Saturday, 26 November 2016

Thoughts About Cuba



     My contact with the Cuban people was frequent in the Yucatan where various of the higher level bureaucrats were allowed to vacation in Merida, Cozumel, and in the archeological sites.   During the period from the mid-1970s up to the early 1990s we owned and operated a very nice excursion company, conducting "the grand tour" to almost every corner of Mexico.
   During those times, we travelled somewhat frequently to the Yucatan Peninsula, both to research and "engineer" excursion accommodations adn events, and to actually escort and direct the excursions.  We would always have direct or indirect contact with Cuban people, mostly on "group reward tours".  They were always "chaperoned".
   The "chaperones" were goons of the Cuban National Security. The Cubans could not believe the difference in the level of general prosperity in Mexico. The women would go by 'ladies' specialties" store and gooney-gaze at the elegant and frilly underwear and nightgowns displayed in abundance....the ubiquitous shoe-stores with all classes, prices, styles, and types of shoes....the men were drop-jawed at the hardware stores....and then, of course, the autos.  They were amazed at the number and styles of autos; old ones, new ones, and I could overhear them saying things like, "Look, all the tires are the same brand."
     I personally overheard the "chaperones" telling the people that all they were seeing was stuffing put there "especially for this visit" (of this or that Cuban group) in order to fool the Cuban tourists that Mexico was a land of plenty....and that when they would leave to return to Cuba, a normalcy would return to something worse than what the Cubans had.  While Mexico and Cuba would express union and "solidarity" concerning the ever-onward march to Social Justice and Social Democracy, the Cuba ghouls of governance thought the Mexicans were lackeys to the Gringos.  The Mexicans, on the other hand, spent millions and billions of pesos keeping track of Cuban agents, and maintaining a considerable army, navy, and air force, most of which was (and is) concentrated at or near the easternmost parts of Mexico.  
   It was a norm, as well, for upper-level Cuban commie apparatchiks and family members to go to Merida, Vera Cruz, Puebla, and Mexico City for such things as simple as appendectomies and eye lifts....and certainly for such things as by-pass operations etc. They too would be "chaperoned".
    There was the incident where some ladies were commenting while looking into a store display window.  They were repeating what their ''chaperone" had said about the stores being "stuffing", and I advised them quietly that such is not the case. "Como Ustedes lo vean, es como es.  Con La Pascua y las Fiestas Naviden~as, es mas todavia. (As you see it, is as it is. At Eastertide and during the Christmastide it is still more.)
    The ladies, without looking at me, asked if I would sell my Levi blue-jeans, "discreetly"....because they recognised me due to the fact that we were using the same hotel.  I advised (also not turning to address them face to face),  them that their "escort" and his goons would be checking their luggage for any and all "inappropriate" gifts and purchases.  To that observation they deflated a bit, and said, "Of course, they always do, they always have."   The converstational posture was necessary so as to avoid the chance that they could be accused of "collaborating".  

 All the sports teams were "chaperoned", and there were many occasions when the teams and their "chaperones" (sometimes as many of them as players and managers and support staff) would all defect in Mexico. My introduction to the goons was note under my door at the Hotel Castellanos in downtown Merida which stated, "Do not speak to Cuban. We does not say please. Do not speak to Cuban." It was not signed.
    To further respond to the lunacy that spews forth from the "democratic left" and from the willfully gullible and/or uniformed, we must add a bit of appropriate addenda.
     When the Bishop of Rome, and state leaders from around the world, and organisations such as "Pastors for Peace", and the United Nations, etc. etc. etc. howl at the moon over the "brutality of the American Blockade" causing death and suffering of the children and people of Cuba, please remember to do one thing.  Take a globe, rotate it slowly....Red China, Japan, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Spain, Germany, Italy, Russia, Lower Slobovia, India, Guatemala, and approximately 200 other nations have trade relations with the Cuban "Democratic Republic".   The reason there is a blockade of any kind is because Cuba has nothing much to sell to the world, and precious little ability to buy anything the world has to sell to Cuba.
     The grandeur of the Cuban medical system ..... free to all ....was a myth, is a myth, and will certainly be revealed soon in its totality, even to those who do not wish to believe the truth.  It was the same in the Soviet Union.  While many Cuban doctors are excellent practitioners and surgeons, those went to Mexico, Spain, and the United States long ago.  Most Cuban doctors are woefully ill-prepared and nowhere near the level of the common Mexican saw-bones.....the "nurses" are not like what you will find in France or Japan.....the facilities are nightmarish.
     One might remember when another piece of human debris, Hugo Chavez, left his country for medical was to Cuba, where he was attended by Spanish doctors, flown in from Madrid.   He returned to Venezuela to continue a not so slow decline on his way to wherever his soul is burning now.
     It is a travesty how the Obsolete and International Press has consistently misled and/0r outright lied about the Cuban social, economic, medical, agricultural, and tourist industries.  It can all be described as dilapidated, corrupt, filthy, brutal, unfinished, in ruins, and essentially hopelessly engaged in some form of rot.
     We could go on and on....but we shan't.   We hope the best for the Cuban people who....during the corruption of Gen. Fulgencio Batista were the fourth ranking population in the Americas in terms of literacy, income per capita, medical and social facilities, etc.  To-day it vies with Haiti for Cellardwellar Honours.

