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THE WORST DAY

EVERYDAY STARTS AS A 10

THE WORST DAY

Originally Published the Week of June 9, 2022

 

What’s that saying?

A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work?

I don’t know who came up with that, but that’s a load.  Being in the fishing industry now for many many decades, a bad day fishing is just a bad day. 

Maybe not in the grand scheme of things, it’s not as terrible as say, losing your wallet or forgetting your anniversary, but you gotta admit, it’s a major disappointment.

From the standpoint of someone who runs a fishing operation, a client who comes back from fishing with zero fish may seem ambivalent.  But, you know they are disappointed.  I take it personally.  I feel like it’s MY fault.

My old Catholic School upbringing drops a load of guilt on me, as if I was to blame that the weather didn’t cooperate.  Or it’s my fault the bait was bad or the clients used the wrong lures. 

It is what it is.

Fortunately, down here in Baja, tomorrow can turn into a banner day which somewhat helps to alleviate the current angst.  There is always hope.

There was a time in my life, however, when a bad day for me on the water was the end of civilization as we know it.  If I came off the water after a bad day watch out!

It could be a day when I didn’t catch fish.  Or someone caught more or bigger fish than me.   My competitive streak was all puckered.

Grumpy is an understatement.  I would be fist-shaking-mad at the cosmos for daring to hand me such fate as a bad day of fishing.  Personally insulted and inconsolable.

Fortune-cookie sayings like “A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work” or “It’s fishing not catching” be damned.  A bad day is a bad day.  I should have gone to work.

That is, until I got on the water again and the fish started biting.  And just like that the world would right itself on an even keel.  

Funny how fishermen can be like that.  Guilty as charged.

 

But, I don’t think I’m that guy anymore.

I have good days.  And I have not-so-good-days.  But, I haven’t had a bad day in years.

Everyday is an 11.  Or a 10 at worst.

Even when I don’t catch fish.  Or someone catches more and bigger fish.

I’ve become quite content to let my wife catch more and bigger fish.  Or the kids.  Or whomever is on the boat with me.

Every day is a blessing and I appreciate just being out on the water. 

It’s so much more fun to watch everyone else have fun. It’s like going to Disneyland of the beach too often.  It can get old.

 And then one day, you bring the grandkids for the first time.  The magic comes back.  It’s brand new again.

Or it’s you and a buddy NOT catching any fish, but still kicking back with a cold one and just laughing and talking.  Some of the BEST talks!

And then there are the days when I’m alone on the water.  Just me.  No clients.  No kids.  No fishing buddy. 

No hooks to tie.  No one needs their backlashes untangled or hooks baited.  No one forgot their sunscreen.

Just me and the captain.

And the fish just aren’t having any of it.

Simple conversation.

The sunrise. 

The sound of the water under the bow.

The sun on my face and the taste of salt spray on my lips. 

My hand trailing in the water.

The homemade burritos just taste so much better and the beer in the ice chest just burns the back of my throat from that first icy chug.

Maybe a quick doze to the rhythm of the motor as we troll.

A cellphone that has zero bars of signal.

Bare feet and happy toes on the warm deck.

My worst day just ain’t that bad anymore.

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

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STOCK PRICES ON Q-TIPS DROP

STOCK PRICES ON Q-TIPS DROP

Originally Published the Week of June 12, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

I’m joking, but would not be surprised.

No more covid tests to return to the U.S.  No more of those intrusive “nose probes” with the Q-tips to the back of your brain.

As of midnight Sunday June 12, one of the last vestiges and barriers to travel finally fell.  It’s long overdue, but it’s about time.

For last two years, travelers heading back on international flights to the U.S. have been required to obtain a negative covid test in order to enter the country.

Initially, it required one to go find a testing facility. And this had to be done within 72 hours of the flight back into the U.S. 

As onerous and burdensome as that may have been, the U.S. raised the barrier even higher last November.  Although covid rates had been dropping along with all the protocols, the CDC feared the ominous head of the Omicron virus.

 

So, they removed the 72-hour testing requirement and made it even more difficult.  Folks had to get a test within 24 hours of their international flights back to the U.S.

 

Insofar as tourist destinations in Mexico were already reeling from Covid in 2020 when everything was shut down, it was just starting to get back on it’s feet when the testing was initially implemented.

 

It sent the tourism section of Mexico into a mad scramble to set up testing facilities or find ways to get tests for guests.  It further  had to  assure prospective visitors that it would be easy to obtain.

 

Test facilities were set up at major airports.  Labs popped up everywhere including mobile labs willing to visit hotels to accommodate the demands.

 

Mexico desperately needed to keep the tourists coming back.  It was just getting back a head of steam when the initial testing requirements were implemented.

 

I remember many people suddenly curtailing their vacations and hastily exiting the country when testing started.  

 

And what if you tested positive?   New protocols had to be implemented as well.

 

Ultimately, what a fiasco.  Even moreso when the requirements were increased from 72 to 24 hours before the flight.

 

Of the zillions of folks that came through Cabo Airport alone, barely a handful tested positive and, according to statistics, most were false positives.

