The Artist and the Chiclero

A bit miffed, and looking up through my rain splashed and foggy windshield, there was a small hand-painted metal sign on the house. I

copied the telephone number.

A kindly gentleman answered and offered to show us the building tomorrow. It belonged to his cousin who lived in Mexico City -- Rosa Maria Mier y Teran de Pollo -- was her name. We eventually met when she came to Merida to sell me her house. She was an elegant, educated, and sophisticated strawberry blond, seeming more French in demeanor, than Mexican.

A Mexican girl raised in New York City and speaking perfect English, she returned to Merida, I think, to get married. And the man was also as

handsome as they come -- Francisco Pollo Montes -- was his name. I use to have an 8 x 10 photo of him. He was in business -- the chicle business -- with the three Gonzalez brothers who had their office across the street from the house which was to become my home, which I named Casa Mexilio, for the next forty years.

And it was Jorge Gonzales who told me that Francisco sold newspapers on a certain Merida street intersection. And that he made friends with the, then, governor of Yucatan who passed by each morning and bought a paper. The friendship matured and he went to live in the two story quinta which is now across the street from Gran Aki, the supermarket on Calle 59. Francisco was an orphan and was eventually adopted by the governor.

Rosa Maria and Francisco had no children. She devoted her hours to teaching and training young women who wanted to learn to paint and draw. The large upstairs Salon which we now call the Bar, was her art studio.

Featured Posts