Chapter 1--San Diego City Jail/Introduction to New Site

Baja Bernie - 11-16-2006 at 03:52 PM

A small introduction to whys and maybes of my being added to the Special Correspondents section of the Nomad board

Well! Being the retired old guy on the block who has nothing much to do since we sold our home in Baja—all I do is take care of the bills, say yes honey whenever my wife gives me another chore, read all the posts on the Nomad Forum, play with the cat who is even older I am, fix supper or is that dinner, write books, research books, read the Nomad stuff, etc. As you can see this leaves me with plenty of time that I can’t figure what to do with so I approached Jefe Doug aka Mr. Nomad with the idea of posting excerpted story’s from my first book Mi Baja No Hurry No Worry that I wrote way back in 2000/2002. I thought it just might be fun for the Nomads, especially the young en’s who got here after so much had changed. My idea was that if this effort proved to be well accepted then we could go out and con some of the other Baja authors to contribute to this effort.

Dave being the easy going guy he is—heck he only works about 26 hours every day of the week—said, I think the people just might find it fun so why don’t you just work it out and give me your ideas by Friday.
He did strongly suggest that I use the Special Correspondents section. So I did and here goes……………….

Sure hope we all have some fun as we wander back in time.

San Diego City Jail

I was first introduced to the Land of Mańana (dictionary says tomorrow—but it really just means NOT TODAY) early in April of 1964. I was a young hard charging rookie cop and Captain Art McLaren was a middle aged, hardnosed, boss from the old school. We all thought he was hard as nails and in routine conversation he conveyed that impression with his deep, almost a whisper, gravelly voice. But!—When he began talking about Baja California his voice mellowed out and his shoulders relaxed a bit. He was a large heavy boned Scotsman who delighted in becoming involved in new and different experiences. When he got caught up in his Love Affair with Baja he didn’t just wade in—he jumped into the culture and became very concerned with its people.
Over coffee one morning he told us about his efforts to secure corrective surgery for a young man from La Mision. Pepe was about fourteen years old and was a fairly handsome young guy except he had a cleft palate that detracted from his looks and caused the other kids to tease him. Art told us that he had arranged for a team of doctors to donate their skills for nada (nothing) and Scripps Hospital was willing to provide care for Pepe. The largest problem was getting his parents to agree to let their son go ‘north’. Next was getting through all of the paperwork that both governments required. Art laughed and said, “I’m used to getting past bureaucrats. That’s what I do for a living.”
A few days later Mac asked me if I would like to wander down to La Salina with him. I jumped at the chance and as a result my life was changed forever. I fell in love with Baja and its people. I learned to live with one foot in the United States and the other in Mexico. Years later I developed a very strong desire to capture the magic, humor, the fun, and yes, the sadness too, of this small campo nestled on the shores of the Pacific Ocean just a few miles south of the San Diego.
Over the years I have read many books about Baja, but with the exception of “God and Mr. Gomez” by Jack Smith, most of them only addressed HUNTING, FISHING, and looking for new forms of cactus. No one had written about the Baja that a whole bunch of us crazy gringo’s had discovered. We had come to Baja just looking for a place to get away from the ‘rat race.’ A place to just kick back and enjoy life! We soon found that it was a much more pleasant experience when we interacted with the happy, smiling, people who lived in our part of Baja—I know it is really not ours—but our new friends made us welcome. They taught us how to put together a fiesta, to eat, drink, dance, and enjoy each other’s company. They taught us to slow down, to watch the sunrise and then to watch for the green flash as the sun slid into the Pacific.
Without saying it they showed us how to breathe to the rhythm of the crashing waves. To know that watches were really of no practical use in this little bit of paradise. That time was only your friend if you realized that its passage only added to your enjoyment of life. Getting older doesn’t matter, it only matters that you live your life with your family and friends and that you extend your hand in friendship to all of the wonderful people around you.
These not so simple people taught us how to enjoy life! They nudged us into a better and more honest understanding of ourselves. They helped us to build our homes. They taught us to see much more than we previously could or would, to see and understand things that proved to be so much more meaningful and added so much to our lives.
Hopefully, in reading this book you will find that in a round about way it is a “How to Book on Living in Baja.” You will learn how to build a house and to appreciate that it is a living thing. You will understand how to become a ‘legal’ alien in Mexico. How to acquire land. Notice that I did not say how to ‘own’ land. How to understand, work with, and enjoy the people that make this place what it is!
With the proper attitude, learning a different and more relaxing way of life will be so much fun. You will learn how to party at the drop of a hat. AND you will learn what is truly important in this life!