 

There was a lot of money to be made by sticking that q-tip up people’s noses.  The tests ranged from 20 dollars to over 100 dollars in costs.

 

Once you took the test, you either had to get a printed copy of the results. Or, one had to get their results on their cellphone.

 

These results had to be taken to the airport.  Every time I went to the airport, my personal observation was that the airlines or health inspectors just gave it a cursory look and directed you to the boarding gate.  No big deal.

 

Believe me, Mexico didn’t want you hanging around with covid either false positive or not.  In fact, you were able to obtain a new test within 24 hours. 

 

As soon as you were negative…off you go!  Adios and please come back again soon.  Sorry for the inconvenience, but it’s YOUR country doing this not Mexico.

 

Also, there were ways around the requirements.

 

I know of some labs that would “guarantee” whatever result you wanted. 

 

Definitely need to get home and work?  No problem, we’ll guarantee a negative test result.

 

Want to stay a few days with a good excuse?  No problem, we’ll guarantee a positive result.

 

Also, this only applied to international flights.

 

Many travelers to Baja, for example, cross the border and fly from Tijuana to their Mexican destinations.  Those are DOMESTIC flights. 

 

Therefore, on the return, they fly BACK to Tijuana and walk, drive back across the border.  No testing required.  No international flight was involved.

 

I had also heard stories of folks who tested positive (with no symptoms) deciding they were NOT going to return to their hotel rooms.  They had to get home.

 

Simple solution.  They flew to Tijuana and easily crossed the border and found a U.S flight home.

 

So…bottom line.  Just like masks.

 

No more testing required.  For now.

 

The CDC says it reserves the right to monitor things and see is some new and crazier viral strain returns.  We’ll see.

 

For now, no tests to come down here.  No testing to leave!

 

That’s my story

Jonathan

______________

 

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

 

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

 

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

 

_____________

 

 

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

 

 

Website:

 

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

 

 

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942
 
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

 

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

 

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

 

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

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WHERE’S THE BEEF?

MEXICAN BEEF SURPRISES MANY

A couple of years ago, I had some fishing clients come down to fish with us here in La Paz with our fleet.  It was their first trip.

Now, let me post a little background. 

It wasn’t just their first trip to Mexico.  This was their first trip out of the U.S.

After meeting them, I can only imagine the trepidation they experienced deciding to try Mexico.

You and I have travelled all over.  No biggie.  Many folks have not.  I often forget that!

It was obvious from the first evening they arrived off the plane and we greeted them.  They were smiley and friendly, but you could tell there was a level of anxiety and nervousness.

Maybe in the way they would smile, but their eyes darted around.  Or the way they were checking things out.  And the questions they asked.

It was almost like they couldn’t believe they were here.  Or that it was a modern as it was.  Or that we had all the amenities like electricity and had discovered the use of the wheel.  And fire.

Not sure where they had gotten their info or what they must have been reading or envisioned, but I think they half expected open desert and donkey carts when they got here. 

After getting them to their hotel, the first thing they wanted was for me to direct them to a local supermarket.  Understandably, they wanted to do some shopping for their stay with us.  

Not unusual. So, I had one of our drivers take them over to the little neighborhood grocery store a few blocks away.

I figured, that like many of our visitors, they wanted to pick up ice, munchies, beers, etc. for their room and for on the boat while fishing.

I was surprised with what they brought back. 

In addition to the bags of chips and junk food, they came back with bread, cold cuts, condiments, lettuce, tomatoes, peanut butter and jelly.   Lots of it.  And cases of water.

Here’s where I heard the kicker…

They were apparently planning to eat in their hotel room each day. 

Despite the fact that we provided breakfast and lunches on their fishing days…Despite all the restaurants they had passed by on the way to the airport…Despite a perfectly good restaurant in the the hotel…

They planned to eat in their room each day.

From the horror stories they had apparently been reading, they didn’t trust the food or water in Mexico. 

They were gonna wash their faces and brush their teeth with bottled water. Even in their modern hotel, they weren’t taking chances on faucet water. 

(Were they also planning to shower in bottled water? I never asked.  But it begged the question!)

On the way from the airport, they didn’t see the nice restaurants.  They saw ramshackle (in their minds) taco stands on the side of the road with scruffy plastic tables and chairs. 

They saw food vendors on street corners selling hot dogs, tacos, corn and other things from carts and make-shift bicycles.

mx-drought (1)

And, they saw the cattle roaming the side of the highway.  The cows were emaciated and skeletal.

Thank you and muchas gracias, but they were having none of that.  They were gonna fish and eat sandwiches in their room and go home without any intestinal troubles!

After a sigh and trying to hide my rolling of the eyes, I had to do some explaining.

I told them I could understand buying lots of water.  You want to stay hydrated.  But the hotel water was fine to wash and brush with. 

It was even safe to drink.  However, like most city waters, it just didn’t taste real great.  So, all of us drink bottled water just like up in the U.S.

As far as food and meat, local food was great.  It’s part of the fun of travelling.

