“. . . 35 years earlier?”

Neighbor Mike made this black eye patch for me, neither of us having found a commercial eye patch, just the big oval Band-Aids I’ve been wearing! 🙂 As expected, most people (especially Americans) who see it almost immediately say, “Arrrrrgh – A Pirate!”

Always wanting to be different, I’m going to call it my “Rooster Cogburn Patch!” He was the fictional Rooster Cogburn, U.S. Marshall, Fort Smith, AR in the novel True Grit turned into the 1969 movie True Grit with which John Wayne earned his first Oscar and Glen Campbell a best song oscar. Thanks to my next door neighbor, George, for first calling me “Rooster Cogburn” instead of a pirate! Great idea George! 🙂

Note that there were 3 more movies made about the same story or novel, but as usual, the first was the classic. And because Fort Smith was my mother’s hometown, where we visited Grandmother uncountable times growing up, with cousins still living there – it is a special place! And all of us from Arkansas hated that they filmed True Grit in Colorado with snow capped mountains instead of real Arkansas/Oklahoma scenery where it took place in the book.

When John Wayne received his first oscar as “Best Actor” for Rooster Cogburn in True Grit 1969 version, he responded to the Academy, who had by-passed him many times before for oscars . . .

“Wow! If I’d known that, I’d have put that patch on 35 years earlier.”

~John Wayne


They tell me you’re a man with true grit.

~Mattie Ross (in the movie True Grit)

And actually I’m going to have my seamstress make me another, one or maybe 2 or 3, that are just a tad bigger to avoid any light coming in and to ride higher on my forehead, but for now, this one works great!

Saving Report on Radiation Consultation for Monday . . .

. . . because what I did yesterday was an hour+ consultation with the doctor going over all the medical details, side affects, procedures, and what I can and can’t do the next 3 months; though she assured me that my scheduled July birthday trip to the Osa Peninsula is still okay. I had already canceled my May return to Arenal, knowing it would be impossible. So I will be ready for my July trip like never before! 🙂

Monday, Karen, who is the logistics person for radiation, will be calling me to make all the arrangements, price discount, schedules and other details when I will then do just one report on the coming radiation therapy. And may share then the total cost of this cancer.

¡Pura Vida!

Central Park Renovation Update

It’s been awhile since I’ve reported since not much obvious work has been going on except for 2 to 4 men most days working on this one radial sidewalk from the central kiosk to the northeast corner of the park since January. It has taken much of 5 months with 7 more sidewalks to go, it may be awhile before the renovation is complete!    🙂

At least I’ve learned that the sidewalks will be concrete rather than the old brick sidewalks, which at first was disappointing for the historical look, but they are definitely going for a modern look and concrete will also be more practical and cost less I would imagine and the younger generations everywhere definitely prefer modern. There is a trough down the center of the sidewalk which will probably be used to hide electrical wires, since the storm drain is a bigger pipe already buried under all this.

I like the two half circles off this walk with built-in seating for groups to assemble or people in general to visit. And not only are there built-in seats in the circle, but all the sidewalk walls are at sitting level, meaning there will be a lot more seating than the old park benches have provided. And that fits the purpose of bringing people together and the new modern look of the park too! I like it! When finished, the Central Park will really be the center of life in Atenas!

My date on this is March 30, so from this point to below in 2+ months, though they really started here in January of 2020. A long time for one sidewalk with 2 seating areas!
Entrance from the NE corner of park across from POP’s Ice Cream. Brick is city sidewalk.
There are two of these sitting areas off this radial walk.
This is same as above seen from the other direction.
The other sitting area is closer to center of park and has steps & wheelchair ramp. Tarp is workers’ for rain and sun during this construction.


“Parks and playgrounds are the soul of a city.”
― Marty Rubin


The Architect Plans Facebook Page has been taken down or the old link doesn’t work now. Sorry.

See my Central Park Renovation Photo Gallery  with chronological photos of the progress.

¡Pura Vida!

One of Best in the World!

Alma de Café in the National Theater, downtown San Jose, was chosen by a British publication as one of the best coffee shops in the world. I’ve been there and it is a wonderful “Old World” coffee shop that would be at home anywhere in Europe and has fabulous coffee and pastries! I highly recommend it! Read about it’s new honor on Christopher Howard’s “Live in Costa Rica” Blog.

¡Pura Vida!


Park Benches Replacement?

