Nebraska Center for Writers

by Robert Richter

MY INITIAL INTRODUCTION to Juan Carlos' Iguana Bar came many moons ago with the Lo De Marcos baseball team whe when we split a doubleheader with Puerto Vallarta's hotshot city team. We had collected on an emotional five hundred peso bet on the last game and were celebrating a banana hacker's southpaw sinker. Juan Carlos was the padrino to our third baseman, Cate, and that made the Iguana Bar an inner city haven for a village team of fishermen, jungle scroungers, family men, and macho bucks. Plus me, one gringo second sacker.
A one-beer stop turned into an all night junket when some Jalisco charro from a ranchero near Guadalajara boasted that he could jump through lariats while downing shots of Cuervo tequila. One of those green-eyed descendants of an old criollo land grant family, he danced his traditional boot heels through a twirling rope, skipping in and out of tight-twirled loops that wobbled and widened a little more with every quick snap of a shot to his mouth. With shot number nine and the brim of his sombrero drooping he got two ropes spinning to a chorus of "Viva Jalisco," did a miraculous jig for ten seconds, and then hogtied himself in a heap on the floor. When he could finally stand to the thundering cheers of the packed house, he downed one more free shot of Cuervo, and Juan Carlos had to hustle him off to a bed upstairs.

Reprinted with permission
from Something in Vallarta
Copyright © 1991
by Robert Richter

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