Oaxaca, Mexico: An Expatriate Life
The Writing of Stan Gotlieb
I have lived in Mexico since 1994. Before I came to Oaxaca, I had never had a single thought of becoming a writer. All that changed when, after sending three letters to a personal friend who happened to be the publisher of a monthly newspaper in Minneapolis, I received a check for $75, with a note asking that I keep submitting pieces. Dumbstruck, I stood rooted to the spot outside the Oaxaca post office until I could answer the question "does this mean I'm a writer?".
Since then (I answered "yes"), I have published over 100 "Letters From Mexico", 200 subscription-only "Oaxaca / Mexico Newsletter", and several magazine articles and book contributions.
Featured here are chapters from a work in progress, tentatively titled "An Inappropriate Life". Intended as memoire, these slices from my life are meant to amusing, historical, and, for some, disturbing.
- An Introduction, in which I talk about
myself and hint at what is to come.
- My Ancestors (part1) tells a little more about my father and his life before I came along.
- Life With Father deals with early influences
on my young self.
- Little Boy Lost tells about the first time I ran away from home.
- How Bill Haley Changed My Life. Rock
and Roll forever, man...
- The University of Minnesota was a surprisingly
liberal place in the mid 50s.
- Live / Die / Drink is about poet John
- Race Relations is about dealing
with racism in off-campus life in 1957.
- For Example, Bentley is an elegy for a
dead friend and a past life.
- >R.I.P. Dave von Ronk is about the blues, from Minneapolis to Oaxaca.
- Me and Bobby D dishes some dirt about a
rich, famous person.
- Scoring Dope In Oaxaca, wherein our hero
goes to the end of the trail to track down a pot of green.
- A Prince of North Beach introduces the
reader to our new landlord.
- Our Pad in North Beach was a home away from
home for many people.
- Anti-war organizing gets our interest and our support.
- Where Did Everybody Go? San Francisco
in the "summer of love".
- Who Was That Masked Man? Memories of
- Get Thee to a Commune reveals the roots
of what would become one of the seminal formations of the "new commune" movement.
- The Old Country: We flee the U.S. for
- Greece in the Time of the Colonels was
a tricky place to be.
- Tonight, Don't Go Everywhere is about being
trapped in a potential warzone.
- Welcome to Sunny Greece reveals how
cold weather and a cold hearted headmistress put an end to our career teaching
English in Thessaloniki.
- Scoring In the Old City is about buying hashish
- Sailing, Sailing: Getting from here to
there with a piece of hash in your pocket can be a bit of a nail biter...
- Is She or Isn't She?: Tripping around Istanbul
- Where is Omar When You Need Him? in which
we go tenting across Europe.
- Group Sex details some experiences in
alternative living arrangements.
- Which One of You Mutherf***s Stole My Blue Jeans? covers
a trip to Oregon from Minnesota, by way of Berkeley. Sex, drugs, political
protest and "bad" language...
- CRO Goes to the Movies details my brief
career in the cinema.
- I Am What I Eat: Meat is about vegetarianism
and drugs down on the Farm.
- Sex on the Edge deals with taboo
- Power to the People examines the revival
of the co-op movement in the 70s.
- What Did You Say Your Name Was? Ramblin'
Jack Elliot and a miraculous night in an anarchist vegie restaurant.
- The Co-0p Wars i s about how the "movement" eats
them Anything.Some of the Oregon communards end up in Wisconsin.
- Thar She Blows takes place on the St. Lawrence
Seaway during whale migration.
- What I Did on my Summer Vacation is
about when I went to prison.
- Hush Puppies are Where It's At: Fashion
and the pecking order among the incarcerated.
- Marvin Davidov, Presente!: Contemplating lost heroes at the end of life.