Probe, Feb. 7, 2002

February 16, 2002

QUESTION: I want to take a bus to San Felipe but I don't know where in Mexicali to catch a bus or who to call about schedules and ticket prices. I don't speak much Spanish but I hope that won't hold me back. I am betting you or PROBE readers can help me. — Adventurer, e-mail

You bet right! You can catch a bus or buy a ticket at the Central de Autobuses de Mexicali (Central bus station) on the corner of Calzada Independencia y Avenida de Anahuac. Or you can dial directly 011526865-06-04.

Or take another route, call the Comite de turismo y Convenciones de San Felipe. The phone number is 011526865772300.

You can get by with a handful of words of Spanish but it helps if you know more. If you can, take a Spanish speaking friend with you because Mexican bus travel offers a lot of choices.


You can buy your tickets in advance and choose from first class, second, or even third class service. Overall, Mexican bus service is better than American service. People still ride buses below the border.

We've taken the bus a couple of times. The first time, we had to complete a trip to Guadalajara on a bus after our train derailed west of Tepec. The last time, we chose the bus for the trip between Mexicali and Mazatlan. It took 28 hours but was considerably more comfortable than the train.

The air-conditioned bus carried video cassette recorders. We weren't thrilled with the fare, mostly Disney movies in English but the entertainment kept the kids quiet. When the air-conditioner broke down, the bus pulled into Sonoita, Sonora to change buses.

Those buses are Mexico's version of "express" travel, carrying two drivers, bathrooms and seldom stopping. A few more stops to stretch the legs would have been welcome.

Other buses stop at every pig trail to pick up passengers. That type of travel promises more atmosphere and more fun. If you go, let us know how it turns out.

QUESTION: Did your phone ring all afternoon? You made so many mistakes in Tuesday's paper when you wrote about Class of 1952's winning float in 1949. That was Earl Tankersley on the Freshmen's winning float. Tankersley costumed as a "49'er" was holding a donkey as he prospected for gold in a field of carrots.

The girl in the pink (not blue) paper dress was Connie Green Hepner. I think that was our sophomore year. — Class of 1952, Holtville

We'll take our lumps but the dress was blue, not pink — and the year was 1949 for both entries!

Although it was the float with Tankersley and the donkey that took the award, it was the girl in the blue paper dress that found a niche in long term memory.

Green said the dress owed its bouffant style to its chicken wire foundation built directly onto the jeep that hauled girl and dress down the street. Strands of crepe paper was threaded through the chicken wire. Tethered on a leash held by Green was Ruby Ann Carte wearing a bunny suit.

QUESTION: There was an old love song about a couple who could not agree on anything but loved each other anyway. What was it? — Humming, Holtville

We'll give you some words: "You like potato and I like pa-tah-to, You like tomato and I like ta-mah-to. Let's call the whole thing off."

That was a George and Ira Gershwin tune, "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," from the 1937 film, "Shall We Dance?" starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

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