Yelapa, Jalisco, Mexico 1980's

Sometime in the 80's. 

My mom fell in love with a musician. He was a good one too! I didn't much like him because he took my mom's attention from me.  But before I knew it we were standing on a sandy beach in a remote village accessible only by boat. I kept asking my mom "what's the name of this place? Yelapa?" She said "come on, pick up your bag, we're going to stay in a palapa up shit creek". I was going through the motions and not at all happy, but I tried to not let it show. 

After a long and sweaty hike up an actual "shit creek" with horse pooh and who knows what else...slimy creek water, we arrived at our bungalow. It was a huge thatched roof palapa made with palm leaves. There was only a dirt floor and hanging beds. Everyone was thrilled except me. I just wanted to go back to Arizona where my friends were and go to the mall. Little did I know that my mom had no plans of leaving. 

Thank God I had a walkman. I listened to Michael Jackson's Thriller album nonstop. My little sister was young, probably 3 or 4 at the time. She was excited to be near water and play with the local kids in the village. I was happy to find American teenagers my age also there.  We became good friends over time. There was a Wednesday Disco dance club in the village and they cranked up Bob Marley, U2, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Squeeze, Whitney Houston, Cyndi Lauper, The Cars, Huey Lewis and the News and other bands that kept us dancing til early in the morning. 

I knew my mom's boyfriend was smoking pot and doing drugs. It wasn't a big deal because everyone was doing drugs. Everyone was drinking the local moonshine too. The old Mexican men would be hanging around the fringes of the dances getting drunk off their asses. They were totally entertained by us looney Americans. Then there were the local Americans that were the "known" drunks around the village. I was never scared of them. I did feel bad for them though. I figured they probably had some kind of crazy life story that led them to this remote village to disappear from their lives in the United States. 

My mom and Ron, however, didn't come to Yelapa to escape. My mother told me the real reason. She wanted to play music and live her life without the scrutiny of being called a "musician".  Mexico embraced her and her new lover and they were thrilled! 

As for me, I was very free there. Probably too much. My mom let me come and go as I pleased. So I discovered a local Mexican boy who spoke to me only in Spanish. We hit it off and would spend hours on horseback going up river. I'd meet up with my mom and sister who would sell these scrumptious and enormous home made chocolate chip cookies at the soccer field. We would walk back home each carrying our flashlights to see the path. I'd crawl into my hanging bed covered with mosquito netting and smell the musty odor from the high humidity ocean air. 

My mom told me as we were going to bed she was going to make lasagna for dinner the next night and coconut cream pie. In the morning I found her making fresh bread. In Yelapa there was ALWAYS time for my mom to make homemade food. Sometimes she wore nothing but an apron in the kitchen. It WAS the 80's. 

 

 

3 comments

  • The Husband
    The Husband Here and there
    The apron I’m sure made it cooler whilst making bread! The 80’s did have their perks. Or was it perky?

    The apron I’m sure made it cooler whilst making bread! The 80’s did have their perks. Or was it perky?

  • Eloise
    Eloise vancouver
    Love reading this Sapphire! And I remember standing on the beach with Ron as he waited for his new family to arrive! And it was you, sis and Mama! Love seeing that kitchen! and the round table with chairs....and oh yes, that musty smell!

    Love reading this Sapphire! And I remember standing on the beach with Ron as he waited for his new family to arrive! And it was you, sis and Mama! Love seeing that kitchen! and the round table with chairs....and oh yes, that musty smell!

  • Pat Malcolm
    Pat Malcolm Wisconsin
    I remember Yelapa with great affection. Ron diving for dinner. Up a ladder to sleep under mosquito netting. Clouds sinking down the mountains before rainy season. The yoga ladies. The pie ladies!

    I remember Yelapa with great affection. Ron diving for dinner. Up a ladder to sleep under mosquito netting. Clouds sinking down the mountains before rainy season. The yoga ladies. The pie ladies!

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