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Author: Subject: A Gentle Giant (far too many of these guys in Baja)
Baja Bernie
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[*] posted on 6-8-2007 at 05:28 PM
A Gentle Giant (far too many of these guys in Baja)


From Mi Baja No Hurry No Worry

Marco was a large, friendly man. Looking at him you could easily see that his Mexican heritage had been positively impacted by those Irish deserters who had jumped ship at the turn of the last century along the coast of Baja California. When he smiled, which was often, his gray-green eyes would light up and you could see into his very soul, soft, friendly, and caring. He carried himself with an easy, natural dignity.

He was a man who really liked everyone. His slow smile caused all of those around him to enjoy his passing.
He was a wonderful bricklayer, a true maestro, and if you were lucky enough to have him tile your roof you never had to worry about it leaking. A hard working man, his shirttail was always flapping in the breeze. He was constantly tucking his shirttail back into his pants.

I will never forget the time he was laying bricks at Sam Worthington’s new home. Sam had been watching him and began counting the number of bricks Marco laid in a given day. When Sam asked him why he only laid 50 bricks a day Marco stopped, straightened up, pushed his shirttail back into his pants, looked at Sam, smiled and replied very quietly in his broken English.
“You only pay me to lay 50 bricks. Señor, I can lay many more bricks. But, then you will have to pay me more money sooner. In the end the house will cost the same.”—Sam quit counting. Marco smiled and went back to work.

Over the years Marco developed a problem with booze and other more serious things. His shoulders began to slump and he moved with much less vigor. He still had the Irish smile and it still caused his face to glow. The smile came less often and when you looked into his eyes you still saw his soul but it had become enveloped in a soft hurt and a muted sadness that never went away.

After a few years Marco left the area and we lost a good and gentle friend!

Condenar!—Damn!




My smidgen of a claim to fame is that I have had so many really good friends. By Bernie Swaim December 2007
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amir
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[*] posted on 6-8-2007 at 06:03 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by Baja Bernie

“You only pay me to lay 50 bricks. Señor, I can lay many more bricks. But, then you will have to pay me more money sooner. In the end the house will cost the same.”


Wonderful story, again, a compassionate portrait.
The wisdom of the above quote is profound. I will stop asking my Mexican workers why they only accomplished what they did that day...

Mil Gracias.
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Osprey
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[*] posted on 6-8-2007 at 06:20 PM


That's not the only story. It is not even the best story, a good story, a story about nobility of purpose. Bernie, you are long gone from this place, Amir, you are just arriving.

My neighbor employed a local man to build a huge, strong rock wall for him and his neighbor. Boss and laborer were in synch until my neighbor said "I have run out of money. I must ask you to stop work. Esculpa. Posible mas dinero proximo ano" The workman said " no problema, I can work slower." He did, the work progressed, he was paid later, the wall stands today as a monument to both men and a bookmark we should keep close while the big developers cause abrasions and collisions between the people who live here and us invaders.
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Baja Bernie
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[*] posted on 6-8-2007 at 06:45 PM
Osprey


I agree with you there is 'no best' story in Baja but they do somehow add up to a whole bunch of good lessons for those who will listen and learn such as amir.

Sadly it is not only the 'big developers' who foul up the lessons and the melding of the two cultures............ and the making of life long friends.

Those of us who understand are not 'invaders' indeed we are welcome guests who often turn into friends..........Case in point, while as you say, I am long gone, my Mexican friends would argue with you that I am 'never gone.'

Just visited my comprede of 43 years and his family this past Wednesday because I sensed that things were not right.......I was correct and we sat and talked for hours. It was a terrible blow to find that he could no longer walk without a walker and that his mind had taken a long term vacation. Yep! He surely reminded me of my own mortality.

Tears and laughter reinforced our friendship and our love for each other.............No! My friend 'Burnie' is not forgotten nor has he really left. Nor will he.




My smidgen of a claim to fame is that I have had so many really good friends. By Bernie Swaim December 2007
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