If they had doubts, just eat where they saw other people eating.  Or, if they were really nervous, eat where they saw other gringos eating.   That’s the best test of any eatery including street vendors and side-of-the-road stands.

The rule works all over the world.

I explained to them that vegetables and meat, gets inspected like everywhere else.  And I had to tell them, the cattle they see next to the highway is NOT the meat that gets into tacos and dinner plates.

The cattle is free-range cattle that land owners must have on vacant property.  Those animals pretty much forage around and that’s why they look so bedraggled and poor.

Mexican meat, especially beef is often some of the best meat around.  I’ve had some that rivals the beef we get in Texas where we have our U.S. home.  In fact, Mexico is the 7th largest meat producer in the world and the U.S. imports a surprising amount of Mexican beef.  

Often it’s grass-fed cattle from the Mexican state of Sonora which is famous for their beef in the same way salmon from Alaska or the Pacific Northwest or lobster from Maine has an international reputation.

Despite my explanations.  They remained skeptical.

Indeed, they did make sandwiches, but by the end of the week, they came out’ve their culinary shells a bit. At least were eating at the hotel restaurant, although I did see them fishing the ice cubes out’ve their drinks.

(Obviously, the ice cubes “might” be made with unfiltered water. Melted ice was OK, however.)

And presumably, they were brushing their teeth and taking showers!

Can’t convince them all!

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

Read Full Post »

EVERYONE GETS A MEDAL

Getting ready for the real world!

EVERYONE GETS A MEDAL

Originally Published the Week of May 3, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

Jill just sent me an article that had me scratching my head. It’s about new reforms in the Mexican educational system.

The Mexican federal government is implementing a big overhaul of the education curriculum. Prima facia, it will flip education on it’s head down here.

It’s not like Mexico’s education system is that stellar to begin with. Students have already been additionally handicapped by the last 2 years of closed classrooms and intermittent internet-based learning.

It’s only in the planning stages, but when started, the new programs will scrap current text books “because they promote neoliberal concepts.” That’s from the Ministry of Public Education.
Instead of competing, the new educational model wants to stress that students “share.” Instead of competition, which essentially pits students against each other, the emphasis will be on “sharing and the common good.”

I’m not smart enough to know what “neoliberalism” is so I had to look it up.
Here’s what I found: “Neoliberalism, or neo-liberalism, is a term used to describe the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with free-market capitalism.”

Hmmmm…..

I don’t remember enough from my college Civics and Political Science Courses or I wasn’t listening that day. I probably was watching the girls in tube tops throwing Frisbees on the college commons or something.

But, that sounds (dare I say) “socialistic?” I’m sure someone will send me an e-mail correcting me.

According to the plan, students won’t have to sit for standardized tests any longer either. Those are too competitive as well as “racist, colonial,” “elitist” and promote “segregation.”

Those tests are used to evaluate students ability in math, science and reading.

The new curriculum has been described as “humanist” and “libertarian.” Lots of big words today for our vocabulary enrichment.

Mexican President Lopez Obrador backs the new program and says the new curriculum will make the students “good citizens.” He believes the current programs results in dehumanized and selfish individuals. He’s on a mission to eradicate all indicia of neoliberalism. One of his pet peeves apparently.

A good number of professional educators and academics in Mexico aren’t terrifically enamored with the new proposals. It’s causing some raised eye-brows and head scratching for sure.

As one educator was quoted, he surmised that the President was treating everything that came before as “neoliberalism.” There’s that word again.

Just a snippet of news from Mexico.

Looks like everyone will be getting “participation” and “self esteem” medals.   Perfect preparation for the future.

shutterstock_709210

That’s my story!

Jonathan

____________________

Jonathan has been writing the Baja Column for Western Outdoor News since 2004. He lives in La Paz with his best fishing buddy and wife, Jilly, where they run their Tailhunter Sportfishing Fleet for almost 30 years as well as their Tailhunter Sea Level Restaurant on the La Paz waterfront Malecon. If you’re in town, stop and say hi!)

____________________

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter Sportfishing
http://www.tailhunter.com

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

U.S. Mailing Address: Tailhunter Sportfishing

8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA 91942

Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

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GROUND ZERO MEXICAN STREET CORN

HE’s DA MAN! Senor Elote…the Street Corn Guy!

GROUND ZERO MEXICAN STREET CORN

Originally Published the Week of April 15, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

Food trends come and go.  The newest tastiest thing that seems to pervade every menu in some way, shape or form.  The come.  They go.  Some stick around.  Some don’t.

         Fried mozzarella cheese sticks

         Sushi and Hawaiian Poke

         Deep-fried ice cream

         Garlic truffle fries

         Dim sum

         Ramen

         Spam

         Fried Calamari

         Everyone has them in places you wouldn’t normally expect it.  French restaurants putting their own spin on raw fish.  Asian eateries with fried cheese sticks in spicy ponzu sauce and even Spam dishes.  Mexican cantinas with nacho fries.

         Many of these things aren’t “new” per se.  They were just “discovered” by the culinary world and blew up everywhere.

