Pepe le Pew

                                                    "Pepe le Pew"
                            by Dick Mauer
In Calexico in the late 60s, the crossings and chases invariably started
near change of shifts at midnight. The chases usually ended up at 3 or
4am with International Scouts on four sides of a massive field of one
crop or another. At that point it was a matter of walking through the
crop until someone stepped on the aliens. Flashlights and army blankets
were the order of the day. ARMY BLANKETS? Once out on foot and using
your light it was immediately apparent that we were surrounded by
reflective eyes. SKUNKS!

We were only getting a Uniform Allowance of $125.00 a year back then,
($31.25 a quarter), and it didn't go much farther than 1 shirt and pants
a quarter, hence the blanket. If you got sprayed you could just drop the
blanket and walk away. If your uniform got hit you had to throw that
away too.  Army blankets were in big supply and were happily sacrificed
in place of an expensive uniform.

The wets were funny. I remember finding some sign at the base of a 10 foot high irrigation pipe with rungs on the side cast into the cement. I climbed to the top and flashed my light inside. Jose was sitting at the bottom and glanced up and asked, "Inmigracion?"  Who else was out there at 4am?