Above Photo: The Ocean To Ocean Highway Bridge, Yuma

I feel sorry for two types of people in Yuma – young people, and dentists.

ALL YOUTH, NO FOLLY

There is a Marine base in Yuma, and that must suck for those poor, young troops; Yuma is an old person’s town. What can you expect from a town whose claim to fame is its proximity to Quartzite? Before Yuma, I believed people went out early for meals in Palm Springs. At Lute’s Casino in downtown Yuma, home of the Especial Burger, there is a line for lunch starting at 11:00 a.m.

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On Thursdays, if you want a good seat, get to the American Legion hall for dinner and dancing no later than 4:00 p.m.

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The whole time I was in Yuma I kept thinking about the title of that movie with Joaquin Phoenix – “We Own The Night.” In Yuma, elderly people own the afternoon.

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Other than outdoor activities, there ain’t much to do in Yuma. We visited the old territorial prison, which certainly looked like hell on earth, and that was outside the cells. Everyone has heard of the old Western movie, “3:10 To Yuma,” but the relevant inquiry is, when does that stage depart?

ABRE LA BOCA

Have you ever heard of the border town of Algonodes, Mexico? It is a 15-minute drive from Yuma. Algodones is the northernmost part of Mexico. In my travels I have been accosted by street hawkers for everything from cocktails to peep shows, but this was a whole new line. “Hey lady, need dentist? Glasses? Prescription? Crown? Prozac?” It feels like there are more dentists, optometrists, and pharmacies concentrated in that border town than in all of Arizona.

From what I have read about Mexican dentistry, prices are cheap and the work is good. Consequently, it would suck to be a dentist in Yuma. On the drive to Algodones from Yuma stands a billboard for a Yuma dentist, touting 40 years of experience. Sorry, Bub – your 40 years won’t trump 40 bucks.

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I went to Yuma to visit an 80-something friend who snowbirds there each winter, and we had a great visit. But, I wasn’t sad to leave Yuma behind.