Back in the days when we were building the Guadalupe River State Park in 1981-1982 we had a lot of characters that worked on that project.
One day a couple of guys walked up with backpacks on and asked for a job. They were probably about 20 years old. We had a bunk trailer onsite that had about 8 or 10 bunks in it. We let them move in.
During summer and winter the guys mostly cooked out on a campfire or on a BBQ pit. They all would sit around the fire and tell stories and drink beer. I had a trailer parked a little ways away that I stayed in on the nights I didn’t drive back home to Austin. I didn’t get involved with the crew much at night but I could always tell they were having a good time. It was a odd mixed bag of people. The two that walked up that day fell right in and became a part of it all. I think they stayed about 6 or 8 months.
They were illegal aliens. Not your typical garden variety illegal aliens we were used to. They had crossed over from our northern border without papers and we’re just looking for adventure. We were used to having “Wet Backs” around. These two became our “Ice Backs”. I don’t know if that was a common name applied to illegals from Canada, but that’s what they were to us.
Without notice one day they were gone. All the other guys had left for the weekend and when they returned our Ice Backs weren’t there. We never heard from them again. They each had walked away from a weeks pay.