Premonitions… don’t scoff; they are real and although not present all the time, should be listened to whenever possible.
Have you ever heard that one that says… “When your time comes… You will go.” Or, “I was born again on that day” (and I do not refer to a spiritual rebirth) I must assume that the corollary to the first is that when it is not yet your time, you will not go. And this is what the post is about. Despite what you may think due to the travel entries, we had fairly strict development requirements and a lot of work to get done in every trip. However, during those trips which would keep me at my destination through a week end, it was a defined objective to spend from Friday afternoon until Monday morning doing nothing that had to do with work. Hence, the side trips I write about.
As a child, there were some “premonitions” which served me well. In more than one occasion these may have saved my life; one morning, because of a strong hunch, I used a different bus line than the one I used every day for the 28 mile trip to my school. That particular morning, as we rounded a tight curve, called “dead man’s curve”, we noticed that a fire vehicle as well as an emergency vehicle were there. At the bottom of the ravine was the blue and white bus I had not taken. These feelings are not to be ignored and, most times I have not.
One of the primary countries I traveled to on behalf of the association, was
. We had several member companies there and they were (and I assume still are) very active within the association. Seminars, consultations and just plain public relations trips to Mexico were the norm and, as a result, I was there at least once every four to five weeks. Some trips were for one week, some for 2 or 3 days, even a few one day trips were done at times. You get the drift… Mexico
, DF (like our DC) is a large animal. When you are flying in from the south, the last 30 minutes or so of the flight are actually over the city, on your way to the airport. And this is half of the city. At an average approach speed of 125 MPH, take out your calculators and figure out what this means. The city is about the size and shape of Mexico City Puerto Rico… The whole bloody island. It is a great city and, like all major cities, there are good and not so good areas; restaurants, neighborhoods, business centers and wide, ample roads and parks. Most locals get to know about 25% of the city (unless you drive a cab, then about 50%) Usually, my stays would take me to a major hotel on the main avenue, Independencia, right at the rotunda which is home to the beautiful City Angel. Across from the famed Zona Rosa… The Pink Zone; the tourist hub at the center of town.
On this upcoming trip, most of my activities would be centered about the
, the historical center of the city. Although my regular hotel was not very far from this area, it was decided that I would stay at a grand old hotel which bordered the plaza, putting me within walking distance of all my meetings. The scheduled activities would take a full five days, and my return flight was scheduled for Friday afternoon at 3pm, getting me back to Central Plaza by midnight. We would celebrate my birthday on Saturday, instead of on that Friday, the day on which it actually fell. Connecticut
The week went by and the meetings succeeded one another, to the point that I felt like being in a constant, never ending meeting. These included three scheduled breakfast and three dinner meetings. Lunches would be taken wherever and with whomever I happened to be at the time. On this trip, there was no time at all for sightseeing or for little side trips; my days began at 7am and finished after 11:30pm. What actually happened, in keeping with this schedule, is that by Thursday afternoon I had completed all my assignments, and had the rest of my stay time off, until Friday afternoon.
Let’s go back to heeding premonitions. In my life, there have been several strong “urges” at times; no explanations for them and usually out of context with whatever is happening at the moment. You can call them what you may choose to; I call them “premonitions” and, as said before, I feel them and act on them. I had been invited to have dinner with some very dear friends that Thursday evening; it was now about 3pm. The grind of the week had tired me out; I also knew that a long report would have to be made on my return… remember… no laptops yet at the time… just digital recorders at best.
Suddenly, I just knew I had to leave. Now, not later. Tomorrow would be my birthday and I wanted to surprise my family by actually waking up at home. It became a physical need to go, I could not wait. I called my friends and excused myself, telling them I would return in about 3 weeks, with a less hectic schedule, and made a date for dinner with them for that trip. Then, I called AA, where my requests were usually heard, since I had accumulated with them almost 1Million miles.
-“Hi, this is Mr. Alcazar; I am scheduled to fly out to
and NYC tomorrow afternoon, but I need to leave tonight” Miami
-“Sure Mr. Alcazar, we have room available in the 7pm Miami connecting flight out of Mexico and you will arrive in NYC at 1am”
This, after the drive up to CT (there would be no connecting regional flights at that hour) would get me home around 3:30 am
-“Book it please; I will get to the airport by 5:30pm”
So it was… my flight plans were changed without thinking much about it. After this was done I felt a very strange relaxing in both, mind and body. I could not understand this then… I just knew that there was no choice in what was done. I proceeded to pack and get a taxi, even though it was only 3:30 in the afternoon and the ride would be only about 50 minutes. It was like I had a mule driver behind my back, pushing and pushing to get me away from there as fast as I could.
I did eventually get home at 4am and slept through the early morning news. Oh yes, my birthday is September 19th. On that day in 1985, at around 7:30 in the morning, the most wicked earthquake in the history of
wiped out about 9 square miles in the center of town, including the Hotel Regis, where I had been staying until the day before. Mexico City
Do you believe in premonitions? I tell you I do, especially when they come on as strongly as this one did. Had I not heeded it, I would not be here today; I can say this categorically, for the hotel was utterly destroyed. In fact, the place where the hotel existed became a memorial park after the reconstruction.
On the plus side… Since I was reborn on that day, I consider myself to be now 24 years younger than I might be otherwise…
Yeah… yeah, I know… I have tried, but can’t convince my body this is so.
About premonitions and change of life decisions…
, September 19th, 1985. Mexico City
Welcome to life!! Be Well… Be Back!!
Corner where the Regis Hotel was prior to the earthquake