Khaki Scott, the Ultimate Yucatan Survivor
First of all, is that really your name? we love it...
Secondly, we can't help but notice that your contributions to YL are consistently interesting, informative and honest... the three watchwords of what we want Yucatan Living to be for it's readers.
We are writing to ask if you might consider becoming a guest contributor to our pages? We're sure you have something interesting to tell us all....
We look forward to hearing from you!!
That is how our relationship with Carol Scott, known to her friends as Khaki, began. Since that day in March 2007, the only time we have not communicated with Khaki on a weekly basis is when we were on a vacation. We haven't taken many vacations, and we have never heard of Khaki taking any.
Louisiana to Yucatan
Khaki embodies the connection between the New Orleans area and the Yucatan Peninsula. For centuries, Yucatan was cut off from Mexico City by those huge mountains around Veracruz, and the mountainous south of Mexico. Traveling to the center of Mexico was onerous, but traveling by boat to Europe, Cuba, South America or New Orleans was much easier. And New Orleans became a place familiar to Yucatecans that travel. New Orleans was a place to escape to when you were on the run in Yucatan, like Felipe Carrillo Puerto. New Orleans was a place to shop if you were a wealthy hacienda owner. New Orleans was a place to educate your children. At the very least, New Orleans was a place to land before you took off to other parts of the North American Continent.
Khaki can trace her family back for generations in the state of Louisiana. ("My people were in Louisiana by 1722 !!! I know half of them were in Quebec in the 1600s - but the fact that they are listed in the "First Families of Quebec" won't buy me a shrimp poboy in Louisiana in 2012... ya think?") She has lived there all her life, except for the ten or so years that she spent in Yucatan.
When we moved to Yucatan, she was already back in Louisiana. But she knew a lot of the people we were meeting. She even introduced us to a few. She had lived for 12 years on the beach near Progreso and knew everyone there, especially the expats who had been around awhile and the snowbirds who returned every year. And everyone who had ever met Khaki remembered her.
What We Know
What we know about Khaki, we have learned from years of interacting through email. We have talked on the phone rarely. Khaki has a strong southern Louisiana accent that is unmistakable... when we hear that on the phone, we know its her. We don't need caller ID.
We know Khaki was raised well in an old and established family. We know Khaki raised her own family, two sons, and has a few grandchildren. We don't know anything about her husband, who is not around anymore. We don't know much about her two sons, except that one lives fairly nearby. When we found out Khaki was in the hospital, we had to locate him through the internet and Facebook, so we assume they are not that close. We have always known that she would rather face down an angry bear than ask for help from anyone, including her children.
We also know that Khaki loves animals, as most of us do. As long as we have been working with her, she has had dogs and cats that she will work to feed before she feeds herself.
We know that Khaki has worked hard to support herself and her pets as long as we have known her. Khaki has written the Yucatan News for years, always looking for the good in Yucatan. She has also written a few articles like this one, the Maya and the Mississippi. She has single-handedly managed the YoListo.com forum since Malcolm Bedell sold it and moved back to the USA. She writes college papers for struggling students, she is a crack internet researcher and she has a passion for history.
What We've Learned to Love
What we have learned about Khaki, we have learned through nuggets and snippets like the ones that follow. We've learned to love her wit, irreverence, insight and individuality. Read these and you'll realize... there is no one quite like Khaki!
I can swear REALLY well !!! Thank you very much, Sharon Corley! LOL
When I was 27 years old, I got Sharon Corley to teach me...
We got babysitters and left the kids at home - then drove around in her car for THREE DAYS... took me that long to actually SAY some of those words... We laughed til we cried... People in other cars must have thought we were nuts!
and this (the boy's real name has been changed...):
One night, I had already gone to bed - but was still awake, waiting on the boys to get home. One of them hollered from the living room: "Mom! There's a geometry book in the middle of the floor and its been shot." I hollered back: "I know. It's John Smith's." My son replied: "Oh." and went to the kitchen to get something to eat. John Smith was in 10th grade.
One day, I asked the boys "Is John Smith in the hospital?" They laughed. I asked what was so funny? They said "He had an argument with his mother, ran off in the woods and shot himself in the foot - on purpose!" John Smith was in 11th grade.
or this on the garbage situation in Progreso:
I'd stay clear of the topic because I wouldn't know how to even start to spin it in a positive direction... not given this last Mayor's squandering of the Municipality of Progreso's money - they won't recover for generations - if ever - and all of the brother-in-law "deals" - and the overflowing landfill - and the promise of a new landfill (what century?) ... and the cost to take even one bag to the landfill for poor people... recycling??? that can't happen if garbage is thrown in empty lots... Its just a mess. Every once in a while, people blow up over it... but its all so hopeless that they soon give up and just accept the status quo again.
or this about Marta Sahagún:
I actually know Patricio Patron Laviada, have enormous respect for his wife and her staggering accomplishments in Yucatan, have met Vicente Fox (in Merida) and know Marta (by e-mail). We still e-mail occasionally and exchange Christmas cards. That woman is phenomenal !!! Public education - and trade school / technical school education - in Mexico, would still only barely even exist if it had not been (literally) for the brass balls of Marta Sahagún. I have never seen such courage in my life!
or on working with a difficult reader on YoListo:
HA! Well - I'm not - by ANY stretch of the imagination - a pacifist... and I DO want to kick her ass... I be-LEEVE in kicking her ass... I'd put a shrine in my YARD to kicking her ass...
but - I work here and by a set of rules that are best for YL and Yolisto - so ... when backed into a corner - I have very nice little canned speech that Ellen once wrote that I start with... if that doesn't work, I have NO problem saying something smarmy and disgustingly sweet... like suggesting they might be happier on FB.
Hope you have a good Christmas too. Mine will be frightening. I have to make deviled eggs for 30 people.
on dealing with difficult posters on YoListo.com:
...unless you want to spend your entire life, sword in hand, righting wrongs, remember what the old Coon Asses say and "Just let 'em went."
Khaki lost her house in one of those hurricanes... Katrina? Wilma? We can't remember. But in the end, she had no house and has been renting since. And because she is getting older (aren't we all?), she has been battling to stay housed and healthy. How do we know? She never complains. She just sends us emails like this:
Every Sunday night, I fought Cox Cable and SLEMCO electric to get enough electricity and internet to get the columns finished. Yesterday afternoon... as the electricity cut off and on - and off again... I just laughed and went outside to visit with the neighbors. The storms came... and we all had a wonderful time visiting from house to house... :)
Pull up weather for area code 70517... its black as night out there right now... and it isn't even noon yet... LOL
BUT - I've (somehow) hurt my knee again... its way weird... the knee works fine - the pain is not "bone" pain... its muscle-type stuff... must have torn something loose in there... and this has been going on - if I really look back - for at least a year... and I can't afford to go to the doctor because I haven't figured out how to pay for Medicare and the supplement yet... krappe krappe krappe... well - school starts in 3 weeks - I'm going to tutor - so that might help. I'll just "hop and holler" between now and then...
We could go on and on... but we want to send this out so YOU can know what is going on and so you can let Khaki know how much you appreciate her.
If you have known Khaki over the years, if you have "met" her through YoListo.com or if you have never met her but enjoyed her Yucatan News articles or even just THIS article, please contribute what you can to the GoFundMe campaign we have set up for her. If you have any questions about this, please leave a comment and we will do our best to answer it. ALL money contributed to the campaign will go directly to Khaki to help her get through this latest complication and get her back on her feet.