Bestbird Page Thirteen:
Losses 12, gains 3 - gains win: (14 Feb 2000) One of these days, I may put a link here to a page, complete with appropriate background music, that gives a succinct explanation of why, on a scale balancing the joys against the regrets in re my tropical adventure, the fulfilling events, though limited in number, outweigh the rued events of a greater number; but, on the other hand, I may not. Anyway, Long Live Belize and Viva San Pedro. (25 Oct 2000) Well, as is disclosed in the last paragraph of this page, I did make a somewhat belated return to San Pedro; and, in that paragraph, I have given all the clues I'm gonna give about why the fulfilling events outweigh the rued. Therefore, taking the risk of annoying my dear readers, I went ahead (today) and added the background music. (01 Nov 2000) I nearly forgot to tell you that the background music is the golden oldie that I used to blare out with my baritone horn (during festivities at the San Pedro Lion's Den) on the stroke of midnight of more than one December 31st. The tale of the horn and my lost embouchure is better told elsewhere, if at all.
Did he ever return? - Not yet: (23 Feb 2000) Later, I'll say a few words here about why I haven't returned to San Pedro - yet. But right now, I would like for your to hear the music and sing along with the words to a golden oldie which is appropriate to the title of this paragraph. The chorus of the tune begins, "Did he ever return? No, he never returned, and his fate is still unlearned ..." - which brings to mind the old story about the Down East gentleman who, while sitting on his front porch and whittling on a stick, was asked by a passing stranger, "Have you lived here all of your life?". The reply: "Not yet." Anyway, here's Charley on the MTA.
Swan song: (02 Mar 2000) Even though I have not made all the entries I plan to make on all the pages in Bestbird, a task which (as I just told Susan) I'm going to finish before I die even if it kills me, I'm going to say now those "few words" I promised you in the last paragraph and say something about the lack of a return. I ain't the same, San Pedro ain't the same, and, as they used to say in Oklahoma, "The trail's too long and snaky." Besides that, there are no VA hospitals in Belize. George M. Cohan gave his regards to Broadway, please give mine to each Front Street - to the one in Belize City and, even more so to the one in San Pedro - that last one can be renamed and paved, implanted with parking meters and street lights, and emblazoned with neon signs and golden arches, but it will always be with me the way it was. San Pedro, thanks for the good times.
I said I'd be right back: (17 Oct 2000) When I left, I said I'd be right back and natives of the Red River Valley are of the truth-telling tribe. So, I did go right back - on August 9, 2000. I count it as being right back because it was only a little more than thirteen years since I had departed for what I feared would be the last time. My long overdue visit, which was made through the largesse of a semi-secret benefactor, was (I presume) more appreciated by the San Pedranos than another long overdue visit - the latter visit being made by Hurricane Keith which blew into town only a little more than a month after I did. The pain to San Pedranos caused by that bigger wind bag will be, I am sure, fully described (with articles and photos) in links to be found on the Ambergris Caye, Belize web site. (18 Oct 2000) The changes in the island made while I was gone were expected, but still startling enough to give me some culture shock when I first arrived - in the last day of a week long rainy spell which caused the streets to become much muddier than they used to get during heavy rains. I suspect that the condition of the streets (which, with thanks from me, remained unpaved even though they were renamed) was the result of continuous (and continuous is the correct word; continual doesn't do the job) stream of traffic by taxis and golf carts, of which there seemed to be more in 2000 than there were people in 1987. The other changes to San Pedro will not be described here. This is because of my fear that such a description might give some old and dear friends the impression that my love for their Isla Bonita has waned. But, being wishy-washy again, I can't help mentioning that the old, quaint, movie house across from the park is now an establishment called "Tarzan's Discotheque" and that, although there were no paved parking lots or golden arches, there was a casino. The visit (mine, not Keith's) was much enjoyed by me in spite of its physical toll on these old bones, what with flying from Houston to Belize via Miami in the dead of night, trudging around town in the sand or mud for eight days, and making a return flight back to Houston via Dallas in the dead of night; that, my friends, means the trip included not only navigating a tropical island for eight days (during the first two of which, many Belikin Beers were forced upon me) but also navigating six, count them, six international airports and all the rigors each of them presented. For instance, in Dallas, I was subjected to a "random" special inspection which nearly caused me to miss the continuing flight (same plane) on to Houston; this "random" deal caused me to wonder if I fit some sort of profile, being that I am semi-dark and sported a two-toned beard, a pony tail, a dirty t-shirt, and a pair of flip-flops. Nah! (19 Oct 2000) But, the enjoyment of the visit far outweighed the drudgery and hassles. That enjoyment was not in what I did there, but, rather, in the visits, short and long, that I had with my dear old amigos and acquaintances - what a pleasure it was to see the grins on their faces as they (sometimes slowly) recognized me in spite of my more weather-beaten countenance with its new beard and pony tail and of my wearing touristy flip-flops where my bare feet should be. And, with the dearest amigos, the old rapport was still there as if I had never been away. So, I guess you've figured out by now that, when I titled these Bestbird pages "This crowd ain't fair." - I referred not to those San Pedro amigos and acquaintances (including a few gringos who were thought of and appreciated by all as being true San Pedanos by adoption) but, rather, to some others of the gringo ilk who know who they are and about whom there is nothing of worth to speak further. In closing these Bestbird pages, I have to keep reminding myself that I'm glad I'm not young anymore. That's because I sometimes have the disturbing wish that I were young enough to have an adventure like the one related in these pages and a chance to make friendships like those made during those times.
Viva San Pedro!
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