By Richard L. Thornton, Architect & City Planner
Lago Patzcuaro, Michoacán ~ July 27-Aug. 2, 1970
One Summer in Mexico – Part 25
First Issue of the Gringo Gazette!
Seconds after I shot the photo above, I heard snorting in back of me. I turned around to see three big, bad, black bulls pawing the ground immediately behind me. They were the type bulls raised to fight matadors in arenas. I managed to jump the old stone wall in front of me before they slammed into it. Unfortunately, I split my blue jeans while straddling the wall then landed in a mud puddle. I had to ride a third class bus, filled with chickens and pigs, for 11 miles to get back to my hotel room in Patzcuaro. First and second class bus drivers refused to let me on board. This experience inspired my first newsletter from Mexico. Michoacan is my favorite Mexican state. I have returned there three times since the Bull Incident.
The newsletters motto is a play on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s motto during that era, “Covers Dixie Like the Dew.” How times have changed. The AJC doesn’t even sell newspapers in all of Metro Atlanta, much less the State of Georgia and the Lower Southeast, as it once did. As seen below in the newsletter, Gionela Soto explained to me why Alicia was so upset about me receiving envelopes and letters with a tiger motif on them. “El Tigre” has a very special meeting among the young women of Mexico.
What happened to Anita the Tiger Gal?
Anita was in the pre-med and anesthesiology programs at Emory University about the same time as LinkedIn stalwart, Dr. Andy Martin. After Alicia was kidnapped to a ranch in northern Mexico, I slowly began to look around for another lady. About that same time, I was hired as a college intern for Governor Jimmy Carter. As the classiest gal I knew, Anita was always my escort for socials at the governor’s mansion, but her personality when with me in person was entirely different than that the spicy person that wrote these PG-13 tiger letters. I never saw her again after 1971 . . . until . . .
Around December 20, 2016 her ghost appeared beside me in my bed at my “America Unearthed” cabin. I am not kidding. The dogs could see her too. They initially barked at her, but then seeing a smiling but silent face, they began to sleep around her. She stopped appearing about a week later.
A few weeks later, out of curiosity, I looked up her name and discovered that she had died on December 19, 2016 of MS. It turns out that she was living very close to my rental duplex in Roswell, the whole time I was there. She went to the Presbyterian Church. I went across the street to the Methodist Church. We probably saw each other many a time, but didn’t realize it. I have no explanation. The truth is out there somewhere.