The times they are a’changing

Not open to traffic yet.

IN THE NEARLY two decades I’ve lived in my mountaintop town, I’ve seen mayors come and go. No matter their political party there didn’t seem to be a dime’s worth of difference between any of them as far as municipal changes were concerned.

I’m sure they all lined their pockets, spent a few hours in City Hall every few days, and waited out their terms. There was one notable exception, a woman who was caught red-handed on video making a deal with a narco boss. She ended up in the slammer where she belonged. She died not long after.

And then came the fellow we have now, a mayor named Báez. I voted for him even though he was not running as the candidate of my usual party. Someone I trust who keeps up with such things recommended him. It was a good call.

Since he came into office, we’ve seen excellent improvements about town. A notable one is downtown street renovation that started a couple of years ago, and has been nonstop ever since. The photo above is just one side of the big plaza, and it’s the only one of the four sides that’s nearly finished.

I may die of old age before it’s all completed, but no matter. It’s good work, and I watch its progress almost every day. It’s fun. One reason it’s taking so long, far longer than street renovation would last above the Rio Bravo, is the tedious hand work.

This fellow below is a good example.

He’s working on a new sidewalk with just a  hammer and chisel. The rainy season starts in June, which will only make the toil more challenging for these guys.

So many people above the border believe that Mexican life is just endless gunplay. There is some of that, but mostly we’re just getting better and better every day.