I graduated in 1957 from Brandon Institute with degrees in architecture and administration. In 1963 I went to Germany on a three-month assignment as Manager of Administration on a small civil project for Graham Hanson Corporation.
I spent the next 25 years working on various projects in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
In 1976 I was attending the Transfer of Nuclear Technology to Iran, International Conference in Persepolis, Iran, “the city of roses,” one of the four most beautiful places I have ever seen. During the conference I became friends with a couple of fellow Canadians, Ian and Stella Morrow, who invited me to visit them in Gibsons, British Columbia.
In 1989, I finished my last project and returned to Canada. I sold my home near Toronto, moved to Gibsons, BC. and two years later, while attending a community event in this small town of 8,000, I heard a voice that brought back many memories—a voice I had not heard since I was at NATO headquarters in Brussels five years before. I looked around the room and there was Bryan Judd! What was Bryan doing here? I walked over and tapped him on the shoulder! He turned, looked at me and dropped his glass of champagne. We stood looking at each other for what seemed hours and then hugged each other in between laughing and crying, each asking the same question, “Why are you here?” Bryan, a member of NATO, and I had met in 1984 in Hamburg, Germany, when I was working on the NFR-90, the largest NATO project ever undertaken, with members from Germany, Spain, France, Italy, England, United States, and Canada. Bryan explained that he and his wife, Jayne, were living with Jayne’s dad in Sechelt, just two miles away. We renewed our friendship and in 1993 Bryan invited my husband, Earl, to visit Alamos where they had recently bought a lovely old hacienda. When Earl returned, I asked him what Alamos was like and he replied, “Just like every other Mexican town—dusty, dirty, full of garbage and starving dogs and cats.”
Sometime later Bryan and Jayne moved to Desert Springs, Nevada. In 1999 Jayne was in British Columbia visiting her dad and Earl was in Nevada visiting Bryan. Oliver, my cat and companion of 21 years, became ill and passed away. I was distraught and Jayne suggested I should get away and invited us to spend a month in Alamos. Earl and I accepted and the next day left for Alamos.
As we entered Alamos, our car broke down near the hospital. It was Christmas; it was busy and it was warm. Earl shouted, ”Quick lock your windows and doors. We’re in Mexico and Mexicans can’t be trusted. They’ll break in, rape you, rob, and murder us!” So I locked the doors and windows and we sat there getting hotter and hotter and finally I opened the window. My husband shouted, “Now you’ve done it! They’ll break in and kill us”! Suddenly the car was surrounded by men and for one second I thought, “ Oh my God, he’s right”! Then the car started to roll and the men pushed the car off the street. They offered us water and food, brought a mechanic, and took us to Jayne and Bryan’s home. So much for Mexican bandits!
One night around dusk I took a walk down Galeana and passed an old wall. There was something in the air that night—the moon was shining and the night was magical. Something called to me and I climbed up onto the uninhabited property. I walked around and all of a sudden the hairs on my arm stood up. I looked, but saw nothing. What had frightened me? Suddenly I saw what looked like a woman carrying a lantern back near the old wall but as I got closer she disappeared.
The next day I told Jayne and she thought it was a message for me and said, “Lynda, your marriage is going down the tubes. Why don’t you buy that property, build a house, and spend six months a year here like the rest of us?” Two days later I was the proud owner. I didn’t know how my life would change and that the property was the birthplace of Maria Felix, Mexico’s most famous movie actress.
Maria Felix kept ringing a bell in my memory but it was two or three months before I finally remembered why. In the early 70s I had been working in France and a friend and I had gone to the horse races. A crowd of people was taking pictures of someone. My friend was curious, went to see what was happening, and returned saying, “Lynda, you won’t believe this, but there’s an actress down there who looks just like you!” About a half hour later a photographer asked if he could take my picture. I said sure but why and he said, “Aren’t you Maria Felix’s daughter?” I said I didn’t know who Maria Felix was. A little later he came back with Maria Felix and when she saw me she laughed saying it was like looking into a mirror! He took our picture.
Now here I was, the proud owner of her birthplace. I contacted her in 2003, she remembered our casual meeting, and I invited her to the Ortiz Tirado Music Festival. In January she called saying she was not well but would come in June. She died in April.
Three days after she died a strange thing occurred. During the night I awoke to a noise. Thinking it must be a storm, I went outside but it was eerily quiet. Nothing… just silence! I started walking toward the waterfall to turn on more lights, but an energy force stopped me. I wasn’t afraid, but turned and went back inside. Two days later a friend was visiting and said, “Lynda, look at the wall.” I looked and there was a silhouette of a woman with long hair, a gown with long flowing sleeves and her hands clasped together as in prayer. The silhouette stayed for about five minutes. I think it was Maria Felix returning to her birthplace.
Now I’ve been here 12 years and have only left Mexico three times. I love Alamos. The people are so friendly. I have no desire to leave.