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Last updateFri, 17 Aug 2018 11am

Where did the horses of North America come from? Escaped mounts of Cortez’s Spanish troops

Horses. When living in the United States, my wife and I planned to come to Mexico early in 1960. I had encouraged some Army buddies to come to Los Angeles, after mustering out – where I’d lived before my induction. 

Some did, and then I suggested that our next step should be Mexico. I had an older friend who taught writing at the University of Southern California, where I had earlier gone to school. He was an Army veteran, and before his time at USC, had been living in Ajijic, in the company of other U.S. vets who were not yet ready to come “home.” He had just published a book of short stories and I early on read the book’s leading and much-applauded short story set in Ajijic. 

He criticized and worked with me on fashioning a series of short stories. He planned on leaving teaching when the semester ended, and encouraged me to look at Ajijic as a place to live in Mexico. We planned to meet there as soon as he left teaching. 

My wife and I drove quickly from L.A. to Ajijic. As I took a left turn off the battered {carretera}, we were impressed by the pueblo’s empty main entry: the sharply downhill, and totally empty Calle Colon. I was headed for No. 12 Calle Ocampo, which had just been renewed by an American painter who was returning home. 

Few Ajijic Mexicans had vehicles at that time. They had burros and, especially, horses.    

My wife and I had been living on Malibu beach where she taught high school. I taught horseback riding and surfing, and wrote early in the morning.   

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