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May 2009  Issue 77

Return to Home Page    2008 Index

INTRODUCTION

It’s hard to explain or understand, but it seems like April just absolutely flew by, like it was blown through Akumal on the constant wind we experienced.  And, for whatever reason, there was quite a large influx of visitors. 
  

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE STAFF

Late in April, The Staff make an executive decision to send out an interim e-mail due to the May Best Shirt Award being held on the first day of the month, with the Kentucky Derby party following close on its heels on the 2nd.  Don’t miss these two key May events at the Lol Ha Beach Bar.

Then, there’s that new ad on Casa Colibri on the right hand side of the page.  Once people see that, the first question invariably is, “What’s gonna happen with The Akumalian?”  While there is some interest being expressed in Casa Colibri, The Staff expects to keep The Akumalian going for well into the foreseeable future.
 

IMPORTANT MAY FACTS

Several stories are passed around to show how the month of May was named.  The most widely accepted explanation is that it was named for Maia, the Roman goddess of spring and growth.  Her name related to a Latin word that means increase or growth.

Taurus: April 21 – May 21
Gemini   May 22 - June 21

 May Birthstone:  Emerald
May's birthstone is the emerald.  Emerald is the green version of the mineral Beryl.  It was considered to be the talisman of the goddess Venus, and to represent faith, goodness and kindness.  Emeralds vary in color from light to deep green.  It is commonly thought that an emerald's green color derives from the presence of chromium and or vanadium replacing some of the aluminum in the mineral's structure.  The stone can, however, lose its color when heated strongly.  The emerald's name is indirectly derived from the Greek word "smaragdos," a term ambiguously applied to several kinds of green stones.    

May Flower:  Lily of the Valley
The May flower, Lily of the Valley has the botanical name of Convallaria magalis and originated in Europe.  Today it is distributed widely throughout North America and North Asia, but in northern Europe it is still found as commonly as wild flowers.  It is a small, bell shaped flower that gives off a large scent that attracts not only people, but bee's who like to collect the pollen that the flower produces.

 

MAY BIRTHDAYS

Birthdays and Anniversaries
2          Sandra Titze
2          Steve & Heather DePaola
4          Dylan Vladimir Chan Tec; 2008, son of Miguel (head waiter) & Imelda
5          Michele Meyer Correa
5          Susan & Macon Gravlee Anniversary
5          Dean & Alison Keegan Anniverary
7          Steve & Ingrid Clouther Anniversary
12        Chris Firth
14        Lucas Kai Schober Thai
16        Dave Bliss
18        Derek Firth
18        Bob & Sherwood Anders Anniversary
20        Jissou VanderElst
21        Monika Titze
27        Creighton Walker
27        Nance & Creighton Walker’s Anniversary
31        Terry Fredette

 There must be more than this.  Let’s hear about YOUR birthday.

 Missed April Birthdays
8          Sam Goby – How did we miss Sam again??
 

PRIMERO DE MAYO, MAY 1st  --  MAY DAY

Primero de Mayo is the Mexican national holiday that is equivalent to the U.S. Labor Day. 

May Day occurs on May 1 and refers to any of several public holidays. In many countries, May Day is synonymous with International Workers' Day, or Labor Day, which celebrates the social and economic achievements of the labor movement.  As a day of celebration the holiday has ancient origins, and it can relate to many customs that have survived into modern times.  Many of these customs are due to May Day being a cross-quarter day, meaning that (in the Northern Hemisphere where it is almost exclusively celebrated) it falls approximately halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice.

May Day has become an international celebration of the social and economic achievements of the labor movement.  Although May Day received its inspiration from the United States, the U.S. Congress designated May 1 as Loyalty Day in 1958 due to the day's appropriation by the Soviet Union.  Alternatively, Labor Day traditionally occurs on the first Monday in September in the United States.  People often use May Day as a day for political protest, such as the million people who demonstrated against far-right candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen in France, or as a day for protest against government actions, such as pro-immigrant rallies across the United States.
 

ROBIN’S BEST SHIRT AWARD, MAY 1st

Come one, come all, to the Beach Bar, where we’ll have a ball.

