Monday, January 12, 2004


Our friends Jens and Rita are winging there way back to Germany right now. They were in Mexico for vacation and I hooked up with them for the last leg of their trip a week ago.

I met them in Morelia (which is lovely) and we went to the humping grounds of the monarch butterflies. Get a picture in your head of the largest number of butterflies you can imagine. Got it? Now imagine that a billion more crammed into the picture. It was really cool, especially if you find butterflies or large numbers of critters interesting.

We then went to Patzcuaro, which is one of my favorite places in the world.

Then we came back to Guad, changed clothes, and went to the beach at Cuyutlan. Nice, but I had too much to drink and argued politics with the owner. We moved on to Barra de Navidad, which rocked. We ate in a restaurant on the lagoon and there were loads of those spiky poisonous puffer fish swimming around. A fisherman kept accidentally catching them in his net and they puffed up and floated while he tried to (gently) get them out of his net without getting stuck.

Then we came back to Guad and hung around. Last night we cooked red snapper (mmmmmm, and cheap here) and clams.

Good ole Rita and Jens! Hurrah!

This afternoon they bought a replica jersey from a Mexican soccer team sponsored by a bread company called Bimbo. So now I have a soccer jersey with BIMBO in bright red letters on the front. I win.

While I was off enjoying myself, Scott posted a rather impressive list of famous people he has been at least near. I mentioned that I once complimented Eddie Money and was thanked for my effort. I have met other famous people, though.

When I was at Southern Miss, I worked for a year with Dr Marjorie Spruill (Wheeler then) organizing the university lecture series. Part of my job was to go fetch the speakers from the airport, so I was able to have decent contact with several semi-famous people including Clarence Page, Russell Means, and Morris Dees.

I also met Susan Faludi (I'm tired of links already: she is a writer), Betty Shabazz (widow of Malcolm X), and Nelson Mandela's daughter (name escapes me) that way.

Also at USM, I met Kwame Ture (Stokley Carmichael). I blogged on that below.

Also at USM, a girl asked me about my Allman Brothers t-shirt. I said I liked them and that they were really good and she should check them out. Turns out her uncle was Jaimo (one of the drummers) and she couldn't believe someone my age liked them.

In high school I asked a question of my senator, Howell Heflin, regarding campaign financing and he was forced to hem and haw. I said "Guten Morgen, Herr Doktor Kinkel" to the German Foreign Minister (under Kohl) back when I was working in Bonn and he said "backatcha!" to me. Around the same time, I met (and sang a song with) German folk singer Heino (who is so cheesy as to be worth a link).

I saw former Major League Baseball star Willie McGee in the St. Louis airport once. I said "Excuse me, sir. Are you Willie McGee?" He said "Not today, man, sorry" and walked away. I thought "Wait a minute! The Cardinals have a game in Chicago this afternoon! Why is he still in St. Louis?" (that was back when I knew on any given day where my Cubs were and who they were playing against). I later learned that he had just been traded to Oakland and he probably wasn't too happy about it.

That same day, I heard Umpire Dana Demuth paged.

I later met Harry Caray and got his autograph. I've also met Steve Garvey.

Scott and I both dated a girl whose sister's friend dated Harry Connick Jr.

I met and got autographs from the members of Ladysmith Black Mambazzo.

And, of course, one of my goodest buddies is Mama.


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