The 23 percenter

I HAVE NOW spent 23 percent of my life in Mexico.

new-imageWere I a young buck, this would not be so many years, but I am an old moose with mossy horns. The years are plenty.

I stumbled thorough most of life with no intention of leaving the land of my birth. Georgia rednecks don’t move to Mexico. It was only within a year of moving that I started to think about it.

And then, within a one-month span, I dumped almost everything, got on a plane and came on down. For the first nine years, while my decrepit mother was still alive, I averaged one trip back a year, usually about a week.

I returned only once following her death in 2009, a few months after, and I’ve never been above the border since. I don’t miss it, and as time passes, I miss it even less.

From what I read on Gringo internet forums and websites, most everyone who “moves” to Mexico, be it for retirement or, much less often, to work, the draw of the Old Country is powerful. People can’t let go, and return often.

It appears compulsive, but it’s likely grandchildren.

Don’t tell my wife, please, but I have no intention of ever crossing the Rio Bravo again. I say don’t tell my wife because she really likes it up there, and dreams of another visit.

I have no tight family ties there — wish I did — so here I am, alone with a pack of Mexican relatives, including a number who’ve been illegal aliens above the border.

I speak Spanish almost exclusively. I live in a big Hacienda on what’s just above the U.S. poverty-income level, an interesting phenomenon since I’ve never felt richer in my life.

new-imageCan’t help but wonder what percentage of my life will have passed as a Mexican when it comes to a halt. No matter.

Pass the tacos, por favor.

The sombrero


COWBOY HATS improve all women. An ordinary woman becomes beautiful beneath a cowboy hat. Beautiful women become spectacular. Debra Winger in Urban Cowboy is a classic example.

wingerA Mexican sombrero is a cowboy hat from another country, but the effect is the same as you can clearly see up top.

The woman in the sombrero is astride a horse. She was in the street yesterday during our Independence Day festivities. As you can see in the photo below, she also has very long hair, another thing that improves an ordinary woman but makes a beautiful woman spectacular.

A woman astride a horse also wins additional points.


The fan man



THE TOP PHOTO is a huge mural you’ll see on the main drag as you drive toward the state capital 40 minutes down the mountainside.

The other photo is the individual in question. He is our town’s most notable character, a position I doubt he is aware of even though he’s been the topic of numerous artworks. He even hangs in galleries.

He is incredibly grungy. One wonders where he sleeps nights, if he even has a home. His clothes, his hat, appear to have been dredged from beneath the municipal waste dump

I do not know his name though I have spoken with him a thousand times.

He’s a sidewalk peddler, and what he peddles are straw fans, perhaps to cool your face on warm afternoons in spring, or to fan embers of a dying fire for our winter nights.

The mural has him smoking. I’ve never seen him smoking.

Here’s the routine: I’m sitting at a sidewalk table with Kindle and cafecito. Here he comes. Buy a fan, he indicates. He usually does not speak, just waves the string of fans and grunts a bit.

I say I already have purchased two, which is true, years ago. He replies that I need a third. I say no. He will continue pushing until I say the magic phrase: Maybe tomorrow. That always satisfies him, and he leaves.

For another shot of the fellow, go here.