W hen I chose 'Twenty- Five Years Ago" as the title of my column in the San Pedro Sun, Victoria Collins kindly suggested that I could write history and customs and anecdotes of the San Pedro I heartily remembered. She suggested that I could write of events and the lives of San Pedranos that helped to mold San Pedro into the community that it is today. And that is exactly what I have done.
But today I have a very personal one as I recall that 25 years ago at this time, I was a happy single man, 23 years old, with two years in the teaching profession and with great expectations of what lay ahead. On Tuesday, December 15th, my wife and I will be celebrating 25 years of married life, an experience that has been exciting, rewarding, and so pleasant that it seems it happened only a few years ago.
My buddies used to be Adolfo Ayuso (deceased),- Felipe Ancona, Manuel Heredia, Roberto Bradley, Norman Eiley, Nando Trejo among many others. Ligia's buddies were Helen Paz, Ermita Castillo, Melly Graniel, Diana Halliday, Nellie Gomez, Nancy Pech among many others. We are thankful for our "Padrinos", Chico and Addy Gomez, who have themselves been very good examples in our lives. We cannot forget that the first two classes of the high school sang at our wedding mass. There were youngsters like Mito Paz, Abel Guerrero, Sony Vasquez, Landy Trejo, Clarita Paz, Odilia Salazar, Lydia Lavin. Efrain Guerrero among many others. Our church, the town hall, was the first ever to have a red carpet, courtesy of the high school.
Father Raszkowski, who had baptized both of us, was the celebrant of our mass and Wil Nuñez was the guitarist and music director. We are grateful to Norman Eiley, Dimas Guerrero and Genaro Nuñez (deceased) for the arrangements at the reception. How can we forget "Los Malos", the one and only musical group and one of which I had been a member also as the bass player. Los Malos charged us $50, unlimited time, and the party went until 3:00 a.ni, at Los Marinos Bar and Dance Hall. For our small population then, 30 casesof Belikin was more than enough, and even though beer sold at $12 a case, I thought I was overspending somewhat. Our champagne came from Chetumal (no customs then) and only cost $4 for a two liter bottle. Addy purchased all the hors d'oeuvres (bocas) from Belize City and my sister Ani Eiley and Mrs. Staines baked the turkeys and pork legs (grateful to them too). Since there were no photographers on the island, my cousin Celina Nuniez from Belize City was our official photographer. Frank Nuñez gave the toast and we danced and celebrated until 3:00 a.m. We gave away napkins and stirrers with our names engraved on them. Our honeymoon suite was a small house that my dad let us use then and for over two years when we started working on our own. Ligia was working at Coral Beach Group as a receptionist and ticket vender for Maya Airline and had to report to work on Monday, December 17th. I had started my vacation and was able to stay home and practice my cooking skills.
Indeed our entire 25 years has seemed a long honeymoon. God has blessed us with good health, two wonderful children, great relatives and family, small problems that we have solved together and tons of friends. Ligia and I are both grateful to everyone that has been a part of our lives and have made our journey a pleasant one. The cost of living has tripled since then, but we feel that our love has multiplied by 25 times. We take this opportunity to say "gracias" to our many friends and relatives as we prepare with hope and expectations for the next 25 years ahead.