For the third year in a row, Cozumel 4 You is proud to host this weekly series, which features island residents – written in their own words, describe how they came to call the island home and what they love about Cozumel.  Running from June – August, you can find the 2 prior years in our archives, 2013 & 2012.

Sometime around 1980, a sweet girlfriend named Tuesday, gifted me a YMCA scuba course (not knowing she would change my life FOREVER!!!). All the training was is a swimming pool, so when it came time for the check-out dive, I had a choice of a muddy lake in central Texas, or Cozumel, & when I found out that Tuesday was going on the CZM trip & needed a roommate, it wasn’t too tough a choice!!!   Despite the fact that I burst my eardrum on the 1st dive, I was HOOKED!!!

I continued returning to CZM as often as possible!!! Labor Day weekend of ’83, I was out sailing in Galveston Bay with my friend Tony (which was a usual occurrence), when I got off the boat Monday evening, I gave Tony my hibachi & ice chest, & he inquired “WHY”??? I informed that I was going to move to CZM the following Friday!!! He asked if I was drunk or crazy, to which I replied “maybe BOTH, but I’ve had it with Houston & the bulls#@t!!”

I had 3 days to pull this off, which included chunking a LIFETIME of possessions & trying to explain to family & friends what was going on. I gave my car back to the bank, sold what I could & left the rest sitting in my rented condo. My dad took me to the airport on Friday Sept. 9th. I shed a few tears on the flight, wondering what the HELL I had just DONE!!! hahaha.

I arrived, not knowing it was “hurricane season”, “rainy season”,  “no girls season”, etc, etc!!! I realized then that I didn’t know anybody, didn’t have a place to live or a job, hardly spoke the language, & not a lot of cash!!! DUHHH!  My pride wouldn’t let me go home, & besides, I had nothing to go home TO!!!

I met a lady from DF who sold t-shirts & she knew Pepe Becerra, & she arranged a meeting. I took my guitar to his office & sang him a Willie Nelson song, & he hired me to play & sing in a little intimate bar (which is now a jewelry store) downstairs in Pepe’s Grill. He gave me food, booze, pay & a room at his Hotel Colonial!!! WOW!!!

There are MANY more stories in this 30 year saga, but my “adult beverage” is empty & it’s time to go to sunset (a daily routine for all these years), so as Bugs Bunny says….”that’s all folks”!!! hahaha!!!! God bless Cozumel (& you, TOO!!!) jc

Jim Chalmers has lived in Cozumel for over 30 years and is a fixture around town, especially during Sunset.  Known for his wit, he was kind enough to write his story for Cozumel 4 You this week.

This story originally appeared in the weekly Cozumel 4 You NEWS – the island’s number one source of positive information about our island!  Be sure and subscribe to the weekly NEWS to find out all the island events!…

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