Today is the 79th birthday of a friend I met 14 years ago. He sits at the corner table of La Palapa Restaurant every weekday morning. He greets friends and strangers with a smile and a warm hello or good morning. If you stop to say a few words he will send you on your way with a “have a good day”, with the emphasis on good.
I, as many others, have grown to look forward to this exchange. I realized about ten years ago how much I thought about seeing my friend, whom I barely knew, while I was packing for a trip to Puerto Vallarta. I wondered who he was and how he came to live in Vallarta. I knew I needed to wake up early for my morning walk, because he sometimes isn’t there if I pass by too late.
On this trip, I asked if I could join him for coffee. He smiled and with a quick reply offered me a seat. I learned he is from Delaware and lived in Brazil prior to moving to Puerto Vallarta. I observed his morning exchanges with the locals, friends, tourists and strangers and how much a simple “good morning” changes the outlook of person’s day. I have joined him many mornings since and never tire of hearing his stories or the new restaurants I should try on my visit.
In recent years, I have grown to call him the mayor who holds court every morning at La Palapa. Sometimes when I pass by, there are no seats at the table but, he is incredibly kind and generous and always introduces me to his friends. His named is John. He has made a difference in my life and will always remain dear to my heart.
Happy Birthday my friend!!!
Lots of love always, LaDonna