Travel Reference
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I felt awkward but Xavier was amused. Daniel Cid pulled out volumes of books, which
showed artifacts and photos of where he had collected them. I asked, “How did you get
Señor Cid said, “I was in many businesses. I had a truck and this farm. I raised a little
corn and as I was plowing, I turned up stones. They were part of a temple pyramid.” This
pyramid, a small hill today, overgrown with grass, bushes, cactus and even a dying tree,
was a short walking distance from his home.
Daniel Cid was enjoying himself, recounting his history, knowing that he had made major
contributions. “I've been a member of INAH nearly from the beginning. They started sixty
years ago, and I'm been a member for fifty-four years.” He must be the longest living
member. He said with joy, “When I got old, they honored me. Governor Miguel Aleman
and I went to Mexico City, and we had a great banquet. They felt that I deserved a pen-
sion. I had supported myself all those years. They treated me like a general, but they paid
me like a recruit.” He laughed. He had told this story many times, and he loved having a
new audience.
“Can we see the pyramid, the first excavation?” I asked.
“Oh, yes, you can see it,” and he went to get more photos. He showed us pictures of a
younger self, age 36, slender wearing a white straw fedora, standing in front of an ex-
posed tiered temple, with the unexcavated hill forming the back and sides. “An earthquake
caused a landslide and it's a mound of earth now.”
He took us to see shelves of some of the minor items and souvenirs from his digs. He had
a number of rusty pistols, revolvers and rifles that he had uncovered. I thought, “These
weapons have tales to tell.”
Xavier was doing very little translating. There just wasn't time, and I followed the con-
versation with little difficulty. Daniel Cid had the stage, and he enjoyed every moment.
He told us about finding gold and how his house became a jail, pointing to the bars on his
windows. “Thieves thought I would keep the treasure in my home,” he said. “How foolish.
They came but the gold was in the bank vault.”
We went outside. Daniel Cid and his wife said goodbye and directed us down the dirt
country road to the pyramid. I thanked him and said, “Forty years ago I studied in Spain; I
know Spain has a Cid. Now I know a Mexican Cid. And I know who is the greater hero.”
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