In my continued “updating” of the progress on Atenas Central Park Renovation I noticed today that they seem to be working on the sidewalk to the church first and one side has a little concrete wall at sitting level which could easily replace all the many park benches that used to line the sidewalks. An interesting and practical change if they do it on all 8 sidewalks radiating from the center. And when vendors set up along the sidewalks during fiestas, they won’t need folding chairs behind their tables, but can sit on the wall.  🙂

I didn’t know if all sidewalks will have these walls, so I just checked on the official   Facebook Page presenting the remodeling  and sure enough they will! Like continuous park benches throughout the park to bring more people together!

And don’t forget that I have a Renovating Central Park Atenas update photo gallery with all the photos I’ve posted on this blog. You can visually see the progress, even if slow.  🙂   What was once said to be finished by Christmas 2018 will possibly be complete by Christmas 2020!   🙂

“Land forests are the coral reefs of the ocean of air.”
― Steven Magee

¡Pura Vida!

Sitting on Rocks? Park Remodel Update…

The other day I showed that they were now building the concrete seating in a circle around the “Kiosk” or Band Shell. Well today as I walked by before my haircut I noticed something interesting. Instead of using re-barb inside the huge concrete two-level seating they are using locally harvested rocks – yep – big rocks around which they hand-pour concrete from buckets. Hmmm. Well, it does help fill in the space with something more than just concrete! And I’m not an engineer, so maybe it is as good as re-barb though I have my doubts, especially since we regularly have earthquake tremors around here. Oh well, not my problem!   🙂   Pura vida!

Step 1: Fill each level of form with rocks.



Step 2: Hand pour concrete around rocks.



Step 3: Finish with smooth concrete.



Step 4: Finished product looks great!



“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”      ~George S. Patton

¡Pura Vida!


My growing gallery of progress on the Atenas Central Park Remodeling.

The city has  a Facebook Page presenting the remodeling with architect drawings of how they expect it to look.

Park Renovation – Poco a Poco

Well, this morning they seem to be burying large pipes all around the circular concrete base for the Central Park Kiosk or stage. It could be for electrical and sound wiring underground or simply storm sewer drainage from the roof. No sé! I don’t know! And “poco a poco” means “little by little” they are completing the work. Pura vida! No rush here!    🙂   Without deadline stress you live longer and happier! Hey! We’re one of the happiest countries in the world for a reason!   🙂

See the gallery:  Remodeling Central Park inside my Atenas Gallery (my contribution to local history)   🙂

Or the city’s architect drawings   (can be seen as slide show)

¡Pura Vida!

Art is 1 Reason for San Jose Visits

I decided early in my visiting of Costa Rica to not live in the big capital city of San Jose because I wanted a more tranquil retirement life than most big cities can provide in their, busy, hectic, crowded, expensive and sometimes dangerous ways.

My first choice was always to live in the woods away from everything, but that would require an expensive 4WD car which I early decided I would do without plus in many cases it is actually more expensive, plus generally no where near the needed shopping and medical care a retiree needs.

Thus the “happy medium” or compromise location of the “Central Valley” of Costa Rica within easy bus or other transportation to the best shopping and medical facilities in the country (like most retirees to CR), yet still a somewhat easy trip to escape into the national parks and forests of Costa Rica which has worked well for me. And nature in the far corners of Costa Rica continues to be my focus.   🙂

BUT . . . sometimes there are fun reasons to visit the big city and especially an old, historic and artsy Latin-American city like San Jose (see my Trip Galleries below). Christopher Howard also explains it well in one of his latest blog posts:

Why Expat Retirees Shouldn’t Ignore Costa Rica’s Capital

And in that article you can see why I love the many parks in the city, plus the architecture, a tour I made of just the old colonial churches, the arts, the many museums, art in general and as shown here, as an example, some of the many public art sculptures in San Jose:


See my photo gallery San Jose     and/or


San Jose Tented Production of the Cirque du Soleil

¡Pura Vida!

Little Theatre in Atenas

The Little Theatre Group of Costa Rica, which Atenas Expats often travel to San Jose to see perform, came to Atenas today, performing for about 70 of the Atenas Men’s Club at the Barons Resort atop Vista Atenas after a fine lunch by Barons. Here’s just 4 shots to depict the experience:

“Fault Lines,” a comedy by George Sapio

Performed atop Vista Atenas at Barons Resort

After a delicious lunch by Barons in their hilltop restaurant.

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We adjourned to a Barons meeting room “Theater” for . . .

FAULT LINES, a comedy by George Sapio, performed by The Little Theatre Group of Costa Rica

You can see and download these 4 photos full-size in my Gallery.


I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.

~Thornton Wilder


¡Pura Vida!