El Gringo Viejo


Monday, 21 November 2016

DEAR DONALD.....!!!!!!

stop tweeting and/or publicly communicating with press or any other form of maggots;   you cannot touch the tar-baby without soiling your hands and clothes!!!


Our Commentary on Trump's Effect on Texit....

  • ____________________
  •      The following is El Gringo Viejo's response to the question posed by the Texas Nationalist Movement's publicity and information mechanism which essentially asks, "What effect will Trump have on the Texas Nationalist Movement?"  My response is included here, primarily because this venue is seen as a method to reach another group of people, pro and./or con, and allow more and more to become, at the very least, aware that the movement is alive, increasing, and serious
  •      The election of Mr. Trump is something that can be typified, perhaps at best, as a neutral / not-so-bad thing for the moment. (Sir Edmund) Hillary Corkscrew was, is, and forever shall be a deranged murderous, mendacious, marxist hag consumed by narcissism. She is a porridge stewed in a pot designed by Stalin.
        Mr. Trump is somewhat better, but still a situational ethics contemporary thinker who deals in matters of the moment….addicted to twitter, ego, positioning, and a strange brain syndrome that requires him to overly repeat things over and over, again and again…..revealing that he requires of himself to convince himself. Strange, indeed.

          Our household and all with whom we associate are and were Cruzistas. But none of that is either here nor there. The issue at hand is to establish, once and for all, the supremacy of local control provided by English / American Common Law rule in lieu of the arbitrary organic law model that is steadily replacing the Magna Carta, the American Constitution, and other elements of Natural Law.
      With Trump and a fluffy, ear-marking Congress, no matter how marginally conservative, there will continue to be a piling on of debt. That debt is the death chortle of all monarchies and democracies and democratic Republics. Spain, France, the United Kingdom lost their strength, power, and elegance to “reasonable economic policies” and gained only dependence by the masses upon the dole.
         Texas is a donor Nation subsidising both the American Union and the Republic of Mexico in many ways, although we benefit by our economic relations with both nations. We benefit culturally in many ways as well. But to depend upon either is folly.

          People of Mexican / Spanish ancestry who are colonially or long term Texians are similar to the people of Mexico but also very different. People with Anglo or Angloid / northwestern European ancestry who are long term Texians are markedly different from other folks of the American Union. We learned with Katrina and the American Urban Phenomena that by-in-large, people of Black African Ancestry who are long-term Texians in their background just see things differently from other people of the same general ancestry who have lived outside of the South or Texas for many generations.

          In many fewer words, Mr. Trump is little better than (Sir Edmund) Hillary, due to his amorality, and his mercurial psychological and cultural characteristics. His election makes this supporting member of the Texas Nationalist Movement no less committed to the movement to amicably withdraw from the American Union at the soonest convenient time. 