It’s time for yet another “Best Shirt Award”, which is held on the first Friday of each month during Happy Hour at the Lol Ha Beach Bar.  This award is based on Robin’s penchant for good, classy Beach Bar shirts, and his sister, Mary Henderson, is ready to once again be the judge and jury as she selects the “Best Shirt” for May.  And, as we go to print the criteria are still somewhat nebulous, but it looks like “coolest”, “neatest”, and “most colorful” might garner a lot of brownie points.

Shirts with a Kentucky theme might just be heavy favorites this month, on the eve of the Kentucky Derby.

Last month, the “Best Shirt Award” went to Pat Reagan in a hotly contested Event.  See the photos in the April Best Shirt Award Photo Gallery.
 

KENTUCKY DERBY, MAY 2nd

The 135th running of the Kentucky Derby will take place on May 2, 2009.

The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses, staged annually in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival.  The race is over one and a quarter miles (2 km) at Churchill Downs.  Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57.2 kg) and fillies 121 pounds (54.9 kg).  The race is known in the United States as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate duration, and is also called "The Run for the Roses" for the blanket of roses draped over the winner.  It is the first leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing in the US and typically draws around 155,000 fans.

Horse racing in Kentucky has a rich history, dating back to 1789 when the first race course was laid out in Lexington.  However, it was almost 100 years later, in 1875, that Churchill Downs officially opened and began its tradition as "Home of the Kentucky Derby."

Once again, Akumal’s Derby festivities will be held at the Lol Ha Beach Bar, and there will be reserved seating for the locals wishing to be “up front and personal” with the 2009 “Run for the Roses”.  The coverage for the 134th Run for the Roses and the Triple Crown on May 2, 2009 begins on NBC Television at 5PM (4PM AT), post time approximately 6PM ET (5PM AT).
 

THE MINT JULEP

Early Times Mint Julep Cocktail is a ready-to-serve beverage that has been “The Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby” for 20 years.  Each year almost 120,000 Early Times Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby; a feat that requires over 10,000 bottles of Early Times Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint, and 60,000 pounds of ice.  Try one and you’ll understand why it has been a Kentucky Derby tradition for so long.

The Mint Julep has always been a symbol of Kentucky's rich heritage and hospitality. Perhaps General Simon Bolivar Buckner put it best when he wrote from the South Pacific during World War II: "A Mint Julep is not the product of a formula.  It is a ceremony that must be performed by one possessing a true sense of the artistic, a deep reverence for the ingredients and a proper appreciation of the occasion."

Many Kentuckians claim that when a Julep is done right, you can hear the angels sing.  One 19th-century jurist is said to have ruled, "Who has not tasted one has lived in vain."  Then again, newspaper editor Henry Watterson's recipe for the perfect Mint Julep is somewhat different, his recipe: "…throw the other ingredients away and drink the whisky - straight."  

Early Times Mint Julep Recipe
Ingredients:
   2 oz. Early Times
   1 tbsp. simple syrup (recipe below)
    Mint sprigs
   Crushed ice

Crush a few mint leaves in the bottom of an 8-oz. glass, then fill with crushed ice.  Add one tablespoon of simple syrup and one tablespoon of water.  Add 2 ounces Early Times.  Stir gently until glass frosts.  Garnish with a fresh mint sprig, sip and enjoy.

Simple Syrup with Mint Directions:
  
1 c. water
   1 c. sugar
   1 bunch fresh mint sprigs

Combine sugar and water.  Boil for 5 minutes without stirring.  Pour mix over a handful of mint leaves, and gently crush the mint with a spoon.  Refrigerate overnight in a closed jar.  Remove mint leaves, but continue to refrigerate.  Stays fresh for several weeks.
 

2009 HURRICANE SEASON PROJECTIONS

Experts predict fewer hurricanes for 2009

There will be fewer Atlantic hurricanes this season than in 2008, and fewer even than predicted only last December, according to a forecast released on April 7.  Colorado State University's hurricane forecast team's latest prediction calls for 12 named storms, including six hurricanes.  Of those six, two are expected to be major hurricanes with maximum wind speeds of 111 mph or greater.  The first of the storms in the Atlantic, which are named in alphabetical order, will be Ana.

In 2008, there were 16 named storms including eight hurricanes, five of them major.

Colorado State's December forecast predicted 14 named storms for this year.  Yet even the revised forecast indicates a slightly-above-average season.  Since 1950, a typical Atlantic hurricane season has had 10 named storms, six of them hurricanes and two of those major hurricanes.

