July 28, 2009 at 9:01 pm (Uncategorized) (crossing the border, Drama, Guadalajara, human smuggling, Illegal immigration, New Mexico, state pennitentiary, suspense, The Travelers, The Unauthorized Autobiography of Richard Burns, true story, Walt Long, Yvonne Mason)
It’s late summer of 1986 in multi-cultural New Mexico, and the escalating problem of illegal immigration is nearing a crisis level. The nation is demanding some sort of effective reform, while anti-immigration “hate” groups are beginning to appear in frightening numbers. Just as congress is nearing passage of the Mazzoli-Simpson Immigration Reform Act – which will grant amnesty to an estimated three million illegals – Henry “Mickey” McAllister sets into motion his audacious plan to smuggle large numbers of “wetbacks” across the border from Ciudad Juarez into the tranquil Rio Grande Valley. Things become complicated when Mickey falls in love with an attractive young immigrant while two maniacal rednecks embark on a racially motivated killing spree. The explosive climax is a virtual sub-plot to the emotional and moral roller coaster of simple people grappling with bigger-than-life issues.
At the age of twenty-five, he was pulled down from the top of the wall at 4 AM trying to escape from the State Penitentiary in Guadalajara, and thrown into a dark, smelly dungeon for seven months…and that wasn’t even the lowest point of his life. It was never easy for Richard Burns, from a troubled adolescence through years of incredible and dangerous adventures. He followed and chased uncertainty with the great beat generation writers, a beautiful heroin-addicted dancer, clever scams, harrowing escapes, and short-sighted ventures that always tempted fate. The one constant in his life was the apparent truism that life is forgiving, and always offers another chance.