Thursday, October 07, 2010

Patzcuaro ...... a love story...............

There's a couple of plazas in Patzcuaro, Patzcuaro is lucky we have several, couple small ones and one big one. Our big one is called plaza Quiroga, it has the municipal offices, some galleries, hotels, a few restaurants, couple of ice cream vendors and a few coffee hangouts with cutesy outside seating where one can sit, read the paper, watch people and listen as life goes by.

My favorite place is on the corner, you go there for the view and traffic, the food is OK, so's the coffee. You can tell them how you want it and then about half the time coffee will turn out fine. This place seems to have more than it's share of Gringos and Gringos with stories to tell.


As I was having my coffee the other day I was treated to a story from the table next to mine. Not that I have great hearing, it was more that the speaker made it impossible not to hear.
Besides it's not that common to hear English with a Texas accent emanating from the next table. Our Texan was one of the locals displaced that I have seen around town for a few years. He was in seventh heaven because he found his special audience, a new found compadere from his home state. How they identified each other is a mystery to me, must be the special boots or belt buckle that brought them together. Anyway I sensed an immediate bonding which fired up some local lore and gossip.... In Mexico speak, the word is chisme, meaning gossip. So these two fellars where slinging lots of chisme.

Somehow the topic got onto people of Patzcuaro in particular, a past resident Willard. I'll call him Willard, just because we have to protect innocent.
Patzcuaro has lots of stories, not eight million like the old 50's TV series The Naked City, so we'll give Patzcuaro a fraction of that, this was one, of millions of stories.

If you doubt me, visit just go to Felipe's Story Emporium. And More Stories.

Anyway the story was about old Willard. Seems that Willard and his wife came into town about a dozen years or so ago to retire. They were from the City of Angels. The city know for it's beautiful people and expensive plastic surgeons. Not that there was any correlation to the two. They had come here to live out their golden years in peace and tranquility.

His wife had more issues than Willard, she wanted to bestow her nurturing and was a bestower of do good.
Willard was just around, not doing much but being an ambassador of Patzcuaro to any and all Gringos that would stop and listen.
As the story goes, Willard had some issues with the IRS or similar grab your money or else governmental agency back home. So the story is that Willard moved or hid his fortune to his brides name.....

(Don't tell me you see where this story is going)

So, they come here and do what people do. Sit around, BS, wander around, talk and deal.

Everyone's got deals don't they?

Her deal was that she was driving around a little car with signs on them advertising her cause, the Willard Wife Heath Project. It was written in Spanish so the locals would understand of her do good.

I guess she wanted to save people and children. It's always about children..... I heard that she was a nurse, with a cause..... more than you know.

He was, well alright were old aging hippies..or at least they valued the hippie life style... Birkenstocks, long hair and shoulder bags..... Not that there is anything wrong with that life style....

His hair was down past his shoulders and so was hers.

I always saw Willard sitting around at hangouts talking with visiting Gringos. Some of them were impressed enough to sponsor his lunch now and then.

At one time I was introduced to Willard and his bride in our early days of being here. For one reason or another I declined the invitation to break bread with them.

Now thinking back maybe I shouldn't have turned them down, I might have been invited into the "in" crowd of town......

Anyways, as the story goes the transposed couple bought a large hunk of property that was on the hill overlooking the town and the beautiful Lake Patzcuaro. You know, Patzcuaro is a magical place to visit and wallow in.

The property was about 15 acres or so and Willard and company built a home... and life was good. His wife was seen zipping around town and roads in her Healthmobile....children were saved.... Pays to advertise I guess.
Willard sashayed around town and was invited for coffee a lot.

Then something happened.

Willard and his love called it quits. She moved back to LA.
From the chisme, it was a surprise to Willard. It would not be the first surprise to Willard.

The next surprise was that the land was sold, and his bank account was no longer full of pesos.

Since the land was bought by a developer who built some nice view lot homes with lake views..... Willard's home was not one of them. In fact Willard had no home at all. The property had Lots of lots. Just not Willards.... Willard was heartbroken and penniless.

Good Gringos near and far around Patzcuaro provided shelter and occasional sustenance.

So Willard wandered around town occasionally finding a new Gringo to sponsor some coffee, perhaps a lunch.

Then the crowning blow was that Willard didn't even have his social security check.

He was really penniless and homeless.

The last time I saw Willard he was sitting in front of one of our hotels, bestowing the stories of Patzcuaro to visiting Gringos. They probably sponsored his lunch, in exchange for local information. Remember Willard had ambassadorial skills.....

A few months later I heard that Willard became ill and succumbed to a cold and lonely Patzcuaro.

Patzcuaro lost it's ambassador and gained another story.

The tale of Willard and his woes will pass on for awhile.

Until a new story develops.


Felipe said...

Yes, Willard has died, not that long ago either. I didn´t know so many details of his story, however.

But listen here! I like Birkenstocks. I used to own a pair, much to the embarrassment of my second ex-wife. Now I have two pairs of Crocs, and my lovely wife has one pair. Crocs, of course, are the new Birkenstocks.

Don Cuevas said...

So, that's the story behind the story.

I lent that guy $100 can guess the rest.

Don Cuevas

Tancho said...

I think he died around March or so, I quit seeing him around town about then...
Oh No, Felipe, Crocs are not the new Birks...Crocs are made from plastics, from oil....etc..Birks are from renewable resources...
You would never fit in , in that commune....

Don Cuevas,
I didn't know you were that easy of a touch...
I guess, you learned your lesson, or can I have 100 pesos?

JerryL said...

So, you thought life is rosy in Patzcuaro? I would love to hear more Gringo gossip.

Steve Cotton said...

Nice tale. But not gossip. This is the very essence of Faulkner and Waugh. Of course, their stories are merely gossip on steroids.

Leslie Limon said...

What a very sad ending to Willard's tale.

One thing I have noticed, from my experience in Hubby's shop, is that the men always have much juicier chisme. But according to them they're not a bunch of chismosos, they're just reporting local news! :)

Don Cuevas said...

JerryL wrote:
"So, you thought life is rosy in Patzcuaro?"

Who gave you that idea?

Don Cuevas

norm said...

Go over to for a good wool over the eyes story

Tancho said...

Jerry... you should read the stories of the "Dark Side of Mexico" from Felipe's blog, click on the listing in the main section of this story...
Leslie....Men gossiping more?

Nahh, I don't think so.....
But there are more stories from here, I just don't know if they will be appreciated by the living....
I'll have to wait awhile.