North of the Border

The reference to north of border is geographical. That being because I  have been living south of it for around fifteen years. Seeing what has taken  place, I have few regrets. I only wish that I could see my kids growing up in a safer more inclusive society.

If people up north can see how divided the US has become, it is still not to get back to being a more loving, caring country. It is worth the effort no matter what it takes.

Ricardo Montoya

The Last Post

The Last Post

Say it isn’t so, Gary! I have so enjoyed your political blogs, especially those about Brexit. And about life on the other side of the pond. Would it hurt to just write a short blog once in a while? I think not. Hope to see a great blog from you shortly. Otherwise, I realize that heigh ho it is off to earn a living that you must go. Probably a bit late in the evening. You are already into the new year. But Happy New Year to you and Mrs. P,
Rich Montoya

It’s the last day of the year. The day before the first day of next year. It’s time for some resolutions to be set. I’ll try and be realistic. I’ll pay off what’s left on my credit card. It’s 0% interest and there’s not a lot on it, and no urgency to settle it, but I’d like to end the year completely debt free. Apart from the mortgage, of course. That’ll take a little bit longer. I’d also like to save up my overtime payments and have a new boiler put in. Or at least have the cash ready when the current one packs up. It’s

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God Bless Us All, Homies.

I love the way this guy writes. It’s like we were born kindred spirits. This article brings back some many memories of El Paso, Texas, where I grew up and of the people around me at back then. We considered ourselves ultra cool vatos locos!

Thanks, Agustin for bringing back those times fraught with risk as they may have been.

Agustin Ramirez

I believe that it is important that those of us who have chosen to stake our life far from our aboriginal land we call home to make a concerted effort to return and experience the nostalgic moments of our upbringing. It gives us the opportunity to make connections between different time periods and events that have shaped our lives and those of the ones we left behind.

During our childhood years we accumulate numerous experiences that may be discarded or archived in our memory bank. Feet on the ground visits to our hometown often spark moments of reminiscing that would not be reveled otherwise. It is for that reason that I make it a point to return to my beloved El Paso as often as I can. Not only do I anxiously look forward to seeing my siblings but I also need to douse myself in the culture, language, and culinary delights that depict my heritage. The whole experience of my visits are often like time travel, chaotically swirling in my mind and attempting to chronologically sort itself to create a epic story of my days gone by.

When the day of such visit arrives, all is packed, arrangements made, siblings notified, and transportation set. The blue, yellow, and red bird of man’s creation lifts with great and graceful force, soaring through azure hued skies, dotted with pristine white clouds that look like flowing soft cotton as we rise. Mindless chatter is heard as if from a vast distance, some prefer to read, and still others close their eyes and digress to a sound sleep. On flies the bird, mile after mile ever changing the landscape below. From the green of forest to the blue of glistening lakes and rivers, on to streaks of brown, purple, orange and sights of mountains reaching up to touch the sky. We are closer to home and my heart starts beating livelier in anticipation of our arrival. The bird finally starts a gradual descent magnifying the welcoming ground below. We roll on the huge black welcome carpet and cruise to our final destination-home.

Our son is waiting and ready to take us and our luggage as we start the first episode of a long awaited visit. His smile and hugs tell it all, he has missed us. The transformation of visitor and traveler to citizen has begun. “¿Que paso, mijo, como has estado? Muy bien. Let’s go. We will go drop off the luggage and go get something to eat. How about some Chico’s Tacos? Mijo, do you have to ask? Let me call your Uncle T so he can join us.” “Hello. Ese, carnal. Que paso, bro? Nada, we’re in town and going to Chico’s, meet us there. “Orale.” He replied. The nostalgic visit suddenly submits to the vernacular of those days of old.

