Jim Adams, in his Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Friday Faithfuls prompt has asked us if we’d ever been to Mexico. He also wanted to know if we’d ever celebrated the Day of the Dead. I have been to Mexico, but I’ve never celebrated the Day of the Dead. So I’m going to ignore that part of the question and just focus on the times I’d been to Mexico.
The last time I was in Mexico was in the mid 80s when we went on a family vacation to the Yucatán peninsula. We stayed in Cancun and we had a great time. But I’m not going to go into any details about that trip. Instead, I’m going to talk about Boy’s Town.
The Boy’s Town I’m referring to is not Father Flanagan’s Boys Town, the home for wayward boys that Father Flanagan established in 1921 on the outskirts of Omaha, Nebraska, and which was made famous in the 1938 movie starring Spencer Tracy as Father Flanagan and Mickey Rooney as one of the boys he took in.
The Boy’s Town I’m referring to is a commercial district in the border town of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. It’s primarily as a “zone of tolerance” in the city for legal prostitution, and also a variety of other “nocturnal entertainment.” It is a walled compound containing three short east-west streets and two short north-south streets. It houses a range of brothels, bars, restaurants, small stores, a small police station, and a health clinic. Seems it hasn’t changed much in the fifty years since was there.
Back in 1969 I was stationed at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, where I was doing my advanced training as an army medic. One weekend, one of the guys I became friendly with asked me if I wanted to rent a car with him and head down to the town of Nuevo Laredo in Mexico, just across the border from Laredo, Texas. It was about a 2 1/2 hour drive from the base, but he assured me it would be worth it. So I agreed.
After we crossed the border into Mexico, we drove around the town, stopped and grabbed some lunch, bought some souvenirs, and, eventually, as evening approached, we headed to Boy’s Town.
We drove into the walled area, found a place to park, and paid a guy a U.S. dollar to keep an eye on our rental car. My buddy, who could speak Spanish, asked the guy where a couple of GIs could have a good time. He pointed to a bar, so my buddy and I headed there.
Once inside it looked like a regular bar, except for the fact that there were a bunch of young girls lined up along on wall. When I say “young girls,” I’m not talking about underage girls, as I’m pretty sure they were all over the age of 18.
A waiter came over, put a bowl of nacho chips on the table and asked us what we wanted to drink. Our choice was tequila or beer. We ordered beer and right after the waiter brought them to us, two of the girls who had been standing against the wall when we walked in came over and sat down at our table. My buddy called the waiter over and ordered tequilas for our guests.
My fellow soldier was speaking with the girls in Spanish and I had no idea what he was talking to them about, but after a moment or two he asked me if I had five bucks. I nodded. One of the girls got up, grabbed my hand and started to pull me out of my seat. “Go with Inez,” my buddy said. And I did.
Inez led me to a room. I followed her in and she pointed to the bed. She didn’t speak a word of English and I didn’t know any Spanish, so we had to communicate non-verbally, which, under the circumstances, was not a problem.
I sat down on the bed and she stood in front of me and started taking off my clothes. After I was naked, she took off her clothes and then positioned herself in bed next to me. For the next three hours we, well, you know what we did. Multiple times in multiple ways. Hey, I was only 23 at the time!
After three hours or so, I got dressed, gave Inez ten dollars, apparently double the negotiated rate, and headed back into the main room of the bar. My buddy showed up a few minutes later. He looked at me and at his watch and said we’d better head back to base if we wanted to get there before dawn.
I have to admit that I visited Boy’s Town a few more times before my four month stint at Ft. Sam Houston ended. Again, I was only 23 at the time!