Bob Stille on Jimmy Greer
Jimmy Greer had just come back to duty when I was a probationer at El Paso, and worked the desk in old Station One. He was probably the most brilliant, and unassuming man I ever worked with. His knowledge of Spanish was impeccable as well as Mexican history. I had the privilege of sitting at Station One from time to time and catch snatches of conversation with Jimmy. He was not only a genius but a very humble, and gentle soul.
One day the guys brought in a small Mexican boy. The kid was one of the street urchins that we caught regularly around the bridges. The boy was trying to put on his best bravado in midst of a bunch of patrol officers. Jimmy got up with some difficulty, as he was wearing heavy metal braces on both legs, went over, got the boy and brought him back to his desk and sat him down by him. He began talking to the boy--in Spanish, of course--in a priestly manner. The boy quieted down and sat for a long time and just listened intently as this blonde hair, gringo Migrante talked to him. The boy was mesmerized by Jimmy.
I don't know what Jimmy said to him but he talked to the little boy for quite awhile before he was VR'd later. Jimmy also told me a lot about his childhood, being raised in Mexico, the family's expulsion to Texas, and some of his experiences as a Special Detail officer. Of course, as you "old timer PIs" know, Special Detail was the forerunner to the Anti Smuggling Unit (ASU). I worked with several of the Special Detail officers at El Paso during those early years of my career. Jimmy Greer, Jim Tice, Val Herrera, John Sanchez, Red Dog Lewis are some that come to mind. Great bunch of guys who did a very special and dangerous job for the Border Patrol combatting alien smuggling. Jimmy Greer and John Sanchez told some stories that would raise the hair on the back of a javelina. A person could write a book that would excel fiction about what those Special Detail officers did back in the fifties.