         For instance, I remember eating cold raw fish and marinated fish as a kid in Hawaii.  With cold rice too! 

It wasn’t “gourmet” back then.   It was cold because we didn’t have propane for cooking.  Couldn’t cook!

Just the way it was.  We used lots of soy sauce to flavor everything!

         Years ago, our restaurant in La Paz was the first and only place that served Hawaiian-style poke…fresh chunks of fish marinated and served cold with soy, ginger, sugar, sesame and minced onions. 

         Now, I’ve lost count of the restaurants that serve some variation of it in our city.  Oh well.  I guess imitation is the best form of flattery.

         And, now, the hot new things seems to be “Mexican Street Corn.”  I saw it everywhere the last 3 months travelling in the U.S.  From Texas to Washington State and Wyoming to California.  Menus in diners in roadside truck stops as well as  menus in fine eateries in big cities. 

         I can’t say I blame ‘em.  Not everyone might like fried cheese, or raw fish or garlic on anything. But, it’s a rare person that doesn’t like sweet hot corn.

         In La Paz, where we live, it’s a go-to snack late at night.  A big order can be a whole meal.  And it’s cheap.  If I were still a college kid, instead of all that ramen I ate, I could very well get by with a big cup hot of Mexican street corn.

         Most of the guys in our local neighborhood ride “bike carts” to sell their “Elote.” (corn).  The Elotero’s bike cart is usually a jimmied-together reverse tricycle with one big wheel in the back and two forward supporting a platform and often an awning.

         These eloteros usually come out as it gets dark and set up on a street corner somewhere.  Lines can form quickly. 

         For the more popular carts, it’s not unusual for lines to remain well into the night.  Just like as kids we would hit Jack-in-the-Box or Denny’s after a night partying, a big cup of steaming sweet corn is perfect before heading home.

         Step up and tell the elotero if you want a big cup or small cup. 

         He’ll grab a Styrofoam cup and ladle in some hot kernels from the big pot or basin on his bike.  He fills it about ½ up.

         Then, some thick white Mexican crema.  Mexico’s version of sour cream.

         Then a squirt of Valentina salsa similar to tangy Tobasco.

         Then more corn on top of that.

         Top it with more cream.  Another squirt of Valentina. 

Then a sprinkle of chili powder.  Then a spoonful of salty cotija cheese.  Very much like sprinkling parmesan on your pasta.

Esquites-1

Layer after layer of yumminess.

         He hands you a spoon and a napkin and off you go with your Mexican street corn goodness!  The newer places will also have a squirt of lime juice as well before you head off.

         Many times, you just stand on the street corner with everyone else or sit on the curb.  Or lean on a light pole and start spooning up the tasty concoction.   

         A big cup is maybe 2 bucks at the most.  Often cheaper.  That spare change in your pocket is enough to buy a filling meal of this good stuff.  It’s a deal.  Back in my early days, when all I had WAS pocket change, a cup-o-corn carried me through as my dinner!

         Next time you’re in Baja and wandering back to your hotel room and see the guy on the bike cart with a big vat and an “ELOTE DELICIOSO” sign lettered across it, step up for the original street treat.

That’s my story!

Jonathan

____________________

Jonathan has been writing the Baja Column for Western Outdoor News since 2004.  He lives in La Paz with his best fishing buddy and wife, Jilly, where they run their Tailhunter Sportfishing Fleet for almost 30 years as well as their Tailhunter Sea Level Restaurant on the La Paz waterfront Malecon.  If you’re in town, stop and say hi!)

____________________

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter Sportfishing
www.tailhunter.com

 

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter Sportfishing

8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942

 

Phones: 
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

 
When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

 

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BREATHING EASIER…FOR NOW

OH YEAH!!!!

BREATHING EASIER…FOR NOW

Originally Published the Week of April 25, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

         My wife and I fly a lot for work.  In the past 2 years since Covid, I’ve probably been on close to 20 flights.

         If you have flown at all during this time, you know that travel has been less than enjoyable.  Like everything else.  Rules and protocols. 

         Least of which was wearing a mask in the airport and on flights.

         I just loved being sternly reminded to pull up my mask because I absent-mindedly forgot. Some airline and airport people were unashamedly rude.  Or suddenly power-tripping!

         I get it.  But, don’t ream me.  I’ll happily pull it up or pull it outta my bag.  Chill. 

But, I guess they got a job to do too. Especially those early months when no one really knew what was going on (do we really know now?)

         Or trying to explain something at the check-in counter when you have a mask and the agent has a mask and they are sometimes also behind a plexi-glass screen. 

         Or you’re trying to tell the flight attendant that you’ll have another Coke, please.  

         Or getting stink-eye from someone at the airport or during the flight because you’ve pulled your mask off or sideways for a discreet moment to breathe or eat something.

         Frankly, I’m sure I’m hardly the first person who “pretended” to always  be sipping on water or a drink during the flight so I could keep my mask down.  My wife, Jill, became a ninja about that.

Heck a good number of other passengers had their masks below their noses! 

