Burying the Umbilicus

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Casa Zalate Fire

Posted by lekorn on November 6, 2009

In May of 1982 Casa Zalate (often referred to as the Casa Juanitas, (1975-2002) caught fire from the heat spreading from the fire at Rita Tillets’ house . There were two theories about the fire: one was that Alfonso burned her place down so he could get the property back from her and Howard, because they were trying to arrange for Zona Federal, and the other was that in her drunken stupor Rita knocked a candle over. Quien sabe? At the time Airforce Dan was watching our house as he lived in the Galeria next door. He later told me that he raced over to dampen down the house with water with a hose from the watertank, but the ground was so hot that when he got close he could tell that the whole house was going to erupt from beneath.  He said he ran for his life as the whole place exploded.  I was up in Boston at the time when Byron called me.  I was in the middle of giving a Polarity treatment and after the news I went back to finish and to say good bye to my client. We rebuilt the Zalate and the small treatment house that summer, with money loaned to me by my parents. People in the village brought plants for the garden.  Don Juan Cruz gave us free rent for a few years and Buddy Berlin paid for the rock wall to be rebuilt and Saul Kaplan (of Saul and Sandy, who had built their house next to Ratza’s a few years earlier ) installed the whole water system.


One Response to “Casa Zalate Fire”

  1. JOSE said

    Really love the pictures and stories. Also, who is that young, beatiful lady in the picture? is it Alejandra?

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