    David Christian Newton

    As usual, thanks for your continued attention.
    El Gringo Viejo

Sunday, 20 November 2016

20 November 1910 - also, "A Day That Will Live in Infamy"......

Collage derived from Wikipedia

Paseo de la Reforma
Mexico City
    The images posted above show a Mexico when 15,000,000 Mexicans of all classes, stripes, types, colours, tribes, and political orientation essentially commenced to destroy almost everything and then replace it with almost nothing.   After between 400,000 to 1,300,000 people being killed (civilian and military), about the only thing that could be accounted as a net positive was that the original objective....the removal of Jose de la Cruz Porfirio Diaz Mori (Porfirio Diaz).....was accomplished in 1911.  It ended 35 years of essentially absolute control of the Republic of Mexico by one relatively common man...who was made of ironDuring his regimen, great buildings were built and/or restored to previous grandeur.  Mining, industrial, and agricultural production was stunning.  English, French, and American as well as other foreign nationals flooded in and invested what to-day would be something like 100,000,000,000 (100 billion) dollars.   Train networks, telegraph and telephone systems, shipbuilding, and all nature of things were developed, as well as the proof of large quantities of oil, gas, fisheries, education, and a nascent tourism industry.
     During those times, it was said by some Mexicans (as always, there are people who can always see the dark cloud more clearly than the silver lining) that "Mexico es la Madre de extrajeros, pero la madrasta de Mexicanos.''  ("Mexico is the Mother of Foreigners and the stepmother of Mexicans")
     There have been literally thousands of books and hundreds of thousands of editorials, studies, treatises, and publications about "The Porfiriato" (1875 - 1911), that 35 years of productivity and advance that marked proof of Mexico's ability to be part of a larger Universe.....a real country.  Elegance, opulence, material progress, advances in science and production, folkloric splendour, of world class quality.....and, by any standard, oppression.
     It was and still is said that Mexico is a country of only two classes....the very rich and the very poor.  While there is some basic validity to that point, it was and is false as a statement of universal truth.    Mexico has always had a "middle class".
      During the final years of "El Porfiriato" that group would have numbered perhaps 25 per cent of the total population of Mexico, with the very wealthy industrial and land-holding group being about 8 - 10 per cent of the nation's peoples.  As one can readily tell, that would have left around 9,000,000 Mexicans out of about 15,000,000 in pretty bad straits.Mexico has always had, even in colonial times, various and sundry social divisions that would accommodate, with some reasonable tolerance, various types of "middle class " status.
    In these times, Mexico has "burdened itself" with a very complex and huge middle class, blue and white collar, proprietor and professional, self-taught and diplomate, that constitutes what I would estimate now to be 65 - 70 percent of the population.

     Of the poorest, one can reasonably assume that the censuses taken during those times were reasonably accurate, and therefore about three and a half to four million of the folks were Indians of many different a minimum of 9 different languages....remote, welded into the mountains both barren and jungled to impenetrability.   At the time and in those days, probably sixty per cent of those native peoples spoke little or no Spanish.
    In the north of Mexico and a little less so to the west, the poor folks....or "la clase peon"...was mestizo (mixed-race) or blanco (white).  But if they lived on an established ranch, or worked in an established business, they were peones.  They inherited their parents' debts....and those debts could well have carried the debts of a peon's parents' grandparents.   In other words, these folks were born "....another day older and deeper in debt" from the outset.   Permission to leave the place of business or the ranch had to be given in writing, and wedding partners had to be approved by the proprietors and hacendados (hacienda owners), among other things.  Oddly enough, most could read and write, especially the girls, and especially in the Northern half of Mexico.

     So, by 1910 one could ride into Mexico on a nice steamer, go from Vera Cruz by train to Mexico City by a comfortable conveyance with a diner, saloon car, and flush toilets....and see everything, but understand none of it.
     The Revolucion de 1910, however did begin with the corrupt elections of that year whose count revealed that Don Porfirio Diaz had won the election, nationwide, by a vote of something like 1, 540,000 to 658.  There would have been more votes, but women were not allowed to vote in Mexico until 1953.
    It was also something like one might experience in Pyongyang, North Korea in these times.   The loser in the election, Francisco I. Madero (our little home is in a rural community that is named in his honour) pronounced his incomfority with the results of the count and promptly declared himself and his followers to be in revolt against the Government and Institutions of the Porfiriato Government and its Head.   He and his people had to flee the country to Texas.
Alamy stock photo
Paseo de la Reforma
Mexico, Distrito  Federal

