August 9, 2005 11:07 a.m.

Day one – new car speeding ticket. 47 in a 35. $200. The officer jumped and waved. I pulled over and kept it running. He looked at the car, then the Tennessee license plate and said, "You probably don't see many cars like this where you're from."

"No," I said, "mainly tractors."

He handed me the papers and said, "Welcome to Miami."

I have not had a chance to drive much in the past four years. The last time was at a wedding in Missouri. After that my brother sent me an article about returning soldiers from Iraq who got into car crashes. After being in combat, the article said, they thought they were immune to crashes and drove too fast. Many got through Iraq just to come home and die in a car crash outside their base in the U.S.

My last car was a Nissan truck. My father bought it while I was in Russia. It was owned by a deer hunter who kept records of every oil change. There was a whistle on the front bumper to keep deer away. I used to drive it from New Haven to Hartford three nights a week. I'd drive back from Hartford dripping with sweat with a gallon of milk on the seat next to me and baseball on the radio. There were no cars on the road and no reason to go fast.

E-mail Harrigan

Dear Steve H.

Thanks again for your incredible work, from the mideast to NLaredo. You are the best as far as I can see. I do not write reporters, no one else much either, but you deserve it. Your past reports on the madrasas are forever etched in my mind…what a visual as well. I would consider it an honor to buy you a real enchilada and a beer if you happen in these part some day.

Jeff in Maryland


Steve,

I appreciate your blogs on Nuevo Laredo. I hope this will open more eyes to this terrible war that is harming not only the Mexicans but our people who are infested with the products of the cartels. Thank you for doing this.

Troy,
San Diego, CA


Thanks for trying to bring this horrendous situation out in the open with your reporting. I am New Yorker living in Laredo due to my husband's job It's been quite an experience/adjustment. It is a scary situation and I think most gov't employees are overwhelmed here. We need more federal agents here (in all areas)! I had no idea how much and what was coming through the border until I got here.

Keep up the good work!!
Kris
Laredo, TX


I live in Laredo. Used to be we could go to Nuevo Laredo and take in authentic Mexican food. I haven't been there for nearly three years, because I don't feel safe. The day after your last report five Nuevo Laredo policemen disappeared. Rudy Giuliani cleaned up New York because there was a will and the government was behind him. In Mexico the government is corrupt which usurps any will anywhere for a clean Mexico.

Fred