transit to find the international line, or you might step on a lead marker with a brass plate imbedded in it saying what country you were standing on.

In those days the only road through Jacumba was dirt. It was a wagon road used by local ranchers or the military. There was a cavalry post a few miles away. Eventually the track became a stagecoach road for the Butterfield Line and others going to and from San Diego.

OLD STAGE ROADOld Highway 80 built in 1932 wanders over and around the original dirt stage road that passed through Jacumba in those early days.  The photo shows a part of the road about fifty feet south of Old 80. A small bridge between rocks, built out of post and lintel slabs acts as a drain and flattens out the roadway, although faint, still runs over it.

The Pierce Arrow and Locomobile touring cars of the Pickwick Motor Stage line operating from El Centro and San Diego in 1911 used this road.  If you were traveling from San Diego you could purchase tickets in Bill’s Cigar Store, and in El Centro it was Brad’s Smoke Shop. It was mainly a male crowd that traveled on the line, wearing hats and suits. Most sat inside the vehicle while others had to ride outside on the toolbox.  Dynamite was carried to clear rockslides and the driver carried a firearm for bandits. There were lots of wicked people running around in those days, a trend that continues.

MOON NIGHT copyLocals who live around the old trail tell me that on a moonlit night they can sometimes hear the ghostly grumble, rattle and growl of an old rig downshifting to take the grade into El Centro or San Diego. Its dim lights flickering over the bumpy terrain, the driver, a skeletal figure wears a uniform cap and coat.

 

My name’s Wally Runnels. I write Border Pulp.

 

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Border Pulp, that’s what I call the stuff I write. Think of it as noir
in Spanglish, and in color. My protagonists and villains inhabit California/Baja border towns...




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