Good fences make good neighbors

Published 11:04 am Thursday, May 19, 2016

Walter Rego is a Master Wall Builder, specializing in international perimeter enhancement technology. Recently, this reporter had the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Rego and learn about his newest project.

Interviewer: Mr. Rego, thank you for agreeing to meet with me, today.

Walter Rego: Always happy to meet with members of the Fourth Estate, Mr. Pulitzer. Your prizes are even better than the ones at Publishers Clearinghouse.

Interviewer: I’m not Joseph Pulitzer. (I thought, in the interest of full transparency, I should clarify this fact with Mr. Rego)

Walter Rego: That’s okay — neither am I. I suppose you want to know how I became a Master Wall Builder.

Interviewer: Yes (I stammered). How did you become a Master Wall Builder? (I was not accustomed to having my questions asked for me)

Walter Rego: Good question. You should do this for a living. I didn’t start out as a Master Wall Builder. Originally, I was a Master Bridge Builder, specializing in international linkage. Unfortunately, that market has been a little slow — not too many countries trying to expand their border crossing capabilities, these days. Sure, Canada is planning on paying for a bridge to Detroit, but that is about all that’s happening. I needed to eat, so I decide to get into border walls. I think the industry is trending positive.

Interviewer: You are planning on building the wall along the Mexican border?

Walter Rego: Heavens no! That is way too complicated. My plan is to build a wall along the Canadian border — and have our northern neighbors pay for it. Ask me why the Canadians would want to pay for a wall.

Interviewer: Ummm…yes (a little unsettling — usually, I asked the questions). Why would the Canadian government want to fund a nearly 4,000-mile wall?

Walter Rego: Oh, it won’t be the Canadian government, and it won’t be along the entire border. It only needs to look long. Did you know that Cinderella’s castle isn’t really as big as it looks? It was just built to look big. That’s what I’m going to do with the wall — build the thing about a half mile long and have both ends disappear into a stand of maple trees. The Canadians like maple trees. You are probably confused about who is going to pay for the wall, aren’t you?

Interviewer: Ummmm (at this point, Mr. Rego seemed to be asking all the questions).

Walter Rego: In order for a wall to have any value, it has to have a gate. Otherwise, it’s just something for dogs to pee on. I’m going to build a big, beautiful gate that Canadian citizens will eagerly pay good money to enter. Now, you are probably wondering why they would pay to enter my gate when there are more than a hundred other places to cross into the U.S.?

Interviewer: Ummm. Yeah. Sure. Why?

Walter Rego: Souvenirs.

Interviewer: Souvenirs?

Walter Rego: Good job keeping up with the interview. Souvenirs and fudge shops — maybe some olde tyme photography studios where Canadians can get pictures taken wearing old fashioned clothes and cowboy hats, a chain of mom and pop restaurants selling hot dogs and apply pie, the sides of barns painted with slogans like “See America First – Before The Prices Go Up” — the possibilities are endless. Why don’t you ask me where I intend to build the gate?

Interviewer: (By this time, I had given up on following my own notes) Where?

Walter Rego: Fortuna, North Dakota. “Why Fortuna?” You may ask.

Interviewer: Okay. I’ll bite. Why Fortuna, North Dakota?

Walter Rego: From Fortuna, there’s about four hundred miles of road between the border and Mount Rushmore. I’ll line the roadways with hotels, tourist traps, and maybe some helicopter rides. Good Canadians will drive down, see the four big heads, say something like, “Well, that was nice,” and then head back home — stopping to pick up the one thing they don’t have in Canada.

Interviewer: What is that?

Walter Rego: Canadian bacon.


Larry Wilson is a mostly lifelong resident of Niles. His optimistic “glass full to overflowing” view of life shapes his writing. His essays stem from experiences, compilations and recollections from friends and family. Wilson touts himself as “a dubiously licensed teller of tall tales, sworn to uphold the precept of ‘It’s my story; that’s the way I’m telling it.’” He can be reached at