         But, I’m not going to debate the efficacy of mask-wearing here.  Bigger brains than mine have opined on that subject ad nauseam and can’t figure it out.

         However, this past week, I was on a flight the first morning the mask mandate was removed. 

         A federal court struck down the mandate for airports and airlines and stated that the CDC had over-reached it’s authority. 

         I was flying on May 19th and had just read about the decision the night before.  No idea when it was going to be implemented and, according to my readings, not all airlines had jumped on board.

         So, there I was the early morning of the 19th ready to pull out my mask when the P.A system for American Airlines announced “that masks were now “optional.” 

         I kid you not, there was some handclapping and fist pumping and a lot of smiles!

laguardia-jetblue-rt-ps-220419_1650386514639_hpMain_16x9_992

         I talked to the ticket agent at the counter who was literally giddy along with the other American Airlines employees.  I told her it was nice to see everyone’s faces and smiles again!

         She said they had just received their directive that morning. 

Originally, they had been told that the airlines was going to extend the mask mandate until the middle of May.   The CDC wanted the extra time to come to some decisions about some new Omicron variant.  

         But, she was happy as heck!  Everyone was.

         On the plane, there were announcements from both the flight crew as well as the captain about the repeal of the mandate.

          Again, rounds of applause and high-fiving and hoots! 

         The announcements cautioned that masks were “optional” and asked that everyone be respectful of everyone’s choices.  Everyone had their masks off, however, some older folks kept them on understandably.

         I was next to a 92 year-old-lady travelling for her birthday who was a gem.

 She was smiling the whole time, even under her mask.  She said she was happy to see everyone happy and that it seemed crazy to wear masks all the time.  However, she wanted to keep hers on because…”Well, I’m kinda old!” she laughed.

         Anyway, no one had to pretend they were eating or drinking the whole flight and it was nice to see smiling flight attendants again and interact like normal folk.

         I will tell you that when we landed in Cabo a Mexican airport agent came on and said the mask mandate at Cabo Airport was still in effect.  (Big groan).  However, the opinion is that it won’t be long-lasting and things will probably change. 

         Once out of the airport, everyone pulled their masks off again.

         There’s a few caveats.

         Private places may still require you to wear a mask.  Here in La Paz where we live, you will still see masks by employees in stores, public places and restaurants and hotels.  It’s up to the private owners. 

I only had to pull up my mask one time in the last week.   That was to go into a supermarket.

         Also, despite the repeal of the mask mandate, individual countries may still require masking up.  Depends where you’re flying.

NINTCHDBPICT000654649600

         Note also that there’s a bear on the horizon.

         The U.S. Justice Department may file an appeal against the Federal Court that made the ruling about the masks.   As I read it, the Justice Department might assert that the Federal Court ruling is erroneous because the court lacked authority or jurisdiction over the mandate.

         The Justice Department is waiting to hear from the CDC which is dealing with a possible new Omicron variant that is supposed to hit us.

         However, I think for now the horse is outta the barn.  Cat’s outta the bag.  The happy faces are back.

         Gonna enjoy breathing easier as much as I can for as long as I can.

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

Read Full Post »

YOU CAN’T GOOGLE or TRIP ADVISOR THIS

YOU CAN’T GOOGLE OR TRIP ADVISOR THIS

Originally Published the Week of Mar. 26, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

         Living in Baja, visitors often ask me some suggestions of where they can “see the real Mexico.”  They’re not interested in finding out where to go zip-lining or the cheapest place to buy a hammock or sarape.

         They want the genuine article.  The real deal.  Something not “touristy.”

         I tell them to head to church.  Preferably on a Sunday or a Saturday afternoon.

         After a momentary quizzical look, I explain that they’ll see a part of Mexico…a part of the community…a lot of history and a lot of culture if they make a visit to the local church.

         Every city or large town has a Catholic church. 

         Since the earliest days of the conquistadores and missionaries, you can pretty much find a Catholic Church somewhere in the area.  To this day, Mexico remains largely a Catholic country and the church is still the center of life…even if not everyone goes to church all the time. 

         Nevertheless, the church is still central to so much that goes on in a Mexican community.  Obviously, it’s a spiritual and religious center.

         Architecturally, it’s usually in the center of town or in a town square, park or pavilion area.

         Socially, it often remains the place where life’s milestones still take place.  Start to finish…baptism…confirmations…quincineras (sweet 16 presentations)…weddings…more baptisms…and funerals.

         So, I tell folks to head to the local church. 

         Outside, there are often street vendors in the larger cities.  It can be a hub of activity.

         Our own cathedral in La Paz is in the town square and adjacent to the town park.  There are often musicians playing.  Families picnicking.  Impromptu karaoke and bingo games.  Old men playing chess or checkers.

         Stand outside. 

         If it’s an old church, take in the architecture.  Admire the craftsmanship.  Many of these churches weren’t made with modern cranes, bulldozers and electric tools. 

         Old-fashioned human labor with hand tools.  Sweat equity for credits in heaven.  Pride in details that were meant to last for decades or centuries.

