Hola, Amigos!

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Como Esta Usted? Cathy and I are back from our painting trip. We went on the Norwegian Star cruise ship to the Mexican riviera! The McNalls, a couple we paint with every week, talked us into coming with them to the coastal towns of Mexico, including Acapulco, Zihuatenajo/Ixtapa, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. What a great trip, the food on board the ship was never ending, you could eat at all hours of the day and night, breakfast being especially good. All the ports were a fascinating combination of old and new. Such as Zihuatenajo, which combined an old Mexican fishing village (with Yamaha outboard motors) right next to Ixtapa, a vast area of sandy beaches that looks like a parking lot for giant hotels. That’s a photo of my wife, Cathy, standing next to the water in Zihuatenajo. We painted the old church there from a cafe. For the price of a cerveza (don’t drink the water), the owner let us sit there for a couple of hours and paint watercolors. We worked entirely in watercolor this trip, as oils have a bit of a hard time travelling. Our friend Walter McNall even gave us all an art lesson one morning on how to indicate figures in a landscape, by just painting simple shapes, he calls them his “carrot people”. He paints a carrot shape for the shoulders and body, then adds a small dot for a head afterwards. We also devised shapes to represent horses, dogs and cats. On the way to Acapulco, we were standing near the pool on deck 12, when the ship lurched and started to tip to the port side. About 4 feet of water from the pool started to pour down the deck, frightening the girls and knocking several men down. Then the boat tipped to starboard and I found out that my shoes were waterproof. The water seeped into the ship’s elevators, light fixtures and soaked the carpet for at least 4 decks below us! A lot of speculation as to what happened was put to rest when the Captain came onto the PA and quietly explained that he had to stop the ship because he “didn’t want to hurt a humpbacked whale” that was in our path. I resisted the urge to send the Cap. a cartoon of him wearing a T-shirt that said: “I brake for whales”. We found ourselves painting mostly churches on this trip, but in Cabo San Lucas, Cathy did a study of Sammy Hagar’s famous club, the Cabo Wabo. We also took a glass-bottom boat out to “Los Arcos”, the famous rocks, featuring an arched formation that looks like a big window. There were many fish swarming about that the Captain fed. We could see their colorful scales through the glass bottom. The boat sailed very close to some seals basking on the rocks that looked like big brown burritos. We painted some watercolors of the rocks later from the Norwegian Star’s deck. We had a balcony off our stateroom that was a good place to paint from as well. In Puerto Vallarta, we found the statue of John Huston that the citizens put there to commemorate the filming of “The Night of the Iguana”. Elizabeth Taylor still has a house in Puerto, but we couldn’t get too near it. The park that the statue of Huston is in is a narrow little strip of island right in the center of town. We also found a friendly little tabby cat on the island with very sleek fur who meowed (I swear) with a Mexican accent! Of course, perros and gatos are not permitted there, but cats don’t believe in signs. It was a great eight days, filled with painting, fellowship and fun.  The stewards and the people were all as nice as could be. We met one very amusing lady from Chicago who was filling a photo album with pictures of all the “fat ladies” she saw on board. Maybe fat women are rare in Chicago. She certainly had a bumper crop of heavies to snap, some of them so portly that they had to get around in motorized chairs. They must have loved the never ending buffets!

These will be the last Krazy strips I will be reprinting for awhile, as we have reached the end of 1938, and I don’t have 1939 yet. When I get more, you will see them here. Lane Allan will saunter forth for awhile yet. I am working on getting another strip for this blog, may or may not be cat related. I have been doing several things DVD related, but I’d better not talk about them, I might get quoted! See ya next time.

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