The team will issue another update on June 2. Others will be released as the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, progresses.
 

CINCO DE MAYO, MAY 5th

            The holiday of Cinco De Mayo (The 5th Of May) commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862.  It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population.  It is not, as many people think, Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16.

The battle at Puebla in 1862 happened at a violent and chaotic time in Mexico's history. Mexico had finally gained independence from Spain in 1821 after a difficult and bloody struggle, and a number of internal political takeovers and wars, including the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and the Mexican Civil War of 1858, had ruined the national economy.  During this period of struggle Mexico had accumulated heavy debts to several nations, including Spain, England and France, who were demanding repayment.  Similar debt to the U.S. was previously settled after the Mexican-American War.  France was eager to add to its empire at that time, and used the debt issue to move forward with goals of establishing its own leadership in Mexico.  Realizing France's intent of empire expansion, Spain and England withdrew their support.  When Mexico finally stopped making any loan payments, France took action on it's own to install Napoleon's relative, Archduke Maximilian of Austria, as ruler of Mexico.

France invaded at the gulf coast of Mexico along the state of Veracruz (see map) and began to march toward Mexico City, a distance today of less than 600 miles.  Although American President Abraham Lincoln was sympathetic to Mexico's cause, and for which he is honored in Mexico, the U.S. was involved in its own Civil War at the time and was unable to provide any direct assistance.

Marching on toward Mexico City, the French army encountered strong resistance at the Mexican forts of Loreto and Guadalupe.  Lead by Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, a small, poorly armed militia estimated at 4,500 men was able to stop and defeat a well outfitted French army of 6,500 soldiers, which stopped the invasion of the country.  The victory was a glorious moment for Mexican patriots, which at the time helped to develop a needed sense of national unity, and is the cause for the historical date's celebration.

Unfortunately, the victory was short lived.  Upon hearing the bad news, Napoleon had found an excuse to send more troops overseas to try and invade Mexico again, even against the wishes of the French populace.  30,000 more troops and a full year later, the French were eventually able to depose the Mexican army, take over Mexico City and install Maximilian as the ruler of Mexico.

 Maximilian's rule of Mexico was also short lived, from 1864 to 1867.  With the American Civil War now over, the U.S. began to provide more political and military assistance to Mexico to expel the French, after which Maximilian was executed by the Mexicans - today his bullet riddled shirt is on display in the museum at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City.  So despite the eventual French invasion of Mexico City, Cinco de Mayo honors the bravery and victory of General Zaragoza's small, outnumbered militia at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
 

ETA AQUARIDS METEOR SHOWER, MAY 5th

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower is expected to peak in the predawn sky on Tuesday or Wednesday morning – May 5 or 6, 2009 – from roughly two hours to one hour before sunrise.

The point in the sky from which meteors in annual showers appear to radiate is called the meteor shower radiant.  You don’t have to locate the radiant to watch the Eta Aquarid meteors, but people always ask about them.  Although the Eta Aquarid meteors streak all over the sky, they appear to radiate from the Y-shaped group of stars called the Water Jar.  The Water Jar is part of the constellation Aquarius.

To star-hop to the Water Jar, first of all find the four stars of the Great Square of Pegasus. Looking eastward at about 4 to 4:30 a.m. (Daylight Saving Time), the Great Square of Pegasus glitters like a celestial baseball diamond.  Imagine the bottom star as home base.  Draw a line from the third base star through the first base star, then go twice that distance to locate the star Sadal Melik.

To the lower left of Sadal Melik is the small Y-shaped Water Jar, marking the approximate radiant of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower.  Again, you don’t need to know the shower’s radiant point to watch the meteors!  During the wee morning hours before dawn, the meteors in this annual shower will appear in all parts of the sky.

The eta Aquarids are flakes of dust from Halley's Comet, which last visited Earth in 1986.  Although the comet is now far away, beyond the orbit of Uranus, it left behind a stream of dust.  Earth passes through the stream twice a year, in May and October.  In May, we have the eta Aquarid meteor shower, in October the Orionids.  Both are caused by Halley's Comet.

The eta Aquarids are named after a 4th-magnitude star in the constellation Aquarius.  The star has nothing to do with the meteor shower except that, coincidentally, meteors appear to emerge from a point nearby.  Eta Aquarii is 156 light years from Earth and 44 times more luminous than the Sun.
 

