Previously posted September 8, 2005
Every few months I make a trip to Mexico for some medications I take daily, because they’re dirt cheap down there compared to getting them in a pharmacy here. Prislosec used to run me $3 per tablet here and I was taking a couple per day. In Palomas, Mexico, they cost about 75 cents per tab. Now that it’s over-the-counter here they’re about a quarter per tab, compared to a buck here.
So it’s time to run down there again. I like Palomas because it’s a tiny burg, mostly pharmacies with lines of US oldsters stocking up on medications. It’s like the Power Play option in reverse, stepping across the International Border into Mexico to buy prescription meds.
So, you parks the car at the border, walks across a couple of blocks, pays in gringo dollars, and walks back to the Border to be questioned and sometimes searched and hassled by US Border guards. They worry a person will pick up some anti-biotic for a friend, or anti-inflammatory for a rheumatoid arthritic acquaintance. So they like to ask what condition you’re taking the medication for while they thumb through the book and see if they can catch you out.
I’ve never had the body-cavity search, probably because I’m not female, but maybe just because I’ve never caught them on a boring day.
Sometime I’ll tell you an amusing story about a Japanese Jew pharmacist I used to buy from in Juarez who had an Israeli flag on the wall behind him, didn’t speak English. But it’s a long story.
Anyway, I go down through Deming to Columbus, the US town Pancho Villa raided in 1912, and got the US Army chasing him all over Mexico. That’s where General Blackjack Pershing won his fame. There’s still a lot of ruin from the raid all over Columbus, so it’s worth poking around the bear grass, usually.
I like to stop at this little shrine in Columbus, also. I’d guess the folks who built it in the 60s have grown old… I’ve never seen them there, but when I first saw it during the early 90s someone was still taking care of it, putting out palm branches, and every day incense burned there. Now the place is showing a bit worse for the wear.
The shrine was built back when hippies still didn’t know what they were, but they didn’t harbor any illusions about all being the same. (The first three photos are from the early 2000′s, the rest a few years after that.)
- It’s located on the desert outskirts of Columbus, New Mexico.The built a camping area around it, complete with water valves and hookups.I suppose they once expected like minded folks to have gatherings there. Maybe it happened.They lived across the road in a mobile home and grew old there.They kept up maintenance on the park and the shrine until the early 1990s, but occasional visits to the shrine testified it was becoming more difficult for them.When I last visited the place six, seven years ago the place had deteriorated a lot. I suspected one of them might have died, or they’d both become too infirm to keep being hippies.Slower than all those commune ruins up in the Santa Fe area, but still as sure.
Maybe if some of you folks are looking for a place to squat and if the owners are still alive you could work out an arrangement to do maintenance for a warmish camping spot about five miles from the Mexican International Boundary.