             But, in fairly short order, Porfirio Diaz had been overthrown and new elections had been held and votes counted.  Parades had been held on Mexico City's Paseo de la Reforma boulevard, Madero had been sworn in along with his Vice-President Jose Maria Pino Suarez but neither would see the end of his term nor the year 1914.  Both were shot down and killed by assassins on their way to the train station where the train was waiting to take them to a ship in Vera Cruz and into forced exile.  Congress had grown tired of Madero's procrastination to provide anything different from Porfirio Diaz, and Pino Suarez, a truly great public figure and good man, was tainted with Maderos "torpez" (mental slowness),    This was the famous "Decena Tragica" (Ten Days of Tragedy) when the Presidency was finally militarised by Gen. Victoriano Huerta and the "Revolucion de 1910" would begin in earnest.  It would cause the return to mount of Pancho Villa in the North and Emiliano Zapata, in the South, as well as the horrid marxist Venustiano Carranza and affect in a direct or solidly indirect way every Mexican, every foreigner, and every profession, business, or pursuit in Mexico....including foreigners. During the final years of "El Porfiriato" that group would have numbered perhaps 25 per cent of the total population of Mexico, with the very wealthy industrial and land-holding group being about 8 - 10 per cent of the nation's peoples.  As one can readily tell, that would have left around 9,000,000 Mexicans out of about 15,000,000 in pretty bad straits.

     Of the 120,000,000 Mexicans alive to-day, fewer than a fifth know much if anything about these times in Mexico.  It is rather much like the situation we have that permits us to graduate people from high schools and colleges who cannot tell if World War II came before World War I or visa-versa.   The term "Cinco de Mayo" is said and heard, but the Fifth of May is not a National Holiday in Mexico.  The 20th of November is, however, a formal National Holiday.
     If there are questions, or if anyone wants to opine or ask my opinion of this or that matter pertaining to the Revolution, feel free to e-mail us and we shall endeavour to provide an accurate and informative answer from our position.  Remember, for instance, that in spite of the revolutionary fervor, women in Mexico were not granted suffrage until 1953.  

More Later.  Thanks for your time and interest.
El Gringo Viejo

A Special Notice for a Retro-Read.....

A Special Notice:

     All OROGs and others who are willing, please have the goodness to scroll down three entries to engage our success in finally making the video into the great motion picture it was  meant to be.   We had to resort to bringing Lazarus to life by selling his soul to Youtube, and it is a small victory for an otherwise computer-incompetent Blogger who really, truly wants to give his readership home-made, rustic technological modernity.   (Eat your heart out, Cecil B.)

     There will be no charge for this additional service.   And the dog's name is "Prieto" (Blackie)


The Management
(El Gringo Viejo)

Friday, 18 November 2016

Tamaulipas...por Vista de Pájaro (Tamaulipas by the view from the bird).......

   These are serious times at our little place down in the idyllic setting in front of the Sierra Madre Oriental, deep in the Mexican interior.  The new governor who is thought to be a "pretty-boy" by some...a hood ornament...or poseur, has revealed himself to be one tough cookie.

    He is a graduate of a McAllen, Texas high school and a respected Houston area Baptist university.   He was President of the Reynosa City/County government for a term that met with considerable advances and up-grading. His budget was evaluated with a neither an A+ or A-, but just a plain A rating, after his term.

      His rating at the end of his term by the City/County populace was the same, just a plain A.   Anything over C- in Mexico means that the person who finished the term is one in every ten in the Mexican panoply...or a secular saint of some sort.
      This person has proven to be something that all hope might arise among the people and lead them to the promised land.   He and his posse made of Reynosa, finally, a geographical theatre where common and great events can take place and comfort and progress can be achieved through industry.   A moment in time and place where wealthy people can make more wealth for themselves and others by investment and the taking of risks, and poor people can advantage themselves of choices in life-pursuits and interests as they climb into the many forms of middle-classism.

    In a way, he thrusted Reynosa, Tamaulipas into The New Reality.  He pulled the ancient nobility of the place as a colonial outpost in the mid-1750s into the future....the year 2050, if you will, with what is an essentially (American) conservative Republican agenda.   You have not heard of the details of this man and his cadre of thinkers and classical, Bible-driven, Adam Smith -thinking people.


     It is so different from Iguala, Guerrero in southern Mexico, where the marxists maintain a state of turmoil at all times.  In Tamaulipas, at the opposite end of the Republic of Mexico, problems....lots of problems remain and are self-evident.  Anyone can see it as he/she crosses the Rio Grande.
  Most such first-time, south-bound crossers, however, are surprised at how ''up-to-date'' and not-so-poor Mexico presents itself even there, along the frontier.   Credit card activation, decent food/drinks/slightly to totally acceptable restrooms, etc. are no novelty. There is a certain order in the typical Latin "eclectic" that is still evident (and hopefully will live forever).  But,  a viable "social contract" based on morality, civility, law, and very 99.9% of the area which composes Tamaulipas.