AKUMAL’S 50th BIRTHDAY BASH

On May 29th Akumal will host a 3 day Festival to commemorate 50 years since Pablo Bush Romero first arrived in Akumal on an expedition to the Matanceros Shipwreck. 

This frigate class Spanish merchant ship was officially called Nuestra Señora de los Milagros (Our Lady of Miracles) and was sailing near the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan on February 22, 1741 when it crashed into the coral reefs just offshore.

 You are all invited to be a part of this memorable event, and it may be necessary to make your reservations soon!  Rooms are booking fast.

 Friday, May 29th

5:00pm – 7:30 pm

Akumal Through the Years - Location: CEA info center
·        
Presentation of audio visual – “Akumal : Hace Medio Siglo”
·        
Digital Photographic displays from guests, residents, and friends
·        
Bar sponsored by: Lol ha (wine and cheese)
·        
Musical entertainment – Jorge Palma and his “Caribbean Soul” duet

 7:30pm - midnight

“Plaza Ukana Party and Bazaar”  - Location: Plaza Ukana stage area
·        
Live music, entertainment and food

 Saturday, May 30th

5:30 -11:00pm

“Matanceros Expedition” night - Location: Lol ha Beach and Snack Bar
·        
Happy Hour at Lol ha and presentation of the PBR museum Artifacts in game room.
·        
Sale of “Under the Waters of Mexico” by Pablo Bush Romero
·        
Sale of limited edition replica of the Matanceros Cross.
·        
Beach BBQ with live music – tickets include picnic style dinner on the beach with beer, margaritas, or wine.
·        
Concert to follow at the Lol Ha snack bar – Cash bar.

 Sunday, May 31

Fishing tournament with beach activities and live music
 

And, there’s something for the kidsBut, VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED!

·         10:00 AM – Noon: Treasure Hunt for children.  Meet at Noon at Kid's Club, ends on beach in front of LolHa.  Children will be lead on a treasure hunt in and around Akumal beach – activities begins with becoming Pirates and end with finding the buried treasure along the way clues will teach them about Akumal.

·         Noon – 3:00 PM: Sand Sculpturing, children of all ages are encouraged to participate in making sand sculptures on the beach in front of Lol-Ha

·         3:00 PM – 5 PM: Volleyball, children of all ages are welcome to join in and play volleyball on the beach in front of Hotel Akumal Caribe.  

For those that have not visited, this is a great opportunity to experience the history of the first tourist destination on the coastline!  A truly special destination!
  

BE A PART OF AKUMAL’S 50th BIRTHDAY BASH

Sherwood Anders is working on the “Akumal Memories” aspect of Akumal’s 50th Birthday/Anniversary, and she wants your help and participation.  Sherwood reports the following.

In addition to the many festivities that are planned, we are putting together a collection of "Akumal Memories."  These will be posted on a blog and then published in a book available for purchase online and in Akumal.  Proceeds from the sales of the book will benefit the Pablo Bush Romero Scholarship Fund.

We'd like to hear your memories!  Tell us about how you discovered Akumal, your first trip, what it was like way back when - and if you have some pictures to share too, that's a bonus!  Whether your first trip was 50 years ago or last week - we want to hear about it!  Please limit submissions to your first trip - we know there are way too many wonderful memories to possibly include all of them! 

All submissions will be credited with the author/photographer's name, unless indicated otherwise - we know some of you wish to remain anonymous or keep your identity hidden in the Akumal Witness Protection program.  By submitting your entry, you agree to allow it to be published in the book as well.

Please email your stories to: akumalmemories@gmail.com 

Entries should be submitted by May 15th, 2009.  The book will be published following the anniversary celebration so that those memories can be included in it - details on purchasing the book will follow.

You can find the memories at http://akumalmemories.blogspot.com/ 

 If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to email me at sherwood.anders@sbcglobal.net !

Thanks - and we are looking forward to hearing some great stories and some awesome photos!
 

AKUMAL - HALF CENTURY AGO "The Rescue of Matancero"

Please be advised that Myrna Bush is producing a video titled, AKUMAL - HALF CENTURY AGO "The Rescue of Matancero", and the trailer is currently available for viewing at Mantancero Video.  It is reported that this will be available on DVD at the 50th Anniversary.  Stay tuned.

