Thursday, July 07, 2016

Standing Up for the Cancun Inn

Chillin' with the very friendly staff of the Cancun Inn
Kaitlyn, Holly and Monique
Israel Campos and Friends
The Cancun Inn is a Mexican Restaurant located in the little hamlet of Sugarloaf, New York, a place about seven miles from where I live that is known as a center for arts and crafts here in Orange County. It sits at the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain. I climbed it many times when I was in my teens and twenties. I don't think I'll be climbing it again anytime soon. I can barely get out of bed in the morning, are you kidding me?

Recently, this very non-controversial establishment has found itself drenched in controversy. It all started on Sunday when a woman named Esther Levy entered the place sporting a Donald Trump campaign hat. She says that she was angrily asked to leave by Julio Campos, one of the two brothers who operate the Cancun Inn. The other's name is Israel. Julio and the wait staff who were on duty (Holly Tuttle and Kaitlyn Slicker) claim that the woman and her companion, a retired judge named, Alvin Goldstein, were asked to leave because they were being, rude and obnoxious. A friend of hers, also a Trump supporter, went straight to the media - and I'm not referring to the local media - he went to Rupert Murdoch's New York Post Toasties. Very curious indeed. Also covering the festivities were camera crews and reporters from Telemundo and NBC News. Talk about publicity!

The Post Toasties not only wrote about the incident, they posted on their website a link to the Cancun Inn's Facebook page. Within hours, it was deluged with the loveliest messages from more than two-thousand addicts of the Murdoch/Fox scream machine. Here are but a few choice tidbits:

"I will urge all of my relatives in your area to boycott your restaurant forever until you close down."

"you are a liar. you know very well you are a racist mexican , I hope they file a lawsuit and put your punk butts out of business."


"I will never give you my patronage and I hope you are driven into bankruptcy."

"Boycott this racist, hate filled restaurant. Let's put this place out of business for good."

Photo by Holly Tuttle
Nice, huh? Those were just a handful of the milder ones. Temping as they were to quote, some of them were so obscene and disgusting, that I've omitted them out of respect for the Campos family. Besides, I'm trying to turn this blog into a family-friendly site (Right, like that's ever gonna happen).

I would have provided you with a link to their Facebook page, but the site is probably stressed-out enough as it is from the sheer volume of invective. It was amusing to see some of the hate mail coming from the other side of the country. One lying fool claimed that he got food poisoning there twice. I checked out his own page and noticed he was from Oregon. When I called him on this he called me the "liberal nazi grammar police". Ain't that a hoot? The very sight of these Donald groupies breaking down with a mass case of spastic apoplexy is always a fun thing to behold. It really is!

In the later hours of the evening, when word got out in the community of the venom that was being heaped upon these kind, decent people, many of their loyal and grateful clientele came to their defense. The area in which I grew up is like that. I'm happy I moved back here.
Esther Levy
For the record, I was not an eyewitness to what went down at the Cancun Inn on Sunday. But I can put things into a kind of sociological perspective, if you'll allow me. Ms. Levy knowingly entered an establishment that is owned by a Mexican-American family (naturalized citizens, by the way) wearing Donald Trump campaign paraphernalia. Was that necessary? Given all of the mind-bendingly cruel and stupid things the Donald has said in the last year about minorities in general - and Mexicans in particular - dismissing them as a cabal of rapist, murderers, dope peddlers and thieves, did she really think that this was a particularly rational thing to do?
There is a restaurant here that I am fond of that sits just on the edge of the village of Goshen. It's called called, Brothers Li. It specializes in Japanese cuisine and is owned and operated by very polite Japanese Americans. At least, I assume that they are Japanese Americans. Just to be on the safe side, in all the years I've been dining there, it never occurred to me to walk into the joint singing, "Remember Pearl Harbor". When I lived in New York City, there was a Vietnamese restaurant on Ninth Avenue, right around the corner from my apartment. Not once did it ever cross my mind to have a recording of Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler's 1966 hit, "The Ballad of the Green Berets" blaring from my boom box (This was back in the eighties - pre-ipod, you know?). Such insensitive behavior never entered my mind. I'm kinda funny that way.
The Campos family and their entire staff are very kind and gracious, and welcomed me into their midst yesterday like a long lost member of the family. I arrived just as the place was opening so there were not many customers on hand while I was there. One thing I did witness, though, I have to tell you about: While I was dining, I noticed the owner, Israel Campos, from across the room. He was being assisted by the waitress, Holly, trying remove a wasp that had made its way onto the premises.

(Memo to the Tea Party Mob: When I say "wasp", I am not referring to a "White Anglo Saxon Protestant" - CHILL!)

What struck me was the method he used in removing the insect - not by swatting it with a newspaper - but by gently trapping it inside of an envelope. As he ventured outside to set it free, I heard him say softly to Holly, "Every creature has a right to live". That speaks volumes about the man's character, I think.

According to an article written by Richard J. Bayne that appeared yesterday in the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, NY:

"The tight-knit Campos family emigrated from Mexico in 1986. Julio Campos' brother, Israel, is the owner. Israel Campos often talks about how his family made their way from a mud hut in Puebla, Mexico, to Orange County. They washed dishes, waited tables, and cooked until they saved enough to open their own restaurant. They've owned and operated restaurants in Orange County for thirty years."

This is a family with a story. This is a family that is an asset to the United States. We're lucky they call America their home.

I'm the last person on the planet earth who has any business writing restaurant reviews. For breakfast this morning, I had peanut butter spread between four Ritz crackers, washed down with a diet cola. As you may well imagine, the culinary delights are not really my forte. I can tell you, though, that the shrimp dish I had at the Cancun Inn was excellent. As the old Doobie Brothers song once said, "I just might pass this way again", and I would wholeheartedly recommend the Cancun Inn to anyone who finds his or herself passing through Sugarloaf, New York.

Over half a century ago, on August 4, 1962, when the great band leader, Artie Shaw, heard about the sudden death of Marilyn Monroe, he is said to have remarked: "Good career move". What he meant was that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Indeed there isn't. Out of the ashes of this "scandal" the Cancun Inn has gained a new customer. And I've got a feeling that I'm not the only one.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


The Audacity of Hope
By Barack Obama

I'm right in the middle of this one at the moment; in fact it's the book I am reading in the photograph above, taken by Holly. I'll say this about our president: The dude can do some serious writing!

To view the ten most recent postings on this site, please go to the link below: 

Shameless, left-wing propaganda....I TELL YA, THERE OUGHT TO BE A FREAKIN'  LAW!!!

Shh....Keep voting with the far right. There will be.


At 4:51 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Most of the comments posted for the summer of 2016 have been inadvertently deleted.

My bad.

Tom Degan


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