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Bernardo and the Virgin (Latino Voices) Hardcover – November 28, 2004
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In September he flew to Nicaragua. In October when the NY Mets blew their chances of getting in the World Series, Brian wrote to me that he was not coming home because of the Mets' implosion. He was traveling all over Nicaragua, having a blast. In November I thought to send him a Christmas present. Based on Joshua Berman's review on his Nicaragua travel web site I bought Bernardo and the Virgin. Berman is the co-author of the Moon Guide to Nicaragua.
So I mailed Bernardo and the Virgin to Brian c/o Jimmy Three Fingers in Granada. Brian swore via email I didn't need any more address than that. Well, each time I emailed him I asked if he got my Christmas present, and it never arrived. Then for a while I didn't hear from my brother. I emailed Jimmy Three Fingers in Spanish and English, never got a reply. Jan 1, 2008 I flew down to visit my brother. When I got to Granada he was right where he said he'd be, at the bar at Jimmy Three Fingers drinking a cerveza.
He was happy to see me and I spent a great week seeing the country. We took a three day trek in the highlands of Jinotega coffee country. But, back to the book. Before I left to come home he asked me to take back some stuff to lighten his load. He handed me the book, Bernardo and the Virgin. Seems it had been behind the bar. The barmaid had watched Brian open it, and he told me she seemed very disappointed to find the gift was a book. She asked if he liked to read.
Brian told me I could take it home as it is a heavy book and he honestly wasn't going to read it just then. He had a book already, Jimmy Buffett's Tales from Margaritaville. So I flew home with Bernardo and the Virgin. Started reading it in the airport in Managua, I enjoyed it very much. There is one chapter so remarkable I would match it up with some of the finest short stories I have ever read. I recommend this book highly. I felt good after reading it.
What about my brother? Well, Brian was in the Zoom Bar in Granada during the Superbowl. He bet on the underdogs, the NY Giants, who miraculously won and Brian won his plane fare home. I am going to see him Tuesday and give him the book again. I think he will like it.