Caribbean memories


OLD MEN’S MINDS tend to wander, and they usually wander in reverse, which is to say memories as opposed to plans or anticipations. This morning my crusty cranium conjured up memories of Puerto Rico where I once lived. I’m here to share photos, yet again.

We’ll start at the top, a shot taken out the bedroom window of the tiny penthouse where I lived with an Argentine girl of 20 whom I called, then and now, the Argentine Firecracker. I rescued her from a sleazy San Juan bar, and she reformed herself rather nicely.

Had I chosen to reproduce these photos in their original, faded, 1970s colors, you could more easily spot her fire-engine-red panties there on the right end of the pillow.

Red is always a spectacular color for panties.


AND HERE above is a shot from the balcony of an apartment on Mango Street that I shared at another time with a Brooklyn woman. That’s her on the beach just below. What always comes to mind on seeing that restaurant photo, where the crowd stands, is Johnny Nash singing “I can see clearly now” on the jukebox down there where we often ate chicken and rice.

Puerto Ricans make great chicken and rice.

The Brooklyn woman and I shared space and time during the first of my two stays in San Juan. When I moved back to New Orleans after five months, she packed her bags and her damn cat and followed me, uninvited. Sometimes I had that effect on women. It was the devil getting rid of her, but I wish her well, even today. She clearly did not see that I was not a keeper in those days.

But now I am.


JUST BELOW is the aforementioned Argentine Firecracker, hair blowing in the constant sea breeze of the penthouse digs. She was a part of my second San Juan adventure, which is to say she followed the Brooklyn woman about 18 months later. And she lasted longer.


THOSE OF YOU who’ve read along for most of the decade I’ve been blabbering hereabouts may have seen these photos and read similar words, but new folks appear now and then. This will be fresh for them. And I enjoy my Caribbean memories.

* * * *

(Johnny Nash sings I Can See Clearly Now, a great song.)

20 thoughts on “Caribbean memories

    1. I’ve tried to locate Girlfriend No. 1, with the cat, online but with no luck. Her name is Mary. No. 2, Silvina, found me on Facebook a couple of years ago. She’s back in Buenos Aires running a couple of taxis and babysitting grandchildren now and then.


    1. P.S.: I snapped that photo of Silvina, which I like very much. I have quite a few others of her still. The photo of Mary, however, is the only one I have.


  1. OLD MEN’S MINDS tend to wander.” A state I found myself in last night. But old men’s memories wander even further. I had forgotten the details of these two affairs. Happy to have my data bank restored.


    1. Señor Cotton: I believe your mind is still wandering. I don’t think I’ve mentioned Mary from Brooklyn before, but who knows? Your memory — well, just about anybody’s — is sharper than mine.


  2. I like it better when you talk about life, love and memories. Much better than stories about plumbing. When are you going to write a book? You really should.


    1. Bonnie: You’re funny. So plumbing does not rattle your chain, or it does, but not in a good way? Well, as you know, life has many aspects. Some do with love and romance. Others with a hot shower and flushing the toilet. As for writing a book, that ain’t never gonna happen, but I appreciate your thinking I have it in me. If only I were not so lazy.


  3. …read along for most of the decade I’ve been blabbering hereabouts. May have seen these photos and read similar words…

    We never tire of photos of pretty girls. You have led and continue to lead a charmed life, amigo — congrats on that.


  4. You would like Campeche. It’s a lot like San Juan. But for the love of God, go in January or February. The place can be infernally hot.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where your post reminded us of an old flame or two and made us wonder about writing of them.


    1. Kim: Campeche? Maybe one day. We were heading to Palenque next weekend, but that’s been delayed due to a number of factors. Heat is one. We’ve rescheduled for October.

      As for your writing of old flames, I say go for it. Of course, old flames in your case means, well, uh, you know ….


  5. A wise decision to postpone the Palenque trip until October. You’ll enjoy it more.

    Don Cuevas

    PS: it’s raining here. It’s scarcely 10 a.m.


  6. Another song from that time period – Summer Breeze – I remember listening to the two songs when I was a freshman at UT Austin. The female students wore loose, long dresses with nothing on underneath, and no make up or deodorant. Riding the shuttle bus with them in the summer was unpleasant. I took philosophy courses, the professor spending more time talking about his bi-sex life than about the philosophers. I really wanted to take home ec, but my father said that any idiot could make a bed and I had better not waste my money. But, all I really wanted to do back then was escape from Texas. Funny how music brings back so many memories.


    1. Bonnie: I have read, and I think there’s much truth in it, that the music of our adolescence remains our favorite for the rest of our life.

      There is probably no bigger Chuck Berry fan anywhere on earth. Me, that is.


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