Archive for August, 2015

BORDER PULP NEWS: The Border has changed.

It was late fifties when my family moved into the Boulevard area. Since then the Border has changed a great deal. Hiking on the Border used to be pretty carefree. You’d see people heading north but they avoided you as you avoided them and no one said anything. You didn’t always call the Border Patrol.

Then you could crash through the brush laughing and talking in a noisy camaraderie. The only worry was about snakes.

SMUGGLINGA while back I was out and happened to be alone looking for Indian campsites; it’s something of a hobby.  Not being in a crowd, caution became a key factor.  Loud sound made me uncomfortable.  Breaking branches and the rattle of rolling rocks meant I moved around brush and stayed on the sandy soil as much as possible.

Earlier I had spoke with a Border Patrol Officer and he said I should have no problems.  If there were any sightings of illegal activity stay hidden and if they see you keep out of their way.  Don’t try any citizen’s arrest, as there are legal and physical dangers.  And if you see a group carrying weapons, keep out of the way.

The high desert is a wild and beautiful country.  If you decide to go out there carry plenty of water and carry a snake bite kit.

 My name is Wally Runnels and I write Border Pulp.



BORDER PULP NEWS: We’re surrounded by the Mexican Border.


I write fiction about the Mexican Border.

The Border is simple. You put up a wall that keeps Mexican people out.  But what about the Latin spirit that manages to cross over and blend and settle into the general society?

One day in Los Angeles I was waiting at Union Station for a train that was bringing my nephew from Orange County.  A little early, I walked out of the terminal to get some air.  Olvera Street was just a block away.  It’s the oldest part of Los Angeles.  A street that was laid out by the original Spanish settlers.

OLVERA STREETFollowing a flavorful aroma I walked over to a crowd that stood around a mobile grilling station.  A street post indicated that I was on Olvera Street.  In front of where I stood was the Cathedral, a local landmark.

A sign on the barbeque station said support your local Kiwanis Chapter, written in English and Spanish. Tacos, one dollar, come and get ‘em. Working the grill was some Mexican fellows and some  Angelo guys.  All were laughing and talking and  surrounded by customers of similar demographics. Thin sliced beef, fresh made tortillas and homemade hot sauce: heaven. I had two.

Here in California, the Mexican spirit is everywhere.  It’s in the architecture, markets, and restaurants and fast food chains: El Pollo Loco, Taco Bell, and Del Taco and these are just a few.

Go down a supermarket aisle and you’ll find tortillas, tortilla chips, salsas, refried beans, Mexican rice, cheeses, hominy for posole, a variety of hot sauces, enchilada sauces, Mexican seasonings, chilies and cilantro.

For the thirsty there’s Tecate Beer, Dos Equis, Corona and a variety of tequilas. We pass by these items without any alarm. We have adopted them. People, who moved north, legally and illegally, have shared their culture.

This is just another example of a Mexican saying, “We didn’t cross the Border the Border crossed us.”

My name is Wally Runnels and I write Border Pulp.


BORDER PULP NEWS: Does the Mexican/American Border need a rebozo?


FRIDA'S REBOZOMaybe the Mexican/American Border should be wrapped in a rebozo?  But that would just bury the border problem without solving it.

There’s got to be an answer. Local people who live on both sides of the Border need to sit down and resolve what the Border is.  Right now it’s a port of illegal entry, north and south.

Mexican and American sides could get together and figure out how to solve their problems.  National governments are usually too far away to render adequate resolutions on community matters.  Neighboring north and south districts could come up with reasonable solutions that both sides could live with.  Perhaps the border would become less dangerous and arbitrary.

It could be a community matter solved by ordinary people where the common solution is supported by the Mexican and American governments.

Until then tread carefully.

My name is Wally Runnels and I write Border Pulp. 

BORDER PULP NEWS: We’ve been attacked by Pancho Villa.

The Mexican/American Border has never really been peaceful.  Something’s always happening.  Even down at our place in East San Diego County strange things happen.  Like the time a smuggler drove a big truck through the border onto the American side.  With all the gullies, holes and rocks, trespassing without a road gets rough.  The truck overturned and all kinds of exotic birds flew out.

Or the time the Mexican gatekeepers got drunk, and started shooting up the little town of Jacumba, California.  That entry is now closed with the fence blocking it from view.

One of the big events happened on March 9, 1916.  Pancho Villa turned loose five hundred of his El Dorados.  They were members of his crack calvary who attacked  the little border town of Columbus, New Mexico.  They  began with shouts of “Viva Villa,” and “Viva Mexico.”   The real diehards yelled, “Muerto a los Gringos,” death to the white guys,” my rough translation.

COLUMBUSAn army garrison formed and defended the town. Lives were lost on both sides. A bullet stopped a clock at the railroad station at 4:11 am.  Finally the Villistas pulled out and were chased back into Mexico by mounted U.S. troopers. Many of the dead Villistas  were fourteen and sixteen years old and were found clutching crucifixes to their heart.

So when you’re down on the border, never take it for granted.

My name is Wally Runnels and I write Border Pulp.