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My life as a Mexican transistor radio

My life as a Mexican transistor radio


Relaciones Exteriores building in Mexico City

Right now, I am working on a blockbuster video about the part of Teotihuacan that the tourists never see.  I am having to go back through my journal in Mexico to get eyewitness details that I have forgotten over the years. The reason that I got to see the forbidden areas of Teotihuacan was that the Mexican consul in Atlanta was an architect and a Georgia Tech graduate.  He arranged for me to get VIP treatment . . . far, far beyond what any college student could expect under the circumstances.  I was designated an Official Guest of the government of Mexico and given a photo ID from the Institutio Nacional de Antropologia E Historia.   These proved to be very useful.  I went alone repeatedly into the boonies and wanted to see the suburbs of large Mesoamerican cities and also those ruins, which had not been opened to tourism.   The SRA ID would protect me from being arrested by some rural gendarme and the INAH ID would protect me from being shot as a looter by the soldiers protecting the ruins.  LOL  The excuse used by the Mexican Consul was that in the 21st century, I would prove that the Mayas came to Georgia, but of course, that was ridiculous.

I also learned today something else that didn’t even significant at the time.  I flew down there on the Summer Solstice . . . the Creek New Year.  How about that for being “magical mystery.”  

One of the daughters of the family that hosted me, Gionella Soto, worked at a large hotel near the Tlatelolco government office complex. Before then she had been a secretary and translator at the Mexican Consulate in Atlanta.  She gave me a lift to the Relaciones Exteriores Building and helped me with translations of English words into Spanish.  Everybody at the SRA was extremely nice.  I quickly was led into the office, where I was to be interviewed, photographed and also had to fill out a lot of paperwork . . . in case I became dead while their guest. 

I had just sat down in the office of a high ranking official, when I started hearing Mexican rock’n’roll music come out of my teeth!  Gionella and the official started looking around.  The official called his secretary to ask her to tell the people in the next office to turn off their radio.  She called back and said that they had no radio next door.  He was quite irritated and apologized for the unprofessional behavior of some of their employees.  I didn’t dare tell him that it was  . . . I guess . . . the fillings in my teeth that for unknown reasons, were functioning as transistors and antennas.   I was afraid that if I told the truth, they would have arrested me as a spy or something.

Fortunately,  my dental radio faded off into silence, before it was time for me to go.  No one ever knew and I certainly didn’t tell Gionella.  I had to return at the end of the fellowship, to ship my teaching aid artifacts under a diplomatic bond.  The radio didn’t turn on that time . . . thank goodness!    Life is indeed a box of chocolates.

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.



    Richard, Teotihuacan? and now we have a young generation that cry ” yes we can”…I wonder if people ever learned anything about history repeating? Oh well…Happy new year!!! to you Richard…

    • Well, the term “me, too” has also taken on a new meaning!


        Richard, another article you might like as a GT grad: notice the size of the so called Sarcophagus, not large enough for a man, and even that the historians know the Pyramids have been carbon dated to 3800 BC…still they babble on about the Egyptians building those Pyramids. The Egyptians did not control lower Egypt till 3100 BC. Most likely built by the Amorites…and the ancient name of Far Western part of Europe and the ocean was called “Amorica”… perhaps some of your bronze age elders helped engineer those Pyramids? Somebody got a vowel wrong in Germany for the Bronze age Sea fairing peoples of both sides of the Atlantic.
        When did you say the Olmecs (Micosokee) settled in Mexico?…the Yokotan people believe they are related to the Omecs too and by their description a match for…the Yuchi / Tokah people. A few symbol connections with the South East:×308.jpg

        • Yes, the Yokatan people were Itza and Chontal Mayas from southern Mexico. They WERE participants in the Olmec Civilization. However, the Olmecs had nothing to do with the civilization named after them. LOL


            Richard, Thanks for the reply….I noticed 2 important symbols the 7 pointed star and the Saint Johns cross with that mural? Another connection with the South East Native peoples. Does the Yuchi /Uchee have a main symbol for their Nation? Thanks again.

          • Yes, it is a cross within a circle . . . the same symbol seen in Bronze Age Sweden and Denmark.


    I am loving this site. I am also Muskogee Creek descendant. Thank you for your research

    • My pleasure sister . . . although I am actually Hitchiti Creek . . . guess that makes us cousins.


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