Submariner In Tijuana
Normally, I find my news stories about submarines from Google News (searching for "submarine"), or I just wait for The Sub Report to post them. Sometimes, though, the Google algorithm doesn't catch stories that mention submarines only obliquely, and I have to just stumble upon them.
Such was the case for this Reuters story about the recent crackdown on drug gangs in Tijuana. Here's how the story ends:
Chris Williams, a 24-year-old submarine officer in the U.S. Navy who was making his way from bar to bar under green and red neon lights, sympathized with Calderon.It did my heart good to see a submariner described as being concerned about the sociopolitical background of the liberty port he was visiting. I realized that, since it was a Reuters story, this person might not actually be a submarine officer -- he may have said he was a submarine petty officer, or a petty officer who worked at the Submarine Base. I also realized that, since it was a submariner, it could have easily been someone who gave his division officer's or department head's name to a wandering reporter as a prank. Still, "Chris Williams", we salute you for doing the Submarine Force proud.
"I can understand the reason for this battle," he said. "You don't want your people corrupted in the street."
Somewhat related personal story: So there I was, in Tijuana with my family (visiting from Nebraska) in about 1992. We were looking for good fireworks, so we stopped by a corner store that had a small "Firecrackers" sign in the window. Here's the exchange:
Bubblehead: We'd like some fireworks, por favor.In my limited experience, Tijuana seems about as close as you can get to an Asian liberty port as there is in North America.
Shopkeeper: (Pulls out box of inch-and-a-halfers and bottle rockets)
Bubblehead: No, we want bigger firecrackers! (Moves arms in the universal "bigger" motion)
Shopkeeper: Si! (Pulls out another box) We have cherry bombs, M-80s, quarter stick of dynamite...
Bubbleheads's Mom: We are not buying dynamite!
Rest of family: Awwww...