 

MOTHER’S DAY IN MEXICO, MAY 10th

In Mexico, Mothers Day is celebrated on a fixed day of May 10.  Mothers Day in Mexico is celebrated in a colorful fashion.  Children honor their mothers and thank them for their efforts in bringing them up, and According to a custom in Mexico, sons and daughters make themselves present in the house on the eve of Mothers Day on May 9.

Mothers Day is celebrated with gusto as churches in Mexico organize special mass, and the highpoint of the event is the orchestra, which plays "las mañanitas" and distribution of 'tamales' and 'atole', the traditional early-morning meal to all local mothers.

On Mother's Day, people in Mexico gift flowers and cards to their mothers.  There is also a tradition of giving gifts on Mothers Day.  While the older children buy gifts from the store, the younger ones prepare handmade gifts to honor their mothers.  In several schools, Mothers Day functions are organized where little ones present skits and songs to express their gratitude for their mothers and to entertain them.
 

MOTHER’S DAY IN U.S., MAY 10th

Mother's Day is a holiday honoring mothers, celebrated (on various days) in many places  around the world.  Mothers often receive gifts on this day.  Mothers Day is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of May in the United States and Canada.

Different countries celebrate Mother's Day on various days of the year because the day has a number of different origins.  One school of thought claims this day emerged from a custom of mother worship in ancient Greece.  Mother worship — which kept a festival to Cybele, a great mother of gods, and (mythology), the wife of Cronus; was held around the Vernal Equinox around Asia Minor and eventually in Rome itself from the Ides of March (March 15 to March 18).  The Romans also had another holiday, Matronalia, that was dedicated to Juno, though mothers were usually given gifts on this day.

In the United States, Mother's Day was copied from England by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the American Civil War with a call to unite women against war.  She wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation.  In the UK, the day now simply celebrates motherhood, and thanks mothers.

According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States.
 

ARMED FORCES DAY, MAY 16th

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced thecreation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days.  The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces within one department -- the Department of Defense.  Each of the military leagues and orders was asked to drop sponsorship of its specific service day in order to celebrate the newly announced Armed Forces Day.  The Army, Navy and Air Force leagues adopted the newly formed day.  The Marine Corps League declined to drop support for Marine Corps Day but supports Armed Forces Day, too.

In a speech announcing the formation of the day, President Truman praised the work of the military services at home and across the seas and said, "It is vital to the security of the nation and to the establishment of a desirable peace."

In an excerpt from the Presidential Proclamation of Feb. 27, 1950, Mr. Truman stated:

“Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America's defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality.  It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense.

The theme of the first Armed Forces Day was "Teamed for Defense."  It was chosen as a means of expressing the unification of all the military forces under a single department of the government.  Although this was the theme for the day, there were several other purposes for holding Armed Forces Day.  It was a type of "educational program for civilians," one in which there would be an increased awareness of the Armed Forces.  It was designed to expand public understanding of what type of job is performed and the role of the military in civilian life.  It was a day for the military to show "state-of-the-art" equipment to the civilian population they were protecting.  And it was a day to honor and acknowledge the people of the Armed Forces of the United States.

The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions, and air shows.  In Washington D.C., 10,000 troops of all branches of the military, cadets, and veterans marched pass the President and his party.  In Berlin, 1,000 U.S. troops paraded for the German citizens at Templehof Airfield.  In New York City, an estimated 33,000 participants initiated Armed Forces Day "under an air cover of 250 military planes of all types."  In the harbors across the country were the famed mothballed "battlewagons" of World War II, the Missouri, the New Jersey, the North Carolina, and the Iowa, all open for public inspection.  Precision flying teams dominated the skies as tracking radar was exhibited on the ground.  All across the country, the American people joined together to honor the Armed Forces.
 

FULL MOON, MAY 9th

The Full Flower Moon occurs on Saturday, May 9 at 04:03.  In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time, thus, the name of this moon.  Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.

 
 

MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 25th

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.  There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day.  There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead". 

While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.  It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868.  It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established.  Memorial Day is not about division.  It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.  The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873.  By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states.  The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).  It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays, though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years.  Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day.  At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected.  Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day.  While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades.  Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions.  Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery.  They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.  In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day.

 

COMINGS AND GOINGS

            The first week of April was Easter Week, so there was a number of Comings & Goings, but the pace seems to be slowing down as we head into May. 

