Lokkal- todo SMA
It Is An Honor to be Your Friend

by Joseph Toone

Yesterday childhood pal sent me a photo of a note my mother wrote decades ago. He came upon the note going through his mother’s effects following her recent death. His Mom and mine were themselves 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 photo of the note to my own pals accompanied with my own note about something nice about each of them. 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. She was already then in her late 70s and walking with a cane. Still, surprisingly, she wanted to take dance lessons from me. Knowing she’d not be able to keep pace in any of my already existing classes, even the ones for seniors, I offered her sessions at her own pace 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 wanted to join us.

Sure, on the surface, it sounds like a good deal for her, but really it was I who 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. But all the days were wonderful as we’d cha cha to Banarama or walk our boots to Nancy Sinatra.

It was Lupita that got me to dabble in painting. At first, I hesitated knowing drawing was the only class in my school years I didn’t ace. “No importa!” she stressed. 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 to 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 and 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 opportunities 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, as 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 Amazon's bestselling author of the San Miguel de Allende Secrets series of books and TripAdvisor's best rated historical walking tour guide. For more information contact toone.joseph@yahoo.com or visit History and Culture Walking Tours or JosephTooneTours.com, also on FaceBook.

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