Episode #780

January 13, 2024

I have had the privilege of sharing my life with the most interesting human beings.
Taco is one of the highlights.

The legend of Don Taco is a blur of lifelong memories of real and imagined events.

In high school I met Taco on the “hill” in front of the admin building where the Honors group ate lunch. I was in various “groups” beginning in group 4 freshman year and proceeding to group 2 junior and senior years. I always liked the honors kids. They were smart and interesting and non conforming.

When I approached Taco that first day on the “hill” he was talking to David about the Movie Club, saying “I’m looking forward to going to San Francisco to make a movie about peace protests.”
“It is going to be a great adventure,” said David.
I asked, “How are you making a movie?”
“We belong to the Servite Movie Club. It is moderated by our English teacher.”
“Can I join?” I asked.
“Sure. I am Don Taco, King of Mexico.”
I shook his hand. “I’m Ricki.”

I sat down to eat my lunch.

I never did discover how he came to be King of Mexico. Perhaps it was from one of the road trips to Mexico. I did hear that he and another friend were almost busted at the US border for a misidentified bag of fertilizer in the trunk of their car.

In the movie club, I found my niche as a stop action animator. Taco helped me with hours of moving pieces of the animation, taking a few frames and moving the pieces again.

The Honors group was the only class allowed to attend the Science Seminar and to have access to a computer. Taco or someone else from the “hill” snuck me into the seminar to play Adventure.

Taco learned enough about computers to surmise that the ACT (American College Testing) exam used an “if it was marked” method of scoring. He filled in all the circles and scored a 100%. I believe that no one in history had scored 100%. When the ACT admin examined his test they found his “cheat” and, maybe out of respect for his creativity, allowed him to take the test over. He scored highly on the retake.


Among his other skills was Taco’s ability to write mirror backwards. He put the pencil in his left hand and wrote right to left. If you held the paper up to a mirror it read left to right in perfect handwriting.

One day I had a conversation which was interrupted for some reason. Taco stopped in mid sentence and shifted his attention to the interruption. Days later he resumed the conversation with me from mid sentence where he had left off.

Taco and my friend Joe are infamous story tellers. They told “Shaggy Dog” stories which would last forever and end with a groaning call back punch line. Having them as friends was always entertaining.


After a stint at UC Santa Barbara Taco moved to Corvallis, Oregon. There, he joined the community theater. I think of him as the Phantom of the Theater. He was the character backstage who would design and build sets, plan and operate the lighting and help with writing and directing. Occasionally, Taco acted in the plays.

I drew a charcoal and white chalk portrait of Taco standing on the theater stage and consulting his lighting plan. Here it is:

During this time Taco was learning to play his washtub bass. He made it himself and played regularly with a folk band. Taco wrote his own songs. He became a quiet legend at the Centralia Old Time Fiddler’s Campout.


In his retirement, Taco lives in the wild on one camping trip after another. He is knowledgable about geology and seeks out the waterfalls, such as this one at Mary’s Peak in his part of the Oregon paradise.

On tech jobs where he does electronics installations he stays in his camper van at some nearby campground and pockets the per diem.

In a previous bLog episode, “Anagram“, I wrote about sending 70 postcards to Taco on his birthday. Each postcard had one letter on it. It was up to Taco to decode the anagram birthday message. See the bLog episode to read some of the creative messages that he made from the seventy letters.

Paula and I will be traveling to Texas this coming spring to see the total eclipse of the sun. Taco is organizing it. Our high school friends, Maria and Joe with his wife Coni will also be attending.

On a previous eclipse trip, Taco hung the eclipse glasses on a tree. I think he was afraid the the tree would be blinded if it looked at the sun.

Recently, Taco and I joined a writing group which was lead by David (from the Servite “hill”) and Dennis Watson (the English teacher from the movie club). As Writers Anonymous, we published an anthology of short stories entitled, “Matters of LIFE and DEATH.” It is available on Amazon. Buy a copy to read some of Taco’s stories.

Taco is the living example of freedom. In whatever he endeavors he is the master of his choices and the star of his life’s play.

Whenever I have a taste for the exotic, I make Tacos.


“Skydivers Know Why Birds Sing” by Ricki T Thues is now available on Amazon.
It is a Love story of Rick and Paula Thues and their 35 years of Skydiving.

Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.

Follow Ricki T Thues on Amazon HERE.

“Technically Human” by Ricki T Thues, the iMentor, is available on Amazon.
It is a compilation of selected episodes from this bLog which tell the story of Humanity through the eyes of the iMentor.

Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.
The ebook version of “Technically Human” is also available on Kobo. Click HERE.
For you Barnes and Noble Nook readers it is available for Nook. Click HERE.
The “Technically Human” ebook is also available on Apple Books . Click HERE.




  1. Jeff Laun January 12, 2024
  2. Maria Doyle January 12, 2024
  3. Danielle L BARLOW January 12, 2024
  4. Victor Spindler January 12, 2024
  5. Dave Molina January 12, 2024
  6. Shari Pratt January 12, 2024
  7. Taco January 14, 2024
    • Rick Thues January 14, 2024

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