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Author: Subject: The Admiral and the idiots!
Baja Bernie
`Normal` Nomad Correspondent

Posts: 2962
Registered: 8-31-2003
Location: Sunset Beach
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Mood: Just dancing through life

[*] posted on 8-24-2007 at 06:32 PM
The Admiral and the idiots!

Next to the last story from Mi Baja No Hurry No Worry.

Perhaps this will allow some of you to understand why I am a bit hinky about telling Mexicans what they should do to run their country.

Ray is one of the only guys from Baja that I have ever heard of leaving to otra lado and never returning.

The Admiral and The Idiot

A few years back the people in La Salina became upset! No! They were just down right mad over the tremendous increase in off road vehicle activity on our beach. Good people were seriously talking about doing the riders’ great bodily harm. The clowns were racing up and down in a continual cloud of dust accompanied by ear splitting noise from early morning and continuing uninterrupted until the wee hours of the following day.

Not only was it impossible to sleep but even more importantly two children had been hospitalized as a result of being run over by drunken jerks who were just having fun. It had become unsafe for our kids to play on the beach! The folks were up in arms and looking for blood.

Several of us got together to discuss how we could go about returning our beach to its formerly quiet and safe character. We all agreed that I would contact the management of the Baja Seasons Trailer Park directly north of us. I sorta volunteered, you know, like McLaren did when he brought the cement mixer into camp.

I talked with Ray Solis, the manager of the park, and we agreed that we would jointly ask for a meeting with the Admiral of the Fleet in Ensenada who has control of the Mexican Navy for all of Baja California. This would allow us to spell out our mutual problems with the off road vehicles and ask that he consider sending his Marines to deal with the problem. We agreed that Ray would contact the Admirals office and set up an appointment for the following week.

Ray was waiting for us when we pulled into camp the next Friday afternoon. He looked decidedly worried and not at all happy with the world. He explained that he had a phone call from the Admiral’s aide who had informed him that he had better have himself and the crazy gringo (me) in his office by 8 o’clock Saturday morning.

Ray told me that this was highly unusual for the “Admiral” to even bother to talk to a couple of peones (unskilled nobody’s in this case) like us. I told him I would pick him up at 7 o’clock the next morning.

I didn’t sleep much that night and by the looks of Ray he hadn’t done any better. We discussed what we would say to the Admiral even though neither of us could figure why he was so mad at us. After all, we only wanted the Marines for a few hours to clear up the problem of illegal vehicles on the beach. We both became very uneasy as we pulled up in front of his headquarters in downtown Ensenada. The headquarters building was painted battleship gray.

We noticed that the curb facing the drab building was empty of vehicles and that the civilians made it a point to cross over to the other side of street rather than walk in front of the Navy Building. They were obviously avoiding the building.

Upon entering the building Ray introduced me to a Navy Chief at the front counter. He explained that we were there at the Admirals request. The Chief, in Spanish, corrected Ray saying that we were there on the ‘orders’ of the Admiral. When I asked Ray what he had said, he looked down at the floor and told me, “You don’t really want to know.” I insisted that he tell me and then I started to feel even more uncomfortable.

The Chief pointed to two wooden chairs, right next to the ‘brig’, and told us to Esperar (wait) in a totally unfriendly manner.

Two hours later we were still waiting. I asked to use the restroom and one of the sailors laughed, opened the steel door of the ‘brig’ and told me I could use the head inside. I politely declined even though I was about to float away.

The Chief came back and, in a very menacing manner, asked us why we had sent the Jefe (boss) a box full of old baseball equipment. We both looked at each other and then fell all over ourselves as we denied sending ‘anything’ to the Jefe. He then wanted to know about the letter we had sent demanding that the Marines be directed to take care of the beach problem. “WOW” we had not sent a letter. What was going on!

A short time later we were escorted into the Admirals office where we were left standing in front of his desk. He interrogated us through an interpreter. The Admiral an imposing, but short, officer who sported a gray ‘crew cut’ haircut, very unusual for a Mexican Military Officer. Ray was in shock and had difficulty putting three words together. I would have been tongue tied if I had known what he did—that we might not be returning to camp--ever.

The Jefe could if he so chose to make us his guests for a long time. By the direction of the questioning it became obvious that he thought that we had tried to bribe him with ‘old worn out baseball gloves and bats.’ He was plainly angered by this. After standing for what seemed like a month, I explained that there had to be some mistake. I told him that I, as a Police Captain, had only the greatest respect for him, his Navy and the Marines.

He relaxed a little, at one point I though that he was going to crush the edge of his desk, and gestured us into chairs next to his desk. His aide handed Ray a letter that was written in English. As I read it I found that some other gringo idiot from La Mision had written the letter and sent the worn out bribes to the Navy.

When we finally got this cleared up; the Admiral smiled and quite politely, in perfect English, asked if there was anything that he could do to help us! Both Ray and I thanked him profusely and forgetting our problems with the beach we beat a hasty retreat from his office as fast as we could.
Stopping at the nearest Bar we ordered a couple of beers and I used the head or did I use the head first--I just don't remember. We celebrated our newly won freedom with a few more beers.

Damn those gringo’s who don’t know the Mexican people well enough to know when they have insulted them.

A few months later I was telling this story to a group of people in the Cantina when John Swete, a member of the camp and a retired United States Marine Aviator, began laughing uncontrollably. It seems that he and the Admiral had both been pilots and that they had been close friends for years. John said the guy was a pussycat and I responded, “Bull chit.”

John became our liaison with the Mexican Military until he moved to China where he had other military buddies.

God protect us from idiots!

My smidgen of a claim to fame is that I have had so many really good friends. By Bernie Swaim December 2007
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