         Handmade brick and quarried stone transported maybe from many miles away with carts, wagons and mules.  In some cases, the very wooden beams inside the structure as well as the window glass was transported from Spain, not to mention statues and religious artifacts and furniture.

         The bells may have come from some faraway forge as well.  Most likely yes.

         If there’s an old cemetery nearby, well worth it to trace the history of the former priests, padres and parishioners.  It was a hard life. 

         You’ll often see short life spans.  Children and babies who died early.  Many deaths close in date could indicate a communal epidemic like measles, smallpox, dysentery or a simple flu.

         Step inside.  Remove your hat.  There might be a Mass or other event taking place.  Even if not, remember it’s still a house of worship.  Be respectful. 

         If nothing is happening, wander and gaze.  Statues, the alter, the stained glass, the wooden pews, paintings and artwork may date back decades or centuries.  They may have travelled thousands of miles to find their forever homes in this church.

         The craftsmen are long gone, but their work remains.  It’s better than any museum. 

         Imagine today, we go to Home Depot.  Get our materials.  Build a bookshelf for your home.   Never in a million years would we expect it to last for decades.  Not like these old artisans. 

         I’ve been in old Mexican churches where the walls and ceilings are still covered with the dark soot of a century or more of burning votive candles. 

         A close examination of the area around the alter shows inset graves of the old padres who once serviced their community.  The tiles show their names.

         It’s a testament to their dedication and commitment that many of them travelled from Spain or other places in Mexico to find their final resting place in the arid hard-scrabble frontier of Baja.

         If there are services taking place, many times, there can be multiple events transpiring since often, there’s only one priest or padre.  In some instances, the priest is a travel-priest doing services from town-to-town to tend to his parishioners.

         But, if you’re visiting, that’s where you’ll see the culture.

         I once came for Mass.  It was followed by a baptism.  Followed by a wedding.  Followed by a first communion of 8 and 9 year-old-kids in their little white shirts and puffy dresses.

         The whole gamut.  Proud families.  Happy couples.  Nervous youngsters.  Big days in life.  Big days in the community.  The circle of life.  The cycle of life.

         All in one place.  Just follow the sound of the bells!

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

 

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

 

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

 

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

 

_____________

 

 

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

 

 

Website:

 

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

 

 

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942
 
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

 

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

 

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

 

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

 

Read Full Post »

SHOCK and AWE

SHOCK and AWE

Originally Published the Week of Mar. 20, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

           My wife, Jill, and I have been on the road now for the better part of three months.  Every year, we drive all over the U.S. doing fishing and hunting expos drumming up business for our fishing operation in La Paz.

         We set up our booth and join many hundreds of other international outfitters, fishing guides, hunting guides, gear retailers, RV and boat sellers and others in the modern day version of the fur trapper rendezvous.  

         It’s definitely a “gathering of tribes.”  Over the course of 4 or 5 days, often tens of thousands of attendees fill the aisles.  It can be quite an event.

         As of today, we’ve been over a dozen states now.  A few more still to come.

         We’ve been through huge cities and the smallest of towns.  Towering skyscraper skylines to one-horse crossroads.  I believe we’ve already logged over 10,000 miles driving. (Not so fun watching gas prices blow up, but that’s another story!)

         In previous columns, I’ve documented the distressing amount of crime, vagrancy, squalor and trash we encountered in so many cities.  Especially along the west coast.

         Friends and other outfitters were victimized by burglaries and outright thefts of their vehicles, trailers and rigs.  One friend was carjacked at gun point by a guy running from a murder. 

         Our own rig was rendered undriveable by a break-in where the bad guys completely smashed not only our rear glass, but the whole liftgate. 

         We joke about the “Zombie Apocalypse,” but many a night none of us would leave our hotel/ motel rooms because of all the homeless folks wandering outside; sleeping in the bushes; panhandling; hustling; partying; defecating and more.

         Some of our most beautiful and favorite cities broken, ruined and abandoned except for the tattered, the homeless, the lawless, the disenfranchised of the streets.  It’s an urban landscape straight out’ve an “end of the world” sci-fi flick.

         After several weeks in these areas, it was more than disheartening and depressing.  I wasn’t alone in my assessment.

         Other outfitters, local residents and law enforcement friends echoed the same sentiments in these areas.

         There was a tacit resignation of spirit that THIS is what it’s come to.  THIS is where WE are.  THIS is how it will always be and only get worse. 

         And not a thing we can do about it.

         The whole country to hell-in-a-handbag.  

But wait…

         Then our show schedule took us inland.   Smaller shows AWAY from the big cities.  We passed through and spent more time in smaller cities and neighborhoods. 

         Back to the countryside.  Little pink houses.  Denny’s diners.  Swings and slides in town parks. Crossing guards at the elementary school.  There’s a banner about a pancake breakfast at the church. The VFW Hall has a bunch of pick-up trucks parked outside.

         Went into a grocery store in Central Oregon.  A 9-year-old boy held the door open for me and said, “after you, sir!”

Shock and awe.

