By Richard L. Thornton, Architect and City Planner
I have survived the years better than the hut!
Do you remember that lime stucco Maya hut, where on our first night together, Ana the Tour Guide with Benefits set up sterno lamps in the hut and in the yard around the hut so we could dance to Strauss waltzes on an eight track tape player.
Four years later, Ana brought her fiance’ to Labna on spring break. He was an anthropology professor at Tulane University. He did NOT like being out in nature. The memories of our happy time together in the hut became so vivid that she cancelled her engagement here.
She then sent a letter to my last known address in Peachtree City, GA asking if she could fly to Atlanta to have a trial living together arrangement with me as she attended Georgia State or Emory University. Unfortunately, by the time (six weeks) that the US Post Office had delivered her letter, I was engaged to the future Anti-Wife and foolishly refused to cancel my wedding plans. We do make booboos in life.
When we got back to Ana’s house after five days without a bath or shower, her mother first marched us to separate bathrooms to clean up. After we were scrubbed up a bit, her father invited me to stay in the Guest House with Ana for two weeks until her university started classes. However, I could only stay for 2 1/2 more days because I was obligated to study archaeological sites in Veracruz State before returning to Georgia Tech.
The next morning Ana’s mother marched her to a spa and beauty salon so that I would know that Ana was capable of looking like a high-faluting senorita from a prominent family in Ciudad de Campeche. While she was gone, her father invited me to return to visit them any time I liked. He also handed me a big wad of pesos for us to dine at the city’s nicest restaurant in the Hotel Campeche then go dancing at the adjacent bar and night club in the hotel. This is what the Ana the Tom Boy looked like after a make-over. Notice that she is wearing nail polish for the first time in her life! Sorry, the photo has faded in the decades since then, but you get the gist.
PS – Actually, the French cigars that wealthy Mexican and Cuban-American girls smoked back then didn’t bother me at all. They were made with fruit-flavored pipe tobacco, not raunchy cigar tobacco. They smelled like incense and didn’t stink up a room.