Bob died as he had lived, strapped into the cockpit of an airplane.


Harvey died of old age.


Santos has grown old.


The Corpus Christi Kid, against all odds, went straight, got an education,

and became a respectable citizen.


Johnny is gone.


Claude died a natural death, an airport bum to the very end.


Dealin' Don is still at it.


I don't know what became of Mike, or Buster, or all the old crop-duster

pilots and old smugglers. I've lost track of all my wetback friends, and the

Border Patrolmen. I have not gone back into that past and tried to locate

those who played such an important role in that part of my life.


My life has taken me away from those men, away from that river, away

from the little vegetable patches and the rolling cotton fields.  And

although my dreams from time to time still carry me back across the skies

of that barren land, I know that I will never go that way again.


I no longer know of the old farmers and ranchers, and the mechanics, and

the men who pumped the gas at The Old Laredo Airport.


They have all slipped off into the cloudy memories of that past.  Like the

young man that I once was, they have all moved on to live out their lives

on one side of the Rio Grande or the other.






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