         In little towns in Washington and Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico,  Colorado, Texas and Wyoming, we got “sir” and “ma’am” a lot.  And not just from kids.

         Adults you run into in the street in the normal course of a day or at our hotels addressed us similarly.  Just the way things are.   Courtesy and hospitality, that was rarely found in the big cities. 

         We had become so callous to common civility and comity that it seemed like people were going out of their way to be amiable.  But, it’s just the way people are in different spots of the country.  Or how they are brought up.

         I was brought up addressing others like that as well.  Just how I was taught.  However, when I use “sir” or “ma’am” I often get a quizzical look as if I was speaking Greek.  Some folks get offended as if I was calling them “old.”

         In these small towns and open spaces, I got a nod and smiles and friendly responses instead.

         At the shows themselves, it’s a different crowd for sure.

         At the start of the show before they let the crowds in, they play the Star Spangled Banner over the loudspeaker in these expo centers.  Everyone stops what they are doing and puts hand or hat over heart and faces the flag. 

         Many people sing out loud.  You can help smiling.  You stand up a little straighter.  I catch myself singing as well.  

         When the crowds come in..

         Again, I’m often addressed as “sir.”  After chatting with someone at our booth, it’s not uncommon for someone to thank me for taking the time to answer their questions. 

         Are you kidding me?

         I hear the word “please” a lot .

         The adults/ parents are much more blue collar.  Yes, there’s a lot of pick-up trucks and suburbans in the parking lot . A lot of baseball hats, blue jeans, camo vests and work, hiking or cowboy boots.  Men and women alike.

         Some look just like they just took off the gloves and came to the show from the ranch, farm or mechanic shop.  Moms look like they just grabbed the kids from school and are trying to get through the show before they gotta race home to cook dinner.

         In the meantime, a beer or Coke and a bag of popcorn will do, thank you very much.

         But in talking to adults and kids alike, they sound like they can fix cars and boats.  They can take out an elk at 500 yards AND carry it out on their backs.   They can run tractors and they tell you they can only come visit us in Mexico AFTER the crops come in but BEFORE hunting season starts.

         At one show on a Sunday, a family apologized to me for coming so late to the show.  Because they were at CHURCH!

         I felt like giving them all a high-five!

        At one show, I was next to a sporting goods outfitter. 

         The men, women AND kids knew how to handle guns and fishing gear and were as at adept and knowledgeable about fishing and hunting, camping and boating and off-roading as any expert. 

         It was refreshing.  It’s not hopeless.  It’s not as depressing as it seems. 

         It’s not a Normal Rockwell painting, by any stretch.  All places have their issues and problems.  I realize my view was only a tiny miniscule slice.

         But, all is not lost.  Faith renewed.

         Yes, Sir.  Yes, Ma’am. 

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter Sportfishing

Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

___________

Read Full Post »

IN YOUR FACE CABRON ADOLF

I’ve always loved history. Given a choice, history might be my favorite subject to read or study.

And I really like trivia.

I was researching some info on Mexico’s imports/ exports and came across some really interesting facts about Mexico and World War 2.

WHA???  Mexico in World War 2?  The BIG ONE?

Well, actually that was my reaction.  Complete surprise. 

I mean, when you think of the major combatants of that global conflict, you think of the U.S., England, Italy, Canada, Germany, Japan, Russia.  All the main players, right?

And, of course, pretty much the rest of the world from the Philippines to Finland and Algiers to Australia.

Mexico doesn’t exactly come to mind.

And, you probably wouldn’t believe that Mexico was an ally to the United States.  That’s not a partnership that generally pops to the forefront of historical discussion.

But, yes, Mexico absolutely stuck one in the eye of the Axis powers.

Even before the U.S. was thrust into the war with the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, countries had a strong foreboding of impending conflict.

Fortuitously, Mexico and the U.S. settled the usual border tensions with reciprocal trade agreements whereby Mexico continued to supply raw materials to the United States. Conversely, the U.S. helped stabilize the peso and Mexican economy by-way-of-long term loans as well as military aid for the Mexican military.

When Pearl Harbor was attacked in December 1942, Mexico terminated all relations with the Axis powers.  It was one of the first countries to show support for the U.S.   It also closed all of it’s ports to Germany thereby securing the Gulf of Mexico for the U.S.

The Mexican people were initially very reluctant and adamant about joining in the armed conflict.

However, that changed several months later in May of 1942.  German U-boats torpedoed two Mexican tankers in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hitler was unrepentant about the attacks.

And Mexico took the gloves off.

Mexico declared war on the Axis.  It also urged other Latin American countries to follow suit.

Mexico instituted nation military service as well as civil defense.  However, it’s main contribution to the war was the continued steady supply of raw materials to the U.S. war effort.

As much as 40% of the raw material for the American war machine came from Mexico.

Moreso, although most other Latin American countries sided with the allies, only Mexico and Brazil sent armed combatants to the front.  

At the invitation of the U.S. Mexico put together a special combat team of airmen.  The Mexican President Manuel Comacho gathered up more than 300 volunteers including more than 30 hand-picked experienced pilots and the rest veteran groundcrew.

