Our Friend Anthony

Proverbs 27:9 New King James Version (NKJV)

Ointment and perfume delight the heart,
And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.

We met Anthony when we were a young family. We traveled to Pueblo, CO, because Mike was looking for a chip fryer to make tostadas and Anthony’s family had one for sale. Mike was 26 years old and Anthony was 20. When Anthony picked us up at the airport he insisted for us to stay at his home. I was a bit apprehensive because he was a complete stranger. I tried to get Mike’s attention to give him the “no” look but Mike had already agreed. After we settled in, Anthony said he was going out.

To give you an idea, Anthony lived in what we considered the sticks, where back yards go on for miles; this was country living.

Anthony was single and he was partying until the wee hours of the morning. When I woke up, he was sprawled out on the couch. My children were hungry, we had no car, and he had cereal but no milk. I called Mike into the bedroom and we had a quiet argument, in a concerned whisper, I explained to Mike. “Why are we here? I told you that this was not a good idea! We are like country prisoners, and the worst part is that we don’t even have a car!” Mike tried to calm me down but I was too upset, saying, “You need to wake him up and we need to go to a hotel!” By this time my arms were crossed and locked against my chest.

It was midmorning when I heard Mike wake Anthony up. This was Anthony’s normal life, and it was no big deal, Anthony was moving slowly, telling me that he was going to take us to the best breakfast in town. My thoughts were, “Whatever!”

We drove past what seemed to be acres and acres of corn fields, when suddenly Anthony turned into a driveway of someone’s home. “Now what!” I thought. “Oh, my Mom and sisters are making breakfast for us, you’re going to love their cooking,” He said. I remember what I was wearing that day because it was so conspicuous, city clothes in a small farming town. As we walked into a room full of strangers wondering why I was dressed like that. I wanted so badly to lock eyes with Mike to give him “the stink eye” but he steered clear of my view. My maroon shirt with coordinating top, and mule heeled sandals was not ideal for a breakfast with a family of strangers who were mostly dressed in jeans and hiking boots.

The green chili over eggs and potatoes was the best and the comfort food made us feel welcome. I will always remember this day as being the worst and best day of meeting Anthony.

Through the years we have remained friends, and Anthony’s wife Laurie and I would become good friends. Both Laurie and Anthony were free spirits, with combustible personalities, and together they were the best stand-up comic show ever. We loved being around them. Anthony and Laurie had two sons, Aaron and Marcus. These boys spent many summers with us in California, and Mikos spent several summers with them in Colorado. We were vacation buddies as well.

We decided to take a vacation with our friends to Ixtapa, Mexico; the trip produced many memories. We once went off the grid and had lunch at a local place in an outdoor patio. I can’t remember if it was shrimp or lobster we were eating when a one-eyed stray cat came up to me. My heart was filled with pity, so I tossed a piece of fish to the cat. What happened next was the biggest catfight over the fish. About ten cats were waiting in the wings, and they most likely used the one-eyed cat as a decoy to tug at the hearts of American tourists in order to get their daily fish fix.

You’d think we learned our lesson, but no, the next day I wanted soup, and while I was eating, my spoon scooped up a full chicken foot, with long hanging toenails. I know that this type of soup is common in this part of Mexico, but I could not acquire the taste, or get the image out of my head.

The waters of the Pacific Ocean were not that hospitable to us, either. We all got whipped and chopped around. I remember my head hitting the bottom of the ocean floor and feeling my neck get twisted like in the movie “The Exorcist.” I thought for sure that I would suffer for the rest of my life, but thank God, I was just sore for a few days.

Our flight going home was delayed by 6 hours so we were stuck at the airport in Zihuatanejo. I remember watching laborers building a wall one brick at a time, almost like counting sheep. The monotony of waiting was making me crazy, but thank God for clean restrooms.

Both Mikos and I caught the virus from our ancestor, Montezuma. On the way home from the trip we both sat next to the bathroom on the plane. The following day Mikos had to pitch for his baseball team. He held back good pitches, due to Montezuma’s curse. So I guess we could categorize this as being a trip from hell, but it was fun to be with our friends.

Mike and Anthony both owned tortilla factories, and were members of TIA (Tortilla Industry Association). The group had annual meetings and we always got together with Anthony during these events.

Our friends attended both of our children’s high school and college graduations. Anthony attended both of our kids’ weddings as well. One of Anthony’s sisters even named her daughter Ciriza (our last name) but spelled it differently, Cirissa.

Anthony never stops talking, and he is funny. He calls you out on everything possible, and has a memory of a dolphin. His facts are seasoned with vivid, descriptive, recollections that awaken that dormant thought in your brain that is in agreement with him. Poor Mike never gets a word in, and I’m forever attempting to prove him wrong.

With Anthony’s new business, he has shared that he will be making regular trips to California (pray for us). We wish our friend well with his CBD’s (cannabidiol oil) business and look forward to more memories.

Proverbs 18:24 New King James Version (NKJV)

24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Related Posts