In the fall of 2009, Mariner magazine asked if I’d go to Mazatlan to write about the cliff divers there. I’d watched cliff divers in Acapulco during the ’70s on ABC’s Wide World of Sports but didn’t know they were still plunging into the sea. I spent three days with the divers, who – if [...]
“Oh my God – it’s a black caiman,” he exclaims. “These are endangered – look at this!” Victor places one arm under the neck of the scaly creature, best described as a small alligator with teeth that could do some serious damage. “Want to hold it?” he asks. “Just put your hand under his neck and you’ll be fine.”
The flames rise 30 feet into the air, casting a lurid glow on spectators’ faces. The burning effigy gives off a villainous stench, its acrid smoke engulfing the plaza. Bomberos (firefighters) watch nervously as thousands of Guatemalans howl and rejoice, stamping their feet and jumping into the air to get a better view of the demise of el diablo.
The sloping Cabaret Room, where films were shown and recitals held, is another display of Wright’s wizardly. It stays cool because it’s partly underground. Dinner was served on tables that folded down when the performance started and the acoustics were nearly perfect. The Wrights sat in back so they could overhear what guests up front were saying. “If they weren’t nice,” Burrows said, “they didn’t get invited back.”