Sailors, Tequila, and the Border Patrol

Sailors, Tequila, and the Border Patrol

By Garland Davis

I was reading an article today about the illegal immigration situation and proposed actions to limit illegal immigration. Evidently it is very easy to cross the border and once a few miles above the border an illegal is home free.

It wasn’t always that way. In the early sixties, I was stationed at NAS Lemoore. During the year I was there, I made a number of weekend trips to Los Angeles. I remember there was a Border Patrol check station somewhere near Bakersfield. Vehicles would stop and a Border Patrol Officer would simply ask, “Where were you born?” Answer truthfully and you were passed on your way.


One weekend three of us rode the Trailways bus to L.A. An Airdale friend whose family lived in the city named Jones, another Airdale striker named Gomez and me.

As I remember, we spent the weekend at Huntington Beach where I learned I don’t have a talent for surfing. The weekend ended Sunday afternoon as Jones’ sister drove us to the Trailways station. We boarded the bus and went to the rear. We had a pint of Tequila and didn’t want to draw the attention of the driver.



The bus proceeded north and eventually ended up at the Border Patrol checkpoint near Bakersfield. The officer proceeded down the aisle asking each passenger where they were born.

Jones answered, “Los Angeles.”

I answered, “Winston-Salem, North Carolina.” in my best Southern accent.

Gomez, who was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, giggling answered, “Guadalajara, Mexico senor.”

That tickled Jones and me. All three of us in our alcoholic stupor were laughing our asses off.

They jerked us off that bus and locked us in a cell. It took us two hours to convince them that he was actually from Santa Fe and just fucking with them.

They weren’t really amused.


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