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It Is An Honor to be Your Friend

by sanmigueltimes
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Yesterday I received a jpeg of a note my mother wrote decades ago.  The image came from my childhood pal after finding the note among his mother’s effects following her recent death.  His Mom and mine were childhood pals nearly a century ago.  The note read:

“Marge, You are such a good person – it is an honor to be your friend.  Phyllis”

It motivated me to send out the note to my own pals and continue saying something nice about each pal but the person I most liked sharing it with is my octogenarian gal pal, Lupita.

I met Lupita a few years ago through a friend of a friend.  Then in her late 70s and walking with a cane, she wanted to take dance lessons from me.  Knowing she’d not be able to keep pace in pre-existing classes, even the ones for seniors, I offered her every Saturday night from 5 to 7.  During this time we’d study danzon, salsa, cha cha and all the Cuban rhythms at a pace she’d enjoy, at no cost and with whatever other folks want to join us.

Sure, on the surface, it sounds like a good deal for her but really it was me that walked away with dozens of gifts.

First and foremost was seeing the wisdom of maintaining your curiosity at any age.  To learn new stuff, surrounded by folks of various ages, is the most surefire way to keep you alert and intriguing.  Interesting people are those interested in others.

It was my great pleasure to dance with her on her 80th birthday and all the days in between when we’d cha cha to Banarama or walking our boots to Nancy Sinatra.

It was Lupita that got me to dabble in painting.  I hesitated knowing drawing was the only class in my school years I didn’t ace.  “No importa!” she stressed and she was right.  I’m still not any good, but I enjoy the process which is the point in any activity.


Lupita calls me “her baby” and much like an overly indulged baby she grants my wishes faster than Jeanie could leave her bottle and please Larry Hagman.  I only have to comment that I’d one day like to (fill in the blank) …. and before I know it, I am.  That gal has more local connections than her namesake, Guadalupe, herself.

Through Lupita’s efforts I’ve been able to be front and center in events, processions and fiestas no foreigner is a part of.  From processions on Good Friday, Dia de Locos, Day of Dead, Corpus Christi to attending baptisms, first communions and 15th birthday parties to finding myself inside a mojiganga (a large paper-mache puppet), Lupita has opened doors to all sorts of oppurtunites for me.

Plus she never forgets my birthday or saint days (Joseph is most powerful saint, so he gets two days).  Even when traveling around the world Lupita carries letters from me for various Virgins she’ll visit to hand deliver and bring me back chocolates and holy water.

So, like my mother wrote, all those years ago, it is honor to be Lupita’s amigo and equally an honor to have you read about it!


Joseph Toone is the Historical Society’s short-story award winning author of the SMA Secrets book series.  All books in the series are Amazon bestsellers in Mexican Travel and Holidays.  Toone is SMA’s expert and TripAdvisor’s top ranked historical tour guide telling the stories behind what we do in today’s SMA.  Visit HistoryAndCultureWalkingTours.com, and JosephTooneTours.com.

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