Trying Make the Best of the Wild West

The reputation of the American West as a vast lawless no-man’s land still holds true. The method here of dealing with crime seems to be to encourage residents to deal with it themselves. It must be why they’ve made it ever easier than it already was to own guns. They just don’t have the money to police the area.

We don’t have enough cops here, and they don’t come down here where I live. Bisbee has a couple of sections—Old Bisbee is the historic district, a former mining town in the Mule Mountains. It’s known for being a hippie/ gay town. We felt comfortable there when we were looking to relocate from Connecticut, that’s why we chose it. But we didn’t want to live in the historic district, the houses are expensive, too close together, there’s no parking, you have to walk up a lot of steps to get to your house—but the main reason is we have a lot of animals and there’s no room for them in the tiny yards of Old Bisbee.

So we bought a small house in the flatlands in a Mexican/white mixed neighborhood outside of the town. It’s still Bisbee, but different. The biggest issue here is illegals coming though, and that’s what they’re focused on. Spring and fall are the busiest times of year for illegal entries. So we have border patrol helicopters and trucks in the desert behind our house at all hours. But no cops. I’m pretty certain this is a well-armed neighborhood.

Our street is a main road through this neighborhood so we have pedestrians and pets walking by. It’s a 25 mph zone but since it’s a long flat stretch it’s used as a race track. Sometimes we see drag racing—two cars racing side by side. It’s insane.

Our little group of neighbors on my block hate the speeders. We yell at them sometimes. We routinely see cars going 50 or 60 mph past our house. We’ve called the sheriff’s department a number of times but they always have an excuse. I went to the highway department and filled out forms to begin the process of getting speed bumps installed, but it was kind of useless as I was told they don’t have any money for that. At 7:15 am every morning during the school year there are about 12 kids waiting for the school bus in front of our house. There’s not even a sign. The cars slow down for no one, young or old. I hated Connecticut, but I have to say this wouldn’t have happened there. Residents would storm the police station demanding something be done. Speeding is a real problem in Arizona, every few miles there’s a homemade shrine to a person who died in an accident on the state roads.

In the closeness of a city there are always people around to check other people’s bad behavior, but out here you’re on your own. I can’t even talk about the chained dogs.

There are freeing aspects—nobody cares if you don’t mow your lawn; there are no laws against letting your house fall apart or filling your yard with junk cars or piles of junk in general. You get used to that. But I’ll never get used to the garbage—people around here are terrible with their garbage. There are a lot of feral people here. They throw beer cans and cigarette packs and fast food wrappers out their car windows. Plus all the other garbage from the desert. I clean up other people’s garbage every day of my life, both when I’m out walking and in my own yard. It’s depressing. The most depressing part is that on some streets there’s too much garbage to pick up, you’d need a crew and a truck. It’s windy here so it blows around.

I’m trying to just accept it all as it is because I can’t change it. When you try to change things it makes you sick. Right?

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2 responses to “Trying Make the Best of the Wild West

  1. That was interesting. The phrase “feral people” will stick with me like diabetes. Quite groovy phrase.

    Is there any rule against the neighborhood folks volunteering to be “crossing guards” for the school buses? Having someone stand in the road with a hand up, praying for the best in mankind to prevail, might not be a good, long term solution…but it might help, some.

    Maybe a the feral people could leave more garbage in the streets, thus slowing traffic?

    Oddly, this post makes me wanna move to Bisbee, AZ for the change of pace/scenery.
    -John.

  2. Oh we have all kinds of ideas of what to put in the street…but then WE’D be the bad guys. Reminds me when we were kids, my sister and I would stand on either side of the road and pretend to holding a rope then snap it up when a speeder came along…ha ha it was pretty funny. The hardcore speeders probably know that joke here.

    It’s definitely a culture shock to be here…some stuff I’ll never get used to. Hard to get people to take action. But there are good people here too, if there weren’t we wouldn’t stay.

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