After receiving extensive combat training in Texas and Idaho, the “Aztec Eagles” were dubbed the “201st Fighter Squadron” and attached to the American 58th Fighter Group.

Flying P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Aircraft, the “Pancho Pistolas” were deployed to the Philippines and flogged more than 1900 hours of flight time and 795 combat sorties.  Their bombing runs and attacks were instrumental in helping push the Japanese off the islands of Formosa and Luzon in some of the toughest fighting in the Pacific.

Eight of the pilots were killed.  One was shot down. One crashed.  Three others ran out’ve fuel over the ocean and lost at sea.  Three others died in training.

Their ground crews were also involved in ground combat on  several occasions. 

According to Wikipedia, “The 201st Mexican Squadron was given credit for putting out of action about 30,000 Japanese troops [4] and the destruction of enemy held-buildings, vehicles, tanks, anti-aircraft guns, machine guns emplacements and ammunition depots.”

After the war, they returned to Mexico to a hero’s welcome.  A number of the pilots ended up becoming generals in the Mexican Air Force in later years.  

The Aztec Eagle’s squadron remains active today.  It is the only military unit from Mexico to engage in combat outside it’s borders.

In addition to the pilots, Mexico contributed in other ways. 

Although it was adamant about sending ground trips, Mexico did allow the United States to recruit Mexicans to the American Army. Between 1942 and and 1943 almost 7,000 Mexicans volunteered to fight for the the U.S.  In fact, the embassy was so overrun they had to close.

Nevertheless, somewhere estimates of 15,000 to 400,000 Mexican-born troops enlisted.  Statistics are not clear.  However, almost 2,000 would become casualties.

Many were decorated and four who were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor during combat in the European and Pacific Theaters of war.

Viva Mexico, Cabrones!

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004. Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico http://www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront. If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi. It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

Read Full Post »

PARTY LIKE IT’s 2019

WELCOME NEW ARRIVALS! ENJOY YOUR VACATION!

PARTY LIKE IT’S 2019

Originally Published the Week of Jan. 26, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

          Well…check any source and you’ll find that the number one travel destination since covid started is (drumroll)…MEXICO!

         This is not just for Americans.  It’s apparently the top spot for the whole world.

         It’s pretty easy to get to, especially for Americans. There’s lots of flights. Or you can drive or jump a cruise ship.

          It’s pretty economic.  Foreign currency against the Mexican peso is pretty strong.  For Americans, the dollar is huge.  It’s 20 pesos to the U.S. dollar.  International money goes a lot further than in many other countries.

          It’s easy to come home. That’s pretty important.  When you’re ready to come home…you come home!

           Your chances of getting stranded there are pretty slim because of Covid.  Your own country might put the pinch on you, but not Mexico.  

          In fact, there have been some new changes in Mexican restrictions.

          As of this month, Mexico has completely dropped all entry requirements.  Gone!  Deleted! You are welcomed with open arms.

          You can argue whether that is good or bad, but it is what it is. I make no judgements.  Don’t kill the messenger.

          However, borders are now open.  In fact, many would ventur that they were never really closed at all. It was pretty leaky.

          You also no longer have to fill out either the paper or digital health-care form to enter Mexico. This was the form asking thing like whether you had been in contact with a Covid person or whether you had Covid. 

          I always thought it was silly.  I mean…who is going to answer “yes” on the way to their vacation?  Who wants to get told they have to go in the little back room for secondary questioning when the tour bus to the hotel is waiting outside and your luggage is spinning mindlessly on the carousel?

          Additionally, Mexican President Obrador has said he doesn’t plan to ever ask for proof of vaccinations. 

But, there’s a small caveat. 

LCA-COVID-Safety-Banner-min

          Individual states, areas or businesses like restaurants, bars and casinos might ask for your vax card.  However, according to sources, it’s just like many places in the U.S. with masks.  It only applies if the rule is enforced and no one seems to really enforce it.

          In lieu of that, proof of a negative covid test within 48 hours will also work. Jalisco is one of the states that recently implemented the rule about showing a vax card.

          So, basically, it’s time travel.  Mexico is back to pre-covid 2019 in terms of travel.

          As of right now, the only real bump in your travel road is coming BACK to the U.S. or entering the U.S. if you’re a foreign national.

          The U.S. requires that within 24 hours of your flight back to the U.S. you need to take a rapid Covid test.  And, of course, it has to come back negative. 

          The test takes 15 minutes and you get your results usually within the hour on your cellphone.  The airports all have facilities as do many hotels. Or the hotels will have someone come to the hotel.

          There are also a plethora of labs that sprang up all over the place understandably.

          This applies whether you are vaccinated or not.

          If you are a foreign traveler headed to the U.S., the new rules mandate that you must show proof of vaccination now.

          Stay tuned.  The picture changes all the time!

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

 

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

 

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

 

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

 

_____________

 

 

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

 

 

Website:

 

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

 

 

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942
 
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

 

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

 

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

 

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

Read Full Post »

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