Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fish Stories of Puerto Penasco!

-by El Gitano Peñasco, "The Peñasco Gypsy"

Speaking of ‘the big one that got away’, I have heard varying stories over the years of how Scarface himself (Al Capone) had once set up ‘shop’ here in Rocky Point, but I have yet to locate any convincing documentation.

The good folks at tell us that:
“Al Capone, and his associates drilled the town’s first waterwell, built an airport, put up a hotel and casino, developed the harbor, and constructed docks and warehouses. Soon, boats loaded with Bootleg Booze hit the docks and cases were across the border into Arizona within hours. Capone's gambling casino ran 24 Hours a day...”
The piece goes on to also tell us that:
“This money built-up Puerto Penasco and expanded its economy. The booze, broads and bucks attracted upscale visitors by invitation only."
And that:
“In Time not the US Government but Mexican Government officials kept increasing their demands for payoffs. In response to the failure of this extra-territorial experiment, Capone decided to take swift action. Quietly late one night Capone's boys took the casino's gambling equipment out to their cargo plane at the Airport. Then with long fuses, dynamited the water well and dock. And so ended one of the early efforts of extending crime outside the territories of the U.S.”
So if all that is true, or any variation thereof, it would be great if someone could come forward with some sort of proof such as old photos, a newspaper clipping or maybe a Mexican document of one kind or another, because the above quotes seem to be attributing the actual history of one John Stone to Al Capone himself. Where IS the documentation that Al Capone ever set foot in Rocky Point? Because if it can be found, not only would it be a very interesting story it is also part of RP’s history and should be preserved. Oh, and it could also become one hell of a tourist attraction, too.

Of course if it is not true maybe Penasco ought to continue to run with it anyway, like in the 1962 Western “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”.

In that movie, the editor refused to print the truth and instead said, while burning the reporter’s notes: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend”. And this ‘fish’ story could be one heck of a whopper!

Viva México!

Email me: El Gitano Penasco