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Season to Remember

My wife has the best spring break story. No, it doesn’t involve a Girls Gone Wild audition or trashing a Cancun hotel room so bad it looked like Tommy Lee used it as a green room. And it

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My wife has the best spring break story. No, it doesn’t involve a Girls Gone Wild audition or trashing a Cancun hotel room so bad it looked like Tommy Lee used it as a green room. And it has nothing to do with the words, “I was so drunk that I . . . ”

No, her story isn’t so scandalous or unsavory, merely an amusing example of the lengths we go to in making sure our marijuana is near at hand—even when we’re visiting another country.

It was spring break, my wife was a senior attending San Jose State and she was crossing over on foot from San Diego into Tijuana to—surprise, surprise—party with friends in Rosarito Beach. Then she ran into a bit of bad luck . . . or at first, that’s what she thought.

You know those random immigration check-point things at the border? It’s this button or lever you have to press and it randomly lights up red or green. If it lights up green, you’re good to go and you can proceed on your merry way toward Avenida Revolucion. But if it lights up red, you get an immigration official gently take you aside and inspect your luggage.

That’s what happened to my wife. Ordinarily, that wouldn’t have been a big deal. She had nothing to hide. Or did she? In this case, my wife was in a predicament. You see, she just so happened to have a pipe in her bag. One of those small metal pipes with clay or ceramic wrapped around it. A pipe that was now in the hands of a Mexican official scrutinizing it.

What was my wife supposed to say or do? To her credit, she ’fessed up. Looking at the border official, she merely shrugged guiltily and meekly told him, “Spring break?
Could she have been busted? Arrested? Probably. Carrying paraphernalia into a foreign country is serious stuff. But the immigration official merely looked at my wife, seemed to think about it for a sec (maybe a flicker of amusement crossed his face?) and then merely put the pipe back in her bag . . . and let her go. My wife never looked back. And her spring break, well, it actually ended up being quite memorable.

Now, I’ve heard a million “I was so busted” stories in my time, but I love my wife’s story the best. Why? Because it reminds me about how sometimes we get a lucky break, a second chance. A fresh start.
That’s what spring is all about: new opportunities and rebirth. Spring is a time for growth, renewal and new life (both animals and especially plants). It’s a time to get our hands dirty in your garden and see all the flowers blooming. The grass truly is greener when spring rolls around. Things are prettier, brighter, fresher. The sky is bluer than you recall. It’s not too cold, not too hot

It’s in this spirit that we note how Merle Haggard, the subject of this issue’s cover story, got a second opportunity after spending a long stretch in a very dark place. And my wife got a lucky break when she walked away scott-free after being caught with a pipe. She obviously got a second chance . . . because she went on to marry me. Lucky girl.

Your summer vacation is cool and all—but give me spring break any day of the week. That’s when the fun really kicks off.

This time, however, I’ll do the packing.