Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Fastest Man in Loreto!

Most of you reading this will already know that I am currently back in Canada attending the Mexico Living Expo being held in Calgary to promote tourism and Real Estate in Mexico. As a result I have a treat for all of you, a Guest Blog by a Loreto Bay Homeowner and a good friend of mine, Peter.

The idea for this Blog first came to me in the form of an email from Peter who told me briefly about his experience meeting a very interesting Loretano in town. Originally, Peter suggested that I might be interested in meeting this person and writing my own piece about him. Knowing that I would be heading north this week and wouldn’t have much time to write, it seemed to me that this was a great opportunity for Peter to step in and write the following piece.

The fact that Peter has been a loyal Reader of these postings from the beginning, it only took a moderate bit of arm twisting to convince him to try his hand at authoring a post himself. As the results show below, he has the gift of putting his personality (and sense of humor) into his words.

After writing this Blog for over two years and almost 100 postings, I feel a real sense of responsibility to you my Readers to come up with what I hope will be an interesting piece each week about life in Loreto. Needless to say, it is sometimes a challenge to find a topic, and I confess that some weeks I wonder if I have hit the mark. Ironically, it is often from those Blogs that I have had my doubts about, that I get the best feedback.

It is for that reason that I am so pleased to be able to offer someone else’s thoughts and perspective about the experiences we share in Living Loreto. So I hope you enjoy Peter’s Blog as much as I did!

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I was looking for tennis racquet tape when I wandered into the store. My attention was drawn to a display case of medals and an array of trophies. Even my beginner Spanish could translate, “… National 100 meter Track Champion.” As I paid for the tape I pointed to the display, “Is that you?”

I discovered I was talking to Rogelio Cortes, local sports hero and a man of eclectic accomplishments and interests. Rogelio is the owner of ‘Deportes Blazer’, the sports goods and musical instruments store on Hidalgo, a curious combination of merchandise, until you get to know more about his background.

Rogelio is a true Loretano having been born within sight and sound of the iconic Mission, in the “Casa de la Abuela.” By the time he was eleven he had started winning track and field medals and it was during his teen years that he achieved prodigious success on the track, culminating in three National 100 meter Championships. Rogelio also took his speed to the tennis court and, blessed with the eye/hand coordination that eludes many of us, he won several Baha Sur tennis championships.

The Olympics beckoned and a scholarship was offered but with the condition that he become a teacher. Rogelio was not prepared to abandon the family tradition and chose to study for an economics degree at UABCS (the local College in Loreto), eventually becoming the fourth generation of economics graduates in the Cortes family.

Not content with burning up the track, Rogelio next took his quest for speed into the world of auto racing and in 1993 became the first Loretano to win a race class in the Baja 400. He also has the trophies to prove his most recent successes in the Baja quad bike races.

In 2006, the Loreto municipal council broke from the tradition of naming public buildings after (re)tired politicians and announced that the local soccer stadium would carry Rogelio’s name, in recognition of his stellar sporting skills and the honor he had brought to the community.

But there’s more……Rogelio and his family are talented musicians…hence the array of drums, guitars and other musical instruments displayed alongside sporting goods in his store. If you attended the recent Biker’s Band event at Del Borrachos you would have seen Rogelio playing bass in his band “Se ‘Cab√≥”, along with his brother, the architect Jesus Cortes. However as modestly proud as he is of his own musical accomplishments Rogelio takes particular pleasure from the budding success of his son, Oscar.

Drew’s recent blog, “Rockfest-Rock of Ages” lauded “serious talent amongst the younger generation in Loreto.” Well guess what? Oscar Cortes and his cousin are the backbone of the band “Hammer Hit’ who walked away as winners of the youth contest, beating out the competition from all over BCS. Meanwhile his charming young daughter is starting to display her musical talent while Rogelio’s wife, Maricruz is an accomplished singer.

In my follow up conversations with Rogerio I found him to be an engaging character, not carried away with his local celebrity status. He confessed that his knees are starting to complain when he takes part in intense tennis tournaments.

So next time you’re hunting for sporting goods or musical instruments take a look at the display behind the cash desk at Desportes Blazer and you’ll see evidence of someone who is very much part of the establishment in this community, someone who can truly claim to be “Living Loreto”!
 
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