|El Gringo Viejo (second from right)expresses impatience|
because we are looking into the sun and Alvaro
is looking for the button to push
to make this picture.
Perhaps the OROGs might think, "What possesses someone to throw his life away in a nowhere place surrounded by people no one can understand. You see some of the Lilliputians we captured the previous night....people who had come to tie me down with a hundred ropes and to assign me to a life of slavery. You noticed they had captured another Giant, whom I freed after desperate hand to hand combat, liberating him to once again join family and society and normalcy.
Now the truth.
First, of the two big, ugly guys to the right, is the owner of the family estate upon which we are standing. The buildings in the background are part of the home compound dating back to the mid-1930s. There is a water tower, fed by the ejido potable water system, normally for three hours or so, once a day. The manor house and lawns, and the two structures seen in this frame sit on about one acre of grounds, growies, and structure. The acreage of the surrounding citrus plantings comes up to almost exactly 200 acres.
The next person is a part-time sasquatch and a full time curmudgeon.
The next three from right to left are (1) a famous local musician, very accomplished guitarists and singer, very studied. He is also a research biologist, active in environmental research and solutions for issues both of flora and fauna throughout North America, with an emphasis, obviously on Northeastern Mexico.
Then there is (2) "La Maestra" (the Teacher) who has worked in the "Ambient Protection Division" of the State of Tamaulipas's Forestry and Wildlife department for a score of years, as well as on the front line in the effort against union corruption in the education field for lo these many years. She is also the person who has produced, directed, and provided most of the stunning photographs for the award-winning, coffee-table books about the geography, flora, and fauna of Tamaulipas. (Don't tell anyone, but at this stage in life, the singer/guitarist and the Maestra are an item, but they are very discreet. Neither is married. Both have lost a spouse.)
The young man to the far left (3), is a member of a trio who back up recordings, at times of famous label people along with (1). More especially they perform for churches, friends events, and conventions. During other times, such as weddings, mothers' day serenades, and at times, even serenades ordered by an ardent lover they perform privately. This young man and the group sing like angels and are very impressive. Suffice to say, El Gringo Viejo was stunned when they came out from Victoria and spent essentially the entire day....up until well after sundown at the here-pictured Hacienda de La Vega, just to help celebrate El Gringo Viejo's birthday. We offered to the attention, privately, of La Maestra a considerable amount of money for professional services and recuperation of fuel costs, etc. for the three musketeers but she adamantly negated the entire idea. She said it was a gift that they actually wanted to give without recompense. It was quite a gift, because it was free AAAA - minor league cum major league music off-and-on for about seven hours.
At one point, as I recount everything, there were 24 people at a "fiesta" that had no invitation, no preparation beyond the relatively famous "parrillada" that we have essentially perfected. There was a lot of beer, fine brandy, four large racks of ribs, two-dozen chicken wings with chili sauce one and a half tonnes of guacamole (almost), grilled zucchini strips, homemade hot-sauces, homemade tortilla chips (totopes), old-fashioned Mexican Coca-Cola, and the dratted Mexicans ate all my Brownies, for which I am also famous among "my people"....(the gaggle of friendly acquaintances and friends who surround me). During these events, it should be noted that Alvaro presides and performs as master of ceremony. He slightly resents my "getting my hands dirty" although he uses the spices and sauces that I prepare ahead of time in his grilling.
Nobody drank too much, no arguments, no "misunderstandings. It is difficult to describe how pleasant these events are. BUT, more importantly, there was no reluctance this time in returning all the way back to Victoria, or to La Corona (where some of Alvaro's close relatives live, about 20 kilometres away, down-river) during night-time hours. For the previous two and a half years, such a things was pretty much out of the question, due to the cockroaches.
To underscore the point in the previous paragraph, the autobus company TRANSPAIS....which is an ultra first-class to deluxe carrier....has initiated hourly service now from Victoria to the Santa Engracia area. They are using their top of the line equipment and drivers in a straight-up extension of their standard service, which is phenomenal. This speaks to the validity of the application of disciplined, steady, and vigorous application of military force against the menace of the forces of disorder.
It is my opinion that the Mexican authorities will maintain this "force availability and application" alternative for some lengthy period into the future. This is so as to avoid the mistakes that the Americans made by sacrificing victories in Viet Nam and Iraq and Afghanistan to the political whims of anti-American elements within the Congress and the mainly Democrat, leftist elements of the American political panoply. The problem, as in the case of all criminal activity, will never be totally cured and put to rest. But firm lines are....have been....drawn to demonstrate that Mafioso thuggery and anarchy are not options.
More later. We appreciate your investment of time and interest.
El Gringo Viejo