Canal Zone: Stamps of a Forgotten American Colony

Found my childhood stamp collection! Here’re some Canal Zone stamps. Heroes commemorated include: President Teddy Roosevelt, who championed the building of the Panamá Canal as a national security necessity.Dr Gorgas who discovered the source of Yellow Fever, which killed workers by the hundreds. Canal construction stopped for a year while they worked to eradicate the… Continue reading Canal Zone: Stamps of a Forgotten American Colony

How to Haggle with a Panamanian Taxi Driver

How to negotiate with a Panamanian taxi driver. First, some context. Taxi drivers complained like hell to prevent Uber from coming to Panamá. Other than airport taxis, where fares are regulated, there are no set fares and taxis don’t have meters. If you flag a taxi on the street, you should negotiate price up front.… Continue reading How to Haggle with a Panamanian Taxi Driver

My First Vaccination

In my first memory of being vaccinated, I wasn’t quite 6 years old. Early 1970s. The nurse, a tall man dressed completely in white except for shiny black shoes, set a stainless steel tray of paraphernalia on a table beside me. He sat on a stool which he rolled up to me and injected one… Continue reading My First Vaccination

Remembering Ancon Hill

Ready for a trip down my memory lane? This picture posted on FaceBook reminds me of my first job. It was a summer student assistant job while I was at Balboa High School, in the former Canal Zone of the Republic of Panamá. This was 1983 or 84. I was 16 or 17. The rest… Continue reading Remembering Ancon Hill

John McCain, Zonian

John McCain’s Wikipedia entry is already updated to reflect his passing. He was born August, 29, 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone (Coco Solo, on the Atlantic side). So in addition to being an Arizonan, he was a Zonian by birth. What I appreciated the most about him in recent years was his courageous pushback… Continue reading John McCain, Zonian

Brigida’s Love Story

My grandmother, Brigida Adamas Rosas de Quintero, with Mom and Uncle Lucho. In mid-1930s Panama City, República de Panamá. The family lived for awhile on Avenida Central. Brigida was a matriarch, a strong-willed woman from Tolé - in Panama's highland province of Chiriquí (i.e., the boonies). She was from a poor peasant family. Her biological… Continue reading Brigida’s Love Story

Father Rutledge

Remembering a conversation I had in the 3rd grade with Father Rutledge at St. Mary's school in Balboa, Panama. Father Rutledge embodied Santa Claus for me - a rotund man, with rosy cheeks, white beard, twinkling eyes and a jolly disposition. I had just completed Confession and received my "four 'Hail Marys' and three 'Our… Continue reading Father Rutledge