HOLA - Homes by 1962 - Allison Irwin

That’s “hello” in Spanish, not to be confused with the shout out “holla”. I’ve been feeling the Mexican vibe ever since I walked into a little gem a few weeks ago. I get an immediate flavor when I meet these guys. Some are more buttoned up and lend themselves to a refined look. Refined works for me. As long as he’s willing to take on a fun pop or two, I’m in. Who doesn’t love rounding the corner to find the unexpected? Other guys, like the Frank Sinatra dreamboat, have a undying swagger. They make you nervous in the best way. They’re full of fresh style and endless fun. Pattern play, mixed metals, custom features…they’ll pull it all off…effortlessly. The hombre I met struck me as Mexican, mid century modern immediately. He was built in 1962 (a sign?), has a great tile roof, mid century modern details and in my mind, could be bumped up easily with some Mexican flair. I see more color for this man, cement tile floor detail and lots of patio play. Outdoor living is key when you live in a great climate. This hombre has a pool, nice exposure and unobstructed mountain views.

I’ve had a love affair with Mexico my whole life. The seed was planted early with my grandparents. They traveled from Texas down south of the border often. Cuba had been their original spot in the 1950’s, but as the political climate changed and Castro took over, they shifted their travels. Acapulco, Guadalajara, San Miguel de Allende and Puerto Vallarta would be their go-tos for the next two decades. They were there long before the beaches and cities were discovered by the masses…remote and undeveloped was how they described them. As they spent more and more time across the border, close friendships developed and soon enough the families were swapping kids each summer for an exchange. That’s where my mom comes in. She has countless stories of adventures in Mexico complete with meaningful friendships and one fleeting, lost romance which pains her even today. I’m sure it plays out more like a telenovela in her mind, but she does seem genuinely sad about the lost love. I hear about this real life hombre every now and again. She explains how her life could have taken a whole other turn if she had only been brave. I remind her that being brave would have eliminated the possibility of me. When you are lost in what could have been, I suppose even your only child can be cast aside. Mom ended up going with the American beau…aka my father…and continued on with a life that was more expected of her.

Both of my parents adored Mexico. They spoke the language and studied there. Mom immersed herself in art and Spanish at Monterey Tech before she married my Dad. As newlyweds my parents lived in Guadalajara and Dad had a short stint studying medicine at the Autónoma. Mom describes these days as the best in their marriage. I’ve heard so many stories from life back then that I can see their colorful apartment on the hill, taste the Bing’s coconut ice cream on my lips and sip fresh, street vendor juices. Sounds of mariachis serenading the two on dinner dates out are scenes I’ll hold in the forefront of my mind. I’ll take those clips any day over the episodes of messiness which eventually led to their break up. Mariachis over messiness people!

I was finally able to discover the country for myself at age three. My first plane ride was to Puerto Vallarta. I was enchanted with the friendly people, in love with the way they spoke and marveled at the way my skin turned brown. My love for Mexico and the Latin culture only grew as time went on. I’m a southwest girl through and through and everyone knows how much this region is Latin influenced. From Texas, to New Mexico, now Arizona and even the two summers I spent California dreaming, I love the border states. I speak Spanish, my children are learning and I would be lying if I did not see myself living somewhere in Mexico, for a stretch of time, at some point in my life. When my mind drifts too far south and I get lost in Mexican scheming, I reel myself in. That wise Beatle quietly reminds me, “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

So…about face to today. There are three eligible bachelors hanging around and as much as I’d love to just get on with it…the foreplay will have to continue. We are in a selling season and on this side of the transaction, it’s all about the buy. Mr. Frank Sinatra fabulous, the Mexican mid-century modern and the scraper are all available as of now. I haven’t even mentioned the scraper! Poor guy. He’s poised in a good location but has almost zero redeeming qualities. Zero. He’s not fun to write about..not now. If I end up building him from the ground up, he’ll make a better story.

You can’t rush romance and you certainly can’t force it. I’m taking my time choosing this next Mr. and in all honesty waiting for the temperature to rise…literally. Sweat can be a good thing when it comes to getting a better deal. On the emotional side, I’m the same as all hopeless romantics. I want to be head over heels, punch drunk daily for the next Mr. I want to get the butterflies, miss him madly and have time fly by at lightening speed despite hours and hours together. The dance is so much better that way.

P.P. (Post Post)
The image above was taken in the early 1960’s….enhanced by the talented Michael Rubin. It’s my grandparents dancing the night away in Acapulco. Here’s to you Ann and Foster. Thanks for planting the Mexico loving seed.



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