    As Francisco Javier Garcia Cabeza de Vaca assumed and then "settled in" to the throne of Governor of Tamaulipas, he immediately went back to his home-ground in Reynosa and declared that there would be an end to the terror presented by the human and drug traffickers.  The end to the notion that any Cartel or group of left-over pandillas (gangs-self identifying with Cartels) will control the lives of the normal people of Tamaulipas is, in his words, "much closer than the horizon". 
     He restates his campaign promise, " I shan't put myself to the knee, and I shan't put myself up for sale....(implication being to the Cartels or Pandillas)".

     During these first days of his term, one act has been supreme.   He has called the generals and colonels of the National Army and Naval Infantry together to establish a new order.  Essentially it seems to be that he is saying, "If they are killing each other, then fine.  Any infringement upon the citizenry, however, will be met with the most unforgiving wrath."   The previous governor did not lay down these rules of engagement and pitty/pattied with the issues that so severely continued to affect Tamaulipas in spite of other improvements.

     Since his arrival, an "efficiency measure" has been taken which means that the Federal Officers in black uniforms, who are actually members of the Army but called civilian, have been moved into Cd. Victoria and the Tampico / Madero / Altamira complex.  The Army and Naval Infantry have been placed in charge of Tamaulipas highways, by-ways,  and special demographic enforcement.   An improved situation has become increasingly improved, one might say.
      The other day, when going the short distance from the Quinta to the place where I buy cream for the calico cat, and other goodies (peanuts, nuts, milk, Jumex juices), I had to pass through a complete company of heavy infantry, deployed in front of the Hacienda de Santa Engracia, less than a half-mile from your Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre.
      Much of their "deployment" was also associated, obviously, with recruitment procedures, what with the uniforms, the weaponry, the "strut" of the soldiers.  There were, however, numerous of the company that stood in at-ease position, but "pendiente"(aware), and with their bayonets affixed.  Their uniforms, accoutrement, and appearance was militarily correct.  I learned later that they had been involved in Michoacan State's western areas and had had considerable success in degrading the "Knights Templar" group and other pandillas.
     They were somewhat accommodating and slightly friendly to an Old Gringo (El Gringo Viejo).  Some had heard of me, which means that they have dreadfully little about which to speak.   But, neither my coming nor my going was impeded, as is usual.   And that, coupled with the fact that there has been no significant cartel or pandilla violence after the first couple of months of the new Governor's regimen speaks more than volumes.

We shall see as the days go by....
El Gringo Viejo

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Pointless Stories from the life of El Gringo Viejo....but interesting


     Several hundred years ago (1969), El Gringo Viejo was rudely conscripted into the United States Army to go and kill the Yellow Man (according to Bruce Springsteen, proving that he did not know Shinola from Peanut Butter, but I diverge).

     Although Basic Combat Training was not a cup of tea...I did excel.  Number 2 in physical and number 2 in intellectual.   Out of 320 volunteers and four draftees....that was pretty good.
    El Gringo Viejo was, obviously, much younger several hundred years ago.  El Zorro can speak to the fact that I was spoiled, indulged, and considerably excessive in matters of evaluating my own importance.   Operating in a military environment and being told what to do, and when to do it, was supposedly something that I should have eschewed sleeping and waking.

     But, a funny thing happens on the road to reality.   I found it to be challenging, obviously, but also it was something that struck my inborn conservative instincts and impulses.  The order and procedure along with knowing who was what and upon which tooth on the gear the olive-green clad person in front of one might be was a pleasant game.

      In any regard, late in the cycle...when all of the abuse and posturing and scaring and hazing was long over, El Gringo Viejo woke up one morning with a knee so swollen he could not fit his fatigue pants on.  Coupled with the fact that I was having a small bout with a fever....and before long, fellow BCT troopers had reported me to the Captain Minihan, before formation.   He arrived, out of uniform, and ordered trainee Joy Mayo to take me to the infirmary and order transfer to Beaumont.

