Mojacar always had the it factor…

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The “Good Factor” of these quiet times is meeting old friends and NOW having enough time to talk with them. Marilyn and Reverend Jerry Taylor suit that reckoning as she bought way back in 1971.

Her land, home, all legal fees, and taxes didn’t surpass $9,000 (€6,880). The only hitch came at the notary where she wanted to register the entire amount. A compromise was finally arrived at the colossal sum of $300 (€229), a high price totally unheard of in those days.

Marilyn is one of those street smart, sassy, New York gals.  One wouldn’t even dream about pulling the wool over her eyes.  Her father, a famous song writer, Sammy Gallop, was friends with the stars of the time.  It wasn’t unheard of for her to meet Frank Sinatra or Nat King Cole during her few home hours.  She fell in love with Spain in her university days, attending Madrid in her senior year and wanting to return for more. Her idea was to invest in a small house near the sea for her retirement and to make that investment before everyone else heard about Spain.

Early in the 1970’s, she answered a Mojacar advert placed by the legendary Franny Barber, entrepreneur, sales woman par excellent, and local resident.

Franny was easy to spot with effervescent long white hair and always dressed in uniform with the very much younger Hippy girls of the epoch. She drove a night black Alfa Romeo sports car convertible and flashed about town with a long scarf blowing behind her in the wind like Isadora Duncan.

When Franny arrived, she brought an instantaneous smile to everyone’s face with her quick charged movements and preposterous attitude toward anything as mundane as normal. Wherever she went, she made the scene conform to her wishes. She was smart, well read, and loved art for art’s sake. Any thing or idea that was the slightest different than the norm, she adored and approved of right away. No one ever knew her true age nor had the courage to ask.

Her son, Sonny, walked on water and gave instructions to Buddhist Lamas in his spare time. What a disappointment to meet him wearing the shortest of shorts (not good for a man), bearded, no shirt, and sporting a long woman’s nylon stocking for a hat.

When Sonny didn’t want to be noticed, he’d just pull the stocking down as if to disappear. He believed he was disguised until I told him the awful truth that everyone knew who it was; no one else in all of Spain dressed that way.   

So many good belly laughs we shared that morning. “Were we all crazy then?” Marilyn quips, “or was everybody else around us nuts?” It was a damn honest and meaningful question that I still contemplate too often these days.

We had all found and gathered at a place not even on any of the Spanish maps of those days. Yet, everywhere you went throughout the peninsula, people knew of Mojacar or had already visited the magical kingdom.  Mojacar had “it” before we arrived.

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