Quadalajara: The Utopia That Once Was - a book by Jack Tumidajski - A history of the paraplegic and quadriplegic men and women who rediscovered life in Mexico's second largest city
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An Inspirational Memoir of a Place, a Time and the People

Vietnam veteran Jack Tumidajski writes a very moving account of his personal journey both in a wheelchair and in his soul. The real story is however, all about a place and group of people he found. His inspirational and historic book
Quadalajara: The Utopia That Once Was brings to light a history that most Americans were not even aware of. I know this was all new to me.

In order to financially survive and become truly independent, a group of WWII, Korean, and Vietnam veterans along with other quadriplegics and paraplegics moved to Mexico; where they formed their own cultural womb of fellowship in the midst of a true paradise. This band of brothers (and even a few sisters) formed the heart of a new social order that flourished and grew to be something much deeper than and relevant than any of them would have imagined.

It is kind of an odd quirk of "fate" that Jack survived without as much as a scratch his entire tour of duty only to be seriously injured in a simple auto accident shortly after he was home on leave from the war. But I do not believe that there are truly any accidents in life; and that our fate is really more of a life mission and not some random spin on the roulette wheel of chance happenstance. So, one could assume that Jack was preordained and destined to head south and meet these people and become involved in their way of life. More importantly, he saved their personal histories in this book!

The author does a wonderful job preserving the history of these people and this subculture. Thanks to him, future generations will not forget this American community that once was so vibrant and active in the heart of Mexico. Jack shares not only his life and lessons but opens up stories about others and sheds some light on their experiences and memories.

You will never read a book like this. This is unique history that he makes both entertaining and inspiring for the reader. The MWSA gives his book its highest rating of FIVE STARS! I personally recommend this book to read.

A MWSA 2006 Distinguished Book Award Winner!

Bill McDonald,
President, Military Writers Society of America

Mercado Libertad -

Open-air market in Quadalajara

Quadalajara's Hospitality Arch "Los Arcos" (early 60's) was the original entrance to the city
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