     The line of duty was that anyone with a fever over 101 had to go to the infirmary, because of the constant fear of meningitis.  I protested, sincerely, because my niche had been found and I was one with these men and all of that stuff.....but Minihan deliberated briefly and then suggested in his kindest manner, "Shut the XXXX up, and Mayo you stay until he's transported or I'll have you up for a 32!"
    Mayo bravely stood up to the basic training Company Commander, and growled back, "Yes, Sir!"

     Once there, a medic with hard-rank....and three rockers....looked me over, took my temperature (103F), and asked if I knew that there was an Olympic swimming pool of blood in my left ear.   I blubbered something, and the medic discharged Pvt. Mayo...who protested saying, ''I was ordered to stay until he was transported to Beaumont."

     "Captain Minihan called here to have me order the ambulance.  He might be a "minnie" and we need to get him out of here.   You are free to return to your duty station."

     I was on my own.  Laying helpless in a small cot in a small infirmary in a training facility at Fort Bliss, Texas....surrounded by El Paso, Texas....feverish and feeling small because my high scores and nouveaux affection for the military way was being shredded before my very eyes.....and ear....and knee.    The Army saw me as a compound disability claimant and a combat liability and as the fourth oldest of a BCT unit that was obviously volunteering so as to gain the excellent and free medical services afforded by the Army.   The joke was on them, because my BCT company was a volunteer company, but I was one of the four who were conscripts.

     ONE INCIDENT WHILE AWAITING DISPOSITION:   The story of my service becomes convoluted.   Some of my service was designated to be "non-operational" and various promises mad were never fulfilled, nor did I ever press the issue.    But, while awaiting various decisions by various poobahs in the military and Department of State, we served as an orderly on Wards 5 and 7 of the old section of William Beaumont General Hospital - United States Army.   Since they had detected a problem with my left ear, I had been assigned to Ward 5...Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat.

     Your humble servant volunteered for any duty and he was adopted by a Sergeant Deal, who was the ward commander and served a tour per day, as well as overseeing all the general operation of Wards 5 and 7.  He told me that most of the guys there were malingerers but some were post-op and really needed attention.   My job was to stay awake 24 hours a day and keep an eye on especially Negro non-coms who had had tonsillectomies and mandilar reduction surgery.  Etc. etc. etc.
     He showed me how to do TPRs and and certain eye-colours and gum-colours and the like, and also how to inject emergency whatever to those with cardiac and/or respiratory arrest.  Sergeant Deal was thorough and meticulous in these instructions.   Very Serious.....and he told me after all was said and done...."Take this seriously, because some soldier will live or die based on how you react and what you do."

     There was something about the way Sergeant Deal made that last remark that really stuck with me.    You, the taxpayers, would have been proud of how I earned my 80 Yankee greenbacks per month (plus room and board).   Working essentially a 24 hour shift....sleeping at moments....and also attending to the accommodations of the On-call doctors (they had an "apartment" in the administrative area of Ward 5).  I maintained them as would a valet.
     It was my interior-soul-calling to do the TPRs  "by the book"....Nurse Demurse told me "This is the best way"....(and yes, Virginia, there really was a "Nurse Demurse" on Wards 5 and 7 in those times and during those days)....  She was a scrawny girl, but very smart....maybe 5' 2'' and 90 pounds, from West Virginia, if I remember correctly.   She and I agreed that people who complained about the "crummy Army food" were jerks.   My impression of the Army cafeteria at my service area was that it was excellent.....and with all due respects to no one in particular, I had been accustomed to the best.

