Yesterday, as we were walking on the beach watching the sandpipers having a heated discussion about beach space, I noticed a couple of motorcycles whizz by. Some guys set up fishing poles with their jeep parked beside them, and people came by riding horses, so I said to Ralph, “Let’s drive down onto the beach.” Admittedly, he was not as enthusiastic as I was; in fact, he said, “You really think that’s a good idea?” I nodded my head. Things went great for awhile, then Ralph said, “This car’s sinking.” He sped up, and we were quickly stuck right up to the bottoms of the doors of that little Chevy. Mr. Canney was not happy with me.
Two guys walking by asked if we needed help; I nodded frantically, so they came down to push the car out. The car stayed where it was. Then three teenage boys, as well as an older guy with a shovel, all on horses, appeared plus a woman with a couple of kids and a big tan dog, and she brought snacks.
The guys took turns shoveling out sand, and they had a sand dune that I could just see over from where I was hiding. Then one of the guys started letting air out of the tires; I flinched then just looked the other way. This whole operation was out of my hands and would be decided by caballeros, kids, and a dog. “Pretzels, anyone?” the lady chirped. They hooked a rope under the back bumper, tied a knot so that they had two ends, wound it around their saddle horns, and six guys got behind and pushed. The horses simply walked the car out, turned it around, and stopped.
Now we were facing the road, but not far from the high tide line. They untied the horses, re-tied them to the front bumper. The guy with the shovel got in to drive, and the horses walked us up nearly all the way, then they sped up when the driver yelled, “Ir mas rápidor!” The car shot up over the walkway, and it landed smoothly on the road. No harm to the car whatsoever.
The driver got out, crossed himself, jumped on his horse, and everyone disappeared as fast as they had come. We drove to a nearby Pemex, a lovely girl reinflated our tires, and we were on our way. All Ralph said was, “I don’t want to talk to you right now.”
But, you know what? It reminds me of the little town in Maine where I grew up. Everyone was always there when anyone was in need. Bob Ross always went house to house to collect money for a family who faced a death, and Uncle Wen seemed to magically appear if one of the kids was crying. That’s what it’s like here in La Mision, and why I now call it home.