Miller Time

Banana Yellow (30)

UNITED STATES—The landowners in Bananaland, who had sold out and then made a bonanza, they too would be on a train, not immune to the allure and magnet of the camps. The American scribbler and embezzler (alias) O. Henry slapped the name Banana Republic. No wonder he was an embezzler when you are in the United States of Dollars...

Banana Yellow (27)

UNITED STATES—Sam Delaney was an ingratiating presence, and he had a big fine office building (at 12 stories you could do a lot of damage by stepping off the top, but nobody ever did in that steamy, comforting town where the atmosphere clung like amniotic fluid that surrounds a fetus, and it kept people from making that long step)....

Banana Yellow (23)

UNITED STATES—February 3, 1975...7:53 a.m. EST. I’ve hurled myself at approximate 8 a.m. this Monday into the smutty white void. The speed of the vertical plummet is petrifying, scraping hard against by skin comically kneaded by the muscular wind. My black fedora floated off and is bouncing around the gibbous clouds. I who still answer to the name Max...

Banana Yellow (21)

UNITED STATES—The harshness was candy-coated by money, which was for people what meat was for dogs. The mere scent whipped folks into a frenzy. The businessmen from Alabama, always left a little more meat on the bone, so as to traumatize Bananaland via the zone of “good” jobs in the Canal Zone, and the better banana jobs between the...

Banana Yellow (20)

UNITED STATES—There had been a boiling point reached the day before when Yglesias was digging out a trench for a new irrigation canal with a steam shovel. They had been in the banana forest when they heard a huge explosion, it could have been one of the Americans dynamiting fish, and it could have just as easily been an...

Banana Yellow (19)

UNITED STATES—It was hushed in the long barracks at night in the Valle de Sula where Juana and Antonio had met up, of all places. The whoosh-whoosh of dead tired souls prevailed, punctuated by a sneeze or dry cough. Near the river frogs said ribbit-ribbit and there was the implacable hum of mosquitoes flying, flying, mad, incessant that tormented...

Banana Yellow (16)

UNITED STATES—I hear a lot of things as a reporter. Never know where the next story is coming from, ya know. Joe Holly once described himself as a common man who had no liking for war whatsoever, but when he got into where the shooting was, he just couldn’t get enough of it. It was a new “game” he...

Banana Yellow (13)

UNITED STATES—His bosom buddy, who’d dubbed him “the incredible Yanqui,” the exiled Miguel Padilla, retorted, “Well, compadre. I’ve heard of a White House being turned into a bawdy house, my friend.” Phineas Cox sure had inadvertently done a heap more than any soul to stir up a hornet’s nest, that fussy corporate lawyer and former Attorney General, had been the...

Banana Yellow (11)

UNITED STATES—In 1899, the renowned soldier for hire, Joe Holly, defected to the Honduran Government army, a move that crumbled any semblance of integrity he may have had. Yet this move paid off handsomely, as Joe was commissioned to be a colonel and became police chief of Tegucigalpa by appointment by the current president. Soon thereafter, Joe defected again...

Banana Yellow (9)

UNITED STATES—Like the banana king, Sam Delaney, Joe Holly was fond of Central America. This land had offered Joe a second chance, and it is true that second chances are more often denied than offered in American lives. When Joe was barely out of his teens he helped build a railroad that joined Memphis and New Orleans, by way...