Do you believe in Fate? Well, I do!! If it weren’t for Fate how would a gal from Eastern Montana be living in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico?
It all started in 1964 at a teachers’ meeting when a woman I never knew and never saw again, told me about her sojourn into Mexico. She repeated many times how after driving the entire country, she had found Álamos. Her words were, “It is the only place in Mexico.”
I went home that evening and in my daily log I wrote, “Álamos, the only place in Mexico.” I never thought of this city again until 1987.
I had just redecorated my apartment in Santa Barbara, California, with white carpet and inlay in the entrance. I had the beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean—who could ask for more?
I became active in several organizations in Santa Barbara. When one of these organizations had a travel tour to raise funds and they couldn’t get people to join, they called and asked me to hostess a party to entice more people to participate.
One bright sunny day in Santa Barbara, friends called and invited me to join them in going to the Psychic Fair being held at a local church. It was a fundraiser and would be a lot of fun. As we entered the church, I looked around to find a psychic with whom I felt a connection.
After a few phrases of introduction, she looked at the cards and asked me, “Are you in real estate?”
I answered, “No.” She then told me the following, “I see you in front of a long white wall with bars on the doors and windows!” My first thought was, “Am I going to jail?” She continued with, “on opening the inside door and window doors, you see beautiful gardens, fountains, pools with long portals of many columns.”
Luckily I had a tape recorder upon which I had recorded this session. This too I forgot about.
Because of the response that filled the travel tours, an associate of the Santa Barbara Historical Society called me with urgency in her voice and asked if she could see me immediately. She arrived and proceeded to tell me that a group of 40 persons wanted to go to— guess where? Yes, Álamos. She asked me if I would set up the necessary tour and lead it.
After talking to my friend from the historical group, I called a good friend and traveling companion to ask her if she wanted to go to Mexico. I would be driving. I told her about the tour and said that after all these years it was now or never to see this place called Álamos.
We arrived on a hot dry October afternoon. When we entered the city and passed the bust of Benito Juarez, I knew I was HOME! I rented a home for January of 1991 so that on my return, I would be settled.
I decided I would rent, not buy. Let someone else worry about the roof and the water heater. Well, you know how rentals are; the stove isn’t too good and the bathroom is too small. I started looking for places for sale.
Ruth Coltis was elderly and a great friend. I would take her to brunch at the Tesoras Hotel a couple of times a month and she would tell me about the old times and people of Álamos. She had lived here since the 1960s and told great stories. I decided to show her places in which I had an interest. She shrugged her shoulders and nodded, but not enthusiastically. As we drove on Calle Obregon going to the Tesoras Hotel, she pointed to a wall and said, “That’s what you should buy.” By the time I turned my head to look, we had passed the property. After brunch, I drove slowly by the property. It looked small and overgrown, but
my interest had peaked.
Now getting back to that FATE! A week later, I was at a dinner party and one of the other guests said, “I think I will sell that property.” My ears perked up and I asked her to lunch the following Sunday and asked if she would bring the land survey. Sunday arrived and we drove to the property. I walked it. It was about 5000 square feet. Just perfect for a small turnkey home.
That was 1992. I designed a home that would give me the Álamos portal, garden, and pool. I spoke to many people who had built or remodeled homes in Álamos. Three people were great help. One was Hector Valencia. He explained the type of paint that would be good to use on the bricks that are not fired very long. David and Joyce Moss emphasized the importance of a large drainage pipe and told me, “Never put a ceiling fan under a skylight.” And last, but not least, dear Dr. Don Coleman. The Dr. came to me and said he had heard I was going to build. He said, “Mary, you have no husband, which is a detriment in this macho culture. You do not speak the language and the workers are going to rip you off because of these problems.”
My ground breaking was on January 3, 1993. I had invited many of my friends to join in this historic event. Drinks and food would be served and a good picture-taking would top the day.
When I arrived at the lot, my friends were there and told me about the robbery which resulted in the shooting and death of dear Dr. Coleman. We bowed our heads and prayed.
The house was finished in 1995 and my friends and I christened the property with a swimming pool party.
Many people have asked me how did I build this home in two years. My answer was, “I took it over and became the contractor; no interference from others!”
As of this writing, my home is 17 years old in August. I open it for the Amigos de Educacion fund-raising house tours. So many questions are asked by the people on these tours. One of the funniest was from a gentleman from Florida who told me that I had the perfect house with one exception. “What is that?” I asked. He replied, “You have no hammock.” I pointed to the large hooks on the last two columns. We all enjoyed the laughter.
Because of ill health and age, I am selling this charming and happy home.
Oh, about the tape from the psychic fair. I found the tape and played it. Remember the doors and windows open to lovely gardens and fountains, long portals with ferns and flowers in abundance? Well, this is ÁLAMOS.