     Then one early morning-tide (03:50) your humble servant began to hear a chortling of a person  having "sloppy cough"  issues.   It came from  the bed of Sergeant Willie Pounds, who at age 39 had had a tonsillectomy.    Because he had high complication issue problems due to his age, and because of what I was told is a heightened concern especially for adult Black men having this type of operation,  my instructions had been to "keep keen" on Sergeant Pounds.
     I went to his side, and tried to understand what this very wide-eyed, very tough sergeant was trying to was something in his that....he could not verbalize in any real way...and there was copious amounts of blood appearing on his chin, the bed, on your humble servant, etc.   There was something deep in his throat....and the only way to do anything about it was to dig it out.
       A soldier who was being treated for a broken jaw was sent to the ICU, next door, to find an RN or Doctor, to come or death hung in the balance.    I dug around (failed to wash my hands, of course), while another soldier shone a flashlight into the yawning mass of blackness and redness and unseen targets.   Finally, persisting....with luck....with a man in great pain and edging to the point that we all wanted to avoid.....your humble servant entwined between his right index and middle fingers,  the wadding that was supposed to have pressured against the tonsil area that had been operated.  Bleeding had started and the Sergeant had swallowed instead of coughing or hacking up the mass of wadding.   No real fault....he was slumbering....still woozy from the operation's anesthetic.
     I had been provided a large amount of wadding, "just in case", and immediately began stuffing it at the area the flashlight showed where the incisions had been made.  Truly knowing little or nothing about proper procedure, my intuition told me to stay with my thumb deep in this poor man's gullet, on the side that seemed to be bleeding, until competent authority arrived.
     Finally, after about three years and two months, a doctor and an RN came dashing in and shoving me out of the way .  A roller-gurney followed and my Sergeant was whisked away.  The nurse turned around and yelled, "Get up here and hold that gauze wad where you had it!"   Which I did, while running a 200 yard dash at three-quarter speed.   It was all clumsy.   They took him to the Emergency receiving because it was the best equipped and relatively close, all things considered.   The general surgery facilities alternative was much more suited for scheduled procedures, anyway.

     To lessen the length of this nearly pointless vignette of a person's life, all ended well.  Several medically competent people laboured for twenty or thirty minutes and came away satisfied with their work and their patient.  When they encountered me waiting in the corridor that entered into the Emergency Suite, they stopped and the "old doctor" (a fellow of about 32 years 0f age) said, "Well soldier, you did your good deed for the day!"
    "How is that, major?" I responded.
    To which the doctor declared, "Well, you saved the Sergeant's life.   And he's a bronze star - silver star fellow."

    He then suggested that it would be good for me to visit him in the morning.  I did go, but during the early afternoon.  Willie Pounds was still in bed, but he was holding his saucer cap, of all things.  After sincere greetings, the Sergeant moved to the business at hand, "You say you're checking out next week, but you don't have a saucer cap for the A-1 report to the discharge officer.  Now you do."  He held a almost new saucer cap up for my taking. "I picked it up about a month ago when I got back from Nam.  It would be an honour for you to keep it."

    We had had a few days together in Ward 5 whilst Willie was going through tests, and one thing and another.  We have gotten along well.  He had war stories, a Zippo lighter adorned with a bronze star on one side and a silver one on the other, and he had asked questions of me about my politics, my education, family, and so on.  We had gotten to know each other fairly well in a short period of time....such things were common in the Army.

    I still have the saucer cap.   Sergeant Willie Pound's gift to a guy who was just doing his job.

El Gringo Viejo

El Gringo Viejo has returned....the Earth Can Breathe Again

     We have tried during the entire length of the day to post this privately with close friends, clients, and family, but to no avail.     Pardon the blow-off from the pressure release valve and two-day temper-tantrum.
     The film below was taken by your humble servant without his knowledge.  It is called, "I didn't even know this stupid camera could make motion pictures." art form.   Apparently some secret but appropriate button was pushed and the results were this disjointed, real life scene of people delivering exotic lime saplings, some 9,000, once the delivery is completed, during the next few days.

     A considerable demand has developed with the markets in the United States, Europe, and Japan for these "high-end" saloon and culinary purposes.   Planting has been delayed due to the heavy rains during the first part of the month of November....a bit late for the rainy season....but the delay will pay dividends as we move through the drizzly, but very low collectible rain, period from mid-December through February.  (We are awaiting approval of this climatic activity from the office of AlGore.)



     As an officious and pompous, egotistical blowhard, El Gringo Viejo was moved to call his terribly imposed upon wife fairly late during the hours before the thankfully ended election cycle just past.  He advised her that he was calling so as to have a credible witness to the fact that the International Business Daily and Los Angeles Times tracking poll were the ones who would prove to be correct....that Trump would win....and the he went back to feeding cats, dog, and chickens in the dark.   The boss went back to sleep, discomforted by the fact that any of the postulated candidates would win.  I went on wondering why she would ever had burdened her life by lugging me around in a wheelbarrow.

     We shall see how things work out.


     We attempted to send the above motion picture clip to a gaggle of friends, clients, and family but it was quite an adventure.   To-morrow we shall begin our pontification and opinionated braying, but there will be observations from out of Mexico as well....and some historical commentary.  Please stand by.

El Gringo Viejo