In 1938, my father and his friend Bill S. took a driving trip to Mexico. This was an unheard of expedition at the time for two twenty-something guys from Chicago. Despite numerous car troubles (a Model A Ford), they nearly made it to Mexico City. At that point, running low on money – and enthusiasm for confronting a chronically ailing car – they chugged back north.
I have a wonderful vintage film (now on DVD) my father made this trip. The amazing thing — it is in color. One of the classic images of my father is him standing next to the famed Obispado in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. Built in the late 1780’s, this Church building has served as a barracks, retirement home, fortress and now – a museum.
In the late 1980’s I began traveling to Monterrey on business. I have been there often – visiting two or in a few cases three times a year. Monterrey has become almost a “second city” for me. I pretty much know my way around (though it is challenging) and I enjoy the wonderful restaurants, sites and people. When there, I normally stay at the Quinta Real, a beautiful hotel in the San Pedro Garza Garcia neighborhood. I have visited the Obispado — and have a wonderful picture of myself standing in the exact spot where my father stood seventy years before.
I have made good friends in Monterrey – Antonio G. and his family being chief among them. He and his family have been to my home (for Thanksgiving one year) and my wife and I have been to his. And there are so many more good friends there. These are times of great difficulty for Monterrey but the City is good and its people are strong. They will endure and surpass.