[Edited on 11-16-2006 by Baja Bernie]

[Edited on 11-25-2006 by Baja Bernie]

DENNIS - 11-16-2006 at 03:57 PM

Good idea Bernie ..... Thanks.
Do you think you might start with your latest book? That way I wont have to buy it.

Lee - 11-16-2006 at 06:05 PM

Originally posted by Baja Bernie
A small introduction to whys and maybes of my being added to the Special Correspondents section of the Nomad board.


[Edited on 11-16-2006 by Baja Bernie]

As relevant and meaningful today, as when it was experienced back in the 60s. Glad you were there Bernie. Thanks for the culture.


If I don't start getting bigger royalty checks....

thebajarunner - 11-16-2006 at 11:39 PM

then I just may start posting the chapter that I wrote for your most recent opus.....
"Think you know Baja?"
(and since you are still selling that one, giving away the heart and soul of the book will strike deep into your pocketbook)

FARASHA - 11-17-2006 at 12:05 AM

Originally posted by Baja Bernie


[Edited on 11-16-2006 by Baja Bernie]

YES PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Waiting for some DUST to be shared with US!!
Have no chance in getting your Books here anyway (yet?).
So I'm looking forward to dust it off my screen!! :bounce:

Iflyfish - 11-17-2006 at 01:52 AM

Glad you got a computer and learned how to use it. Nice writing!


jorgie - 11-17-2006 at 06:25 AM

Bernie; from one 'ol guy yo another, you got good stuff. I look forward to much more. Lots of luck , good penning , have a great day, every day.

Eli - 11-17-2006 at 07:31 AM


Sometimes it is so hard for some of us (like me) to slow down and read more than 3 lines at a time, even more so on this electric devise that throws out infinite information, way more than we can consume even if we gave it our every waking mintue. I am glad I took these few moments to slow down and revisit the images that you have with words painted of your vision. I for one do certainly Thank you for starting out this new site with the above postive mission.

Ah yes, and in regard to your observation and identy of being with one foot on either side of the fronteer, I think that you and many on this board have a right to that admission. Yes, I can somehow relate; Although my body and soul most certainly reside on the South Side of the boarder, I do feel like the bas*ard child of both cultures, neither claims me and I have never felt that I belonged more than just to humanity. Which, I guess in the end has it's advantages, I certainly don't get lost in one indenty dictating who I am.

Oh que, enough thoughts provoked for the moment. Please, although I have read your first two books, continue with your story..........Suerte, Sara

[Edited on 11-17-2006 by Eli]

Mexitron - 11-17-2006 at 08:27 AM


I moved to Fort Worth a couple months ago, before that I was in Oregon for 8 months. My last trip to Baja was in August 2005--longest stretch without a trip there in 25 years. I still have pockets of that beautiful red Baja dust in my truck cab from the last trip that I won't clean off. Keeps the truck feeling like home.

cabobaja - 11-17-2006 at 12:44 PM


Just purchased "Mi Baja" at the Tecolote Book Store in Todos Santos. It was the only book of your's that they had. Reading "Mi Baja" brings back alot of memories.



Baja Bernie - 11-17-2006 at 02:33 PM

Jaime Tolbert of Baja Books and Maps is carrying all three of my books, Mi Baja No Hurry No Worry, Bouncing Around Baja, and Think you know Baja in Baja Sur. It is my understanding that he was going to place them at the TeColote Book Store.

He is a member of this board and can be reached here or better at or ask the folks at Tecolote to contact him.

All of my books are now available at the El Nido Restaurant/gift shop in Rosarito.

Thanks for asking.

[Edited on 11-17-2006 by Baja Bernie]

cabobaja - 11-17-2006 at 07:20 PM


If you U2U'ed me...for whatever reason I cannot open it. If it was you who U2U'ed me....I believe you have my email address. Please email me.


