Wednesday, August 11, 2010


One of my mom's best friends,Peggy, and her husband, Big Brent, have traveled all over the world, including driving from Southern California all the way to Panama, in their little mini-camper, aptly named "Peggy's Palace".  Peggy is vivacious and out-going, with a wonderful laugh and a bit of Lucille Ball about her.  Big Brent doesn't say as much, but adores Peggy and is generally a smiley guy.  Even though we are not related by blood, they've always felt like an aunt and uncle to me, and we spent many vacations and Christmas eves together.  Peggy plays the guitar and most of the campfire type songs I know, I learned at her side.

I love her postcards because her personality is ever present, from the naming of the dancers ("Brento" and "Margarita") to the text on the back including "mucho pescado, mucho tequila".  Note that this card is dated 2001.  They were both over 70 years old on this trip, and sent this card from Veracruz, on the eastern coast of Mexico. 

There are three things I think of when I think of Veracruz:

1.  Huachinango Veracruzano.  For all you gringos, "Red Snapper Vera Cruz Style". During the very early days of my travels through Latin America I was introduced to this dish.  It's pretty tasty but it is even more fun to order, because Huachinango is a great word to pronounce.  (Wha-chee-nan-go.  Try it!)

2.  Warren Zevon.  My favorite Warren Zevon album, Excitable Boy (it was an album when it was released in 1978) includes a song called "Veracruz", which I've probably listened to 1000 times, although not in a long time.  (Note to self:  include a Warren Zevon song on next mix tape.) While it's not my favorite song on the album, there are several greats including "Werewolves of London", "Excitable Boy" and "Roland The Headless Thompson Drummer".  If you do not know these tracks, you might want to check them out.

3.  US Occupation of Veracruz in 1914 aka the Tampico Affair.The Tampico Affair is one in a long list of Mexican/US mis-understandings, primarily resulting from an on-going inability among far too many to speak each other's languages. 

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