A rare tale instead of the truth by Bernie

Baja Bernie - 8-17-2007 at 08:34 PM

A recent post by Osprey caused me to start remembering about a crotchety old coot that Don Jimmy Smith introduced me to a few years back. Jimmy asked me to email the guy and see if I could help him get some of his stories published. We talked back and forth for some time and he even sent me some of his stuff to read. When I explained that I was really not into some of his most descriptive counter culture—almost black writings—he got miffed and cut off all communications with me.

A few weeks later Don Jimmy asked me if I was able to help his fishing buddy and I had to tell him that his buddy reminded me of a few of the old guys who had retired into Baja on a limited budget—in fact many of them had to fish just to supplement their meager SSI payments.

Jimmy laughed and admitted that his friend—I just dis-remember what his name was and I wouldn’t tell you guys and gals even if I could recall it—was one of those codgers who became more and more verbally aggressive as he continued to soak up the demon rum in far greater volume than most pleasant drunks were capable of carrying.. Anyway, he did live in a small trailer somewhere on the east cape according to Jimmy. Said that the guy had a real drinking problem when he arrived and it grew to rather large proportions in the first years because the booze was so terribly cheap back then and even if a guy ran out of folding money there would be a newby around that would be happy to listen to his made up tales and he was more than willing to scatter words around as long as the dude was buying.

Jimmy told me that it was not at all unusual for the guy to go fishing in the morning and that rather than heading home with his catch he would beach his boat near the closest bar and be in the bag to the point that he completely forgot his boat, his fish, and where he was. One evening folks claimed that the clown—that I can’t for the life of me remember his name—stole a three wheeler and sped off down, or up, the beach totally forgetting his boat load of slightly baked fish. Anyway, he ran into a mooring line extending from a tree to a boat and snagged the rope with his jutting chin. Almost killed himself but before the cops could arrive a couple of his drinking buddies scooped him up and dumped him in front of this trailer for his wife to deal with.

Even as Jimmy is telling me this, he again asks me to try to help the guy one more time as a favor. Anybody who knows Don Jimmy knows it is almost impossible not to comply with a request of his. He just had a way of twisting anyone within hearing distance to his will.

So I tried one more time—I just know I have his name hidden is some cranny of this old computer that I keep banging on—I just don’t remember where. You can bet that one day I will find it when it no longer matters. I say that because I hear from the grapevine that Mr. No Name’s kidney’s have proven unable to process the volume of booze that he had consumed. They tell me that he had stopped drinking for a few months, when the pain got too bad, but then he had sold his old trailer, the wife had escaped back to the States, and that he was now wandering from cantina to cantina caging drinks from anyone who would put up with his nasty temper.
Almost forgot my attempt to help the guy resulted in him berating me for claiming to be a publisher even though I didn’t have state of the art stuff like his Word Perfect System. That ended it for me.

Oh! Osprey thanks for reminding me of this one because I am going to include something I scribbled a few years back and could never figure how to use it in one of my real stories—

“He was one of those characters whose stories dot the Baja coast like a thousand lighthouses.”

I guess that fits and this flight of fancy has brightened my day and I hope it does the same for all of you.

Iflyfish - 8-18-2007 at 10:42 PM

Sounds like a bad life immitating and creating bad art. Some people respond to editing like you are doing surgery on them with out anesthesia.

I used to love that line in Dragnet where he would say "there are a million stories in this city and this is only one!" or something like that.


Sharrone - 8-18-2007 at 11:17 PM

I love your stories Bernie.

amir - 8-19-2007 at 05:48 AM

That guy -what's his name- is still around.
He now uses an Avatar.

Eli - 8-19-2007 at 10:34 AM

Bernie, Interesting reading, it is always worthwhile to read something new by you. Of course, as you are writing about home, I am trying to think of who the dickens you are refering to.

I do remember that Don Jimmy himself while riding his fat cat, once ran neck first into a line strung between a boat and a palapa, I think it was, I remember the line across his neck was there for a good while. About one of his last rides on a bike that was.

Rum,writer, trailer, wife who left, rum, hum, who could that be?


Baja Bernie - 8-19-2007 at 12:52 PM

Please don't worry your head for you know it was certainly not your father. Let's just leave it as a tale...........the part about the rope 'was' lifted from a story Jimmy told me.

Remember the name of the song that I included in your dad's memorial?

DENNIS - 8-19-2007 at 04:14 PM


I've worn myself out trying to figure out how you think your bathroom books are Baja reality. You don't even live here.
Why arn't you writing stories about where you live? Why do you think that Baja is yours to support? Why don't you tell us about the area which you now call home? Isn't your life in San Diego worth mentioning?

Eli - 8-19-2007 at 04:22 PM

Anyway you look at it Bernie, it is always so good to read something by you, brings me home to Dad and Baja for a moment, I guess. I hope you keep up the writing, thanks Sara


Baja Bernie - 8-19-2007 at 08:49 PM

Thanks for the sweet words. I am always motivated by the thoughts that your dad held for Baja right up to the end and I really believe that I will leave this world with good thoughts about Baja and most of the folks on this board in my mind and my heart.

Yes, I will continue to write and in fact have started fleshing out a new book, "The Amazing Characters You Meet in Baja." I am also working on a book on San Diego County from 1850 forward and that is proving to be a lot of fun.

Dennis..........would it help you if I suggested that you probably have read my books in more detail than anyone I know and that I think it would be a wonderful, self-freeing activity if you took each one of them out one night and burned them as you saluted their demise with an adult beverage or three. If that will not relieve you of your demons then why not toss them down your outhouse.

As far as writing about Baja or contributing to this board I was not aware of any rule that one had to live down there to love the place.

Oh! Yes, I would love to tell the folks about the new books that I mentioned above but it is my underrstanding that this board is about Baja and not about San Diego or even about marching in protest about something in the States many years ago.

Oh! Would you consider being interviewed by me sometime in the future for my next book on Baja which I also mentioned above. Sorry but I only mentioned the San Diego book in direct response to a question from you.

Thank you again for your kind comments.

I thought about that BUT

Baja Bernie - 8-19-2007 at 09:12 PM

rejected it because I didn't feel it would be fair for him to have to contact them one page at a time!


Life is good.

amir - 8-19-2007 at 11:40 PM

Hey, I'm sorry, I may be dense, but I don't understand the energy-thing between Dennis and Baja Bernie on this Thread. :?: :fire: :o
What am I missing? :?:
Is this a carry-over from another thread? :yes:
How did the "mala sangre" begin? :barf:

-- :cool: