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FEATURE ARTICLES

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COVER STORY

Carol Bowman revisits Mexico’s fabled Copper Canyon but this time comes at it from its western side. Amazingly, it seems the area is spectacular from any angle. 9

LOCAL HEAT

COVER STORY

Index...

VOLUME 2 NUMBER 3  D IR EC T OR Y  PUBLISHER Richard Tingen

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Alejandro Grattan-Domínguez

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Bill Haydon decides to spend his first summer on the west coast of Mexico and discovers it was much hotter than he could have ever imagined. But he also thinks that living year-round here in Mexico makes the experience seem more… well, authentic. (So that’s what it’s called.)

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THE GOOD LIFE

“Consuelo” is at the beach, taking a vacation from her permanent vacation, also known as retirement in Puerto Vallarta. With time on her hands, her thoughts have returned to writing, which she says she has finally figured out: “Writing is simple. You sit at a desk until blood forms on your forehead.”

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OF BIRDS AND MEN

Tommy Clarkson has been having a protracted conversation with a hummingbird that likes to hang out on Tommy’s patio. Now in almost any other country, this would be considered grounds for commitment but in Mexico, Tommy is just fondly regarded as another “crazy gringo.”

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MEXICO’S LEGAL SYSTEM

Scott Richards runs afoul of the law and remains at liberty to tell the tale, which might be somber if it weren’t so funny.

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FACT & FICTION

Tel: 01-800-765-3788 Associate Publisher David Tingen Director of Marketing Bruce Fraser Graphic Design Roberto C. Rojas Jazmin Eliosa Associate Editor Jim Tipton Contributing Editors Paul Jackson Henri Loridans Feature Editor Jim Tuck (Honorary) Staff Photographer Xill Fessenden Staff Writers Mildred Boyd Ilse Hoffmann Floyd Dalton Sales Manager Bruce Fraser 333 559 2046 info@elojodelmar.com Office Secretary Iliana Oregel

David Lyons, demonstrating a wondrously positive attitude, turns a sobering medical report into a hilarious story.

Over 900 Delivery Points

As the return of seasonal residents and tourists to the Pacific Coast of Mexico approaches, many readers may be looking to “catch up” on editions of El Ojo Del Mar that they missed over the summer. Our website www. elojodelmar.com holds all of our past editions and each can be read on-line. Those wishing to print out specific articles can also do that. The website also contains a button to refer users to the Classified section where they can place ads for items they wish to sell or acquire.

In the coming months we will have new services available on the website. Check in periodically to review what’s new and send us your feedback on the website.

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El Ojo del Mar / October 2010

ADVERTISING OFFICE Calle Niza #152, Puerto Vallarta Send all correspondence, subscriptions or advertising to: El Ojo del Mar http://www.elojodelmar.com info@elojodelmar.com Ave. Hidalgo 223 (or Apartado 279), 45900 Chapala, Jalisco Tels.: (376) 765 3676, Fax 765 3528 PRINTING: El Debate El Ojo del Mar aparece los primeros cinco días de cada mes. (Out over the first five days of each month) Certificado de Licitud de Título 3693 Certificado de Licitud de Contenido 3117. Reserva al Título de Derechos de Autor 04-2007-111412131300-102 Control 14301. Permisos otorgados por la Secretaría de Gobernación (EXP. 1/432 “88”/5651 de 2 de junio de 1993) y SEP (Reserva 171.94 control 14301) del 15 de enero de 1994. Distribución: Calle Niza #152, Puerto Vallarta All contents are fully protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without the written consent of El Ojo del Mar. Opinions expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the views of the Publisher or the Editor, nor are we responsible for the claims made by our advertisers. We welcome letters, which should include name, address and telephone number.


By Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez

The Magical Allure Of Mexico

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Sierra Madre. The film, for those who have never seen it, concerns a motley trio of prospectors who venture into the wilds of Mexico in search of gold. They find, then lose the gold, but the two men who survive the adventure still ride away greatly enriched, for they have gained something far more precious than gold. They have discovered the best parts of themselves. The film is set in 1925, but its timeless message continues to play out every day in this, our beloved adopted country of Mexico.

ALEJANDRO GRATTAN is a former screenwriter/film director who has published seven novels. Two of his novels are in over 1000 libraries in the US and Canada. He co-founded the Ajijic Writers’ Group 22 years ago and has been the Editor of El Ojo del Lago for the past 15 years. grattan@prodigy.net.mx

e all know the drill: it’s the weather, the inexpensive living and the friendly people. So goes the usual palaver as to why people come from all over the world to settle in Mexico. But the superb climate can almost be matched elsewhere, and the cost of living is no longer so inexpensive; inFrida Kahlo deed, certain areas of south Texas are now cheaper. That leaves the warmth of the cord. Such stretches of the truth are Mexican people, but are not the lonot only pathetic but stupid. In this cals in Ireland (for instance) just as era of the Internet, almost anything foreigner friendly? I have been in and can be checked out, especially someout of Mexico for most of my life, and thing as public as show business. would have to possess all the conBut back to reinventing ourselves sciousness of a pet rock not to have in Mexico. We come here hoping to formed a few conclusions by now as be more than we have ever been; to what (perhaps subconsciously) atmore creative, curious, compastracts people to this country. There sionate, courageous, mentally alert, are several possibiliphysically vigorous ties, but paramount A film director friend of and adventurous. In among them, I bemore alive. mine once called Mex- short, lieve, is what most Someone once of us perceive as the ico a John Huston pic- said of Mexico that chance to reinvent ture, written by John it’s a Technicolor ourselves. country in a largely Hold on, I’m not Steinbeck and starring black and white talking about em- Humphrey Bogart. world, a country bellishing our past where nothing is achievements, like That’s good enough ever forgotten and so many feckless for me! anything is posfools do who grant sible. A film director themselves incredible “promotions” friend of mine once called Mexico a as they cross the border. It is human John Huston picture, written by John nature to fudge a bit, but one must Steinbeck and starring Humphrey maintain some semblance of congruBogart. That’s good enough for me! ity. A sergeant can, with little chance Here, indeed, it seems possible to of being committed to a mental inbecome the person you always wantstitution or fear of being stoned in ed to be, the one who never quite the PV square, assume the rank of a got the chance or the time (or both) lieutenant; but when one goes from to realize all of his potential, and now private to former Army Chief of Staff, does. Perhaps Mexico is not alone in the white-coated gents with the butcasting out this finely webbed net, terfly nets can’t be far behind. though as one who has lived in CoThe same holds true of those prelombia, Venezuela, Denmark and in viously in other lines of work. One lofive different states in the U.S., nevcal actress has boasted of personally er have I seen such sorcery at work winning four Academy Awards (that’s anywhere else; can one imagine the right, four—which puts this braggart same allure drawing foreigners to in the same exalted league as KathEngland, Germany ... New Jersey? erine Hepburn!), yet somehow none This magic is at the heart of my of this is on the official Academy refavorite movie, The Treasure of the

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View From The Terrace Mexico’s Copper Canyon at Posada Barrancas By Carol L. Bowman

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t’s 6 Am. You awaken from a restful sleep, during which the only sound piercing the night was the silence of a shooting star. You stumble from the bed laden with two comfy, woolen blankets toward the open patio door, while crisp air filters inside. You step out onto your terrace. I have no words to describe what unfolds before your eyes. Once you have seen it, the image burns into the recesses of your mind. Words would shatter the sanctity and miracle of sunrise over the Copper Canyon. Back in November 2005, I told my readers about my magnificent vistas of Mexico’s Copper Canyon and train ride from Chihuahua to Creel aboard the Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad. So enthralled, I returned to this vast stretch of wonderment for a different look, this time boarding the train in El Fuerte near the Gulf of California’s eastern coast and disembarking at Posada Barrancas, deep in the heart of the Copper Canyon. Comparisons between the opposite directional routes abound. So All Aboard, here we go. Avoiding the three hour ride from Los Mochis to El Fuerte, where the landscape bores with baked scrub bushes, allows the thrill of canyon vistas sooner. The first class train, named CHEPE-(Chihuahua Estacion- Pacifico Estacion) hadn’t changed since our last venture, with comfortable reclining seats, adequate overhead luggage storage, dining and bar sections, and fun, open air platforms between the cars. Here you can hang out while the cars click-clack back and forth, feel the hot steam of the train engine blowing in your face and brush your hand against the rock walls as the train enters pitch black tunnels. Elevations rise quickly in this direction, as the train climbs from sea level to 3080 feet at Temoris within two hours. The landscapes change

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from parched, dry season plains to verdant ponderosa and apache pines. Most of the route’s 86 tunnels and 37 bridges occur from El Fuerte to Creel, earning the distinction of the most exciting train ride in the Western Hemisphere. Emerging from tunnel blackness time and again, we plunged deeper into the canyon. The vistas going from west to east far exceed those in the other direction. Mountain lakes reflected towering cliffs and the word “wilderness” took on life. The train switched back and forth toward the summit at 8000 feet. Our eyes ached after six hours of looking, mouths agape at every turn. Who knew that the most majestic spectacle would unfurl where we would rest our heads for a few days. We disembarked at Posada Barrancas, a lone station in the wilds, where a few Tarahumara women sat weaving baskets with palm and pine needles, but no sign of anything that resembled a hotel, a cabin, or even a tent camp. A pick up truck and van waited by the station to transport guests up the kidneyjarring, rutted mile to the promised retreat. We eyed one another wondering if the accommodations would be as rustic as the backdrop suggested. The trees and cliffs kept the secret hidden until we turned a bend and there it was. Owned by Balderrama Hotels and Tours, Hotel Mirador Posada Barrancas appeared, the chatter inside the van turned silent, and the image perked up our tired eyes. Perched on the cliff like a bird’s nest, 78 rooms, each with its own terrace, loomed out over the canyon with a descent of 6300 feet below. Soaring raptors filled the sky. Although we were suspended over the Copper Canyon itself, the actual chasm consists of seven individual canyons. Our view from the terrace of Room 63 provided a panoramic


view of Urique, Otero and Copper Canyons. The volcanic uplifting millions of years ago, from what was once ocean, now spans 40,000 square kilometers of unforgiving, vertical, limestone terrain. It supports 25 species of pine trees, black bear, red fox, rattlesnake, falcons, eagles and 50,000 Tarahumara Indians. Foot paths cut into the mountain ridges by the Tarahumara provided a visual map of their comings and goings from our terrace. Each morning we watched as the women forged up the hillside to sell their hand woven baskets to hotel guests. The availability of water to sustain residents limits each community to around 100 members. Far below our perch, a clan of three families nestled their homes into a crevice in the mountain side, where an underground spring nourished them. We trekked down steps carved into the rock to witness their life style—a privilege for us, an economically beneficial intrusion for them, as the opportunity to sell baskets, hand made fiddles, drums and natural jewelry multiplies with every guest.

There can be no disagreement. Exploring Mexico’s Copper Canyon by boarding the train in Chihuahua provided us with awesome vistas. Traveling from El Fuerte in the west to Posada Barrancas proved aweinspiring, incredulous, spell binding and transcended “Room with a View” to new depths. I soon realized why this story’s voice needed to be one of images more than one of words.

CAROL BOWMAN worked in a psychiatric hospital for 33 years before moving to Mexico in 2006. Visiting 45 countries before retirement, Carol’s outlet of travel writing helped preserve her sanity. She was a featured author in the published anthology, Tales from the Couch V.

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AS ST THE HE T TACO ACO T TURNS URNS (And takes the world with it) By Beth Berube berubebeth@yahoo.com Come on Baby, Light My Fire

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he word Mexico is derived from an ancient Mayan word meaning “all night celebration using explosives.” I happen to being hidbe a foreigner who loves eously flatMexican firework festitened and vals. There is a wonderful pressed shindig each year in the to one side. Melaque town square on St. PatFinally, the disrick’s Day. There are plenty of accombobulating tivities like parades and rodeos but ride ended and we the main attraction is the lighting were allowed to of the Castillo. disembark our The Castillo is the evil clown death cab with of all fireworks displays. It is a all the six-year-olds. Susan and I sequoia tower with layers of pinwere clutching each other trying wheels. A flame runs up the fuse to regain our equilibrium. lines which set fiery pyrotechnic The carnie ride started again events into mo- Susan we had a and I were before tion. The euphoric chance to clear out crowd expects to clutching each other onto the midway see people set on trying to regain our area. The whirlfire. That is what ing bucket passed makes this event so equilibrium. inches from my much fun. head. None of the There are no disclaimer warnmothers seemed to be the least bit ings nailed to the structure. There concerned. They were smiling and are no lawyers hiding in bushes waiting while their agile progeny waiting to pass out their cards to sidestepped the cabs like seasoned flaming victims. The fuses are lit boxers slipping punches. In this and fire continues its upward jourcountry awareness is not legislatney, pinwheels spinning, making a ed. It is learned. hellish shrieking noise. If your IQ is lower than a taco Young boys with cardboard and the Tilt-A-Whirl kicks your ass, shields over their heads, dodge you better learn to duck the next burning chunks of debris. This time. spectacle is nothing like the Shamu Show of Seaworld where you can seat yourself out of the “splash zone.” Hair scorching, crotch-seeking, flaming projectiles spray the crowd in all directions. This is truly BETH BERUBE at an event the whole family will enthe tender age of 20 joy. joined United Airlines One year, there was an amuseas a Flight Attendant. ment park set up behind the plaza After 30 years of world with lots of kiddy rides. My girltravel, she and her husband Larry friend and I decided to try out found their place in the sun in Tilt-A-Whirl. It slams you back and Barra de Navidad. She not only forth while frantically gyrating and wants to tell people about it she doesn’t end until your head falls off. wants to invite people to share it I could feel the loose skin on my face with her.

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SUMMER IN SAN BLAS By William Haydon

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as I prepared for my San Blas in the summertime is, I first summer in Mexconcluded, hot as hell but nowhere ico? As the season near as well-populated. I found draws to a close, I think I can reasonpeace of mind, as I so often do, by ably conclude that the answer to simply breathing deeply and rethat question is probably no. I can solving to accept these new circumonly blame myself for this, because stances. When I managed to do that, in retrospect I can see that the clues I found that the rewards awaiting were all there. From the first day me were greater than I could have that I arrived in Mexico last Novemimagined. My young friend Alex ber every person that I have met has calls this town “Boring San Blas” but asked me when I would be heading in my opinion only a twenty-someback up north to the states, and thing-year-old who has lived here time and again when I replied that over half his life could feel that way. I intended to stay here year-round, As for me, I am damn near spellI received the same wide-eyed look bound by the intensity of the weathof disbelief. er alone. Mother Nature gets right It was a response that seemed in your face here, thumping chests like a very thinly veiled attempt, on with you like a schoolyard bully, the part of the person asking the daring you to even try to ignore question, to conceal their surprise her. Flashes of lightning percolate at the sudden realization that I was in the night sky, and sudden black in fact crazy. can turn Mother Nature gets clouds Around the end the brightest afterof May the exodus right in your face here, noon into sudden began. One by one thumping chests with dusk, and the rain, my new friends vanin copious torrents ished…to Canada, you like a schoolyard such as I have nevand New York, and bully, daring you to er witnessed, falls Washington, Idaho, after night even try to ignore her. night California…and after night. It can then, in a manner at times seem abI would describe as more sudden solutely surreal. than gradual, I felt very alone. The One of the more practical reheat cranked up and tested the cawards of spending my summer here pabilities of my new air conditioner, is that with so many of my Englishand I began to truly get a sense of speaking friends absent, my Spanwhat the next few months held in ish-language skills have improved store for me. markedly, out of sheer necessity, Some of my favorite restaurants and my bond with the local commuclosed up for the season, other nity seems much more solid as a rebusinesses reduced their hours, and sult. I have begun sampling many of in general the entire pace of life in the smaller, humbler restaurants off this already laidback town seemed the tourist track and have been deto slow down even more. I had lighted to find that what they lack in thought that as a California native décor they more than make up for I’d be well prepared for the sumin friendly service and inexpensive mer heat. I was a bit overconfident yet extremely delicious cuisine. in that assessment. In California, Finally, I must say at the risk of no matter how hot it gets in the sounding a bit full of myself, that daytime, it still cools down overliving here year-round makes my night. That doesn’t happen here in whole experience in Mexico seem San Blas and thus the heat here is somehow more authentic. I can see far more oppressive. why some expats take flight from

Mexico for the summer months, but as for myself, I have found immense satisfaction in doing just the opposite.

WILLIAM HAYDON says he is another disgruntled American seeking solace south of the border. He has lived in Europe, worked in Hollywood, and now resides in the pleasantly funky village of San Blas with his two cats.

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BRIDGE BY THE SEA By Ken Masson masson.ken@gmail.com

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veryone knows that to make a contract of 3 No Trump you need to take 9 tricks. Nobody ever said they have to be the first 9! Another truism in bridge is that more mistakes are made at trick one than at any other point in the play of the hand. A little more care in planning the play in the illustrated deal after seeing the dummy could have saved declarer from an unnecessary failure. In this deal, played at the Lake Chapala Duplicate Bridge Club, South opened a perfectly normal 1 Diamond. West took advantage of the vulnerability to make an ag-

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gressive weak jump overcall of 2 Spades. North was full value for his 3 Heart bid and East passed. South, with a double Spade stopper closed the bidding with the reasonable call of 3 No Trump and West led the Jack of Spades, the recommended lead from this holding. Declarer won the opening lead in hand with the Spade Queen, laid down the Heart King followed by the Heart 5. When West followed low to the second Heart, South called for the Jack, hoping the Queen was with West. Alas for

El Ojo del Mar / October 2010

declarer, East won the trick and promptly switched to his remaining Spade, trapping South’s King and allowing West to cash 5 tricks in the suit. On the run of the Spades, East signalled that he liked Clubs and when West switched to a Club the defence was able to come to a total of 7 tricks, defeating the contract by 3 tricks. In the post mortem, South saw that the contract could have been made! The weak jump overcall by West was in fact the clue that South needed for it showed a probable six card suit and between 6 and 10 points. Therefore, East was likely to hold 2 Spades and at least some of the defence’s high cards. It was imperative to keep East off the lead as long as he had one Spade left. The way to do that was to duck the opening lead. Note the deadly affect of this simple measure. If West continued Spades, South could win and take the Heart finesse with assurance that East would not be able to return a Spade to his partner if he won that trick. The only possible

way that East could get to West’s hand was if the latter held the Club Ace, unlikely on the bidding and in which case the contract would have been hopeless from the start. Also noteworthy on this deal is the fact that 4 Hearts could not make with accurate defence. EastWest was always entitled to one spade, one heart and two clubs to put the major suit game down. 3 No Trump was indeed the best contract and all that the declarer had to do was duck the opening lead to make it. Questions or comments: email: masson.ken@gmail.com

KEN MASSON has been playing, teaching and writing about bridge for 35 years. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Ken has been living in Toronto since 1967. He and his wife and bridge partner, Rosemarie, are now in their third year wintering in Mexico.


FROM FR ROM M MY Y TR TROPICAL ROPICAL LD DECK ECK KC CHAIR HAIIR By “Consuelo”

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am at the beach, taking a vaat it. I like to watch, from five stories up. cation from my permanent I like to listen. vacation, also known as reEspecially when there is a wondertirement in Puerto Vallarta. Oh, how ful thunder and lightning storm. Last I love it here. The first thing I did when night, the electricity in the air made the owner left -- I am house/dog/cat huge flashes like laser light shows. No, sitting, is turn off the air conditioning laser light shows are a simulacrum of and open the doors to the terrace. The this, the real thing. Living beside the Mexican word for it is terraza, but it is ocean. more of a balcony. The sound of the And there is a salt-water pool. So ocean waves curling onto the mostly when I take the dog for a walk in the deserted beach, lulls me to perfect morning, out the front, not on the grace. I think this is what Baba Ram beach, armed with my ZipLock bagDass had in mind when he wrote Be gies, I follow the walk up with a swim. Here Now. It is a nice pool, pretty good-sized. The A stillness meditation, “pretend daily swim is an excellent advenyou are lying on a sunlit beach...” The ture. Butt-to-the-chair is THE secret of reality is somewhat different than my writing. You sit down, you focus, you often pictured stretch of sand and concentrate, you sit, you write. As L. palm trees. First, the ocean scares me. Rust Hills so famously said, “Writing is In New Mexico, we used to claim the simple. You sit at the desk until blood desert for our ocean. The desert has forms on your forehead”. You pull up this same vastness. It is not as scary, everything from the bottom of the though, because it is not moving. No pond, lay it out, let it show. You tell evwind, no waves, erything you are not no jelly fish, no sea “Writing is simple. You supposed to tell. You snakes, no sharks, sit at the desk until say everything you no whales, no manta are not supposed to rays, no undertow to blood forms on your say and hesitate to suck you out to sea. forehead”. reveal. The worse the Before I moved to event, the better the Vallarta, I had no idea I would be afraid write. of the ocean. Now I see, I am even I could write about living here for afraid of the beach. I am the designatnow, how it is I came to an Atkins diet ed dog mom for this puppy right now house, where there is no sugar and and when we go out on the beach, I there is no flour in the pantry. Ahh, but do not feel safe. There is a full-grown there is some really nice meat in the Doberman and a huge boxer who live freezer. Steaks, brats, chicken, plus the at the other end of the beach. What ribs I purchased at Costco and brought if they bite my dog’s tiny head off, or along when the dog mom picked me swallow her whole, like a tasty doggie up from town. Today is my birthday. I treat? What if the dog mom next door, told my BFF I want two things: flour who is best friends with the real dog and sugar. I brought along a jar of mom, insists on her visiting back and brown sugar, but fear if I run out of forth, having coffee idea? sugar, I might go crazy. Hey, I am a princess in a tower right Last night I did some nice tilapia, now, and I want to keep it that way. using crushed multi-grain Cheerios for This is my writer’s retreat, where I make the crust. And I made a green chile stew my stand, finish my novel, and post it with sausage. After I eat all the apples on my blog. http://outofthearmchair. and romaine and celery and zucchini wordpress.com There are five hundred and cucumbers I brought with me, I channels on the TV here. I am, so far, will hop a bus to Rizo’s, haul my vegnot needing to turn it on. I have the etales verdura back in my trusty purple ocean for entertainment. I like to look backpack. I cannot live without veg-

etables. And, oddly enough, the lack of explosions and lack of smoke from people roasting meat on homemade street grills made of wood and filled with sand, the lack of loud music from giant speakers, the lack of the Soni Gas man hawking his cylinders, the lack of children screaming, and people laughing, I can’t really live without these sounds of my own neighborhood in Zona Romantica, either. What was once scary, when I first arrived, is now part of the magic and excitement of living here. Maybe one day I will learn to not be scared of the ocean. Think nice thoughts. santafekitchenstudio.com blog: http:// outofthearmchair.wordpress.com paintings can be seen in Puerto Vallarta at Galeria International on Morelos and in the Marina.

“CONSUELO” lives in Puerto Vallarta. Originally from Santa Fe, NM, she is a painter, writer and seasoned world-traveler. jart@live. com santafekitchenstudio.com

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A MORNING CHAT By Tommy Clarkson

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he day before yesterday I es game and had too much aged learned that I understand yellow Hibiscus nectar resulting in Hummingbirdese. Now I head-throbbing hovering for a coudon’t speak it mind you, but I, someple of days afterward. He went on how, appear to understand it quite to explain that since hummingbirds well. It came as a bit of a surprise to had no sense of smell and -“whichme as I’ve never really hung out with is-a-shame-Tommy-because-you’vethem much, socially, you know. planted-so-many-beautiful-flowersThere I was in our dining palapa for-us” - that they hadn’t realized having my morning coffee when a how very “seriously-fermented” the little one we watch zip about every nectar had been. “Harriette-wasmorning floated nearby. On a whim, pretty-ticked-off-and-didn’t-cheepI bade him “Good Morning!” to-me-for-three-days,” he confided. He then zipped over next to my Since he seemed in a talkative right ear and in a high pitched, chipmood I asked what species he was. ping rattle said, “And-a-very-GoodHe said that he came from a long, Morning-to-you-Tommy. My-nameproud family of Green-Breasted is-Herman-and-I’ve-been-watchingMangos. He went on to tell me that you-every-morning there are 58 species w h e n - I - h a v e - m y - Since he seemed in a of hummingbirds m o r n i n g - n e c t a r . talkative mood I asked presently residing Thanks,-by-thein Mexico but 46 way,-for-the-great- what species he was. of them are seaflowers. Can’t-talksonal ex-pats not long-today-as-I’m-really-in-a-hurry. originally from this country. “But,” Gotta’-lot-to-do. Harriette-the-‘littlehe worriedly clicked, “of-the-twelvewoman’-went-to-Jenny-Wren’s- nestthat-are-endemic-several-are-endanto-see-if-she-could-help-with-thegered.” baby-wrenettes. They-had-tripletsContinuing he said that while in-,case-you’d-not-heard-,so-I’m-domost of his immediate family and ciring-all-the-nectar-gathering-today. cle of birds preferred Mexico, South Wanta’-get-it-all-done-fast-as-theAmerica has the biggest variety of Crows-are-taking-on-the-Owls-thishummingbirds with more than half afternoon-at-2:00. Should-be-aof all known species being found good-game!” there. Without appearing to take a Hummingbirds talk fast, you breath he went on saying know. that “Ecuador-has-theThinking myself humorous I asked largest-numhim who he would “peck” to win. Igber- of-humnoring my feeble attempt, he remingbirdsplied “The-Crows-have-someof-any- onegood-raw-talent-this-seacountry- withson-but-the-Owls-are163-differentvery-experienced,species. play-smartExpanding and-havefurther on the the-hometopic he said that, “Withsky-advantage. I’d-call-the343-different-species,wegame-‘crows-by-three’-buthummingbirds-are-thethe-it’ll-will-be-no-flyaway!” second-largest-family-ofHe then confessed that birds,-but-that-we-are-onthe last week-end he and his ly-found-in North-and-Southpals had gotten a little carAmerica.” He concluded with ried away at the Gulls and Fishthe fact that the hummingbird

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range extends as far north as southeastern Alaska and as far south as southern Chile. Embarrassedly, I admitted that I didn’t know a lot about hummingbirds. So, in a quiet, staccato, he proceeded to tell me some more interesting facts such as that they were the smallest of all species in the animal kingdom to have backbones – “We-always-tell-the-children-to-notslouch-and-to-hover-up-straight.” I told him that I knew that as a result of the fact that they could rotate their wings in a circle they could fly forwards, backwards, up, down, and sideways, as well as hover. With the tiniest of smiles on his beak he responded, “Listen-to-you. Andyou-said-you-didn’t-know-anythingabout-us!” I ask him about the “snowbirds” of his species that migrated nonstop the 500-mile flight over the Gulf of Mexico. “Yeah,-we-call-it-‘the-oldred-eye’-as-you’re-pretty-drained-bythe-time-you-get-here.” Rather at the bottom of my hummingbird bucket of knowledge, I mentioned that I understood that they could reach speeds of 60 miles per hour when doing their courtship dives and generally averaged 20 to 30 miles and hour when “cruisin’ the blooms.” His high-pitched chattering laughter told me he approved of that expression. When I mentioned that I understood that they beat their wings up to 80 times a second during normal flight and up to 200 times per second during courtship dives, he made a sound that I could only take as a tiny chirping guffaw. “Yep,-we-do-show-off-when-we’re-inour-horny-mode!” Curious to learn more, I said that must make their hearts beat quite fast. He said that, in fact, their heartbeats can reach up to 1,260 beats per minute but then with a chortle he confided that when he had first met Harriet he was sure his must have been double that! “But,” he rambled on,” we’re-notjust-‘hunks’-you-know,-for-our-size,we’ve-the-largest-brains-of-all-birdswith-them-being-4.2%-of-our-totalbody-weight.” On a roll now he fast continued telling me that in order to conserve energy while they slept or when food was scarce they could go into a hibernation-like state and slow their metabolic rate to 1/15th its normal rate. Seeing that I was quite impressed with that fact and clearly not want-

ing to appear to be a “buzz-by-braggart,” he confided that hummingbirds do have one flaw – weak feet. Hence they don’t walk or hop much, just generally using those appendages for perching. And with that he zipped around my head fast as a, well, hummingbird, hovered by my left ear and said, “But-that-reminds-me. Enoughof-this-chatter. I’d-better-hot-foot,” he tittered, “it-out-of-here. Lot’s-to-dobefore-the-game. See-ya’-tomorrowbuddy!” and off he went. What a classy little fellow, I thought, and certainly no fly-bynight friend!

TOM CLARKSON and his wife have lived on board a boat, on a remote 1.2 square mile island in the Pacific, in the bowels of wartorn Iraq and are now reasonably settled in Santiago, Manzanillo.

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Trudging from one office to the next, we got the fifty-cent tour trying to find our persecutor’s office. The paper was studied, stared at and scrutinized. Responsible looking employees pointed down hallways that only led to more questions. Unand their daunted, we attempts at journeyed English, interon like Mary rupted only by and Joseph mutual smiles of looking for a the culturally paspace at the tient. It seemed we were Inn until we finally found an into appear before the Federal Proseterested party. Eyeing us as potential cutor’s court by noon the next day to paper work, we were asked someanswer charges of importing illegal what obligingly to “passé” into an aircontraband and to deliver a sworn conditioned office on the top floor. I declaration as to our proposed use should have known. These were the of the family DVDs we had shipped windows American movie buffs were via Fed-ex four months ago and had thrown out of. still not yet received. Nineteen hours Facing our accuser as he pored to appear in court? over a two-inch What happened to Trudging from one of- thick file on us, he manana and the to certain fice to the next, we got referred Mexican minute? pages with definite We awoke with the fifty-cent tour try- zeal in rapid, legalProzac smiles for ing to find our persecu- istic Spanish as we each other in hopes sat respectfully igof buoying our de- tors’ office. norant wishing this flated expectations was all a dream. For of today’s outcome as we boarded an the next three hours it was a dizzying early Guadalajara Directo to our fate. question and answer period where Holding our summons out in front of my statements were interpreted and us like our stupid shield, we hoped for translated to the prosecutor via a a gleam of recognition and a possiwoman who had rarely spoken Engble direction from the armed guards. lish since she was sixteen and living Signing in and receiving our visitors’ in Chicago many years ago. You know passes, we were asked if we needed you just can’t make this shit up. This an interpreter? We were thankfully was getting better all the time. greeted with “Good morning, how A major hurdle in our defense are you. from a wonderful woman was that I was able to answer “No” to lawyer just a few minutes later. using hard drugs, smoking tobacco and owning a stockpile of guns, an obviously common combination of traits among DVD shippers. I understand the seriousness of ignoring international rights and laws concerning ownership of material, but I doubt our little shoebox of Dick Van Dyke and Roseanne TV shows could ever resemble the seeds of an underworld duplicating empire. The prosecutor’s report read back to me in English, though, turned out to be a most interesting cultural comment concerning Mexican family life. The gist of our story translated through our interpreter was that we had decided to live in Mexico and after obtaining immigration status,

CONTROLLED C ONTROLLED S SUBSTANCES U B S TA N C E S By Scott Richards

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eacting to what I thought sounded like the flapping of bird wings, I squinted through the peephole of our front door. My somewhat colorful past life flashed before my eyes seeing badges, clipboards, white shirts and ties; sure signs of bureaucratic officialdom. Swirling images of Midnight Express briefly began clouding my panic-stricken mind as I drifted into the melancholy state of a cow to slaughter. My sometimes dangerous imagination whisking me away to another world. Like the crack of distant thunder the heavy iron door’s lock sang home, solid, indestructible, permanent. The echoing clang resonated for what seemed like hours deep within my psyche, as my eyes slowly grew accustomed to the cave-like confines of the jail. This was the pit, the end. Men sent here were not expected to finish out their sentences alive. They would toil, suffer and perish in this hellhole without ever seeing daylight again. Snapping back from a brief vision of the worst-case scenario, I stared at the Federal Prosecutor’s summons just handed us covered in seals, signatures, and stamps, as we tried to comprehend the meaning and possible consequences. We invited them in for a full twenty minutes of my horrendous Spanish

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had our family send down some of our DVD collection since the English language movies through local cable were few and far between. His interpretation of my words through his personal views on family and life combined with my interpreter’s Mexican/American influence when translating created the most interesting result. This was in fact a very serious Federal Court document and yet the inaccurate translation when read back to me was so compelling a piece of cultural literature, I signed it anyway. It spoke of a sad, childless couple living with no family around them to keep them occupied and entertained. His report went on to describe a lonely life of retirement that needed to be filled with English movies as consolation to being without a large riotous family and grandkids. We were found not guilty of trying to import and then engage in copying movies for sale. He seemed to pity us our solitary life and said Customs would only confiscate fifteen DVDs. The five-hour excursion into the inner workings of the Mexican Mind and law enforcement afforded me a sense of peace actually, alleviating unfounded fears of reasonless persecution, or unwarranted police interaction and establishing a greater appreciation of what they have to work with. After seeing the machine in motion, I feel any success on their part is to be applauded. We sat in a small room occupied by four employees sharing candy bars, coffee and their lives. It did take five hours, but now that I think about what could have happened in my old Country, I have no regrets, negative opinions, or complaints. Enjoy my John Wayne collection.

SCOTT RICHARDS grew up in Southern California and after college hit the road to high adventure in the Caribbean, never to return. He is here with his wife, thoroughly enjoying Mexico and his new found mistress and taskmaster - the written word.


UNCOMMON COMMON SENSE By Bill Frayer billfrayer@gmail.com

What’s Right? What’s Wrong?

it might be permissible. This is what I’ll examine when we consider Utilitarian Ethics.

BILL FRAYER taught writing/ critical thinking. He has written a book, Figuring Things Out, and a volume of poetry, Sacred Lake. He and his wife Pixie have lived in Mexico for the past five years.

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ere is a famous ethical dilemma: A shipwrecked crew is stranded on a deserted island with a limited amount of food and drinkSome people would disagree, able water. They must strictly ration arguing that the circumstances had food and water to assure that they changed; therefore, there was no survive long enough to be rescued. longer any need to hang the man. As a group, they decide that if anyBut in Kant’s view, the moral reasonone is caught taking more than their ing which led the others to develop share, he will be hanged. the rule, using the universal logic One night, two men are caught developed in his categorical imperstealing food. The next morning, evative, still held true. It’s an absolutist eryone agrees that they should be way of looking at ethics. hanged. The first man is hung, and Many religions have applied abas they are preparing the next man solute prohibitions as part of their for hanging, a ship appears on the creed. The Ten Commandments may horizon obviously to rescue them. be the most well-known set of absoThe question is, should they hang lute moral rules. They were absolute the second man? because they were from God. The You can make a case either way, commandment does not say, “Thou but how you decide might reveal shalt not steal, except when the your own ethical framework. Emancircumstances justify it.” The comual Kant, the 18th century German were philosopher develNo abortion. No homo- mandments absolute. “Thou oped a framework for deciding ethical sexuality. No graven shalt not steal.” Today, many issues. His moral images of God. people who adhere philosophy was a to strict fundamenconcept he called the categorical talist religions view moral rules as imperative. absolute. No abortion. No homo“Act only according to that maxsexuality. No graven images of God. im whereby you can at the same These are non-negotiable for people time will that it should become a who believe in the absolute truth of universal law.” their religious doctrine. He believed that we should deBut we have other examples velop moral “rules” which are so obtoo. For example, crime must be vious and powerful that most everypunished. So even in those cases in one could agree that they are good which the crime might seem justifimoral practices. able, such as mercy killing or stealHe viewed moral rules to be abing to feed one’s family, our society solute. He specifically formulated uses Kantian logic which has estabethical rules prohibiting lying, theft, lished sentencing rules which resuicide, and laziness. He believed quire that the guilty party be punthese were absolute values. ished. We have absolute rules today Kant would likely suggest that about patient autonomy; it’s wrong because the rule prohibiting theft of to treat an adult, competent patient food or water was deemed punishwithout her consent. able by death, that the other surviOf course, we all know there are vors were morally obligated to hang circumstances which can mitigate the second man. The fact that the crimes. We might generally believe ship was about to rescue them was that its wrong to lie, but we might irrelevant. The rule, accepted by all conceive of circumstances in which the survivors, had to be upheld.

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SELF-ESTEEM S E L F- E S T E E M CHECK CHECK By Bill Franklin

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little money and lose his soul to the school board.” So I took up tennis. Because I was good at tennis in the sense that I didn’t care if I won and frequently didn’t, my self-esteem soared. But again, after conferring with my friend the Christian, I realized that tennis and teaching and singing were very shallow ways to approve of myself. Instead I decided I approve of myself because I am looking good, way good, perfectly good, plastered right there, hung maybe, basking in the cross hairs of God’s image.

BILL FRANKLIN says “Once upon a time I met a wonderful Mexican woman and married her and have two children who insist they are gringos all the way although their beauty comes directly from the Mexican beauty. According to actuarial tables I will die someday. There is no hurry.”

think it’s time to check my that is into billions and billions of self-esteem. Self-esteem, if stars and stuff, should not leave me you haven’t been paying attenout.) I may not deserve heaven (action lately, takes on real significance cording to the doctrine) but I am way the moment yours is on the line. And cool with God and with some luck sad to say, like a pain or headache could be purgatory bound at least. you didn’t know you had, it comes Purgatory I assume to be a cut on line the moment someone brings above living in El Centro in the sumit up, (much as I’m doing now). But mer or being broke in Vegas just don’t be alarmed. If your personal eswhen I think my slot machine is goteem isn’t up to snuff, I have ways to ing to hit. Hell, I should think, is reget around the high standards you’ve served for history’s complete jerks, probably set for yourself. guys like Hitler and Stalin, Mao or the I know I have gotten around all worst of the creepy Mongol horde. the standards I started out with and Plus “Blue Duck,” if you happen to I’m proud to say, lowering my stanhave read Lonesome Dove. dards has been one of my crowning So here is the concept as it applies achievements. To get around the to self-esteem. You (or I) have been curse of high stanharboring the nodards it helps to bor- You could be the vil- tion that your apprerow a few concepts lage idiot and it is all ciation of yourself is from Christianity. tied to achievement. You don’t have to be the same to God. This But wait a minute, a Christian to rip off gives your self-esteem God doesn’t think some of their goldso. He thinks what en nuggets, take a leg up. you’re up to doesn’t the best and sweep matter. He loves you away the rest, as I like to say. Thankanyway. Like your parents or Billy fully, I had a friend who was Christian Joel, he loves you just the way you and he filled me in on some vital info are. You could be the village idiot and about God that I was lacking. it is all the same to God. This gives I asked him, “Why in the heck your self-esteem a leg up. Now you should God love me?” What have I don’t have to be so fancy. You don’t done to deserve all that good God need so much money for example. love?” He answered me with a docYou can get drunk more. You can trine I actually like and so I thought take that afternoon nap and still be well, finally, the universe is giving square with the universe. me a deal. I couldn’t beat this at the I used to think that if I sang real swap meet. He said because of grace, good and played the guitar and got I didn’t actually need to earn God’s a good crowd and they liked it and love, God loves me in spite of myself tossed some money in my pauper’s and there is absolutely nothing I can guitar case, I would have high self-esdo about it. His love is free, undeteem. And of course it worked. I felt served and there for the taking. great about it. But I realize now that I This is my kind of love. No matter didn’t need to go to all that trouble. how down on my luck I am, no matAnd later in life, when singing in ter how selfish and self-absorbed the street began to seem odd and too I am and no matter that I’ve never beggarly, I thought I should stretch a helped a flood victim, God thinks I bit and teach school. So I bent myself am OK enough to be gifted with his all out of shape and taught school love. (I always equate God’s love with for years and felt semi-horrible. And the fact that there are billions and bilI achieved and achieved and, true to lions of stars. Somehow in my infanthe code, I asked myself, “what does tile, illogical thinking self, anybody it profit a Franklin to make all this

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clothes, shoes, socks, blankets, pans, door mats, PJs, tooth brushes and things left out for donation to The Goodwill. She appears to not trust the dishwasher, carefully removing clean dishes, hand washing them and placing them on the sink board. She then firmly closes the door to the empty machine monster. The Spanish word limpiar means “to clean.” I am sure that I have strongly urged Nena to clean, be clean, clean the house, clean me, clean my wife, and to clean our ropa. I’m as dangerous with this word, limpiar, as a threeyear-old is with a spray can of paint. In response, Nena smiles, nods, says “Si Si,” then makes an uninterrupted response in Spanish that is just short of The Declaration of Independence in length, rising in tone at the end indicating a question--I think. I States we have a Back home home, in the States, answer, “Si Si,” not knowing to what I cleaning lady who works for us severhave agreed. al hours every two weeks. We prepare Nena works most diligently, confor her by tidying up the house, puttinuously, and when finished often ting dirty dishes in the dish washer, presents us with a regalo (a gift): a hanging up our clothes, picking up potted plant, a framed photo of her and stacking newspapers, magazines family, a holy picture card. What are and books and leaving a check as we her boundaries? Is she to venture outvacate the house to allow her total side to the patio, to the walks, pool control. area? Or will this possibly incite a juWhen gringoes go to Mexico for an risdictional dispute with the pool man extended stay, it is usual for a maid to or gardener? I dare not broach this come with the house subject with her. or apartment they If we forget to pay her She arrives and move into. She is not it is “muy bien” and departs by bus from hired for a limited home about we double up the next her period of time, or to three miles away accomplish certain time. with a half-mile hike assigned tasks. She from the bus stop gives her whole self. She is part of the to our house. We leave her pesos in a family and starts right away without drawer as her compensation; it is mysany major instructions. How could teriously empty at the end of her visit. there be any? She only speaks SpanIf we forget to pay her it is “muy buen” ish and we only speak English. and we double up the next time. Like many others ours is called We come from a “Do It Yourself” “Nena.” Nena gives her whole self and culture. We don’t hire anything done does what her family has done for until too late. We don’t know how we generations. But we don’t know what should relate to employees. We need to call her. Maid? Servant? Hired help? a Book that tells us how. “Dominance None of these is quite right, but she for Dummies?” comes with the property and is added As we weren’t born to be served, to our family. and don’t know that role, perhaps We come from a place where our we’ll just let Nena be what she has behavior and relationships with othshown us she is, a member of our ers are defined in our national holiday, family. “Independence Day.” We act and expect all others to follow the premise, “Don’t get too close.” We are mechanically and emotionally ill-equipped to BERNIE SUTTLE is a have others do personal tasks for us. retired management Nena works with an arsenal of consultant, who with his wet mops, dry mops, brooms, dustwife, Joan, divides his pans, rags, brushes and various other time living in Shell Beach, manual devices. She is a whirlwind of California and Ajijic, Jal. He enjoys activity. While cleaning she puts away writing tales using his refl ections (hides) everything she comes across; on this wonderful life.

Born To Be Served? By Bernie Suttle

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s Elizabeth Regina II and her younger sister Princess Margaret grew from birth through childhood into adulthood they never returned a cup, plate, glass, or any cutlery to the kitchen. Nor did they ever make a meal, put away their clothes, do a wash, rinse something out or even draw their own bath. They were born to be served. They had others for that: servants, housekeepers, maids and cooks. This Royal duo did not learn to do the tasks but did learn how to direct those who did. Most Americans learn to do the tasks but never how to relate to those who might do the tasks for them.

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A BALLOON IN CACTUS By Maggie Van Ostrand

“Have Ashes, Will Travel”

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recent flurry of interest weaved through in obituaries for pets the freeway trafhas been appearing in fic to Glendale. newspapers from Philadelphia Perhaps professional help would PA to Bremerton WA, according ease the pain and enable me to to the Associated Press. I didn’t function. put an obituary in the paper when At the Information Desk in the I lost my beloved dog Markus; I was Medical Center, I showed the man too grief stricken to think of it. We in charge the newspaper article and had been together for over 14 adconfirmed that grief counseling for venturous years. pet loss was to be held in the ChapIn fact, I was so busy suffering lain’s office in half an hour. The man that I wouldn’t answer the phone or clucked sympathetically, pointed the doorbell to allow kind friends me toward the appropriate door, to comfort me. I wanted no consoand pushed a pamphlet across the lation for none could dissipate the desk claiming that reading it would knot in my chest, me accept and I thought, help nor fill the place Perhaps, ultimately overcome in my heart where if I can get her to talk my pain. Markus once lived. Waiting in the about her pet, it will hallway It was far worse for the than my divorce. distract me from my chaplain to arrive About a week own loss. and unlock his office into my period of was a sad-looking self-imposed isolation, someone woman dressed in black. She was shoved a newspaper clipping unshifting from one foot to the other, der the front door. It was from the her hands twisting a damp-looking Los Angeles Times. It said grief counhandkerchief with which she occaseling for pet loss was to take place sionally daubed at her eyes. at 7:00 p.m. that very evening at the Perhaps, I thought, if I can get Glendale Adventist Medical Center, her to talk about her pet, it will disabout 40 minutes drive from my tract me from my own loss. Isn’t that house. what life is all about? People help“Maybe I’ll go,” I muttered, “I realing people? Finding a connection? ly must do something. I can’t go on She looked at me and I don’t think I like this. It’s time to get a grip,” and I ever before saw so much sadness in

a pair of eyes. She looked as I felt. A kindred soul. After introducing herself as Catherine Cooney, she asked compassionately, “When did you suffer your loss?” “I lost my Markus a week ago,” I sniffled, feeling my chin begin to tremble and my eyes to well up. “It’s been nearly a year since I lost my Irving and I’m not over it yet,” she said slowly, gazing into the distance at an invisible horizon. We talked about how difficult it was to be with someone for years and years only to have them suddenly go. Just like that. Snatched away when you weren’t expecting it. We talked about how, even if we had expected it, there’s really no preparation for the devastating feelings rampant in the survivor. She had opted for Irving’s cremation, as I had with Markus, and both of us had decided not to scatter the ashes but to keep them with us. “My ashes,” I told the woman, “are in my car in the parking garage downstairs. I couldn’t bear going anywhere without Markus.” “Mine are in the bedroom we shared for so long. It’s comforting to know that part of my Irving is still with me.” I confided that when I wasn’t driving around with his ashes, Markus also was kept in my bedroom where he had always slept. “Twin beds?” Catherine inquired, continuing, “That’s what we had after my Irving got so sick.” “No, we slept in the same bed. Markus never got sick. He just died.” “Oh you poor thing,” she said, putting her arms around me. What people say about sharing

feelings and the magic of a hug is true. A bit of the sadness lifted from my mind and I began to hope that it wouldn’t be too long before I could return to work. It was right about then that she said, “It’s worse at this time of year. My Irving was going to get an RV and drive us to Phoenix.” “What?” “Irving was going to rent an RV and we were going to drive to Phoenix. Say, what’s the matter. You’ve gone all white. You look just awful.” The woman was talking about her husband, not her dog. I had been directed to the wrong grief center. “Uh, I don’t feel well,” I said, swiping at my forehead with a Kleenex. “I understand, dear,” she said patting my arm, “It’s just too soon for you to be out in public.” I literally ran out of the medical center and into the parking garage. On the freeway, I realized that life can have its up moments whether you want them or not. My message to surviving pet owners is to put your pet’s obituary in the newspaper, then call Catherine Cooney. It’ll help even more if you get an RV and drive with her to Phoenix.

MAGGIE VAN OSTRAND is a humorist, speaker, ghostwriter and stand-up comedienne.

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SICKNESS AND STORY-TELLING By David Lyons rdlyons1@yahoo.com

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ancer,” said the doctor. That’s a great opening line, ranking up there with “Call me Ishmael” and “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Actually, when I heard the “C” word being applied to my body, I felt surprisingly nonplussed. I tuned out until I realized that some great material for either fiction or non-fiction was unfolding right before me. The doctor was relating the surprise he found when performing the major but relatively common surgery on me a week earlier. He discovered colon cancer.

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Now pacing and the varying of dramatic tension are important elements in writing, and at this point I would cut from the doctor’s monologue and employ a device called the ‘flashback,’ an acceptable tool, but one that must be used sparingly. Because this is just a sketch, I am going to give a very bad example of a flashback. Warning—do not try this at home. FLASHBACK. FIVE MONTHS EARLIER

El Ojo del Mar / October 2010

my wife was the jealous type. There I woke late that morning with was one thing that concerned me: a stomach ache and a slight fever. a good deal more of my colon had Not enough in themselves to call been removed. The doctor’s explamy physician, Aldo Curiel. But my nation was somewhat vague, but I lower abdomen was as hard as had complete confidence in him. rock, and I’m not one with a sixStill, I wondered. pack set of abs. (Writers note – the END OF FLASHBACK (Again, a metaphor ‘hard as rock’ is a cliché, bad example of execution) possibly saved with the reference “Cancer,” the doctor said, sharto ‘six-pack abs,’ but maybe not.) ing the pathology report in my first I called Dr. Curiel on his cell visit to his office after the surgery. phone and explained my symp“We got it all. It had not metastatoms. He examined me, and orsized. Good thing you decided on dered lab work, x-rays and a cat the surgery when you did. Another scan. The photos confirmed what couple of weeks, or even days, it he suspected. could have been a real problem. I had diverticulitus, an inflamBut we beat it.” mation of the colon. Immediate Happy endings are good literary surgery was required. devices too. I was out of emergency surgery *Epilogue just seven hours after my first call I am now on a regimen of preto Dr. Curiel complaining of a tumventive chemotherapy for the my ache. next few months. The process is At this point in my writing effort, quick and easy. An oncologist imI should indulge in a little of what planted an amazing catheter in an is called ‘exposition,’ another peroutpatient surgical procedure, and fectly acceptable device, but one the medication is administered which frequently causes editors to through a small grab their red pencils and write curt Coincidentally, I was pump I can carry notes in the margin. reading Warren Buf- in my pants pocket two days every Generally speaking, fet’s autobiography at for other week. The exposition is narrative which—in their the time, and learned improvements in opinion—doesn’t that he’d had the op- c h e m o t h e r a p y technology in remove the story along. But some- eration, could still eat cent years have times it’s necessary. steak and play golf, been phenomeI am fortunate The reader needs and his portfolio was nal. to have hardly any information. side effects and In recovery, Dr. doing just fine. can carry on with Joya told me that virtually all my normal activities. the surgery he performed was a Now some of you ladies may entemporary fix; that a section of my counter a gentleman friend walkcolon would have to be removed to ing your way and notice a bulge get rid of the diverticulitus, which in his trouser pocket. Before you could rupture, lead to internal offer Mae West’s famous line and bleeding and peritonitis. Sounded ask if he has a banana in his pocket serious. I did some internet research or just is glad to see you, rememon the disease when I got home ber that it just might be a chemo and learned that it was not uncompump. Ask him anyway. If he’s curmon in men and women over 60, ing his cancer, I guarantee that he’s but that surgery was required in glad to see you. only 30% of the cases. Lucky me. Coincidentally, I was reading Warren Buffet’s autobiography at the time, and learned that he’d had the operation, could still eat steak and play golf, and his portfolio was DAVID LYONS is a longdoing just fine. I figured if he could time resident of Puerto handle it I could too, and I had the Vallarta, and the author surgery just before Christmas. It of several novels includwent well. I was pleased to again ing Mexico’s Hidden see the nurse I had met during Gold and Jazz Age Rondo, both of my previous stay. She was caring which were glowingly reviewed and had a great sense of humor, in El Ojo del Lago. In a previous promising to teach me to dance to incarnation, David was an internaNorteño music, asking repeatedly if tional lawyer.


Loving Pedro Infante A Novel by Denise Chávez Reviewed by Jim Tipton Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2001 Available from www.amazon.com: Hardback or Paperback

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hat can I tell you about Pedro Infante? If you’re a Mejicana or Mejicano and don’t know who he is, you should be tied to a hot stove with yucca rope and beaten with sharp dry corn husks as you stand in a vat of soggy fideos. If your racial and cultural ethnicity is Other, then heat up like sizzling manteca on an it’s about time you learned about the old but faithful sartén. [butter sizzling most famous of Mexican singers and in an old skillet] actors.” In the world of Cabritoville and its Teresina, “La Tere,” a thirty-somereal men, Both Tere and Irma succeed thing teacher’s aid at Cabritoville Eleasily at sexual conquests. Indeed, the ementary School, is the narrator of gossips say Tere is the type who is “alLoving Pedro Infante, and she tells us ways ‘de parranda,’ looking for a good a lot about Pedro Infante. She and time anytime, anywhere, and with her comadre, her best buddy “Irma La anyone.” In school she sometimes Wirma,” organize their thoughts and won the award for “Most Likely Not to their lives around Pedro Infante and Become a Nun.” Her more intellectual his films. Although Mexico’s biggest friend Irma, “La Comadre,” has “a beaumovie star in the 1940s and 1950s tiful bust. I should know. I’ve seen died before they were born (he was it unsheathed. The men are always only forty years old coming on to her, in 1957 when his The men are always but when she opens plane went down in her mouth, most of the Yucatán), nev- coming on to her, but them run away. She’s ertheless it is Pedro when she opens her more intelligent than they long for to make mouth, most of them most of the populatheir lives meaningtion of Cabritoville, ful (as do the eleven run away. El Paso, and Juárez other members of combined.” their fan club, the Pedro Infante Club Their excursions into the world de Admiradores Norteamerican #256); of real men, although Tere and Irma when Pedro “does something cute both succeed easily in developing on-screen” it “makes us all sticky and sexual liaisons, often leave them temhot like the popcorn with butter that porarily satisfied but still longing for we’re holding even though we know the Pedro of the Silver Screen. More he’s been dead for years.” down-to-earth now, Tere remembers In the old movie house, El Colón that after her divorce, and in her early (where “we’re all children in the darkthirties, she started out again, “doeness”), Tere whispers to her comadre eyed” and “moon-faced” and “full of Irma, “’But, mujer, just look at the man! expectation.” But most of the men she I don’t care how many years he’s been found were “lazy-boned, half-cooked dead. I still want to taste him.’” meat on a spit…. Some were good, In her fashion, Tere analyses her some were bad, some were good and own fascination with Pedro Infante: bad and some were just BAAAAD“He’s the man we want our men to DDD, meaning Good.” be. And he’s the man we imagine Her real family, though, “are the ourselves to be if we are men. The members of the Pedro Infante Club man we want our daughters to have de Admiradores Norteamericano loved. Pedro’s the beautiful part of our #256. And the characters of Pedro’s dreaming. And his looks still have the movies, whom Irma and I know as power to make my woman’s blood well as or better than we do our own

kin.” Indeed, they “keep the name and descriptions of all the characters of Pedro’s sixty-three movies, some of them shorts, with a synopsis of each movie listed in a red notebook.” Irma’s response to Pedro’s movies is often thoughtful: “’You can learn so much about Mejicano culture, class structure, the relationships between men and women, women and women, men and men, as well as intergenerational patterns of collaterality in Pedro’s movies.’” Tere’s response is slightly different: “Just watching him on the screen makes my little sopaipilla start throbbing….” When Tere does finally fall in love it is with Lucio Valadez, a successful insurance man, married, with a daughter Tere adores, and with at least one other lady on the side. To understand what she needs from Lucio, Tere thinks about what Pedro Infante film fits the situation: “’What I’m trying to say, Irma, is that all I’ve ever wanted from Lucio is the kind of loyalty that Carlotta showed Juan Zepeda in the face of danger in Las Mujeres de Mi General.’” Friday nights, when they are not in a mood to look for men at La Tempestad, Tere and Irma hold Pedroathons. Putting on their “most comfortable baggy clothing,” they settle into the largest room in Irma’s house, called “the Pedro room”: “We can watch two or three Pedro movies in a row as we eat and talk about men.” Certain movies match certain moods: “Just before our periods, for example, we always watch either one of two double features: Nosotros los Pobres and Ustedes los Ricos or Un Rincón Ceca del Cielo and Ahora soy Rico, two backto-back tearjerkers that turn up the volume on the menstrual blues. If we need to laugh, we watch El Inocente. Denise Chávez’s book Loving Pedro Infante is filled with so many laughs that I wanted to call up some old lov-

ers in the middle of the night and tickle their lonely (at least I can hope) bones with a few of the hundreds of funny passages. But then sitting here in southern Mexico and feeling a bit lonely myself, I started imagining a long drive north to the border, to Cabritoville, their dusty little town near El Paso. There I would easily locate the lusty Tere and her intellectual but equally delectable (and busty) buddy Irma. That night we would begin our own Pedro-thon, and I would curl up with the two of them—all of us wearing nothing but our extra-large T-shirts—and we would watch two or three Pedro movies in a row “until we fall asleep exhausted on Irma’s huge mega-lounger in the Pedro room.” JIM TIPTON has published several books of poetry and has sold dozens of articles to magazines in the US. His collections of poetry include Letters from a Stranger (1998)— winner of the Colorado Book Award in Poetry. Jim lived in Puerto Vallarta for several years. spiritofmexico@yahoo.com

Saw you in the Ojo

21


THE GREEN SPIDER By Kenneth J Clarke

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had decided to spend the summer of 2005 in Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of Chiapas. A week after I arrived, I came across a sign, La Cantina Inglesa, The English Pub. I entered and was delighted to find I could order a pint of Worthington Ale. Talking with the pub owner I discovered that he, Robin Hicks, was the fifty-five year old grandson of an English gentleman who had tried to bring a little of England to this corner of the world almost a hundred years ago. Talking with him that Friday in Tuxtla, he asked me “Are you here for the weekly meeting of the British Club?” “I didn’t know there were that

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many British in Chiapas.” “Well, it’s more a version of self mockery,” he replied. “The only other Englishman in this town is Harry Richardson, when if he’s not out in the jungle chasing spiders, drops by for his gin and tonic and a chat every Friday about this time. We refer to our Friday afternoon sessions as the weekly meeting of Tuxtla’s British Club.” Just then, he looked up. “Here he is now. Harry, come on over. We’ve another expatriate from the old country to join our little club for the afternoon. Bring us up to date on your spider hunt.” Harry was about thirty, slim and

El Ojo del Mar / October 2010

athletic-looking, with blue eyes that necessary to carry equipment to deseemed to penetrate the depth of scend the 1,400 feet to its base, but it your soul. His thick mop of ruffled was worth it.” hair, reminiscent of Einstein, gave “A subterranean river pours out him an academic appearance. of cracks more than a thousand “How do you do Sir? My name is feet over your head crashing with a Harry Richardson. It’s a pleasure to roar into the canyon. It forms idyllic meet a compatriot in this part of the ponds and streams before running world.” into the La Venta River. I get carried “Kenneth Cook, call me Ken. Pleaaway when I try to describe the persure to meet you, Harry.” fection of that particular Garden of At that, moment Robin, called Eden. You were asking about my exaway by another customer, left Harry perience with the spider.” and me to get acquainted. “Did it happen at the base of these “What did he mean by your spider falls?” I inquired. hunt,” I asked him. “No, I had walked about two “I work for the Department of hours upstream when I encountered Tropical Entomology at the local unia clearing set among lush trees that versity. My research takes me in the I thought would be an ideal place to jungle to locate new species of spiset up a base camp. Having erected ders.” my tent and cooked a meal, I decided “How did you get involved with to explore the surrounding jungle. I the university?” saw a cave and I was climbing up “Fate I suppose. I was born a diato it when I came across a large web betic. A hereditary ailment that took stretching from a rugged rock to a my father at a young age,” he began. vine above. My first reaction was that “So I was raised by my stepfather, a it belonged to a member of the geprofessor of entomology at Oxford nus Latrodectus of the family TheriUniversity. I had diidae of the order. A been interested in My first reaction was black widow. spiders since I was that it belonged to a “Then I saw one. a toddler. So when Spectacular. Shaped member of the genus similar to a black widthe time came, I natof the ow with a one inch urally took my Ph.D. Latrodectus in Entomology. span, it glowed family Theridiidae of leg “I had taken an almost luminous Arabic, along with the order. A black wid- pale green. It had Spanish, Portu- ow. two small deep blue, guese, for my modeye shaped spots on ern languages at Oxford, so when its back, almost like the yellow and the war broke out in the Middle-East, black ones you find on a painted lady I offered my services. When I took the butterfly. Its coloring made it difficult medical, they discovered that I had to spot in the wild. This was definitely Parkinson’s disease, rare at my young a new species. I was so excited that I age, so I came here to Chiapas to do became careless and didn’t see one some practical research in my choclimbing up my shirtsleeve until it sen field.” was too late. I tried to brush it away, “Where do you seek your spiders?” but it scampered up my arm. Three I asked. seconds later I felt its burning bite on “I concentrate my search in La the back of my neck. Venta canyon. It was there that I had “The first symptoms were compamy first dramatic encounter with a rable to those of a black widow, senew species. Because of the difficulty vere pain and nausea, but I didn’t exof access, it’s still off the beaten tourperience the anticipated mild paralyist track. I recommend you visit it sis of the diaphragm. Instead, I had while you are here.” psychedelic visions, lost all sense of He called across to the owner, coordination and slid down the bank “Two more gin and tonics, please, to the camp below.” Robin!” “I was in a trance for almost a “You were talking about a draweek. Some Maya Indians, from the matic experience with a spider in La hamlet at the top of the canyon, had Venta canyon.” I reminded him. been fishing in the river. They found “Ah yes, La Venta, it’s ten miles me, carried me back to their settlebeyond the town of Ocozocoautla. ment and dispatched a messenger About a mile from a small Maya setto Ocozocoautla village. Eventually I tlement, there are steps cut into the was brought to the hospital here in side of the cliff. The first time I visTuxtla. The Maya told everyone that ited, there were no steps, and it was I had been blessed by the gods. No


one understood what they meant. “As the species was unknown, all the doctors could do was let the venom run its course. Later after I had been examined in the hospital the final symptoms were ascertained. The discovery inspired the medical staff with sentiments of both awe and disbelief. All indications of Parkinson’s disease had disappeared, and I was no longer diabetic. “I still search the canyon for the green spider. I haven’t found it yet, though I have discovered at least 69 other new species. I must keep searching. That green spider could be mankind’s most important discovery.” Robin then came over to join us. “Did he tell you about his spider hunt?” he asked me. “Yes,” I replied. “It’s an amazing story. Has anyone figured out what happened?” “Well, our knowledge of biology here was limited. We couldn’t decipher the effects of the spider’s toxic venom any more than the Maya Indians, who concluded that I had been blessed by the gods,” Harry explained. “Tell him the latest.” Robin interjected. “A few months back I sent some blood samples to Oxford for analysis. It seems that with the new electron microscopes they were able to detect an unusual development in my cellular structure. It appeared that the venom contained an enzyme that intercepted and altered my RNA as it carried the DNA’s instructions for my cell’s synthesis of proteins. Proteins form the basic structure of the body’s cells and therefore of life itself. “Their conclusions were that the venom actually altered my hereditary genetic code, the result being an enhancement of my cells’ defenses,” he said.

Just then, his mobile phone rang. “Sí Pedro, inmediatamente. Excuse me, gentlemen. I must leave now. Hope I see you again soon, Ken. It has been a pleasure.” As he left, I turned to Robin, “That’s an amazing story, yet even though he seems a serious young man, I find it difficult to believe that a spider bite could have that effect on him,” I said. “Although I can see that you accept his account as factual.” I stared into Robin’s gray eyes, and asked, “Harry also seemed a very patriotic fellow. He told me that he tried to enlist in the British Army to carry out his duty in the Middle East conflict. Based on all we now know about the war in Iraq, do you think he’ll try again?” Robin smiled, “Iraq? He was referring to the battle in Dardanelles, World War One, 1915. He’s looked that age since my grandfather first met him 90 years ago, just after Harry’s encounter with the green spider. His many friends in the Maya settlement believe his experience was with what the early Spanish conquistadors referred to as The Fountain of Youth, even though a more literal translation from the local Tzotzil Maya language would have been The Source of Youth.”

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PETS & SUPPLIES

KENNETH CLARKE is a former officer in the British Merchant Marine and a long-time businessman in both Canada and the USA. His memoir Seven Years a Mariner was recently published. He is now working on an historical novel set during 19th century British war in Afghanistan. kclarke@prodigy.net.mx

FOR SALE: good saddle horse. Fine gelding, has brio, been to high school and can dance, good trail horse - proud cut. Beautiful, intelligent, to good home. 20,000 pesos. Contact: Kerrie Stepnick.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE FOR SALE: Tracker Tundra 20 Really nice boat, 20ft long, capacity up to 9 people, GPS fishfinder, 280,000.00 or 25,000.00 dls. Contact: Julie FOR SALE: Bushnell 7X50 marine binoculars. Compass with night light, nitrogen filled. Never been to sea. 1,600 pesos. Contact: Allan Flaa. FOR SALE: LG DVD player and recorder, plays dvd, cd’s, USB, MP3, WMA, JPEG files, connects to digital camcorders, records TV programs, manual in English/Spanish, nearly new. Asking 750 pesos. Contact: Diane Ward.

FOR SALE: Beautiful granite chessboard. 40x40 cms. Would also make great coffee table top. 1200 pesos or BO. Call (376) 766-4869. FOR SALE: PM Steele Office reception desk. Almost new, dark wood. URGENT SELL. 5,000 pesos. Call: Erika Gomez @ 331-365-8376. FOR SALE: Coffe Table 33 inches X 47 inches. Heavy wood frame with glass top inserts. 100 USD Call: Joe Schmitz @ (376) 765-5138. FOR SALE: Good condition 5,300kms. Custom Dinamo 2009 Chopper 150CC white & red, 18,000 pesos. Call: 333-952-8531. FOR SALE: k Stein Piano, good condition. 3 notes need to be tuned. Comes complete with nice black leather adjustable stool. $8950 pesos. Call Stephen Stokes (376) 7655523. FOR SALE: Complete VW Passat roof luggage rack. Should fit other cars. Approx. 40”x 40”,102cm x 102cm.Make offer. Call: Jerry at (376)765-4353. WANTED: Looking for Breville (juice fountain plus) Lightly used or excellent cond. Call Janice @ (376) 763-5664 or vonage 512-663-8691. FOR SALE: Yamaha piano- organ, model ypr-50 in excellent condition, with manual and adjustable chair. 275 USD. Call: 765-3824. FOR SALE: New Alto Saxophone (Cecilia), never used. Bought in the States a year ago for 4,000 pesos. Will sacrifice for 3,000 pesos. Call: James Tipton at 765-7689.

COLLECTABLES FOR SALE: I have hundreds of duplicates of 19th and 20th century Mexican stamps, both new and used, for sale. (Also lots of Peru and Chile). Call: James Tipton at 765-7689. FOR SALE: Original bold signature of Andrew Jackson on Land Grant, probably 1829, co-signed by George Graham, Commissioner of the General Land Office. Price 4000 USD. Call: James Tipton at 765-7689.

Saw you in the Ojo

23


Autumnal Equinox

TROLLING FOR TROUBLE

By Edwin Treitler

By Danny Dominguez

Days of Balance

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he equinoxes, from the Latin “equal nights” occur twice a year, in March and September when the days and the nights are equal. frequently represent planets or stars September 22 marks the fall or aurelated to natural or animal energy tumnal equinox this year, and each like the jaguar, the dog, night, water, subsequent day will become slightly storm, etc. shorter as we move toward winter. We in the West are used to thinkThe Sun transits the constellation ing of Venus as feminine, but for the Libra on the fall equinox. Libra is the Mayans the planet Venus was male. only sign not depicting a human or In its heliacal rising as a morning star animal in the zodiac. It is the glyph it represented Quetzalcoatl, a god for the scales, taken from ancient bewho brought art, science, and culliefs. The Egyptians believed the soul ture to humanity. Having displeased or heart after death was weighed the gods in a drunken pecado with against a feather on a scale. If the his sister, his legend symbolized a harmful acts of the yearning for perfecheart weighed more Ruled by the planet tion, and a fall from than the feather, the through pasVenus, Librans also grace soul could not pass sion. into the blissful be- have a love of beauty, A full Moon in yond. Aries on the 23rd of art, and luxury. Their In modern times, September will give Libra represents bal- drawback is their in- you that extra enerance and diploma- ability to decide which gy to complete the cy. Libra’s biological projects you have center is the kidneys, way to go, since they begun. With the organs of balance. It see all ways as a pos- balance of the Sun is the first sign in the sibility. in Libra, the firery zodiac that reaches energy of Aries will out toward others with an instinctive be tempered with consideration for understanding of partnership. Libra others. And since Libra resides in the is the least self-centered of any of the house of marriage, wedding plans twelve Sun signs. Ruled by the planare in order. et Venus, Librans also have a love of According to tradition, the equibeauty, art, and luxury. Their drawnoxes are the only days of the year back is their inability to decide which that you may balance an egg on its way to go, since they see all ways as pointed end. Try it! a possibility. Western astrology defines behavior according to personality traits taken from the Greek and Roman EDWIN TREITLER has pantheon. Destiny for humans is in been a practicing asthe hands of psychological forces. In trologer for over 15 contrast, Mayan astrology, Mexico’s years, and holds a cosmic mythology, links our behavMaster’s Degree in Psyior to the spiritual energy of the day chology. He is a memof birth cyclically repeated every ber of the American Association 260 days. There are twenty day signs of Astrologers, and is a resident that describe human destiny and of Puerto Vallarta. www.chartwismotivation with a symbolic glyph of dom.com animals, gods and goddesses. These

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El Ojo del Mar / October 2010

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illiam Shakespeare a n d said it best (as he did hence speeds it on its character-cripalmost everything!) pling way. Yet this response is, if not some 400 years ago, when he put commendable, at least understandsomething like the following words able. Most of us now living in Mexinto one of his immortal plays: “He ico have already fought the major who steals my purse steals nothing. battles in our lives, and have come ’Twas mine, ’tis his, has served a here hoping to live in peace with our thousand masters. But he who filchneighbors. The last thing we want is es from me my good name, steals to be disliked. So we remain silent, that which not enriches him, but even in the face of callous character makes me a poor man indeed.” assassination. Here in Mexico amongst the exMany Mexicans, however, are pat community, this same type of made of stronger stuff. It is rare for theft occasionally reaches alarming one Mexican to unjustly condemn proportions; perhaps one price we another. Among these people, the pay for living in a “paradise.” In our spreading of hateful gossip is considcorner of Mexico, news travels swiftered a game for fools; an act which ly, unfounded gossip even faster. they know diminishes the dignity of Yet among people of character not only the person defamed, but and accomplishment (and there are the purveyor of the rumor, as well. thousands in our midst), such feckWe foreigners would do well to less activity is easily Among these people, emulate the behavshouldered aside. ior of our hosts. But These people are far the spreading of hate- if conscience cantoo busy leading ac- ful gossip is consid- not guide us, there tive and productive is in Mexico yet anlives, as they quietly ered a game for fools. other “regulator.” go about adding to This country has the the culture and beauty of our area, most stringent slander and defamaeven as they work to improve the tion laws in all of the Americas. In the lives of those less fortunate amongst U.S. and Canada, a person is often the Mexican population. allowed to say anything he pleases However, the spreading of unabout anyone he wishes, regardfounded rumors is an act of omission, less of how unfounded or harmful it as well as commission; the former might be. But in Mexico, such words more insidious, as it can affect even against a private citizen can quickly those who would never engage in land their purveyor in jail. the dissemination of malicious gosI sometimes think our hallowed sip. I have myself sometimes comright of freedom of speech is ofmitted this sin of omission. ten squandered on imbeciles and It goes something like this: you’re knaves. Perhaps Mexico, in this one at a party, and someone voices a vile regard, is far more enlightened than and unsubstantiated rumor about its two “freer” neighbor- nations to a person you both like and respect. the north. Yet rather than challenge the gossip monger, you remain silent. Then, when other people, aware of your DANNY DOMINGUEZ friendship with the person under atis a former screenwriter tack, turn to get your opinion, you and lawyer who has lived mutter, “Oh, really? I didn’t know that for several years in San Luis Potosi, about him.” where he spends much of his time Such cowardly behavior only giving free legal advice to ex-pats. serves to further validate the rumor,


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ACROSS

DOWN

1 Trudge 5 Pocket 8 Chichi 12 Sharpen 13 Punitive 15 Greek stringed instrument 16 Removes the water 17 Small movie part 18 Get 19 Genius 21 Snow sport 23 Not inner 25 Compass point 26 Use 29 Eavesdrop 31 Stuffs 35 Curled up 37 Note of debt 39 Flow out slowly 40 Wig 41 Practical approach to life 44 African antelope 45 University (abbr.) 47 West southwest 48 Salt 50 Luster 52 Drink 54 Old-fashioned 55 Snake 57 Asian country 59 City 62 Burglarize 65 Group of nations 66 Stuck up people 68 Not taped 70 Official record 71 Distinguished 72 Native ruler 73 Can 74 Truss 75 Valley

1 Doctoral degree 2 Tenet 3 Black gem 4 Rifle 5 Six 6 Colony insect 7 Autos 8 Capital of Algeria 9 Baseball’s Nolan 10 Trigonometry 11 Shekel 13 Fresh 14 Bog 20 Swiss mathematician 22 Business title ending 24 Metro 26 Tapestry 27 Give assurance 28 Fish tank growth 30 Luau dish 32 Cuirass 33 Meal listings 34 Froth 36 Morning moisture 38 Ship initials 42 American sign language 43 Pouter 46 Total failure 49 Hung 51 Not (refix) 53 Stone 56 Association (abbr.) 58 Contemplate 59 Lump 60 Child’s toy 61 One nautical mph 63 National capital 64 Sinister 65 Undergarment 67 Kimono sash 69 Before, poetically

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Saw you in the Ojo

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MANZANILLO MUJERES AMIGAS LUNCHEONS- Monthly throughout the year, first Wednesday of each month, El Caribe Restaurant, 1:00 pm. Contact: Candy King, 044-314-103-0406, candyk@coldwellbankerbienesraices.com THIRSTY THURSDAYS – MANZAMIGOS- Weekly throughout the year, to be announced each week – www.manzamigos. com, 6:00 pm. Contact: Jack Akers, manzamigos@gmail.com, to join: Linda Breun lbgringa@gmail.com

MAZATLAN AMERICAN LEGION- meet the 3rd Tues. 1pm at the Olas Atlas Steakhouse. Call Ed Cunningham, Commander, Tel. 1360773, paradise1940@aol.com AMIGOS DE LOS ANIMALES-To report injured, abandoned domestic animals, adopt pets or to find information at Tel. 9864235 FRIENDS OF MEXICO- 2nd Tues. 10am at the Vineyard Church on Camarón Sabalo north of the Panama Bakery in the Golden Zone. Social hour 9am. www.friendofmexicoac.org HANDS ACROSS THE BORDERS- Meetings 2nd Friday of the month 9am at The Vineyard for coffee or breakfast. MAZATLAN MEMBERSHIP LIBRARY-A non-profit with both English and Spanish titles. Summer hours Mon-Fri 10am to 2pm. Tel. 982-3036, mazlibrary@gmail.com NORTH ROTARY CLUB- Meets every Tues night 8:30pm at El Cid clubhouse. CENTER ROTARY CLUB- Meets every Tues at 8 am in the Agua Marina Hotel. WEST ROTARY CLUB- Meets every Thurs. night at 8:30pm at the Agua Marina Hotel. TRES ISLAS ORPHANAGE FUNDS- Serving Orfanatorio Mazatlán Salvation Army Home for Children, Father Tovar’s Home for Boys (Hogar San Pablo), Ciudad de los Niños, and FloreSer. One hundred percent of your donations tax deductible. Please visit www.orphanagefunds.org BOYS HOME (HOGAR SAN PABLO)- Paseo del Centenario #9 Centro, Tel. 982-3720 MAZATLAN ORPHANAGE- Zaragoza #227-A Centro Tel. 981-2214 President Cristina Peña de Herrera. SALVATION ARMY HOME FOR CHILDREN- Major Frizzell Tel. 980-7609 HOSPICE MAZATLAN- Sierra Rumorosa #33 Fracc. Lomas de Mazatlán, For Info: Lois Croly Cell: 669-5441. www.hospicemazatlan-aip.org

PUERTO VALLARTA ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS- Meetings Monday to Friday at 8am and 8pm at #1712 Francisco Medina Ascencio in the Hotel Zone. AL ANON- Monday and Friday 6:30 pm step study Saturday 9am. 222-3906, 222-2521 EXPATS IN VALLARTA-Meet 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month. For locations and time check www.expatsinvallarta. com, expatsinvallarta.webs.com NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS- Daily 5pm. 222-3906, 222-2521 CODA STEP SISTERS- Tuesday 6:30pm. 222-3906, 222-2521 NIC ANONYMOUS- Monday 9am. 222-3906, 222-2521 ARTS- a 12 step program for creative people, Tuesday 8pm more info Bill at 222-5711 LIONS CLUB- Wednesdays 9:30 pm, Madero #280, 322-222-0313 OVER EASTER ANONYMOUS- Tuesday 5pm. 222-3906, 222-2521 ROTARY CLUB PITILLAL- Thursdays, 9:00 pm, Outback Restaurant.

NUEVO VALLARTA FRIENDS OF BILL W. Mon. Wed. Fri. 6pm Vallarta time. In Paradise Plaza upper level follow signage to US Consul, to ‘door with notice ‘Friends of Bill W” Contact Adriana (322)297-0064

LO DE MARCOS ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS- 10am at Emiliano Zapata 37, contact Judy Te. (327)275-0328

RINCON DE GUAYABITOS ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS- Monday and Friday 4pm at Peñamar Hotel. ROTARY CLUB MEETINGS- Wednesday, 7:30 am, Restaurant Piña Colada.

SAN PANCHO ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS- Friday 6:30pm. Tel. (311)2584488 AL ANON- Monday 5pm. Tel. (311)258-4488 CODA- Wednesday 5pm at Museum next to San Pancho Café more info Glenda Tel. (311)258-4488

SAYULITA ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS-Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 6:30pm. 222-3906, 222-2521 AL ANON- Thursday 5pm 11 Primavera Street. 222-3906, 2222521

YELAPA Generic 12 Step meetings on Sunday 4pm at Hotel Lagunitas

GUADALAJARA 17TH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF MARIACHI Y CHARROS 29 Aug.-5 Sept., www.mariachi-jalisco.com.mx

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El Ojo del Mar / October 2010

The Ojo Crossword

English Church Services – Puerto Vallarta Assembly of God 1 de Junio #333, Col. El Calvario, Pitillal, 322-4163743 Sunday 10:30 AM –English translation Calvary Chapel Pablo Picasso/Diego Rivera #105 (beside La Playa store, just off Ascencio), 322-293-5455 Sunday 10:30 AM - English translation, and 6:30 PM – in English Wednesday 6:30 PM – in English (Bible Study) Centro Cristiano Nuevo Amanecer Sierra Aconagua #111 (next to Bancomer branch on Ascencio), 322-222-3330 Sunday 10:00 AM – English translation Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Emiliano Zapata #420, 322-209-0592 Sunday 8:00 AM and 12:00 Noon – in Spanish (translators avail.) Sunday 1:00 PM – in English (Sunday School) Church on the Beach El Dorado on the Beach Sundays 9:30 am Pulpito 108 (los Muertos Beach) Christ Church by the Sea Blvd Fco. Medina 7936 (across from Airport) Sunday 10:00 am www,christchurchbyuthesea.org, 322-209-0895 First Baptist Church Argentina #181 (corner Peru, 1 block north of Malecon), 322-222-1722 Sunday 9:45 AM – in English Iglesia Maria Reina de la Paz Albatros #270, Col. Marina Vallarta,322-209-1545 Sunday 11:00 AM - Bilingual Jehovah’s Witnesses Milan #271, Col. Versalles Sunday 7:00 PM – in English Parroquia de la Santa Cruz Aguacate #233 (at Lazaro Cardenas), Old Town, 322-222-0989 Sunday 11:00 – part English Parroquia De Nuestra Señora De Guadalupe Miguel Hidalgo #370 (2 blocks E. of City Hall, corner of Independencia, Downtown) 322-2221326 Saturday 5:00 PM – in English Sunday 10:00 AM – Bilingual The Church at the Santa Barbara Theatre Olas Altas #351, Zona Romantica Sunday 9:30 AM – in English

English Church Services – Mazatlan San Judas Tadeo Av. De La Ostra, Col. Sabalo Country Sunday 8:45 AM – in English The Vineyard Church Camaron Sabalo #335, Golden Zona (beside Budget Car Rental) Sunday 9:00 AM – in English

English Church Services – Manzanillo Pedro’s Cazuelas Restaurant Miramar Beach Sunday 5:00 PM – in English

English Church Services – Melaque St. Patricio By-The-Sea Sunday 10:30 AM, www.sanpatricio-by-the-sea.com


El Ojo del Mar - October 2010  

Puerto Vallarta newspaper devoted to news, interviews, history, culture and art.

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