Dolores, Cesar Costa & The Red Jaguar XKEFriday, May 27, 2011
My three days, one evening and one morning in Austin are going to compress a lot of stuff. For one I will see guys who I haven’t seen since 1961. At least I will not have to go through the mutual shock of running into a former girlfriend, but a shadow of her former beauty, since St. Ed’s was a boarding school for young men. The women we occasionally saw were from a nun’s school on the other side of the Capitol, called St. Mary’s. My former girlfriend is happily running a cheerleading equipment business in San Antonio and will not make the effort to meet this shadow.
But there is one beautiful woman that I will see. She used to be called María de los Dolores Tow Humphrey but now she is Dolores Ploszay. Dolores, as we always called her is one of my Argentine cousins on my mother’s side. She inherited her mother’s (Dolores) beauty but in contrast. If her mother was the Audrey Hepburn of the family the younger Dolores has always been our very own Marilyn but with a Latin touch. She has a mezzo voice and eyes that kill.
In the picture here Dolores is on the left. Behind her is a distant cousin of ours called Louie Miranda. In the middle are her half brother and sister Shelley and David. The young man on the right is her full brother Robin. I am the boy in the back with my two doors wide open. Somebody took this picture in my house on Sierra Madre Street in Mexico City around 1954.
In 1962 Dolores stayed with us for a few weeks in an apartment that my mother and grandmother were renting on Avenida Insurgentes. We were next to a gun shop owned by a Basque jai-alai friend of hours and next door there was a handsome residential home. One late evening, a drunken man rang our door bell. My abuelita opened the door. The man said, “Mi querida Mamá, dejame entrar.” (My dear mother let me in.) My grandmother was indignant and slammed the door on the man. Dolores and I could have told her what was afoot. Some evenings Dolores and I would go to the roof with my four inch reflector telescope. My grandmother would smile in approval at her young grandkids’ interest in astronomy. She did not know that once on the roof we would point the scope down to the house next door and peek through the window at lightly clad women who were drinking with fat moustachioed men. As soon as stuff started happening in some other window we would immediately swing around. But to our chagrin, whenever stuff did happen the blinds were invariably closed.
Some three years later my grandmother and mother had moved again to a nicer apartment on Avenida Tamaulipas, a block away from the house the Edward Weston had occupied with Tina Modotti in the 20s.
One man my grandmother did not like was a slightly older man called Brito. He was tall, dark and very handsome. If the man overstayed his welcome my grandmother would pass by holding a broom in her hand and then going to the kitchen and loudly placing it behind the door. Placing a broom behind the door usually makes guests leave (especially if they see you doing it!).
But there was another young man who came to pick up Dolores. He was Cesar Costa who at the time was as famous as Elvis in Mexico (but not as good or perhaps I have always thought that “hey, baby!” simply does not translate well into Cervantes Spanish.
Cesar Costa arrived in a beautiful bright red Jaguar XKE convertible.
When I contacted Dolores a few day ago to tell her of my visit to Austin I asked her about Cesar Costa and his Jag. Would you believe that this woman has no recollection?