9.03.2016

Journal, July 5, 1976 AM

Well we managed to sample a little of the flavor of the U.S. Bicentennial. <Sofia & I caught about an hour of the celebration at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica, Terence Todman.> Jaime {Olson} & Pilar left earlier with Jan & Mike Galbraith, so they got to see the 3 legged race, pie eating contest, egg throwing contest and other diversions which began at 9 or 9:30. I didn’t know a thing about the when or where of the thing when I wrote in this journal yesterday. About 8:30 AM I wandered over to Jaime’s toting a bottle of Lancer’s Rosé to check things out in general. <Jaime and the rest had left at 8, & apparently had completely forgotten (both last night & in the morning) that Sofia & I knew nothing about the deal.> I am one teaspoon full bitter; I just can’t figure it out. Only, it seems Jaime was a little spacey all yesterday, very lost in the dream he’s living these days. <Sin embargo {Anyway}, Doña Marita thought we should go, de todos modos {in any case}, so I double timed it up to Sofia’s {house}, now toting the big clay pot chicken I bought for her Mama.> They all liked the chicken and we went.

We heard a few patriotic songs, including the national anthems of the 2 countries, & speeches by Daniel Oduber, President of Costa Rica, & by Terence Todman. Oduber speaks good English & was very gracious - centering his talk on the Declaration of Independence and the inspiration it had been for the founders of other democratic states. Todman is so much better than Campbell (El Salvador’s U.S. Ambassador), it can’t help but strike you. He is a lean, handsome and energetic black man with a fine speaking voice. He talked about the importance of the individual & the vision which keeps bringing the U.S. back to its democratic principles in spite of frequent detours. For a few precious moments I was completely caught up in his supreme confidence in our endless pursuit of democracy, and I felt that blind rush of pride (which always threatens to overflow into arrogance, but never quite does!) so typical of us “Americans”.

Last evening we drank a toast to the U.S. birthday with a bottle of Lancer’s. (There may be a touch of fitting irony in the fact that the wine was produced in Portugal for a U.S. company - economic imperialism lives on!) Mike & Jan were there (at Pilar’s) and later we retired to the Jardín Cervecero {literally Beer Garden}. <Mike, Jaime & Ricardo (a {Peace Corps} trainee) talked sports while I entertained Sofia & Pilar.> I have more & more trouble getting into these “heavy” sports discussions. (‘Joe Dimaggio was better than Hank Aaron’ [Mike]; ‘Jim Brown & O.J. Simpson are better than Gale Sayers, but he was the most exciting runner ever.’ [Jaime & Mike]; ‘Frank Howard hit a line {drive} through the pitcher’s legs that cleared the wall!’, etc.)

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