A Childhood Idol

When I was a kid I was smitten by Zorro – a dashing and handsome black clad outlaw wearing a mask, riding a horse, brandishing a sword, and always arriving in the nick of time to save the victims from the villains. He had a flowing black cape, a whip and a mustache. Who would NOT want to be him?

I greatly admired that he was acrobatic and agile and smart as a fox. A master swordsman, a great marksman, a skilled horseman! (His hat was kind of stupid, but I forgave him for that.)

The most brilliant thing he did was to leave behind his mark when a situation had been satisfactorily sorted out – zip zip zip with the tip of his sword – a flaming Z!

And then as he galloped off into the sunset someone would always ask the inevitable unanswerable question – Who WAS that masked man?

I loved that show. If only I had been born a Spanish-speaking boy. Once I took a pencil and wrote on my bedroom wall in various sizes and scripts with hearts and swords and flowers “I love Zorro!” I told mom that my brother did it. Unfortunately I was not as foxy as my hero and no one was fooled.

For awhile I practiced signing my name as Don Diego de la Vega and calling everyone caballeros and wishing I could grow facial hair. And then, sadly, I left childhood and Zorro behind me and turned into a boring girl with no talent for the Flamenco. Such is life.

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