“Ese, Kaluli (my brother’s barrio nickname) have you run in to any of the homies? Some, ese. I saw Gaby, Tony, el Devil, and FaFa at the funeral for el Reyes. Have you seen Shorty or Viru? I think Viru retired from the Post Office and Shorty is still in prison. Que aguite, that’s too bad, carnal.” Just then I hear from behind,” ese Gus.” I see this white haired old man with a beard that I didn’t recognize and I just replied, “que paso, homes?” As he left I asked my brother who the guy is. He chucked and said,”you don’t remember el Sevollon? He retired from the Secret Service. He and Pelon were in the Secret Service, both retired. Pallin is an engineer and his sister Yoya is a medical doctor. Que loco, ese. One never knows how things will work out.” The rest of the week went along the same lines while visiting friends and family. The food was to die for and beer flowed freely. There is no place like El Chuco, to grow up or visit. You can take the Vato out of the barrio but you can’t take the barrio out of the vato.

Going back to the future leaves a small void in your heart but clearly, it has to be so. We board the blue, yellow, and red bird again. The bird ascends, contrails plotting the departure in the sun drenched sky. As we proceed the terrain turns from desert to lush grounds of green trees and rivers. The guys are all scattered now. Memories are the only things that keep us bound. Some have realized a better life than the others. We all had the same opportunities, some were blessed more than others. One thing for certain, all were loved by God, not one over another. It is inevitable that one day we will celebrate our reunion in the presence of our creator. It is sad to acknowledge that some are already waiting for us. The trip back to the world is quite a bit longer than usual and this barrio kid feels a lump in his throat and a cleansing small stream of moisture dancing down his cheek. God bless us all, homies.


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Living Out of a Closet

Before the turn of the century I read of guys in New York City renting closet space as living quarters. I’ve often thought that I could live out of a closet myself. I may get a chance to prove that out.

My daughter dreams of tiny houses. But our downsizing is not anything close to that. It is more like a temporary relocation form our Mansion de Patzcuaro to downsized living quarters in Zihuatanejo. It will be to be away from the extremely cold winter we have in January and February.

To be sure, it will be a short term experiment if we can survive it. The thing that I dislike the most now is having to write this blog on a tiny tablet the size of an ereader. I plan to fix that when I get back by bringing back my ancient laptop. More on this adventure as it develops.

Trump See, Trump Do

Trump See, Trump Do

Would Americans welcome a king? Like, lets just say King George III.

Trump see, Trump do. Or so goes a well known proverb in the world of monkeys when describing a closely related but intellectually inferior species that is currently in the news. Smarter monkeys refer to this species by their Latin name, Republicanus Deplorabilis. We humans, at the top of the brains ladder, refer to their characteristics with a wider range of vocab. Fascists. Mentally unstable.

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Peace on earth, good will to men!

Come the holiday season we tend to look over the past. It may make us sad, thinking of those loved one that are no longer with us. Or, that are so far away from us. A melancholia sets in on us. That is when I think of this carol and it lift my spirits.

I heard the bells on Christmas day Their old familiar carols play And mild and sweet their songs repeat Of peace on earth good will to men And the bells are ringing (peace on earth) Like a choir they’re singing (peace on earth) In my heart I hear them (peace on earth) Peace on earth, good will to men And in despair I bowed my head There is no peace on earth I said For hate is strong and mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men But the bells are ringing (peace on earth) Like a choir singing (peace on earth) Does anybody hear them? (peace on earth) Peace on earth, good will to men Then rang the bells more loud and deep God is not dead, nor does he sleep (peace on earth, peace on earth) The wrong shall fail, the right prevail With peace on earth, good will to men Then ringing singing on its way The world revolved from night to day A voice, a chime, a chant sublime Of peace on earth, good will to men And the bells they’re ringing (peace on earth) Like a choir they’re singing (peace on earth) And with our hearts we’ll hear them (peace on earth) Peace on earth, good will to men Do you hear the bells they’re ringing? (peace on earth) The life the angels singing (peace on earth) Open up your heart and hear them (peace on earth) Peace on earth, good will to men Peace on earth, peace on earth Peace on earth, Good will to men