Memoirs -- fact and fiction, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Schultzie’s transistor radio started a revolt

Pocket-sized transistor radios were probably one of the first great subversive technologies. And smuggling one into a culturally hermetic community could spark a revolution.

That’s what happened when rock ‘n’ roll invaded the cloistered walls of my seminary.

Thank God.

As an eighth-grader I felt God was calling me to the priesthood. Two years later I realized that he had dialed a wrong number and I had, regrettably, answered.

I went all in: a missionary order whose Latin name translated to Society of the Divine Word (SVD).  The order had a very gothic looking building about 20 miles south of Erie, Pa., where they educated their high school recruits.

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Murals with a message say it loud: I mask-up and I’m proud

Frida is cool with wearing a mask. Just ask her. New Mural on 28 de Abril, just up the street from Orizaba.

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Masks as art in the window of Abrazos, the fabric store on Zacateros.

A cynic might say there are more murals, statues and pictures wearing masks in San Miguel de Allende than actual people.

I wouldn’t know.

Lately, the only people I hang out with are murals, statues, and pictures. And they all seem to be wearing masks.

Which is why I prefer their company to that of people who will not wear masks. They even look smarter than people without masks.

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San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Little escapes: Seventeen San Miguel experiences you can enjoy while sitting on your couch

Since the beginning of the Covid sequestration, I’ve been taking the occasional walkabout here in San Miguel de Allende. I’ve even taken some that were inspired by my beloved city but strictly products of the mind.

Honestly, we’re all kind of feeling like we are at the “break out” point.

I hope this will help.

Below is a selection of the walks — real and fantasy — that I’ve enjoyed over the past few months.

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San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Putting on a nice lunch for the crew rebuilding our street, because ‘We are Mexican’

My whole neighborhood put on a lunch for about 30 hungry and hard-working guys today.

They have been with us for a while now,  long enough to know many of them by sight and wish each other a good day. These are the guys who tore up our street, right down to the dirt, and installed new utilities — sewer,water, fiber-optic.

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

A good Sunday morning walk to the Presa, unspoiled by the reality awaiting back in town

Horses and cattle graze where there was once water at the Presa, outside San Miguel de Allende. Chances are, the current rainy season will do its job and refill the reservoir.

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We went for a walk on Sunday.

Or maybe it was a hike. When does a walk stop being a walk and become a hike? Is it the distance? The degree of difficulty? The moment when you suddenly realize one call to Uber could end all this?

Anyhow, we went for a walk on Sunday.

Eight miles, round-trip.

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

No rhyme, no reason: Randomly curated photos from the Pandemic-era

Yeah, this is how I feel every day when I open up my computer and begin reading the news. I want to scream, lash out, run for cover, then hide in the bushes for the rest of the day.

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I know “curated” does not mean “stuff left over.”

A curator searches through his or her museum’s basements, files, archives, vaults, hallways, and subterranean sanctorums in search of pieces that support an important theme or idea.

The hope is that, as a whole, a curated show will tell a story or bolster an idea. A curated show is more than a theme — say for example, pictures with something red in them.

There is no doubt that during self-isolation, we have changed. As our lives slowed down, our perception has improved. I dare say that we are all seeing, feeling, hearing, loving, fearing in ways our previously busy, noisy, distracting, and demanding lives would not permit.

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Crossword clue: ‘It might send you to the moon’ and your answer is …

In a crossword puzzle today:

“It might send you to the moon”

Horizontal. Four letters.

So obvious. I wrote in 

LOVE

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But LOVE is thwarted by insensitive vertical clues

That have nothing to do with love:

“Some shortcuts for ships” CANALS

“Body position in yoga” ASANA

“Great ___ National Park” BASIN

“Brand of figure-shaping underwear” SPANX

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For a flight to the moon,

The crossword’s answer

Is pretty pedestrian. (Especially after

Spanx and asana which, come to think of it,

May have something to do with love.)

Perhaps songwriters and poets should create

Our nation’s crossword puzzle clues.

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Love, of course, is all you need.

Love will send you to the moon.

But romantic metaphors, apparently,

Have no place in a Wednesday

New York Times Crossword Puzzle.

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Although, the clue for 57 down,

“Middle of many metaphors,”

Suggests somebody knows something

About figures of speech.

If not love.

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That answer, to 57 down, sadly,

Is not LOVE, either.

It is only three letters: ISA

Really, only two words, “IS A” 

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ISA, as in …

He is a car wreck waiting to happen.

Her love is a one-way trip to the moon.

He is a puddle of mush when she walks into the room.

Their love is a three-ring circus.

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ISA is an “ugh …”

(Also three letters, but not an answer.)

I don’t want and ugh. I want a hug.

I want better. I want more.

I want LOVE to send us to the moon.

Even in a Wednesday crossword puzzle.

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But if LOVE doesn’t, or can’t,

Send us to the moon

Because things get in the way, like,

Canals, yoga, tight underwear and national parks

What will?

+ + + + +

A very important question

These days:

What sends you to the moon?

What keeps you from taking a trip to the moon?

Use as many letters and metaphors as you wish.

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San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The rainy season turns San Miguel hillside neighborhood into a vernal wonderland

The rainy season has begun in San Miguel de Allende and brings with it an abundance of lush and impossibly green vegetation. There is a freshness to everything — the streets, the air, the flowers now blooming everywhere in mad bursts of color.

Walking though older parts of San Miguel feel like you have been transported to dense tropical forests in an era far removed from the present.

The perfect getaway for the homebound in the Age of Pandemic.

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