Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for dive bars across the land but none are closer to the crisis at our southern border than the Junk Yard Bar in Granjeno, Texas. The hamlet of Granjeno is located south of the Military Highway just east of the Anzalduas Bridge, outside of Mission in the Rio Grande Valley. It’s a one road town with a population of 303 people pinned between a string of industrial parks to the north and the Rio Grande River to the south . On Super Bowl Sunday as you drive into the village you can see dozens of vehicles spilling out of the Junk Yard parking lot onto the shoulder of the road because the Junk Yard always has a full house on Super Bowl Sunday
The Junk Yard Bar caters to two easily identifiable subsets of the Rio Grande Valley population called Winter Texans and old bikers. Both groups are from the tail end of the boomer generation, the bikers live here year round and the Winter Texans flock into the gated retiree trailer parks that dot the Rio Grand Valley every winter. They are the remnants of a generation that expected a steady job would deliver them into the American middle class. They expected to own a home with two cars in the garage, kids who went to college and annual vacations and they were not disappointed. The system worked for the American worker back in the 70’s and 80’s but that changed when our industrial elites moved their manufacturing plants overseas .
These rust belt refugees are mostly white, mostly married, and they like to party. The elites hate them because they own recreational vehicles and guns they don’t want to register and they’re prone to cluttering up the wilderness with dirt bikes or snow mobiles. They all smoked cigarettes for years too so now they look hard, flinty, and mean in their old age.
There isn’t just one border wall along the McAllen section of the border fence but several bands of wall that appear designed to protect the valuable farm land adjacent to the river. There are thousands of acres under cultivation in this area of the valley all of it extremely sensitive to large groups of migrants trampling through them. It’s important to realize the border wall is an obstacle that forces friction into the equation for illegals crossing the Rio Grande. There is no such thing as a wall that cannot be climbed, humans can climb up and over anything if they really want to, so the border wall is not a magical impenetrable barrier. It’s an effective obstacle that forces illegals to take the path of least resistance to areas where they can be collected for processing before they can trample planted crops or wander onto private property.
The continued cost to local farmers from the massive influx of illegals may well explain why the RGV went from dark blue democratic strong hold to riding the Trump Train during the last presidential election. And Trump will dominate the Rio Grande Valley this election cycle too in a landslide, that will trump the RGV democratic politiqueras who are paid big bucks to harvest democratic votes.
The Junk Yard Bar is not a dangerous place because of illegal immigrants, it’s a dangerous place because the clientele consists of old bikers and skinny hard drinking winter Texans. The locals mix well with the Winter Texans and not because everyone down here has a gun on them. An armed society is indeed a polite society but the old boomers partying at the Junk Yard have a bigger nemesis – slips and falls.
The people filling this place hours ahead of the Super Bowl don’t nurse their drinks because they’re afraid of all the law enforcement constantly driving by their afraid of taking a hard spill and breaking a hip so they watch the booze and tend not to get too rowdy. At their age all the crazy bastards are long gone and the survivors seem to prefer dive bars with level floors and packed full of people standing around which reduces the chances of slipping and falling. And there is the added coolness factor of hanging in an outdoor dive bar right on the border with our friendly neighbors in Mexico.
Hanging out on the Mexican side of the border was the original draw for the Winter Texans. They like to drink booze and smoke and Mexico was a great place to do both on the cheap. Nobody crosses the border to party anymore but the Junk Yard Bar remains open for the last of the boomers who love quirky, one-of-a-kind bars tucked in out of the way places.