Sunday, September 02, 2012

Route 66, 'Budville' New Mexico

Years ago Route 66 ("Get your kicks on route 66") New Mexico, had a little tiny 'town'? southeast of Grants NM, called 'Budville'. Bud Rice was the 'Justice of the Peace' (Magistrate). Budville had a gas/service station with snack food, Motel, Fenced Impound junkyard and Towing truck,... all owned by 'entrepreneur' Bud Rice. The local County and State officers were quite friendly ($) with Bud Rice. The State officer in 'Bud's district, wore a brace of two silver plated revolvers (NYT pictured him proudly wearing .357's)......compliment​s of Bud Rice.

The several times daily and nightly 'Sting', was for Vicims to be stopped by highway officer, for whatever infractions (no radar in those days), vehicle towed and impounded at Budville. Justice of the Peace (Bud Rice) set fines astronomically high, adding 'charges' for Tow and night (s) in motel (Bud's), waiting for fund$ transfer from family etc.

Vehicle 'Confiscations' were common. 'Impound' yard was always full, as was the 'used' cars for sale in front. Bud's service bay was another source of  'revenue'. If you were unfortunate and a mechanical problem limped your car into 'Bud's service station, the problem 'always' was determined by Bud, to be catastrophic...and expensive. Often times, the driver just left the vehicle, (another reason for a full impound yard), and caught the next Greyhound bus, which periodically stopped at Budville... on signal.

(Added note, Budville was not unique, just more flagrant and forceful in it's application: 'Back in the day' this profitable modus operendi, 'Service', was time proven along historic route 66.... for countless years. Noteworthy also at Checkered Flag Foreign Auto service and wrecking, on west side of Albuquerque. Better known by locals at the time, as.... Unser's Wrecking Yard.. on 9 mile hill.)

Gas station lady (Bud's lady) had a really bad habit, she was forever 'Shorting' the change on stunned customers.  After every $20 tendered, it was rare to receive the correct change. Any dispute and 'The Justice of the Peace' Bud Rice was called out from his nearby 'office'.

One day a young transient man that 'Only' had $20 to his name, and had a long way to travel, was 'scammed' by Bud's lady on his 'change for $20'. Young man went to his car angry and desperate, returned in armed confrontation, killed the 'short change' lady.... including Bud Rice, Justice of the Peace... of Budville. ("The good, they do die young")

 Trial was held over a year later at county seat. Wrong suspect had been arrested because of 'mistaken' identity/arrest of a California bound young sailor in similar vehicle. Innocent sailor's alibi was indisputable, as being on base in San Diego at the time of the attack. He was eventually released and charges were dropped after the messy wrongful arrest (common in those days)

The actual killer, another young man of similar description, was arrested long later. After a relatively short trial, the real killer was 'set Free' by the jury in the county seat courthouse trial. Reason was well known by locals, because the jury All knew famously 'opportunistic' (to say the least) Bud Rice (and his lady). The jury was aware of Bud Rice's long history of taking advantage of 'Every' hapless traveler that had the misfortune to come into range of His Budville on Route 66. That common sense NM county Jury, then decided with little argument, that Bud and his 'lady' deserved their 'just rewards'. Fair or not, the law, is the law. ;>)

1-40 bypassed Rt 66 and turned 'Budville' into a derelict of the 'Good ol Days'. But not before the next owner was caught rustling his 'partners' cattle on their ranch south of Grants. Being caught in the act of butchering out the rustled beef, he was shot and killed by his partner Gus Rainey, who then served some 'time' in prison. 'No Nonsense', old Gus Rainey, ranch hand (ranch 'security' during uranium days) who had also served as a tough New Mexico Lawman in his younger years, was years later, himself... 'reportedly'... attacked at his modest little ranch house, some miles off the Interstate near Grants, years after his release from prison. 'Gus', as he told it, killed the Attackers
  • .. The 'Attackers' (according to Gus) must not have known the history of 'Budville'? He (and others, it is rumored) sure were mistaken about attacking, or even 'Visiting' old 'Gus' Rainey. :>)


  • Another story of the 'Good old days', of which New Mexico is rich in it's Heritage. Enjoy your travels and tours across this great nation. The United States of America, "One Nation Under GOD"

    3 Comments:

    Blogger brucejones jr. said...

    I lived in grants when all this happend.You don't have you story straight.We all new gus.Bud was killed in a phony robbery set up by his wife and another man.Her and her house keeper were tyed up.the man was caught,sent to prison for a short time,then returnd and married buds widow.He is the one gus shot in self defense when he charged with a knife while butcering a beef.gus was sentenced to prison years later for killing a couple ofbible thumpers for knocking on his door after being warned not to.he said he never killed aman that didn't need killing any way

    10:52 AM  
    Blogger Bob Wiley said...

    Knew Gus(Raney not Rainey) Knew son Sink in Gallup too, transmission man. Gus shot Max Atkinson, no loss there.

    12:18 PM  
    Blogger Bob Wiley said...

    Sleet Raney, not Sink. I'm old too

    12:24 PM  

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