Sorry! Wrong Information

Baja Bernie - 11-17-2006 at 08:06 PM

Hola Bernie,

Just received books here yesterday. We do not place
books but offer books to our accounts for purchase.
That is to say we do not do consignments. As we see
our accounts we will present all your titles. Tecolote
buys very little from us.

If you have someone who wants to buy your book down
here, have them make a request at any store that sells
books. Hopefully the store buyer will wake up and
purchase from us!

Anyone is also welcome to call me at 624 142 5596 or
cell 044 624 355 6773. Our new showroom just across
from Centro San Jose del Cabo en route to La
Playa/Puerto Los Cabos is now open and your books may
be purchased directly from us.


Bruce R Leech - 11-17-2006 at 08:22 PM

I approve of this upgrade of you status you earned it, and good job Baja Bernie Normal Correspondent

BajaNomad - 11-17-2006 at 11:55 PM

Originally posted by grover
Originally posted by cabobaja...I cannot open it...
You need to enable javascript in your browser; won't open the u2u window without it.
Mostly this is caused by "popup blockers."

Hold down the "Ctrl" button, and while you're holding it down, then click on the "U2U" link... and see if that works.




Baja Bernie - 11-18-2006 at 09:03 AM

Thank you

You would be surprised at just how much your words mean to me!

cabobaja - 11-18-2006 at 03:19 PM

Thanks Doug! I held down the "Ctrl" button and the U2U came up and I could see the U2U was from Bernie....but there was no text/message.

Bernie, I will speak to Jane (owner of Tecolote Book Store) and request your other books.

Saludos to you & Doug!


Baja Bernie - 11-18-2006 at 03:22 PM

What I said on the U-2-U was that we had gotten of to a poor start and I now find that you are a man of your word and I really appreciate that quality.


Bernie is seriously in to 'non-verbal' these days

thebajarunner - 11-18-2006 at 03:22 PM

Originally posted by cabobaja
Thanks Doug! I held down the "Ctrl" button and the U2U came up and I could see the U2U was from Bernie....but there was no text/message.


cabobaja - 11-18-2006 at 03:26 PM

Ok...Doug and Bernie, did get the U2U opened and responded.

Mucho gracias otra vez!!!

cabobaja - 11-18-2006 at 03:31 PM

Bajarunner................Thanks for all the smiles/laughs! I think Bernie gets picked on once in awhile...I did it once, but believe he and I are better for it!!!

cabobaja - 11-18-2006 at 03:38 PM

Bajarunner, thanks for the laughing smiles!! I think Bernie gets picked-on sometimes. I did it once, but now believe it turned out for the better of both of us.

Grover, thanks for the post. Appreciate it!

cabobaja - 11-18-2006 at 04:46 PM

Sorry for the double post. At least message is clear!

thebajarunner - 11-18-2006 at 05:04 PM

Hey, we cut the Newbies a lot of slack- they need it.
and.... pick on Bernie????
not possible!!
Bernie is unpickable...

Hey! Runner

Baja Bernie - 11-18-2006 at 06:26 PM

Just how do you know? I didn't even post on that thread about picking noses. :coolup::coolup::coolup::coolup:


thebajarunner - 11-18-2006 at 07:04 PM

No one even mentioned noses until you brought it up, or out, so to speak.

Baja Bernie - 11-18-2006 at 08:26 PM

You certainly did--you said I was un-pickable

thebajarunner - 11-18-2006 at 09:04 PM

Picky, Picky!!!

Actually, I was sitting in my big comfortable chair, in front of a nice fire in the fireplace, reading the great chapter on Baja Racing in your last book,
"Think You Know Baja?"
Since this was Baja 1000 week it seemed like a good time to touch base on that very happy (and well written) chapter.....


The Baja Runner

Baja Bernie - 11-23-2006 at 06:49 PM

I suppose that everyone here knows that you were a guest author in my new book. Perhaps they do not know that you also edited it. That could be why those who have read it say it is the best one yet.

Oh! Yes, you picked, picked, and picked until I labeled you the Schoolmarm.

thebajarunner - 11-24-2006 at 11:22 PM

was pure pleasure....

cannot wait to do it again.

(and yep, folks, there surely was a lot to pick on.... for sure)