Comings, and Were Here:

            The “Were here in April” group:

  • Pat & Cheryl Reagan were in town in early April.
  • Sherwood Anders was also back earlier in the month.
  • Manfred Schober, Rhett’s father, and his wife, Helga were also seen at the Beach Bar.
  • Don Eischen was here from San Miguel in late March – early April
  • In April, Bud Blatner returned after a short stay in Philly.
  • Tony, Joan, Cassie, and Alex Gonzalez were here for Easter Week.
  • Claudia Munoz and family were also back over Easter Week.
  • Michael Schwartz was here with the boys over Easter weekend.
  • Macon & Susan Gravlee visited South Akumal once again.
  • Gene & Mary Ellen Langan were back with their daughter and son-in-law.
  • Sam & Sharon Goby arrived in Playa Caribe on the 17th for a 2-week stay
  • Oveta Vardell was back in South Akumal in late April.
  • Bruce & Ellen Eanet were back at Lol Ka'naab #3 in late April.
  • And, Bev & Gary Dehn, Gail Olson, and Steve Hopkins were reportedly at Seven Seas.

 The “Coming in May” group: 

  • Bob Doebert arrives in Aventuras Akumal on May 3 for an 11 day fishing vacation.
  • Larry & Karen Kantor returns in early May.
  • Gary Vardell arrives this week with friends.
  • Macon & Susan Gravlee are returning to South Akumal on May 24.
  • Lydia Pontius arrives later in the month to help out with the 50th anniversary.
  • Monica Meyer will be in South Akumal on May 23 – 30.

 Goings:

·        
Bud Blatner has returned to Philly.
·        
Didiere Jackson has returned to the US, Ohio?

 

WHAT’S NEW AROUND TOWN?

AKUMAL

Akumal Entrance Blacktopped
The bridge over MX307 linking the Akumal pueblo with Akumal Central is almost finished and ready for traffic.  The entrance and exit portions of the road on the east side have been blacktopped.

 Fence in the Median Strip
This is breaking news, so there are no pictures.  They are installing a fence – about 5 feet high – in the median strip of MX307, and it looks like it will run from the base of the pedestrian overpass to the tope south of the bridge.  Will this fence and the bridge with no sidewalks really keep the locals from crossing highway.

 Lucy’s Kitchen in the Pueblo
Lucy James reports, “‘Lucy’s Too’ is now open in the old ‘Restaurant Hafet y Jamed’.  It is half way up the hill on the main street, on the right side (the old roasted chicken place!).  The bridge should be open very shortly so getting there will be a short and easy jaunt from the old location! 

We offer the same menu as we had at Lucy’s Kitchen, but will be adding charcoal grilled items, soups, salads, bringing back the popular Pad Thai, and more.  Of course Lucy’s famous homemade ice cream will be available for dessert! 

No more trips next door for beer!  We have a full selection of icy cold beers, as well as wine and some fabulous tropical cocktails!  Our low season hours are 11 to 5 from Monday to Saturday. 

We are excited to be offering a new refreshing option for dining in Akumal - look for dinner at Lucy’s Too this coming summer high season!!!”

Plaza Ukana Is Now Gated
It now requires some kind of special authorization and card to get a vehicle into Plaza Ukana, because CEA has installed an automated gate/boom to prevent unauthorized people from entering and parking there.

El Día de los Niños Cancelled
Maggie McKown reports that the activities at the Hekab Be Biblioteca de Akumal have been cancelled, because the Mexican government has closed all schools, and the library, until May 7 due to the flu outbreak in Mexico City..

 
PLAYA DEL CARMEN

One Set of Topes Gone
A set of topes has been removed from MX307 just south of Playa del Carmen.  These are the ones that were by the El Palomar Mini-Golf course and Gotcha paint ball place, where the police have the little tent on the median strip.

Xcaret Zip Line
Not sure if this is actually part of Xcaret or not, but what looks like an extensive zip line network is being built right at the entrance to Xcaret.  A tall tower is being constructed on the east side of MX307, right where the huge Mexican flag is, and it looks like this tower will be the starting point for the zip line.  There are numerous other towers in the complex. Work on this project has been progressing quite nicely, and it looks like it could be ready to go in another month or two.
 

EVENTS

During the month of April, the BIG event was the “Best Shirt Award”.

 

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