Book Review: Diana Kennedy, Rendered Lard, and the Late, Great Steve Rogers

Originally published in June of 2012, republished in 2017. My dad Steve Rogers was a good cook, maybe even a great cook. He could turn a few wilting odds and ends  into a memorable lunch, and his obsessive interest in traditional methods and ingredients was matched by a fearless creativity that led him far off the beaten path. When I was a little girl, I loved to sit and watch him in the kitchen. Watching Steve cook was like watching […]

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Overlanders

hippie family in van

My dad and I were not allowed to touch the van during the packing process. My mother was in charge, and we were the heavy lifters, hauling plastic tubs of spices, boxes of books, boxes of wine, tool boxes. Tina instructed us to set everything by the back doors of the van. She would crawl underneath the plywood bed, on her hands and knees, visible only by the bottoms of her sneakers. It was my job to stand waiting while […]

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Historical Photo of the Week: On the Road with Steve Rogers

family in van

Our friend Tia just sent me this stellar photo. This pretty much sums up my childhood growing up in a van down by the river. This particular van was named Zebu, after the white humped back cows you sometimes see along Mexican roadsides. I (the toothy child) am sitting on my bed, an oblong plywood box that doubled as a storage compartment. Note the sweet roof rack, the sacred cooler in the foreground, the lucky “God’s eye” hanging from the […]

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Excerpts from Steve's Travel Journal: 1995

editor’s note: When I was in high school, my mom got a job and an apartment so I could go to school in town. Those winters, my dad, Steve Rogers (co-author of People’s Guide to Mexico) went down south on his own for the first time since he and my mom got together. In 1995, my mom gave him a journal to record his travels for us.  I know other people out there miss Steve as much as I do, […]

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New San Miguel Art Center Honors Jon Schooler

A painted dog by artist Jon Schooler

Gentleman rancher Hugo Granados is opening a contemporary art museum, the Casa Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, on former ranch lands just outside San Miguel de Allende, Gto. Described as a “handsome international playboy with a great eye for art, ” Granados combed local galleries and museums to create a standing collection of art by San Miguel artists, including work by  Mario Cabrera, Jeffrey Brown, Martin Cramer, and Keith Keller, as well as 26 paintings by our own Jon Schooler. Schooler, […]

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My Father in Ten Songs

Dad blindfolds his daughter for pin-the-tail at birthday party.

The venerable garage band Dead Moon has a song called “Don’t Speak Ill of the Dead.“The last verse opens strong: “Some of my friends are gone forever/Paled into the light/Things I wish I could have said/As they passed into the night.” But that’s not the part that gets me. What gets me is the next line, almost an aside. The singer’s voice dips lower into speaking tone, and, in a three word phrase, distills the pain of loss:  “Oh, I […]

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The Trip in Full

'87 Dodge van parked in palm grove.

So we made it. 6,500 miles in an ’87 Dodge van. We camped off-road in Chihuahua. We got lost at night on the back roads of Oaxaca. We drove through states, such as Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, that are known as hot spots in the narco wars. According to one study, we drove through three of the top twenty most violent cities in the world (by murder rate):  Acapulco, Torreon, and Culiacan.                                                                                                                            photo by Gina Dilello We rode the subways […]

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I diverted myself with talking to my parrot…

tiBeautiful drawing of man talking to parrot.

While browing through the New York Public Library’s excellent digital collection, I found the above image, with the descriptor already noted in this blog post: “I diverted myself with talking to my parrot.” The title reminds me of someone I used to know… [Originally an illustration for Robinson Crusoe. Illustrator Rhead, Louis (1857-1926)]

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Frank and Steve

When we drove Miss Louisiane to Mexico in 2010, Tia decreed the voyage, “The Steve Rogers Memorial Road Trip” because she knew Steve would have been drooling over Miss Louisiane’s “pristine condition” (She only had 40,000 miles on her when Tia bought her–pretty good for an ’87 van). It only seemed appropriate to name Miss Louisiane’s second expedition south “The Frank Holton Memorial Road Trip” in memory of Miss Louisiane’s former mechanic and (our dear friend) who died suddenly at […]

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