I would like to insert the paragraph about Dean after the paragraph that says "off the beaten path."
Mike had a best friend from the Navy. His name was Dean. He was our best man when we got married. Dean was so impressed with our stories of our honeymoon in Mexico that he went out and bought a new blue Toyota L/C. We went on various trips with him and his fiancée, Kitty. They went in Dean’s Toyota and we went in ours and as always friends joined us. In 1964, the four of us decided to go to San Blas. In Guaymas we paid $.50 a night for a room. In San Blas we found 2 abandoned thatched-roof huts where we were able to sleep and cook. We went swimming in the nearby ocean everyday, when not exploring the little town and area around it. One night when we went to swim in the ocean, Dean was bit by something that hurt. We never saw what it was. We spent a week in the area and headed north towards home mostly using little dirt roads instead of the highways. One time when we were all in one vehicle, we gave a ride to an old man who offered us some home-made liquor. Only Dean triedit. The dirt roads were very muddy and full of ruts which caused many big trucks and pick-ups to get stuck. This
is where we had a lot of fun by pulling out these vehicles with our 4-wheel drive Toyotas and using our chains. We were the Gringo heroes. When we returned homeafter our 2-week adventure Mike, Kitty and I all went back to work. But Dean had very bad diarrhea. He became so sick that he was admitted to the Mount Sinai Hospital in LA. His whole
body swelled up and he was so delirious that he even punched one doctor. Dean’s parent came out from Delaware and they contracted specialists in rare diseases from New York. Dean died in 5 days. He was 23 years old. They did autopsies, but did not find out thecause. We were devastated and people blamed Mike and I. We name our son after
him, Conrad Dean DeVine.
Both Mike and I were both working full time and going to school. Mike was working for the Triple AAA as a Touring Counselor and I worked as a medical secretary. Mike was studying Economics as both his dad and my dad suggested this. Mike's heart was not in the business realm. He grew up on his Grandpa's farm in Iowa and his love was for animals. He suggested to me in his last year of college that both of us should quit our jobs and school and head south in our, by then, fully equipped Toyota through Mexico and on down to Tierra del Fuego at the very tip of So. America. He said that this was to find ourselves.