How do you pump out a dozen books and keep on going? If you are like me, you need the courage to be imperfect. Several highly respected researchers I know can never make it to the publishing stage because they always seem to need just one more tidbit or fact, or explanation. It has to be perfect, and, unfortunately, it never is.
While I was at the history dinner in Prescott over the weekend someone asked me how I came up with the title of my next book project and here is the exact date and time and place it happened:
La Muralla China Restaurant,
4:19 p.m. on August 17, 1991
We were returning to Arizona from a week on Mission Beach in San Diego and during our stay I read about this unique Chinese community in nearby Mexicali and how there are five Chinese restaurants in a row and they are all mighty tasty. So I decided we would make a detour on the way home and see this place with the musical sounding name, and try the food.
The above photo was taken by a roving photographer who gave us a framed copy to commemorate our visit. On the back, I wrote the date and time and also what we had for lunch:
• Carnitas Colorados
• Brocoli con carne de res
• Pollo cantones
• Arroz frito con puerco
• Ala de pollo asada
• camarones al mojo de ajo
• costilla a de puerco al estilo Chino
The price: 17,000 pesos per person
I remember it seemed a little bizarre hearing all these Chinese waiters and hostesses speaking Spanish, but then we don't flinch when they speak English, so that is a turd on me.
As we were recrossing the border, the title hit me: "The Mexicali Stud." It just rolls off the tongue and I knew someday I would do a story with that title.
East of Mexicali, out on the great Mojave Desert, three riders pick their way across the sand and bicker:
"Ojos de Gringo On The Hunt
for The Mexicali Stud"
Buck "The Texican" Sanders: "The problem with you Mex people is you need to talk more English."
Ojos de Gringo: "Maybeso, maybeso."
Fang (from Peru) in Spanish to Ojos: "When the wind blows, guess whose mouth is open?"
Buck (sensing he is being made fun of): "And the problem with you southern Mex is you need to honor your elders and keep your trap shut."
"The present, in the future, will be just as crazy-looking to us, in the present, as the past is, presently, to us, right now!"
"The courage to be imperfect"... good point.ReplyDelete